I suffer from severe chronic joint discomfort. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 18 and went on a boatload of medications that created another world of discomfort. After months of medicine trials that continued to change my everyday routine I went to my doctor and told her I wanted to heal / treat this as naturally as possibly. Her response was to become a vegetarian. I basically laughed in her face and asked if there were any other options. I went to my high school lifting coach whose daughter is involved in culinary medicine. I started integrating some of her tips and advice and started to see some results. I stopped taking all medications and only drank water, sport drinks, and juice. (No coffee, milk, pop, etc) After high school my condition didn't get any better. There were many days I was stuck in bed, slept in boiling hot water in the bath tub (Don't worry I had someone to make sure I didn't drown), constantly having sit down breaks when walking long distances (zoo, park, etc) I started to see other doctors because there was no way it was fibromyalgia. 1) I was too young 2) I felt like she just diagnosed me with that because she didn't know what was going on. A year or two passed with a lot of Ibuprofen, weight gain, and tears. I decided I need to quick wallowing in the pain and take charge. Constant pain and discomfort in your body can really weigh you down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I started doing more and more research into culinary medicine and vegetarianism kept appearing so I started with an elimination diet. Where you only eat a few basic foods then introduce one new food item at a time. This experience was definitely a step in the right direction! A couple month later I decided to take the plunge and listen to my doctor from years ago and slowly become a vegetarian. I first gave up beef, then pork, finally turkey.... and all that is left is chicken. Although, I do still each chicken I would say my pain has decreased by 80%. BUT I shouldn't say that without adding that there are horrible days! Especially with a crazy art school schedule. So this is my connection to culinary medicine and my thesis project. I really wanted to do something I could connect with and would enjoy doing whether or not it was for school. It mainly for me! This is a great way for me to get back on track and hopefully help other people considered culinary medicine as a way of healing and treatment.