Chapter 3: The Idea
Still humming from unlocking my purpose, I now sat down to figure out what problem to solve. How could I combine my passion (helping kids), my skill (food marketing), and a problem that needed to be solve?
I was formally diagnosed with an autoimmune disease 5 years ago. It was a "now what?" moment for me. I didn't want to use a lot of different medications and I thought I could manage it through my diet. I have legitimately tried every single diet and read every single health/diet book available. I started with Gluten-Free, tried Intermittent Fasting and experimented with Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Vegetarian, and Vegan, to name a few popular ones. All had varying degrees of positive results but I kept exploring.
While I was thinking about my "idea". I was contacted to participate in an University of Illinois study for Autoimmune skin diseases that used the SAD to AIP in 6 weeks program. AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) was intimidating to me. AIP is a more strict version of Whole30 focused on eliminating inflammatory foods (no grain, no dairy, no nuts, no seeds, no soy, no legumes, no nightshades, no eggs, no additives & artificial sugar).
AIP was the cleanest diet I have ever heard of and it eliminated foods that cause inflammation to help improve gut health.
I was invested in improving my health and I signed up for the program. Around week 3, I noticed my energy was strong and steady and my skin started to clear up. After that it kept getting better. I was able to identify trigger foods (gluten, soy, vegetable oil, grain, and refined sugar) and create a sustainable approach to diet to manage my autoimmune disease.
The key principles that resonated across most of the different food/diet philosophies were: eat better fresh, whole food and eat less junk. That made a lot of sense to me but it wasn't always sustainable - I didn't have the time or energy to cook every single meal! The hardest meal was breakfast as it became very repetitive. I LOVE cereal and I could not have it even though my daughter was eating it all the time (well half of it would wind up on the floor).
Lightbulb, I should take the world's cleanest diet (AIP) and use it to clean up junk food, starting with breakfast! There was still something missing, I need to live my purpose. I then made the decision to give 20% of my profit to fight pediatric cancer. Every single business person said "you're crazy, that's too much!" That's how I knew it was the right move!