I’m a 20-something living in Toronto. I have a conservation/ecology undergraduate and master’s degree, yet I’ve always been drawn to matters of health and fitness. I am active – I do yoga, kickbox, swim, circuit train, and walk/bike/rollerblade whenever I get the opportunity. I try to be mindful of what I eat – I’ve struggled with gastrointestinal problems for a number of years. Was it caused by all the undue stress on my body? Is it environmental triggers?

My life turned around when I was ‘diagnosed’ with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and started investigating the alternatives to “normal” foods. Wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and eggs were found to be exaggerators of my symptoms, and as a vegetarian, I was already restricted in my choices. With time, I feel like I have opened up more food options than I closed. So, I am a dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free, soy-free vegetarian.

The reasoning behind starting this blog:

Especially with my history and struggles due to IBS, I want to make sure that what I put into my body is “PURE”! I find this very difficult with the influx of media claims of environmental/eco-friendly/organic/local products, when I believe many are simply mechanisms to increase sales.

The number of times I have walked into a grocery store, drug store, clothing store and wondered, “What am I really putting into my body or putting on my body? How were the resources to make these products extracted or produced? – Are they it natural or synthetic, were they sustainable developed or did the manufacturing process causes irreparable damage to our natural ecosystems? How were these products transported to the places we buy them? Are they considered organic? Eco-friendly? Fair trade? Sustainable? How is this determined and what allows companies to stamp the labels on their products?

Yes, I am one of “those” that stands in the supermarket aisle reading the labels of each product I put in my cart! And, even so, I still feel I don’t know the background of what I buy. I’m hoping that this blog is an avenue to explore the transformation of my life wearing a veil to one where I can see clearly. I want to be an informed buyer, and I hope by reading this blog, so do you!