My New Mission

28 Jun 2010, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in wellness

It’s taken me a while, but I have come to a place of peace with the idea that my life has been forever altered. There are still ups and downs as I work my way through eliminating the foods that presently cause my body pain (more on that in another post), but I accept the downs with the knowledge that my health and body will not always be in a state of breakdown, and that wellness is on the horizon. Sometimes a good cry is remarkably cathartic in those moments.

I entered into a food-restricted world kicking and screaming, but the way has become clearer. What I now see, instead of limitation, is the opportunity that exists not only for me, but for any of you who live in the realm of chronic illness — whether it’s yours or someone else’s. And while there are some great resources presently available to manage it all, there is much work to be done in this area. It is with that premise in mind that I’d like to share my new mission with you:

I am committed to helping every person who has a chronic illness live a delicious life.

It is not enough to simply exist, to endure — to survive. Life at its fullest is about thriving, about getting out of bed each day ready to take on the world in the pursuit of one’s passion. It’s about celebrating the sensual pleasures that make life sweeter. After living for many months in a state of endurance, rather than one of passionate pursuit, I powerfully realize that it isn’t enough. I won’t live that way — and I don’t want others with chronic illness to, either.

There are many pieces of this new mission, but the easiest and most obvious involves the food. In the immediate future, I will be adding resources to this blog, as well as to our Culinary Media Network site, and we will continue to add recipes, videos and other media to our current content for those of us with dietary restrictions. I have a lot more than gluten-free going on right now, and you might, too.

There are other things in the works that will roll out slowly, one of which includes an entirely new site I’m creating. Look for an announcement on that very soon.

I am excited about this new phase, because a whole new universe of sensory discovery awaits. I’ve heard from enough of you publicly and privately to know that I am not alone in this need for something beyond survival. If you are struggling, know that I’ve heard you.

In fact, I’ve told Oprah about you.

Oprah is currently holding an open casting call for a new star on her OWN network, so I’ve uploaded an audition video to her site announcing my mission to create a show to help people with chronic illness live a delicious life — where the illness takes a back seat to LIVING.

Is it a long shot? Sure. But if I’m going to create a national platform, I needed to get the momentum started somewhere, so I’ve thrown my hat in the ring. If you support my mission (or hell, even if you just like my strawberry photo in the blog header), I ask that you please click and vote for me. No registration is required — just a click. You can vote multiple times. You can vote by clicking the link below, or the image in the top of my sidebar.

VOTE for Jennifer’s Audition Video to be Oprah’s Next Star

(Chef Mark is also auditioning with his new “Share Your Plate” concept, so you can vote for him too.)

Thanks so much to every one of you who has left a comment, sent me a note or a word of encouragement. Your support means so much to me, and the knowledge that there are others out there who can benefit from my efforts to give chronic illness a loud, powerful voice gets me out of bed every day — even when I need to drag myself to my feet.

Let’s do this.

Photo: Kelly Cline