The Seeds of A Business: My Personal Journey Begins With A Not So Healthy Eating Diary
healthy eating diary
The Original ‘EAT FREE’ Flyer from around 1987 © Alison D. Gilbert
Healthy eating was not something that meant anything to me in my youth. In those days, healthy eating consisted of the home cooked meals we could always count on. There was always enough to eat. I always managed to have or gather a stash of sweets.

From the time I was a child, I was sneaking candy and sweets whenever and wherever I could. By the time I was seven, it was necessary to put me to sleep to fill all my cavities. As terrifying as it was to have a gas mask put over my face to sedate me, even this did not deter me from my passion for more sweets.

Fortunately, I was always a slender, very athletic kid. Therefore, weight or energy level were not a motivation to change what and how I ate. My saga continue on as the not so healthy food diary for some time.

College Dormitory Food

USC Doheny Library from
By the time I went off to college, I was exposed to dorm food as well as the stress of an 18 credit semester. The stress increased my desire to eat sweets and bread in addition. Therefore, the dinner rolls kept in the cafeteria bread warmer and unlimited desserts became my stress reduction drugs of choice. Without constant exercise, my body weight started to yoyo. It became apparent that my love for sugar and other white food was becoming more serious.

It took at least another decade for me to realize I really could develop serious health problems. Then I started to feel trapped. On the one hand, I loved sweets and carbs so much that I could not quit. I was addicted to ‘white food’. But on the other hand, I had to find a solution to my food challenge, a way to still enjoy eating sweets but healthfully. I sure knew what my passion was. But I had the challenge of my health to deal with. Then I would see where dealing with that would take me.

A Modern Return Retake on the Ikigai Diagram © Mike Paton 2016-Passion
A Modern Return Retake on the Ikigai Diagram
© Mike Paton 2016
Exploring An Entrepreneurial Journey: Following My Passion
As I have described on The Entrepreneurial Process page, the steps for the possible development of a profession in this area included:
• my passion was clearly loving to eat sweets and carbs
• there still needed to be a mission
• a need from consumers
• the product or service that could provide an income


A Modern Return Retake on the Ikigai Diagram © Mike Paton 2016-Passion
A Modern Return Retake on the Ikigai Diagram
© Mike Paton 2016
The next step in the entrepreneurial process is having a MISSION. As I mentioned, a mission needs to answer the following question, ‘who does what for whom and why?
In this case, the answer was:
• WHO = my company, ‘EAT-FREE Allergy Free Products and Services’
• DOES WHAT = Provides allergy free products, cooking instruction and demonstrations, educational lectures and advocacy, print media literature and information provided by social media as it became available.
• FOR WHOM = People who has these allergies, suffered from them and needed help.


A Modern Return Retake on the Ikigai Diagram © Mike Paton 2016-Passion
A Modern Return Retake on the Ikigai Diagram
© Mike Paton 2016

I was experimenting like crazy with ideas for recipes that eliminating the foods that I was allergic to. I started using healthy alternatives that never would have occurred to me in the past. With the substitution of many healthier alternatives, I increased my product selection. The products were working wonders for me. I started sharing them with other people. A solution was at hand.

Once I felt I was ready, I tested my products on some health food stores. In no time, I was creating various muffin flavors, baking, packaging, marketing, delivering and selling my EAT FREE Muffins throughout parts of NYC and LI. I had the beginnings of a business. I loved it and I was very excited.


healthy eating diary
The Original EAT FREE Brand Label
FIRST DESTINATION: The EAT FREE Allergy Free Products and Services Business

I registered my business and began baking my allergy-free mini muffins for commercial distribution. They were a big hit. But I had some major challenges to take my muffins out of my kitchen and into the mainstream market.
I needed:
• a $15,000. loan for
• space in a commercial kitchen
• refrigeration for both transport and sale of a short shelf-life, preservative free product


A Course In ‘Food & Healing’
As a litmus test, I decided to take a course in ‘food & healing’. It was a week-long course at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY. The instructor was Annemarie Colbin. Although this page is not exclusively about her work, Annemarie Colbin played a major role in my healthy eating and holistic healing systems careers. I wish to dedicate both this section and the next to her. Here is a video from TEDxManhattan 2013 in which she pretty much sums up her philosophy of food.


EAT FREE Spreads Its Wings And Changes Directions
healthy eating diary
Alison*s Healthy Eating Services @1987
The challenges mentioned above were not insurmountable, theoretically. But I was not able to overcome them. But that did not bring me to a dead end. I went with the flow to discover several other equally gratifying aspects to this entrepreneurial venture.

Other products and a variety of services emerged in response to the business’ initial challenge. I began to:
• Create Health food recipes and demonstrate them in person and by videos
• Teach healthy eating classes, through adult education and by promoting them with my own marketing materials
• Lecture on ‘Food and Healing’ in libraries, community organizations, adult ed programs and continuing ed facilities
• Advocate for Healthy Food & Holistic Healing in the media-print, radio and television
• Write a manuscript about eating disorders, healthy eating and traditional food systems


A society that eats the foods that are indigenous to its native locale, prepared the way they always have been are most likely to be practicing healthy eating. Accessibility to enough food might be a challenge here. But the food itself has a history of being unprocessed, chemical free, grown in nutrient rich soil and prepared fresh. Over the years, as ‘civilization’ caught on in countries like the US, the quantities of food may have increased greatly. But the quality of it decreased precipitously.


Sources & Resources

healthy eating diary
The Standard American Diet as presented by












The New Food Pyramid that replaced the Standard American Diet

Healthy Eating Social Media Presence
My Present Day Social Media Food Healthy Eating Resources

Healthy Eating Systems At Different Times And In Various Cultures

Lacto Ovo Vegetarian
Vegan (no animal products)
Paleo Diet
Raw Vegan (only raw food, no animal products

Macrobiotic (Japanese)
Five Elements (Chinese)
Ayurvedic (Indian)

Kefir, Kombucha and Cultured Foods-Donna
Sandor Katz

Traditional Nutrition-Sally Fallon
Weston A Price