We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Levine Finke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I can say, without a doubt, that persistence is the secret to my success. I think a lot of people say they want to be successful, but few are willing to do what it takes to be successful. It’s easy to give up or start a business and then stop when it’s not easy or going your way. Those who persist through the uncomfortable, the frustrating, the hard, and the pull-out-your-hair moments are the ones still standing. Persistence is key.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I founded Good For You Gluten Free in an effort to teach the gluten-free community what it means to live a healthy, full and gluten-free life. So much of the discussion in the gluten-free world is about what foods are/aren’t gluten free, and I wanted to change the conversation to “what foods are gluten free and good for me.” I wanted to help people eat in a way that healed their bodies and made them feel good. I wanted to teach people how to restore their health in their new, post-celiac world. I’ve always felt like I had a lot to say about this topic, and I wanted to reach as many people as possible with my important messages. It’s why I started Good For You Gluten Free, and why I published Dear Gluten, It’s Not Me, It’s You. I knew these mediums enabled me to reach more people than I could have ever imagined. My main challenge is sometimes I feel like a fraud. I struggled with my health for a long time and my diet is hardly perfect. Why would people listen to me? Over time, I put in the hard work to heal my body and people watched my journey and realized they weren’t alone in the world. I think people could relate to my challenge of loving food but also struggling to eat right. Another challenge I had to overcome was figuring out how to set up and run an online business. Putting together a blog, and maintaining it, is hard world It’s a slow slog to grow a platform, gain traffic, and finally make money with an online business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For anyone visiting Denver looking for some gluten-free fun, I recommend you stop at Holidaily Brewing. Enjoy some of the best gluten-free beers you can find and food from the food trucks outside. Next stop is Just BE Kitchen, Denver’s only dedicated gluten-free and paleo restaurant run by the amazing Jennifer Peters. The menu changes seasonally, but you can count on finding a flavorful dish. Make sure you order one of their soft and warm handmade tortillas. One of my favorite gluten-free restaurants is called Acova and is located in LoHi. The owner has celiac disease. The restaurant has a dedicated gluten-free fryer and they made the best fish and chips and apple donuts. And for a quick bite to eat, snag an arepa at Quieros Arepas on South Pearl Street or in Avanti F&B. Street food at its finest!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give my “Shoutout” to Andrea Ruccolo, a friend, mentor and all-around positive person in my life. She is the first person who really understood what I was going through when I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012. She encouraged me to “make my mess my mission” and pushed me to learn, grow, change and heal. I am successful because of Andrea’s mentorship, encouragement and support.
Other: Book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Gluten-Its-Not-You/dp/1949642437/
Photo by Jenny Marvin, JM Photo Art