Ep#091 What If Your Food Is the Root CAUSE of Your Suffering? – Interview With The Allergy Chef

Food intolerances and undiagnosed food allergies can be at the root of many chronic health issues including unwanted weight gain, digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, and more. All too often people who have food sensitivities are left feeling misunderstood, socially isolated and highly stressed trying to figure out what to eat.

Today’s guest has been on a remarkable personal journey. Kathlena, aka The Allergy Chef, has over 200 food allergies & intolerances, and can’t drink most water. For years , she was driven to research and get to the bottom of what was going on in her body. At her lowest point, after being told she had 30 days to live, Kathlena decided to expand her mission and be of service to the food allergy and special diet communities.

Three years from her lowest point, she and her team have published several cookbooks, started a well known specialty bakery, and launched R.A.I. S.E. a one of a kind online platform that houses the most powerful search engine for hundreds of free recipes and a wide of array of empowering educational resources designed to help the food allergy community thrive.

Website: raise.theallergychef.com OR goraise.net (promo code: science50)
Instagram: @theallergychef

Podcast Transcript

0 (1s):
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.

Christine Okezie (22s):
Hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for listening. So food intolerances and undiagnosed food allergies can be at the root of so many chronic health issues, including unwanted weight, gain, digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, skin conditions, and more, and all too often. People who have food sensitivities are left, feeling misunderstood, not taken seriously, socially isolated. And of course there’s a huge amount of stress and frustration trying to figure out what the heck to eat that won’t make their conditions worse. Today’s guest has been on a remarkable personal journey of healing that you’re going to want to listen to Kathleena.

Christine Okezie (1m 2s):
aka, The Allergy Chef has over 200 food allergies and intolerances, and she can’t even drink most water. Now for the average human, this level of pain and suffering would have been enough to break them. But what you’ll hear is that it was just the opposite. Kathleena had made it her mission to learn research and get to the bottom of what was going on in her body. She amassed valuable knowledge and experience and never, ever lost faith. In fact, at her lowest point, after being told, she had only 30 days to live. Kathleena decided to expand her mission, to heal herself beyond and decided to be of service to the food allergy and special diet communities three years from her lowest point, she and her team have published several cookbooks, started a well-known specialty bakery and developed hundreds of free recipes and resources all aimed to help the food allergy community thrive.

Christine Okezie (1m 56s):
Kathleena is the founder of res R A I S E a platform that provides solutions for folks on restricted diets, such as allergies and tolerances, special diets, and more res has a positive, empowering approach to helping people manage food allergies. There’s a range of information for everyone, whether you’re new to an allergy diagnosis or you’ve experienced being a food allergy parent, perhaps membership includes access to a ton of webinars, allergy friendly recipes, guides principles, and more. And in addition, Kathleena also shares her expertise by making herself available for custom one-on-one consultations.

Christine Okezie (2m 36s):
You can learn all about her and her different adventures at www. the allergychef.com. And I can’t wait for you to listen to this eye opening and inspiring conversation with a truly an extraordinary individual. So if you do like the podcast, I’d be grateful if you leave a rating and review on apple podcast. And if you haven’t already hit the subscribe button, please go ahead and do that. It helps me keep the messages growing. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the episode and hello, Kathleena. So great to have you here on the podcast. Welcome.

Kathleena (3m 10s):
Hey there, thanks for having me.

Christine Okezie (3m 12s):
Wonderful. So I’m excited to jump in your story is it was very moving for me and I’m so inspired by your work. So I’d love if we could kick it off by please share. I know you’ve probably told this a thousand times, but it’s such a great, you know, intro to know who you are and what you’re doing. So please share your health story and how you came to know food allergies were at the root root root cause of everything that was going on in your life.

Kathleena (3m 36s):
Yeah, so you’re right. Like I, I get this question a lot and it’s kind of funny because I think I might even answer it a little bit differently every time. So, alright. Comes out today, but in a nut shell, so I have over 200 food allergies and food intolerances. I can’t drink most water. I was given 30 days to live a few years ago. Like, that’s the gist of it? How did I figure it all out? Well, when you’re really, really sick every single day and like everything just keeps getting worse. There just kind of becomes like this tipping point. And it was finally suggested like, Hey, why don’t you try eliminating gluten? This was like, back when gluten-free was kind of like a fad still a little bit. So we started with that.

Kathleena (4m 17s):
I started to feel a little bit better and that’s when I was like, okay, let’s check out food allergy food intolerance. Let’s do a slew of tests. Let’s do a bunch of stuff, eliminate foods. It kind of all sort of happened at the same time. But that was really the breaking point. Really. I think when it came down to was, you know, if you were to just barely touch me at that point, I was in excruciating pain. The inflammation response was off the charts. I couldn’t even open the front door without like feeling it right. Like being in pain. So it’s like, I think for me, pain was truly the catalyst. Right. And what’s funny now is, you know, after I was diagnosed, I was like, wow, there’s so many people I can help. Like I look around and I see people and I’m like, Ooh, I bet you, they have a problem.

Kathleena (4m 60s):
Oh, I bet you, they have like, I see it. Right. And I’m like, I can help all these people. And someone once told me you can’t help them all because if it doesn’t hurt enough, people won’t change. And I was like, no, that’s not true. They’re going to change. Cause I’m just going to tell them and they’re going to magically, like they’re going to get, I was so naive. I’m not going to lie. I really believed that people would change. They don’t like that. That’s been the hardest takeaway for me personally is like knowing that you can help people. And just knowing that people don’t want to change because it’s either like fear of the unknown or they don’t want to lose those comfort items or whatever the case may be.

Kathleena (5m 42s):
Or it’s like just too much work. Right. It’s too much investment that they need to make either mentally or emotionally or whatever. And, and then of course there’s the aftermath of the diagnosis for some people they’re like, I don’t want to know. Cause once I know that I’m responsible for that information. Absolutely. And so it’s like, you know, one of the funniest things like I don’t even really use the internet too much. I don’t even really like it anymore. But one of the funniest things I ever saw was this lady and she’s like a trainer, like a physical trainer kind of a thing. And she had this little video clip where she’s like, okay, I’m going to help you lose weight. We’re going to do this and this and this and this. And she lists all the things you got to do. And this potential client looks at her and goes, Hmm, too much work detox tea the next day.

Kathleena (6m 28s):
Right. Summarizes us as humans. Like our human nature. Like, oh, the list is so long. What’s the next easy answer to this problem. So yeah,

Christine Okezie (6m 40s):
I, I share the same sentiment obviously, but you know, one of the things that you got to in your journey was you said when you’ve been chronic pain for, you know, most of your life and I’ve listened to previous interviews and you’ve said, you know, people have asked you all one, the dial again, and what’s so profound is you said, well, I think probably the day I was born. Yeah, totally. And, and, and it’s been, it was years and years of just, you know, health struggles and knowing that, you know, things were just going to be really, really hard in your body and really, really hard, you know, just things that were normal for everybody else were going to be super hard for you. And so you said you reached a tipping point and to that point, you know, since we’re talking about like, what finally is the catalyst for people to say, okay, enough is enough.

Christine Okezie (7m 28s):
There’s gotta be some option here for me. I got, and then I’m willing to explore what, what exactly was the tipping point for you?

Kathleena (7m 36s):
Again? I think it was just the pain. It was the pain of it. He barely touched me how much physical pain I was in. I mean, I know like obviously people listening can’t see this, but you can see like, like, I mean I’m barely touching myself, right? Yeah, yeah. That was excruciating.

Christine Okezie (7m 50s):
What else was going on? Like what other symptoms were sort of,

Kathleena (7m 53s):
I mean, everything head to toe, everything, but the one that stands out the most for me in terms of like, just thinking about that time of my life is definitely just being barely touched and just being an excruciating pain like that because you know what it is, like you said, right? Like when you’re born with certain issues, right? Like, I mean, obviously hindsight being 2020, I know that there were certain things I was born with things that were domino effects, things that got worse over time, et cetera. Like I get the whole picture of it all. But like when, when food always causes you pain, right.

Christine Okezie (8m 28s):
Food and water, which is so shocking

Kathleena (8m 30s):
That’s that’s normal. So to me, when you say like, well, why was that the tipping point? I guess for me, it finally became not normal. Like, I don’t know how else to describe it. In other words, like if after every meal you feel like throwing up and that’s just the way you’ve always felt. Yes. That’s just normal to you. Like, oh, this is normal. Like, oh, and this time I actually threw up. Ooh, okay. Like, cool. Right. So it’s like, when does it finally become like, oh, that’s different. I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. Right. And I think that’s part of it. And that’s one of the reasons why I advocate so strongly on not experimenting on children and fully informed consent.

Kathleena (9m 12s):
Because what I like to tell people is if your child can’t tell you verbatim four hours after eating a food that it’s still bothering them, they can’t help you with the diagnosis. You’re basically just torturing this kid and you don’t even know what half the time. Right. I can tell you this from personal experience. And so it’s like having been essentially tortured for my entire childhood, right. My entire life. And then finally being able to, as an adult kind of go, okay, what part of this is normal? And then like, what part of this? Isn’t the normal human experience. And I’m kind of just going from there. So like, that’s why I say, I think it was just that tipping point of pain, you know, because obviously I had a high threshold for pain, right.

Kathleena (9m 57s):
Lived with everyday.

Christine Okezie (9m 58s):
Yeah. I mean, and you, you went to school and you, you excelled in school, right?

Kathleena (10m 5s):
Like you learned to adapt. Right. You just always being your, and again, I think, you know, if there was some sort of class when I was younger and someone said, dear children, if you feel this, please tell an adult it’s not normal. Right. Like if somebody had laid it out for me, but you know, with child logic, again, you just think it’s normal. So it just is,

Christine Okezie (10m 26s):
It’s hard to, it’s hard to understand. So you know what resources, I know you met, you, you, you cross paths with a chiropractor who ultimately is the one that puts you on the path of testing and figuring stuff out, you know, with regard to food. But you know, w what other kind of helpers and healers that you have along the way?

Kathleena (10m 45s):
I mean, I’ve done like east and west, I’ve done functional medicine. I’ve done traditional medicine, honestly. Yeah. I’ve done a slew of specialists. No one was really that helpful. The chiropractor. He’s the one dude like Dr. Ron, he is the man. Like if you’re ever in the SF bay area and you need a chiropractor or you just need someone to figure out something really random about you, he’s the dude to

Christine Okezie (11m 6s):
Go to. Right. And how old were you when that happened?

Kathleena (11m 9s):
I wanna say mid twenties. I think 20 somewhere in there. I honestly, you know, it’s funny people ask me this all the time, but I sort of lost track of like the dates at this point where I’m like, yeah, don’t quote me on this one. I actually don’t know.

Christine Okezie (11m 26s):
Well, you were a young adult. I mean, you were out of school, you know, building a life. Yeah. Okay.

Kathleena (11m 31s):
Gotcha. You know, I think in today’s world, I think healing and change can come from a lot of different places. Now, you know, where before there was almost like this exclusivity, you know, if you didn’t have 16 initials after your name, you weren’t qualified to do certain things. Whereas nowadays it’s like everyone has a story to tell. And, you know, I think people are more open to this idea that there is no necessarily universal thing like that there is, but there isn’t. And what I really mean is that you can have two people with the same diagnosis with two different responses.

Kathleena (12m 12s):
In other words, while their food allergy diagnosis is technically the same, their experience is unique to them. And what this means is that now we have this pool of people, right? Millions of people, all telling their unique story while there is this collective concept that, you know, unifies them, all food and the inability to process it, their unique path is just that for some of them, it was leaky gut. For some of them, it’s actually a different auto-immune disorder for some of them it’s linked to their multiple sclerosis, right. For some of them it’s, it’s linked to something that most people might not think about, right. For some of them it’s tied to their Lyme disease or lupus, or like just the fact that they have this other thing going on.

Kathleena (12m 56s):
And so nowadays you don’t need to wait for some guy with 16 initials, you know, to help you, you can be like online and you can look for a few things. And suddenly you stumble into this one person, who’s got this blog and they tell you their life story. And you’re like, wait a second. I resonate with 85% of this or no more. And you can learn about, you know, the path that they’ve been down and maybe some of the testing that they’ve done. And some of the doctors they’ve worked with and suddenly you’re connected. Right. And you’ve got this whole new way of thinking about things. And now you’ve got this new medical team that you didn’t even know existed because, you know, in today’s world, we can do this. And it’s like, you’re on this whole different trajectory and you’re not in pain anymore.

Kathleena (13m 37s):
And things are doing great. And sure. You know, you could have gone to someone local, but maybe going to someone local would have meant jumping through so many hoops and being through, you know, going through all these different referrals and all, like, I feel like we’ve kind of cut out so much of this now. Right. And I do recognize too, though, that there’s like this financial component, because, you know, for some of the different stuff, like it’s all out of pocket and it’s not cheap. Right. Sure. We’ve spent a pretty penny on figuring out, you know, what I should be doing. And so it’s like, I, I feel bad for people because, you know, if you’re stuck within like Western medicine, because of the way your insurance provider works, you’ve got to work within that system.

Kathleena (14m 18s):
You’ve got to work that system. Right. It’s much more narrow. Yeah. And I hear all these horror stories about like medical gaslighting and all this crazy stuff that’s happening. And I’m like, geez, the Lisa, that’s awful. Like come through that, you know, because like, I wish you had the X amount of dollars because over here, like, do you have all these other things? And, and these people are like ready with the answers and it’s,

Christine Okezie (14m 43s):
Well, you know, the internet definitely PR in, you know, if you’re motivated and we’re going to get into how that I think has been your, your superpower is your, your kind of inner drive and, and resilience to, to, you know, to kind of take your health journey, you know, by the horns, if you will, and do the research and do the cure, you know, sort of this fact-finding and all of that, because I think it’s important. I think these days, there is a level playing field from an information standpoint, obviously resources can, are not equally distributed for people to be able to access different options. But at the end of the day, you bring up a good point, which is if you are in the mindset of, I’m going to figure this out, I want to find someone I can resonate with.

Christine Okezie (15m 25s):
You know, I, there’s gotta be someone out there who knows, you know, something more, you know, than what everybody keeps telling me. Right. You start with that kind of open mindset. I think that is what’s most striking about your story is that given the excruciating, you know, kind of health struggles, you had it easily could have taken a totally different path. And that’s what really kind of struck me. I mean, you know,

Kathleena (15m 54s):
On the other way, 150000%, I know I’m being interrupter Jones, and I’m so sorry, but you get it, you get a point with you on this because, you know, with some of the Western doctors, they were just like, oh, this is all your fault. You know, it’s because of this and this here take this pill. And I’m like, take this, take this, take this, hold on. Like, you know, hard pass, you know, something that, I don’t think this is ever, this isn’t something I share a lot. So you get to like, have this little exclusive nugget to yourself. I hate being told what to do. Like a lot of people don’t know this about me, like at my core, and I’m not talking like in a defiant sort of way. It’s more like a don’t tell me how to think sort of way. I’m really big into critical thinking. I mean, I taught myself how to read at the age of like two and a half, because I didn’t like that people were spelling in front of me.

Kathleena (16m 38s):
They thought they were being clever. Forget that. I want to know what they’re saying. Right. I’m that person. And so I get that, that makes me a really different person. But even as a child, I refuse to listen to the radio. I would actually kind of be like, can we please turn this off? Because I hated the idea that a group of people would determine what I would listen to when I would listen to it. And you know, like the, I would have to hit like it like hard pass. Let me figure it out for me. Right. Like give me all the options so I can choose what I actually want to listen to. And so that core mentality of who I am, don’t tell me what to do. Right. Like, or prove it or asking why a thousand times over.

Kathleena (17m 20s):
Yes. I think that’s the biggest reason. It didn’t go the other way. Right? Like I could literally be a 600 pound bedbound pill popping American right now on a

Christine Okezie (17m 31s):
Hundred percent, a hundred percent, or we could

Kathleena (17m 33s):
Be. Yeah. But I’m like the opposite because I don’t take that answer. I like, unless you’ve got a real ability to show me like your scientific reasoning behind it all. And you know, and, and I’m not even looking for like peer reviewed stuff. Right? Like I’m willing to accept that. I’m a one-off, but you know, if there’s, if there’s not some more info there, if you’re just going to like tell me to sit down and shut up and read. No, thank you. Like I think for myself, and I think that the biggest crime against humanity right now in the United States is we’re not teaching kids how to do this. Like kids can’t critically think, kids don’t know how to sift through information.

Kathleena (18m 13s):
Kids don’t even know how to have a conversation with someone they disagree with, like

Christine Okezie (18m 17s):
Not to do adults these days.

Kathleena (18m 22s):
People can’t do basic things to me, I’m like, we’re heavily gone wrong. What what’s going on here? Like,

Christine Okezie (18m 30s):
I love, I love this conversation. I love this conversation because that’s really the essence of it. I think that is the missing, you know, factor in today’s, you know, health issues is that we are bombarded with information, but information is not knowledge. And what we need is the skill to be able to your point, use discernment and sift through it and check in with our own value system and what resonates and what doesn’t otherwise, otherwise, you know, you, you sort of get sucked into the, the medical modern, you know, kind of consumerism, you know, mass one size fits all. That’s kind of the norm.

Kathleena (19m 10s):
It happens on both sides. It’s it’s east and west, right? It’s it’s it’s pill, poppers and supplement takers, right? Yeah. Totally marketing and everything. It’s like, how many times have those of us who don’t believe in big pharma? Like, I mean, don’t get me wrong. I think if you’re having a heart attack, you should definitely go to the ER for right. But for chronic ailments, I think the ER is the worst place for you, right? That’s right. Even still, how many people are like, well, I’ll just take my 16,000 supplements today instead of gee, let me get to the root cause. Is there perhaps a deficiency here? Is there like some food I should or should not be eating? Like what’s really going on at the root of all this. Why am I still willing to use all these band-aids I don’t care if it’s a pharma bandaid or a supplement band-aid it’s still a bandaid.

Kathleena (19m 56s):
Right? Agreed, agreed. You can be wrong. Sometimes you have to supplement. I mean like, you know, just the vitamin D deficiency, who, for whatever reason, even though they get on exposure, still have a problem, you know, like in let’s work on the root cause, but at the same time, let’s also fix the Stu you know, deficiency. Like I am not knocking supplements, but as a crutch or a band-aid, you’ve got to ask yourself why, why

Christine Okezie (20m 18s):
That’s right, right. Why? Right. Getting to the root cause. And that’s it. But if I could ask them, you know, like, what was it within you? And first of all, you know, but only backup because one of the things I do want to have you share, just to give folks a little window into what we’re talking about, your resilience, your hungry, hungry, you know, quest for, you know, a solution, a healing solution for yourself. Tell me about how you found your water. This is absolutely fascinating to me. Cause I had never, in my whole experience have heard anybody who just couldn’t tolerate water. I mean, we can talk about it. I need pH water. I need alkaline water. I mean, you know, these are, you know, these are talked about, but when they’re life or death make or break situations, which is your case, I’d love to, for you to share that.

Christine Okezie (21m 2s):
How did that unfold

Kathleena (21m 3s):
For you? I feel like, yeah, like I’ve, I’ve had so much water. One could argue. I’m pretty bougie about water, right?

Christine Okezie (21m 12s):
Not, not, not, you didn’t sign up to be bougie about water, but it may look like that.

Kathleena (21m 20s):
Okay. Like pause for just a second. Cause you’re right. I bet you, from the outsider’s perspective, I look like one of the most bougie food weirdo people ever. Right. But I promise it’s not like that. Like I think Mac and cheese is still cool. You guys don’t but tile. So I think it’s cool with truffles. So there you go. I’m with you. All right. So water, that was actually really the critical breaking point. Cause earlier you would ask, like, what was the tipping point? Well, yeah, being in pain, at least for, for my perspective, it was the pain. That was the tipping point. Right. For the doctors and specialists for them, it was the water. That was the tipping point. Which, you know, looking back, I always kind of laugh about it.

Kathleena (22m 1s):
Cause like during, when I was going through it, I was like, who cares about that? Don’t you hear how much pain I’m in? Don’t you get it? You’re going to die without water. And I’m like, well, I can’t go outside. Right. Like right on. We were on two different talking points, right. For months at times. Right. And it was kind of funny, like looking back. Sure. And one guy was so frustrated with me. He’s like, don’t you get, I can’t help you until we can at least get you to get some water. And I’m like, okay. But, but what about my pain level? So there was that. So what did it is for me, drinking water was like swollen razorblades that’s easily.

Kathleena (22m 45s):
So even the tiniest of sips, like I’m talking like you just barely tiny, tiny sip. And then like you swallow, it’s like swollen, whereas woods. And it just kept getting worse and worse and worse to the point where on a good day, I got two ounces of water and there was a safe ish farm where I was getting some fruit. So that was a bit of hydration. But even then like the fruit was still kind of making me sick. So that was like whole thing, you know? And we’re, you know, you naturally get water from food as well. It’s like when you’re not able to consume much without being in pain and you can’t drink without being in pain, you’re basically consuming next to nothing. Right. So that was a huge part of the problem.

Kathleena (23m 28s):
And around that time, when I got to the lowest water intake was about 30 days to live diagnosis. And I knew I was in pain because of the water. And so there’s this really great company. I love telling people about them. They’re called salacious drinks. I actually can’t drink any of the water, but I still love them. She’s really sweet. Ashley. She’s like the nicest lady ever. She’s super bubbly. She helped us in port water from all over the world. She was like, and let’s get this one and this one and this one. Oh. And she was helping us get water that, you know, as a consumer you’ve never heard of before, how did you find

Christine Okezie (24m 3s):
Her? And how did

Kathleena (24m 4s):
You, you know, I don’t even know how we found each other. It was this week,

Christine Okezie (24m 7s):
Like who helped you or who did you say? We gotta go find some water that my body,

Kathleena (24m 11s):
Well, I see we as in me and Ashley, but in that case it was like, I think maybe I met her on the Instagram cause I had an account maybe. So

Christine Okezie (24m 21s):
Again, so again, it’s just you kind of going, I got it. There’s gotta be some way

Kathleena (24m 24s):
I can try to be something right. It’s like, I don’t know. I guess it was Ashley. I don’t know. I don’t know we met,

Christine Okezie (24m 34s):
But it’s through your own intro. And

Kathleena (24m 36s):
You met on the internet though. Cause I don’t know her, like, I didn’t know her in person or anything like that.

Christine Okezie (24m 41s):
You, you found it, you found out you sourced it. Okay.

Kathleena (24m 45s):
Okay. And so we, we were getting different waters ordered at the same time. I was still, you know, checking water from like every grocery store in the area, kind of a thing. And then going to like specialty shops and buying every water that they had, you know, and now literally take a sip. Nope. It doesn’t work. You know like it w the, the nice thing is, is you knew within a sip, whether or not it was going to work. Right. And at one point I had found this thing online. I’d never heard of it before you can get water from Mount Shasta. I think it’s no, not Mount Shasta SIM no mountain linear. I dunno, somewhere in Washington state where they actually basically bottle up the, the melted snow.

Christine Okezie (25m 30s):
Okay. No testing whatsoever. Supposedly

Kathleena (25m 33s):
There’s, I’ve actually never, I actually still never had it because when I found it, it was at the end of their season. And they were also that we were like, oh, that’s so sad because that probably would have been the best water I could’ve gotten. Right. Because mind you, I had even driven up to Mount Shasta, which is here in California. It’s like a mountain Headspring type thing. Right. Got in water directly from the spring. At least supposedly I’d gotten water from the spring. Did not work. In fact, that water made me super sick. I was like, passed out drunk from that water. It was crazy. Yeah. It was really that’s whole different story anyways. So what’s interesting is the mountain water from Washington was sold out.

Kathleena (26m 17s):
The second result on the search page was raw water summit spring, which is from Maine over on your side of the coast. And that’s how I found them. And it was totally a godsend. Totally stumbled into them, called them up, talked to them, told them what was wrong with me. And Brian was like, you know, I think we can help you. He actually sent me water in both plastic and glass, just because he was like, you know, just in case and blah, blah, blah. Like, it was like this whole thing. And it turns out he actually has one other customer. Who’s a lot like me. Yeah. And, and she can have the water. So he was pretty confident that I would be able to have the water and it turns out I could have water and we made a thing. This is like crazy.

Kathleena (26m 58s):
Like, people don’t realize they take water for granted, but I can tell you from firsthand, like even now, cause it’s been like several years since that happened. Even now, sometimes I get tripped out by water. Like, I’ll take a sip and be like, huh, that doesn’t hurt. That’s a trip. Yeah. It’s still kinda messes with your head because yeah, because I mean, like, I think for me, and maybe this is just because I grew up in an abusive household, I think, you know, pain is very specific in my sense, like it very much resonates with me. Right. So I remember very clearly, like I know what that pain feels like.

Kathleena (27m 39s):
And so when you’re expecting something and then it doesn’t happen, it’s like, oh, that’s nice.

Christine Okezie (27m 45s):
Yeah, no, I get it. So you mentioned, you know, childhood upbringings, you know, you know, trauma and stuff. Like we talked, you also referenced sort of genetics at one point. So you’re kind of really piecing everything together in your journey upon reflection. How big a role do you think your genetics versus let’s say in your environment? Yeah,

Kathleena (28m 8s):
That’d be huge. And the reason I say that, so I have a biological brother and sister they’re both considerably older than me and my older brother. I know he has like a lot of food intolerances and stuff like that. Okay. And then my older sister has multiple sclerosis. Okay. So I know that there is a genetic component. Right. And then the stories cause my, my father died right after I turned five. So the stories that I know of him is that he was a very sick person, but he was also like in a, he was crippled as a teenager, like in a car accident, he was hit by a drunk driver or something like that.

Kathleena (28m 53s):
So I don’t know how much of his issues were from the accident versus like his genetics and like what he, you know, who he was as a person. You know, I know that there were, I was one of those kids that should not have been born. You know, it was suggested that I be an aborted child because I guess health complications with kind of a thing.

Christine Okezie (29m 15s):
So they, they, they had done some testing, maybe prenatal testing or something.

Kathleena (29m 20s):
Yeah. I don’t know. And I’ll never know, and I’m not knowing all, I have enough to know that, like I was not that idealic, you know, oh, this is a great pregnancy. Like it was not that situation at all. Okay. Got it. So there’s, there’s a lot there that, you know, I’m okay. Not knowing, but I know that that has to be, you know, a decent part of it. Right. What I mean too, like I think in the fair, like in the defensive genetics, right. You know, you can be a carrier for celiac disease and never actually develop it. Right. Yeah. We know this, we know that just because you carry these things doesn’t mean you have to express them and you can totally change how things are expressed.

Kathleena (30m 4s):
Right. So it’s like, yeah, there’s that component. But for me personally, it’s not that I ignore the component. I just choose not to let it dictate how things are going to be for me. Yeah, absolutely. I don’t know. Maybe that’s, I guess I feel bad for people who sort of almost get trapped in that genetic frame of mind, you know, like, oh, I have this, therefore, you know, hold on. Who says that you have to be prisoner to that. Like you don’t, you know, there’s things you can do.

Christine Okezie (30m 36s):
Right, right. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. No. Okay. So for sure, you know, again, from the age of two, you had this sort of open possibility mindset, you know, which is, was your gift really throughout all of this incredible, incredible, what’s it like now for you in terms of your current health situation? Because again, I’ve listened to some of your work and one of the things you want to impart to people, which I think is so valuable is there’s always more, we’re never going to like, you know, be striving for perfection. There’s always an appreciation for every single shift and positive change along the way. And I think you’re, you’re a Testament to that, right.

Christine Okezie (31m 16s):
So where are you now? And, you know, kind of reflect on, maybe what’s working, what did you not expect and, and where do you still have to go? And, you know, with regard to your personal,

Kathleena (31m 28s):
You know, that’s a tough one, right? Because, so I’ve got nine confirmed. Well, I think nine safe ingredients, 10 on a good day, right. Still working on number 10 and you know, I’m still in pain, right? Like I’m still not, but it’s not, it’s not like what it used to be. This is probably the least amount of pain I’ve ever been in my entire life. Okay. So to me, that’s, you that’s tolerable, right? Yeah. To me, this is as close to neutral as I’m going to get. And you know, it’s interesting because there were times where we thought about like, well, maybe we should pursue this other specialist or we should do this.

Kathleena (32m 11s):
Or we should do that. Or, you know, I thought about all these different options. And for me personally, I sort of reached this point where number one, I was just kind of sick of it. All. Never get tired of just like trying to figure out what’s wrong with you.

Christine Okezie (32m 22s):
The whole thing, I, you know, I work with a lot of people who, you know, at some point they go, it’s just exhausting and it burns you out and you want to keep going. But at some point, you know, when do you stop becoming a project or at least feeling like you’re becoming a project,

Kathleena (32m 35s):
Right. There comes this point where you’re like, I could invest another 10, 20, $50,000 and all of this and still not have more answers. Okay. Or I can change the world. And the funny thing is, is like, I’ve known since I was a child that I was born, changed the world. Like I am that kind of person. Thank you for sharing that. My kids kind of hate that about me. Cause I’m always like do, do, do drive, drive, drive, get up and do something. And they’re like, well, to you want to be an American? And I’m like, oh my goodness. I raised American. How did I, of all people raised in American. I don’t know. I am actually baffled and upset by it sometimes like, dear, how are you? People Americans.

Kathleena (33m 15s):
Oh dear. Anyhow. But that’s a whole different conversation. There, there was probably a point maybe four years ago, five years ago. Now maybe I think that’s really, when I kind of just said, I’m hanging up my head, I’m done. Like I have enough answers that like I have enough to work on that if I don’t get any more answers, I’m fine because it was just too much investment. At that point. It was like, it was just too much. And you know, one of the coolest, I call it a compliment. I don’t know what else to call it. Probably about three years ago, maybe now more like four years ago had to be, cause like two years ago it was the pandemic.

Kathleena (33m 55s):
So like four years ago, I, you know, this is where I get confused, but I went to a GI specialist and if you’ve heard of the camera pill, right, yeah. I totally wanted to do it because I read about it. I was like, this is the coolest thing ever. And I was like, I could learn so much and I could probably find out like, what’s wrong with me because they’ve got these kid, like I learned all about it. And like, you know, the pros and cons of Tamara and all these things. And I’m like, I’m going in, I’m doing it. And I go to see the specialist and the nicest thing she said to me was, I don’t think you need this. I think you got it. Mostly figured out. She’s like, cause I basically told her, you know, what my working theories were and you know, she understood the diagnosis and all that stuff up until that point.

Kathleena (34m 36s):
She’s like, you’ve already got it figured out, you don’t need this. She’s like, I’ll give you a SIBO test if you want. I’ll even give you a discount since you’re here in person. But outside of that, you don’t need this. And I was like, oh, well I don’t really want to do the SIBO test, but thank you for offering. And that was the end of it. For me. That was literally the last time I had worked with someone because it was like, kind of gave me the all clear, like, I mean she didn’t, but she sort of did you know that someone who specializes in one complaint say, look, you’re fine. You figured this out. Like, that’s it. That’s brilliant.

Christine Okezie (35m 14s):
Oh, I understand. No, no. That’s, that’s great. That’s great. When you mentioned, you mentioned diagnosis, Kathleen w what do you, what do you call your diagnosis is they’re actually Allergic to everything.

Kathleena (35m 26s):

Christine Okezie (35m 27s):
Okay. Okay.

Kathleena (35m 28s):
Because at the end of the day, that’s the root cause of pretty much every

Christine Okezie (35m 32s):
You take, you know, as part of your care. Now I know you, you have your you’re clear on what your menu is at this point. You’re clear on what you can have in terms of your daily food. You found your water, thank goodness, you know, supplements and medications, you know, not to get too detailed, but do you, do you mix and match? Do you do alternative step due to conventional?

Kathleena (35m 54s):
So nothing, nothing conventional. I haven’t done conventional really long time. So no pharmaceuticals.

Christine Okezie (35m 59s):

Kathleena (36m 0s):
A lot of that though, too, is number one, I’m allergic to corn, like severely, this was the

Christine Okezie (36m 5s):
Biggest one. Yeah.

Kathleena (36m 7s):
Like that alone, like hard pass in fact, one time. Okay. So pretty much the corn free community all agrees on this one particular medication for pain. And I was in so much pain a couple of years ago and we actually found the medication. We had never seen it before in person. We were like, oh my goodness, I can take this. Everybody says it’s safe. I took that stuff. It made me so sick. It was awful. Like the worst part was worst part is that it relieved some of the pain just enough to take the edge off, but then caused so many side effects and so much other pain that now you’re like, oh my goodness, do I take more, some in less pain? Do I do less?

Kathleena (36m 48s):
Even though I’m in pain, so much pain in the best way I can tell you is I’ve actually never been punched in the face full on before, but it was like someone had literally punched my face, crushed my skull a little bit. And that was the kind of pain I was in from this medication is unbelievable. It lasted so long. I actually thought it was going to be permanent. I had never had a symptom last that long before. And I was like, I think my face is stuck. Like this it’s

Christine Okezie (37m 15s):
Terrifying. It’s terrifying.

Kathleena (37m 18s):
Yeah. So like no hard pass, like, okay. I mix and match with a couple of things. What’s interesting is I really got into like digestive enzymes for awhile and those helped with the pain levels quite a bit. Okay. And what’s really interesting is, so item number 10 that I’ve been trialing is raw. Sheep’s milk from sheep, not fed corn, which is a really, it’s actually harder to find than you think. I can imagine. Honestly, everything I eat is harder to find than you would think, but right. Whatever. So this milk I’ve been converting it to yogurt.

Kathleena (37m 58s):
And since then I can’t take the digestive enzymes if I do it, literally, it’s like it backfires. It’s fascinating. You know, as you know, from the scientific side of things, it’s like, that’s really cool, but also not really cool. So where before I had everything really fine calibrated, like exactly how many to take and when I had to take them and all these things, you know, the yogurt threw all that out of the window. So

Christine Okezie (38m 25s):
The environment,

Kathleena (38m 27s):
It was a good change. Right, right. You know, where I thought I was essentially like a prisoner dependent on this enzyme for forever. Like, okay, clearly I’m not right. Yeah. And, and I’ve always been interested in things like FMT for people who’ve never heard of that fecal matter transplant. It’s actually really fascinating. It sort of reminds me of that. It’s that whole idea of, if we can change a person’s gut, can we change other things too? Right. It’s kind of like how there was a study and it’s never actually been it. They’re not really done with it. It was in its early days when I first found out about it, but they were testing the theory of prolonged water fasting and what it could do to the immune system.

Kathleena (39m 12s):
It was fascinating to the point where I was ready to hop on a plane and go to Europe for six months. Like it it’s that cool and what they were showing, but it was only in a small group of people. So we’re not talking like huge trials or anything, but it was very promising. They were water fasting these people for three to four days at a time for six months. Wow. And they basically got their immune systems to completely regenerate and heal like immune disorders, underlying health conditions. And we’re not talking people who had like weight issues right. Were somewhat, mostly healthy people to start with.

Kathleena (39m 53s):
And that’s really a key component because, you know, if you water fast and overweight person, you’re looking at weight loss first and foremost. Right, right. This wasn’t about weight loss. This was strictly about health and chronic health issues. Sure. And these people made considerable progress. Absolutely fascinating. Yeah. So cool. Like, yeah. I wanted to do that. It was so cool. It was the coolest thing ever. Yeah. Thank you. That’s amazing. Yeah. I mean, how do you self-educate I mean, you know, that may get into a lot. I mean, obviously the internet has opened up, which is funny, cause I don’t like the internet, but I do like the internet for anyone wondering, I actually browse the internet without cookies and Java and images turned on is all I ever see is like texts like plain text.

Kathleena (40m 38s):
So if your website doesn’t work with plain text, I know, I know that is so interesting. Okay. All right. I don’t like all this stuff, you know, I don’t like the marketing again. Don’t tell me what to think. Thing. I don’t like that. Right. Just the facts ma’am yeah. Just, I love it. I do a lot of reading, you know, I, I used to attend like little seminars and classes and you know, obviously when you, when you’re the kind of person that I am, when you’re working with a specialist, you don’t just take their word for it. You’re asking questions. You’re wanting to know, you know, you’re taking notes about the books on their shelves and kind of going, let me get a copy of that. Right, right. Right. You know, and also too though, it’s that collective wisdom of, you know, society, right.

Kathleena (41m 23s):
Like I am not against listening to the stories of others to see like what can I learn from their experience? Right. Like what have they been through? Does any of that resonate with me? Like, is it interesting? You know, like I, I guess, you know, I had to write this thing recently about just me as a person and th that’s one of those core pillars about me is that, like you said, that drive and it’s that constant desire to learn. Like, I don’t think anyone could just teach themselves to read. I think you have to be a certain type of person to do that. Yeah. I think I’m that person. Yeah. And it’s only in my adult life that I finally realized like, oh, I guess I’m that person then who’s always, you know, I’ve got a documentary on, in the background, like all the time, you know, learning constantly, you know, all that sort of stuff.

Kathleena (42m 15s):
And you know, I recognize that I do have a higher than average IQ that does help, but anybody can have a high IQ and still to deal with it. Exactly. Like, like one of my kids actually has a high IQ and I’m like, dude, you have no excuse.

Christine Okezie (42m 35s):
Sometimes it can be more complicated for us

Kathleena (42m 38s):
With the mental bandwidth who don’t work. It, they make me angry. Ask him, he’ll tell you, he makes you mad. Cause I’m like kid, get up, do something, you know, go change the world. What’s up.

Christine Okezie (42m 54s):
Okay. Well to that point, you’ve, you’ve set a really high bar. Okay. So I won’t get into parenting issues around that, but please share, tell me, okay. So tell me, okay. When you said very, very, you know, incredible insight I’m done with, I’m good with where I am, but I want to take now my, my journey now, my invitation now is to serve and, you know, make the world a better place. So please share with us, you know, what you’ve done, how you did it as the allergy chef, you know, it just blows my mind and what you’re currently working on right now, as it’s continued to grow and morph and evolve, it’s just so

Kathleena (43m 33s):
Valuable. It all started with this idea of everything in my head has to get out of it. Right. You know, when you’re told you have 30 days to live and you know that I can be done tomorrow. Right. Wow. You know, when you eat and you feel your throat closing up every day, you know, like tomorrow is so not promised, right? Like it’s very much, it’s a real world experience. And I think if you’ve experienced it, you know, and if you don’t, I’m really happy for you that you don’t know. Right. And so that, that was kind of like a driving force for me just to say, okay, how can I change the world? You know, it started with cookbooks. We’d actually been writing a cookbook as a family for a long time.

Kathleena (44m 15s):
And I just never, I didn’t like have the drive and finish it. I don’t know. It was like amazing because, you know, as a graphic designer, I wasn’t happy with the look. And I just, there was a lot of things like that’s whole issue on its own, but then we did six cookbooks, you know, the first three we did like really fast. And then we, I say accidentally because it’s, it’s actually really wasn’t accident. We accidentally started a bakery. Okay. So who’s, we exactly family, family accidentally started a bakery. Wow. It was, we were getting groceries delivered from whole foods. And we were like, buddy, buddy with a bunch of people at whole foods. This is back before way before the Amazon buyout and all that stuff.

Kathleena (44m 56s):
Right. Okay. And so they, they, like, they knew us. Right. We would serve them food in our house and chit chat with them before they had to go to their next delivery. Like we were that house, you know, nice. You know, if it was your last day, we’d actually throw you a party at our house. It’d be like balloons and streamers. It was a fun. Wow. So they, they knew how good my food was and you know, the free from stuff. And we would like share ideas with them. And they were like, Hey, have you heard of such and such? And we were like, no, they were like, we’re going to have a booth at this place. And we think you should have one too. And we could like, you know, send people your way and you’ll send people our way. And we were like, oh, okay. Well to get a booth, we had to jump through all these hoops.

Kathleena (45m 38s):
And we basically ended up accidentally starting a bakery. Wow. Yeah. It’s, it’s, that’s the gist of the story, but the bakery was gluten free vegan, top nine allergy free the base of it. The actual core base ingredients were all corn free as well. And you know, we had paleo options and we, we are one of only two bakeries in the state of California that can do what we do to the level that we do it. And there weren’t very many in the country that do it to the level that we do it, especially with shared equipment. And that’s really the key, right. Like dedicated equipment and all that sort of stuff. So what we do is pretty unique in terms of the bakery.

Kathleena (46m 19s):
So we have the bakery, we did the books and part of the reason we rushed like the first three books, cause we didn’t want this booth with like no cookbook. Right. So we were like, well, we can’t just have one. We need to have like three because I’m an overachiever by nature. Right. Of course everything had to be big. So that’s kind of how it all started, you know, with Breanna friendly foods. And you know, the funny thing is, is like we almost didn’t start because we couldn’t decide on the name. And I was like, I don’t, you know, knowing the rules of the internet, having a background in PR and marketing and design and all that stuff, like, okay, now I was asked, okay, well what would you call it if you had, if you could call it anything, I’m like, well, you don’t have to call it gluten free, dairy, free egg grease. And I’m listing out all this stuff. Right. And then I’m like, and it’s vegan friendly.

Kathleena (47m 0s):
Paleo-friendly this friendly, that friendly. Oh. And I have an option for you fee over this and this and this. We can’t call it that it’s too long. He’s going to type all that in. Right. Yeah. And so someone said free and friendly foods and I was like sold. We can start, you know, and that’s actually how the whole project got started was that name. And then the allergy chef was a little bit of our own little inside joke there. We were like, isn’t it so funny, you make all this food and you can’t eat it, get it through it all be allergy chef. Right, right, right, right. That was our own little joke that just took off like wildfire. Like it’s even trademarked at this point, which I did.

Kathleena (47m 40s):
Absolutely. It’s brilliant. It’s brilliant. I love it. And it really is like I had no idea back then how brilliant a joke could be played until now. So it’s, and that’s actually that we didn’t know it then, but that was really the starting phrase and raise, please share. Now that’s our digital platform. So that’s an acronym. It’s an acronym for,RAISE has the same kind of story. Because again, I didn’t want to start this platform without a name. And I’m like, well, we can’t call it a free and friendly foods. Cause that’s the name of the bakery. And okay, so this is all backend issues, but the website couldn’t be built on the same website as our bakery because it needed a different platform.

Kathleena (48m 25s):
So had to be a different website. Earl said all would have been on one. And I, of course people were like, well, well let’s use the allergy chef.com. And I was like, no people with celiac disease. Aren’t going to think of that. People with paleo, like who do paleo, they’re not going to be like the allergy chef that doesn’t make sense to these people. Do you know how many people you’ve excluded by using the word allergy? And nobody else could get this right. Nobody else understood this, but me and I was like, I’m not going to do it until everybody’s included. So once again, I was asked and they were like, well, who has to be included? Well, anybody with, you know, a food intolerance and an allergy and I listed off all these people that had to be included. And from that, you could pick out the letters, R AI S E and I was willing to compromise.

Kathleena (49m 10s):
And so the S stands for special diet, paleo gaps, SCD, vegan, all those guys. That was my compromise in the naming thing. That’s how the name came to be. And that’s how the platform came to be. And so now it’s got, well over 500 recipes, another additional like 700 non recipe resources, like video content, galore articles. There’s a whole free section as well for people who aren’t members, because, you know, I don’t, I’m not here to be like, oh, you have to pay for everything. Like, here’s the thing. If I had the bandwidth to do one of those, like ad based websites, you know, like any, I do that blank or don’t so it’s, you know, it’s another thing, but you know, for what you’re getting, it’s incredibly value.

Kathleena (49m 53s):
It’s highway robbery. I promise it’s good value. But the real crown jewel of what we do at this point is what’s called the advanced recipe search. No one has ever done anything like it before. And sometimes I’m just waiting on the day for some blogger to take the, you know, a hundred hours to redo their entire websites, that they can have one too, but nobody’s doing it. I can see why. Cause it’s a lot of work, but we account for loads and loads of individual allergens, whole food families, special diets, specialty requests. So let’s say you are paleo vegan, onion, free oat free, and you want freezer friendly meals.

Kathleena (50m 37s):
You can have it all. And that’s what makes this search so incredibly powerful. Advanced nobody’s done anything like it before, because wow, it’s an answer search. Right? So every recipe that comes up has to meet all of your needs, which is really cool. It it’s, it’s fascinating because you know, we meet people all the time where it’s like, oh, I’m allergic to this, this and this for, oh, I’m allergic to that, that, that, you know, people have these specific needs. And so, you know, that’s what makes our platform so different, I think from everybody else. How have you,

Christine Okezie (51m 7s):
Who were the, who who’s been your team of recipe developers,

Kathleena (51m 11s):
It’s our family it’s doable. So I develop all the recipes, which is that that’s kind of the big joke. I’ve never actually eaten it. I think on our website have eaten maybe 20 things. So your

Christine Okezie (51m 21s):
Family and friends are your, are

Kathleena (51m 23s):
Your tastes, they, the taste testers. If they say it works, it works. If they say it, doesn’t, it doesn’t, what’s interesting is in the past probably 10 years, I’ve probably only gotten it wrong, like five or six times. I get it right. Almost every time. That’s all like for us, we know it’s like one of those God-ordained miracle type things. Cause I just woke up one day and could cook now

Christine Okezie (51m 43s):
To the incredible, you know, knowledge around the food and the healing foods. You’ve amassed incredible knowledge about a lot of these conditions and different practitioners and modalities and healing techniques and whatnot. Can they, how do you share that information? Because again, you’re a storage of all that wisdom now

Kathleena (52m 2s):
You’re right. Storage. It is, I’m like a walking Rolodex it’s so we do allergy seminars and little courses on our website, all about 150 of them on there now. And it’s, it’s really just me doing brain dumps on topics, you know, giving you all the information that you need and then linking to other resources as well, because obviously, you know, there’s certain things I can’t do. And so I will link you to whoever it is that, you know, has got the next bit of information that you’re going to need. And you know, the cool thing about it is like, you know, what’s neat about the platform you take, what you need from it, right? Like not everybody is a complex case, you know?

Kathleena (52m 42s):
And, and some people literally just want recipes. There’s a section for that. If you just want the recipes. Whereas some people it’s like, they need a lot more, you know, and you know, there’s one family that really stands out. Actually there’s two, there’s this one lady and her husband was diagnosed as allergic to corn. And she wrote to me and said, I think you’ve saved my husband’s life because even his doctor didn’t know all the stuff he told us. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. That’s a trip like, yeah, you don’t, you never set out to be that person. Like I did not think, you know, five, six years ago, I know exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to do, like, that’s not how it worked, you know, you just kind of stumble into it.

Kathleena (53m 25s):
And then you’re like, whoa,

Christine Okezie (53m 27s):
That’s so beautiful. That’s so beautiful.

Kathleena (53m 30s):
Yeah. So, and there’s another family. They they’ve got a kid who is the most complex nontraditional case of F pies, which is fruit, protein, and dose induced intercalated syndrome. Right? Oh my God. He’s like super, not normal, like compared to every other kid with this disease. Wow. And I think his safe list is like 26 foods and we’ve helped their family create a huge list of options for this kid to eat. You know? And one of the things we also did was, so we do this thing called hot seat consultations, where members get to be in the hot seat and we look at your case and then collectively people learn from what I’m telling you about your case.

Kathleena (54m 20s):
Right. And so, because this kid has siblings who are also kids, they’re like 10, eight, something like that. Like they’re little kids in my opinion. And I said to his brother and sister, I said, okay, if there was one food, you wanted your little brother to eat with you, what would it be? And so each child picked a food. And so then I looked at the safe list and I said, okay, here’s how you’re going to eat that with him. And here’s how you’re gonna eat that with him. Wow. And I went on to essentially reinvent these wheels for these kids. So that, and love it. I love it. And I’m like, have you got, and every time they messaged me, I’m like, have you made this, this, this, this, this, this, or this yet? And they’re like, no, I had never thought to make this.

Kathleena (55m 2s):
I need to see more pictures. Like you have your assignment go. You know? And that’s my thing. Like it’s, you know, they’re often saying, I wish I could just have your brain. And, and I guess that’s, that’s me. Right? Like that’s what I do. I, it all speaks to the drive for education, you know, teaching myself to read, to, to be my own, whatever. Right? Like it’s all of that that gets you to finally say we are going to make safe and delicious food. I don’t care what your diagnosis,

Christine Okezie (55m 33s):
Because you, because you’ve proven it to yourself, you know, at a level that’s unbelievable. Unbelievable. You want

Kathleena (55m 39s):
Cake, you will have it

Christine Okezie (55m 43s):
Always away. Whether there’s a will there’s a way. Yes. Yes.

Kathleena (55m 47s):
Always, always, always a way to have something that resembles cake.

Christine Okezie (55m 52s):
Okay. I’ve never known anyone, you know, to heal that doesn’t have a healed relationship with food, you know, because at the end of the day, you know, food actually can be your friend and you have proven that a million times in spite of all the, you know, kind of unbelievable insurmountable challenges around that. And so that’s what gives me hope. And I imagine inspires so many other people. It’s amazing. I’m going to ask you this final question. Okay. Pick your brain one more time. Cause it’s amazing. If you could wave a magic wand and change anything about our current food system, what would you change?

Kathleena (56m 38s):
Oh, okay. I have a tricky answer. You ready? I wouldn’t change that. I would have $50 billion come into a magical bank account for me so that then I could change all the problems because there’s not just one problem. And so I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one answer and say, okay, I want to change this one thing because no, it’s bigger than that. It’s what is it is it is. I recognize though that it takes like money, education and time to change these systems. And we’ve got to start somewhere. So I th I feel like 50 billions, a good number. Like that should keep me going for a while because you know, I’m going to revolutionize it from the ground up. I’m going to have preschoolers growing gardens, right?

Kathleena (57m 19s):
I’m getting kids in touch with food. You know, I’m getting us back to a place where we know what food really is. The GRAS progran, generally regarded as safe. Like, no, no, you know, we’re changing labeling laws. We’re changing a lot. We’re, we’re, we’re doing so much. And that 50 billion is going to get us there. So that’s, that’s my answer. I, I want $50 billion to change the system.

Christine Okezie (57m 42s):
The thing that inspires me is that, you know, in the space that I, you know, work in, especially now, and in the podcast world where I’ve got to meet just dozens and dozens of amazing individuals who are leading the charge for the healthier collective and personal existence. Right. There’s so many good things happening.

Kathleena (58m 2s):
Change is coming. You know, it’s, it’s happened, you know, it’s, grass routes. It’s technically slow compared to like certain things. But like at the same time, that’s all we can all do is just be that ripple. Right. And unfortunately, big pharma, big ag, big food. They’re either going to have to jump on board with us, or they’re going to be kicked to the curb. There’s masses waking up and saying, I don’t want this. And like, just because you greenwashed your product doesn’t make it better. And so you have people who have real understanding who see the greenwashing and go, okay, cool. I’m still done. And then you have people who are like new to change, who see the greenwashing and go, oh, wow, this is great. Look at well, what must be fantastic?

Kathleena (58m 44s):
And it’s like, man, I feel sorry for you because you’re still a baby on your journey and you don’t know yet.

Christine Okezie (58m 49s):
Well, that’s the thing, right? It’s, it’s all a journey that starts with an, a very important question, you know, which is where have, where am I? Where might I be giving away my personal power? You know, when it comes to my own health question, that’s so good. Yeah. Right. That’s a great way to say it.

Kathleena (59m 5s):
His personal power comes in so many different forms. You know,

Christine Okezie (59m 9s):
What’s the biggest takeaway that you want your, or you hope our listeners will take away from this conversation and learning about you,

Kathleena (59m 17s):
I guess that you can, you know, like don’t settle. I think that’s the takeaway from this conversation. Sometimes I say other stuff, cause I’m like, oh, for your newly diagnosed, this or that or the other. Now today, I feel like don’t settle is really the takeaway because of the kind of conversation you and I had and beautiful. I feel like a lot of people are willing to settle. You know, it’s, the doctor was take these five pills every day for the rest of your life. You have to have two. And so you settle and you never really get better. And you’re kind of a slave to these pills and you’ve never really addressed the root cause. And you could be living a much better life.

Kathleena (59m 58s):
You just don’t know it yet. And I guess don’t say

Christine Okezie (1h 0m 3s):
That’s powerful. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to share your information. I’m gonna include all the information in raise. Is there anything specific maybe that you want to just, you know, remind us, you know, how can people get started? You know,

Kathleena (1h 0m 15s):
Check out the advanced recipe, search you guys. You don’t even have to be a member to use it. You can just look at pretty pictures of food. I think it’s called,

Christine Okezie (1h 0m 22s):
Oh my God. This has been amazing. Thank you so much for your time. And for being the light and the healing force, you are in the world. It’s thank you for

Kathleena (1h 0m 30s):
Having me. It’s been a

Christine Okezie (1h 0m 31s):
Pleasure. Really enjoyed it.

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