Jennifer’s Fibromyalgia Story

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
- Michael Jackson

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Hi there.

I’m so glad you’re here, because I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve put the kettle on, so make yourself comfy and I’ll tell you why I — and we — are here.

The idea for this site was born when I decided to step out from behind the bravado of the dynamic entrepreneur and reveal to the world that I had fibromyalgia, a chronic illness with which I had been battling for a decade. The meds weren’t working anymore, and my life and health were in a downward spiral. So I came out of the closet. I had no idea there were so many people standing next to me, however, hiding in the darkness. Soon the e-mails and direct messages were pouring in from people also suffering in silence — some of whom I’ve known for years — who didn’t know where to turn to ease their aches, their emotions — and their wellness.

Something had to be done. Luckily, my doctor showed up from that blog post, and started me on a road to holistic healing, where we could get my system back in order. I went gluten-free and dairy-free to see how my body would react. It was happy. Soon I was learning more about adrenal fatigue, and how chronic stress damages the glands we need for survival.

I surrounded myself with a team of people who could provide insights and answers, because I knew that the information needed to be shared. And I brought them here to help me help you. I don’t want one single person who is in pain or facing a chronic illness to be left behind because they can’t find answers that aren’t rooted in medications with horrible side effects (I had insomnia for 6 months, and cankles from a swollen body, so I feel you).

Here, we are looking at things holistically — and with some tough love. So many chronic conditions can be managed from a holistic point of view, where we take body, mind and spirit into consideration and train them to act in harmony. But it’s up to you. We can provide the how and the what, but you need to decide the when and the why. Are you ready to feel better? If so, come on in. We’re happy to have you.

Jennifer Iannolo
Founder & CEO
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Post image for A Tale of Two Women

This is my first post for ONE.org, an organization I’m honored to work with not only because of their humanitarian efforts, but also for the use of “hard-headed” in their tagline. The photo above is courtesy of my dear friend C.C. Chapman, who toured Ghana with ONE last year.

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I’ve had two women on my mind lately. They are counterpoints; polar ends of a spectrum whose very existence is difficult to reconcile.

Each woman is fighting a battle — to the death — on her own end of the spectrum. And though one of them faces a matter of critical urgency, the other presents a glimpse of the future which we cannot ignore.

Let us call woman #1 “Adowa”. She lives in a developing country where starvation is a very real possibility, and where every day that ends with some form of nourishment for Adowa and her family is a victory; a triumph over death.

Let’s call woman #2 “Heather”. She lives in a modern society where food is plentiful, and career and family demand a lot of her. She’s wearing down her body, which is tantamount to a time bomb that is primed and ready to set off a chronic illness when stress and unhealthy eating become too much for her system to bear. Heather’s lifestyle will kill her one day, and that day will likely come way too soon.

Now, it would be easy to stop right here and profess that we cannot equivocate one situation with the other. I agree. There are choices available to Heather that are not conscious — or even imaginable — possibilities for Adowa.

My reason for taking a closer look at these two women, however, goes beyond moral equivocation. It is a look at the future, and poses the question of just how long it will take for Adowa and her sisters to internalize problems just like Heather’s, and how we can take responsibility now to prevent that from happening.

This might seem like an academic argument.

There is no denying that starvation is a fierce and deadly enemy; its effects are quite immediate and visible, and saving lives must be the priority.

But we must also stop for a moment and look at the catastrophic numbers that surround chronic illness. While developed lands and modern societies offer plenty of food innovations that will shuffle us down our mortal coil, 50% of us will shuffle in misery from chronic pain, diabetes, obesity, or any number of their co-morbid conditions.

1 out of 2 people. It’s you or me.

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Has Anyone Seen My Brain?

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I’ve spent the past few weeks coming to terms with having impaired brain function, and all the things I’ve made that mean. Dealing with sore muscles is one thing; dealing with a brain that needs mending is another thing entirely, and when the science and testing prove that it needs mending, there’s no hiding from reality.

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Will Subway Have Gluten-Free Sandwiches?

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At a recent VIP evening with Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway, Jennifer inquired about Subway’s exploration with gluten-free. Several locations recently tested gluten-free sandwiches in several locations after owners recognized a demand in the marketplace.

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Welcome to a new conversation about fibromyalgia.

We’ve decided that it’s time for a shift in consciousness, because fibromyalgia isn’t going anywhere. But rather than be at the mercy of scientific research, misdiagnoses, or our physical symptoms, we want something else to drive the dialogue: Our strength. We’ve decided that it’s time for each of us to be our own superhero. Feel […]

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Video: Why We’re Here

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While she was in Boston for her Harvard talk, Jennifer sat down with her good pal C.C. Chapman for his new project, PassionHit TV for a candid talk about why she created Zenfully Delicious.

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