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Welcome! My name is Paloma and I created FREEFORMU to share my story about law school, student debt, and my pursuit of health, wealth and wellness.

Health and Wellness

In my first year of law school, and at peak stress, I became plagued with undiagnosable symptoms. To my chagrin, physicians repeatedly explained that my labs showed absolutely nothing wrong. After a completely negative skin prick test with an allergist, I was diagnosed with idiopathic angioedema — an immune disorder that, for me, caused swelling in my legs, my face, and sometimes even my throat. There is no treatment and my best bet, according to the doctor, was to begin taking a combination of Zyrtec and Zantac, which left me lethargic and feeling hung over. Add to this a large number of unanswered additional symptoms that appeared unrelated, such as sudden severe pain in my joints and an ongoing battled with TMJ pain, I turned to herbal supplements and began experimenting with food and over-the-counter medication to alleviate — if not eliminate — my problems.

Through much trial and error, I discovered I had a severe allergy to malt barley — the ingredient added to almost all enriched wheat flours, cereal, and a significant number of chocolate products. I also found products that worked for me. In the matter of a month, I dropped significant weight that I know now was due to swelling and inflammation.

Diet plays such an important role in health and wellness. Even for those without extreme symptoms, a concerted effort to reduce the amount of inflammatory foods, sugar, processed carbs, and other foods we now know contain chemicals, preservatives, and dyes can make a large impact on focus, energy, stamina, sleep, and mood.

FREEFORMU is a platform for health and wellness topics that span general fitness considerations to diet, supplement, and lifestyle choices. It is a space for sharing not just opinion, like most blogs, but experiences and information backed by scientific research.

Wealth

I’m a lawyer by day. I attended a T20 law school and, like most millennials my age, I incurred a significant amount of school debt. Over $150k to be exact. This is just from law school as I was lucky enough to graduate debt-free from undergrad — thanks pops!

FREEFORMU is a space for me to share how I continue to pursue my health and wellness goals on a tight budget while planning for my future. I can’t subscribe to living like a hermit for a number of years simply to be debt free. Mental health and having fun are very important pieces of the puzzle and if a tight budget means I buy a bottle of wine at the grocery store instead of when I’m out to dinner — so be it, but it on no uncertain terms can mean that I stop buying wine altogether. Deprivation is a surefire way, both financially and with any well-meaning diet, to set oneself up for failure. It’s just not something that can be sustained.

FREEFORMU is my space to explain how a young professional without superhuman willpower, copes with and habitually overcomes a less-than-ideal financial reality while pursuing my health and wellness goals.