I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, granddaughter, friend, entrepreneur, volunteer, lover of animals and healthy living, who loves to read, write, paint and take a much needed breath now and then. And I like to think of myself as having been given a second chance at getting this life right!

I was a career driven, type A perfectionist for as far back as I can remember. I started my first company when I was 11 (I made and sold tie dyed clothing and beach gear to local beach shops  – hey, it was 1986!).  Actually, prior to that there was a brief stint charging the neighborhood kids for bike rides in my great-grandmother’s 3 wheel bicycle when I was 9, but my mom found out and squashed that gig pretty quickly.

After the tie-dye venture I was pretty much bitten with the entrepreneurial bug, and the rest of my schooling focused on getting top grades in school to ensure scholarships for college, and an ensuing career in Advertising. After 10 years building a career in sales and business development, I found myself lucky enough to be travelling back and forth to Europe on a bi-monthly basis, travelling from Colorado to London, Paris, and Holland.  Unfortunately, that took it’s toll on me, and after a couple of years, my myriad of health issues and food allergies finally caught up to me, and my body simply shut down.

So there I was, no more career (or defining career title), and a whole heap of health issues that had me in a complete state of confusion, pain and desperation. After being diagnosed with several food allergies and accompanying immune disorders, I was quickly realizing how overwhelming the process of researching my conditions was.  It seems my life was changing in some seriously intense ways, and I was going to have to accept those changes, or face not moving forward (physically or spiritually), and I was going to need to start making sense of all the different opinions I was coming across from my research.

The old John Lennon quote that was a fave of my childhood girlfriend often came to mind; ‘Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.’  I learned to stop planning, and start living. It sounds funny to say when my life now is not one that can be taken with a whim; gone are the days of breezing through a restaurant’s menu, or grocery store, and my reading material has changed quite a bit too. But my health and wellness finally came first; I finally came first (and for the first time in my life!) I learned that it’s ok to put myself first, because without my health and well-being, my family suffered.  I knew I needed to make a change when my son (who was 5 at the time) was standing next to my bed, looking down at me, and asked “mommy, when are you going to stop being sick? I  miss you mommy”. Oh man, that was all I needed to know I had to get my health in order!

Fast forward 2 years later, and I am now a yoga/pilates loving, gluten and grain-free everyday girl who takes life a lot less seriously, and understand now what people meant when they suggested not “sweating the small stuff”.

Wellness Dish was born by my desire to get much of what was in my head and printed out and stored in scrap and recipe books, all  into one place; I have read more sites, opinions, posts and editorials than I care to admit. I’ve labored through any doctor’s reports and lab findings, most of which I could have read 20 times and still not truly understood.

Wellness Dish is about making it easier to read through the many hundreds of sites and journals I labored through over a 2 year period, to post a snippet of something I just discovered and want to learn more about, to get my hands on a fave recipe, etc. But most importantly, my hope is that it will help others like me (who find themselves desperately trying to make sense of the contradicting opinions, masses of research and reports and varying suggestions on how to overcome health challenges) have a little more peace through their journey.

I structured this site much in the way my health issues came about, and I’ve been sure to cover all the related topics that arose throughout my journey to wellness, especially since many were not readily available as associated risks/side effects of my initial diagnoses. I’m certain that many of you will find similar paths, while others might have completely different responses, and I want to hear from you! My goal is to make sure we provide a destination for people searching for help to better understand what they’re facing, and how to overcome it.  So if I’ve left something off that you feel should be included, please contact me and I’ll begin to research it.

In short, Wellness Dish is about how to live (and love) an allergen-free life, with tips on living free of gluten, grains and dairy.  At length, it’s about how to manage the associated health issues that arise when certain immune disorders go untreated.   I will feature recipes, posts, healthy tips and highlights from authors I trust and live by!  I’ll “dish” on topics from wellness, natural health alternatives, allergy free recipes, top restaurants that support allergen free dining and more.  And I’ll be sure to cover new releases on health topics related to our journeys, and will be launching a member’s forum where you can share your journeys, post pictures, and more to offer support and motivation for those of us still in the trenches.

Here’s to a journey to improved wellness and delicious living!

In good health, Jen


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