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Back in August I began interviewing a new business owner each month that also fights a chronic illness. I (and I’m guessing YOU) have continued to be inspired by each of their stories and amazed at their creativity!
Well today’s guest, Michele Goldman, is no different. Michele and I first met on Instagram in a community of illness fighters. She and a couple other lovelies who also fight illness started this great project on Instagram that you should most definitely check out!
When I saw she was releasing an allergen-free ice cream eBook I was thrilled! I don’t share a ton about my diet here, but I do my best to stay away from dairy, sugar, wheat, gluten and limit my egg intake. I knew I wanted to introduce her and this book to you guys, as well as get to know more of her story!
So without further introduction, here she is!
Hi! I’m Michele, I’m 39 yrs old and I live in Montreal, Canada. Like Kami I deal with Chronic Lyme disease, so a lot of my life is spent managing my health. Some things I’m passionate about: green beauty, web design, and of course… ice cream!
Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
My mother always says, “go for what you want – you might not get it, but go for it”. I love this way of thinking and try to live my life with this in mind. Starting something new is always intimidating, for example I’d never made an eBook before and wasn’t sure how to go about it. But if you just go for it, keep plugging away, most of the time you can make it happen.
Or sometimes it’s about asking for what you want, expressing what you need. A lot of times we assume the answer will be no, or maybe we don’t deserve something. But if you just ask, sometimes things go your way! And if they don’t, that’s okay too.
What’s your favorite food?
It’s a toss-up between my ice cream recipes and popcorn. I’m not supposed to eat popcorn too much but I make it with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper, paprika and nutritional yeast. So yummy! Luckily my ice cream recipes are fine within my diet so I eat those more regularly.
Favorite thing to do/hobby?
When I had more energy, I loved going salsa dancing or tango dancing, that was so much fun. Now my passion is web design, that’s what I get most excited about. I’m also into green beauty – looking at swatches online and watching makeup tutorials. Finally, I like trying new recipes and finding ways to make healthy food super delicious.
Where are you from?
I was born in New York City and my family moved to Montreal, Canada when I was 8 years old. I mostly feel Canadian, but something about walking the streets of New York City with all it’s quirky characters, I do feel at home there. I’ve spent some time in Toronto, but Montreal has been home base for most of my life. It’s a fun city with great character, but January through April is tough. Our winters are pretty brutal.
Dream travel destination?
I’ve always wanted to go to Buenos Aires – get a little apartment, do web design by day and tango lessons by night. This is a life dream of mine.
Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself? Your family?
I’m very close with my mother and sister, who both live in Montreal. We’ve been through a lot and yet we manage to keep our sense of humor. I know I’m very lucky to have them.
I know you and I share a Lyme diagnosis. When you were you first diagnosed? How has illness affected your day-to-day?
I was actually first diagnosed 20yrs ago, when I was 19yrs old. I got a bulls-eye rash, the flu, all the classic symptoms. I didn’t know anything about Lyme disease, the doctor gave me two weeks antibiotics and sent me on my way.
In the following years, I started having more and more weird symptoms. I’d ask my doctor if it could be Lyme, they said no, I’d been treated. In my mind, Lyme disease was “joint pain”, which didn’t come for me until later. By the time I was 26 years old, I was in the worst shape of my life and could barely function. It still took about eight months to get properly diagnosed. I’ve been fighting ever since, with ups and downs, but overall moving in the right direction.
Illness has affected every part of my life. I’m doing a bit better than last year but I still can’t work. I can do short outings but they take great effort – I’m pushing through symptoms all the time. I’m in bed most of the day, I need to rest a lot. It’s frustrating, overwhelming, sad, but I’ve found ways to get through and cope as best I can. I accept my situation and try to make the best of it.
What inspired you to create your Ice Cream Recipe Book?
I’ve been making these recipes for years and I so enjoy them. While there might be some dairy-free ice cream recipes out there, I’ve looked and looked and couldn’t find anything that was also egg-free, low carb and completely sugar-free (no maple syrup, honey etc). Or if I did find some recipes, they would use mostly full fat coconut milk, which I found was too heavy and coconut tasting.
So like any inventor, I created what I wanted. I’d always thought about making an ebook of my recipes, but I never got around to it until this past summer. I really want people to know – you can eat delicious treats and not compromise your health!
How do you manage running a business while fighting illness? Do you have others who help you?
The awesome thing about creating a digital asset is you do the work up front, both creating the thing and setting up the systems, then it’s mostly automated.
Creating the ebook was a bit hard at times, but I did as much as I could and rested when I needed to. Editing was difficult with my brain fog and perfectionist tendencies, but my sister helped me out alot with that.
In terms of organization, I would be lost without my favorite apps! Because of my brain fog and exhaustion, it can be difficult to keep track of all the little things I need to do. I use a combination of Todoist, Trello and Google Calendar (those trusty reminders) to make sure I stay on top of everything.
What advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a business while ill?
Do it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen these talented, smart, funny people on social media and I think, please take what you know and make an ebook, or a video course, or something. I strongly believe digital assets are a great option for people with chronic illness because – like I said – once you’ve created it you can sell it many times.
I would also suggest not setting deadlines for yourself, as much as possible. I realize that’s the opposite of what most people say, but if you announce a launch date then go through a flare, it adds stress and pressure. Anyone with illness should minimize their stress as much as possible. So work hard but also be gentle with yourself. Always take the time to rest when you need to, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Anything else you want to add or share about you or your book/business?
Thank you Kami for this feature, what a cool idea to highlight people with chronic illness starting businesses.
If people are on a sugar-free diet, candida diet, paleo, low carb etc, I encourage you to check out my ebook! I’m offering your readers a 20% discount for one week, code: KAMI. This will be active until Friday October 14th at 11:59 pm EST. Enjoy!
Are you ready to dive into the pages of her book or WHAT?! These recipes are gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and sugar free, with substitutions for nut and seed allergies as well. One of my favorite aspects is that she has included instructions for how to make each of these WITHOUT an ice cream maker! Anyone can make these.