Nourish Yourself with Real Food and Primary Food – How This IIN Grad Grew Her Organic Baby Food Company
IIN is celebrating International Women’s Day all month long by featuring graduates who are using their IIN education to build impactful businesses that focus on improving the health of their communities around the world.
IIN: If you had to choose one word to describe your IIN experience, what would it be?
Agatha: Expanding. Everything I learned at IIN has opened my eyes to how we can be taking better care of ourselves, our family, and our communities.
IIN: What inspired you to enroll in IIN’s Health Coach Training Program?
Agatha: I have always eaten healthy. I grew up on an organic farm in Cameroon eating food fresh from the ground; mostly what we grew in our own garden or bought from the local farmers’ market. Food was made from scratch every day using fresh, organic ingredients with nothing artificial. That way of living has influenced my life. I moved to the United States in the early ’90s and was shocked to see how very little real food people ate. The grocery stores were filled with denatured package foods, with ingredients labels that looked more like science projects than food. Even after almost 30 years in the United States, there is very little change. Store shelves are filled with foods that are highly pasteurized to have the longest shelf life (some as long as four years), including baby food. It is not surprising that seven of the ten leading causes of death in the United States are nutrition and lifestyle related.
I started helping friends in school take a closer look at the foods they were eating and encouraging anyone who was ready to listen to cook more at home. Before I knew it, I was the go-to person on campus, and later around the community, who people come to for nutritional advice. I invested the time to research more as more was asked of me. I helped people identify what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, and how to change family comfort food recipes by adding healthy twists. I taught friends how to oven-fry their chicken, rather than drench it in oil, well before it became a trend.
In 2015, something was off. Even though I was still eating the same way I had eaten my entire life, I started gaining weight. I had been the same size for as long as I can remember, even after childbirth. Weight or sickness had never been an issue. I didn’t even have cavities. So much of my wellness mind-set has been focused on the food we eat and what we put on our skin (given that it is the largest organ of the body). But my body was telling me there is more to wellness. I didn’t get the answers I was looking for from doctors’ visits. I just didn’t believe that aging would make me gain weight. I started digging and spending endless hours on Google. I stumbled on a lot of insightful articles. One caught my attention. It talked about how primary food, like finances, spirituality, and work, affect our health and wellness. And just like that, I found the missing link. My worklife was going through a shift. I just didn’t know, at the time, the impact it was having on my health.
In 2016, after researching various holistic, integrative nutrition, and wellness schools/programs, I decided to enroll in IIN’s Health Coach Training Program. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
IIN: How has IIN helped you grow your business?
Agatha: In 2006, I founded Yummy Spoonfuls Organics for Kids, the first nationally distributed fresh-to-frozen organic kids’ food company that makes food just like parents would if they had the time. The recipes are made from scratch using wholesome, organic ingredients that you can find in your home kitchen. Today, that product can be found in Walmart stores nationwide. A lot of people see or hear of me and immediately think about Yummy Spoonfuls. What so many don’t know is that Yummy Spoonfuls was birthed from the free wellness workshop I offered in my community to help families live better. That little community I started with 300 mamas is now over 45,000 today! Being able to provide them with a holistic approach to wellness, including what is healthy beyond what’s on our plate, has been the greatest gift of all. My community is healthier because of IIN.
IIN: What advice do you have for women entrepreneurs?
Agatha: Stop feeling guilty for being human. The older I get, the more I realize the power of self-love. As women entrepreneurs, we take care of everyone else. Yet, we sometimes forget to extend the same care and consideration to ourselves. Only when we are healthy, vibrantly happy, and full of energy can we truly make a difference in our world and be the incredible business owners we can be.
Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of and doing things for others is a great way to show how you love them. Taking care of yourself shows how much you love YOU. Be good to you first. There is more to self-care than a mani-pedi or day at the spa. It starts with prioritizing yourself. Seek that which gives you joy and do it consistently. Being a business owner is not a walk in the park. Being a female business owner is even harder. Give yourself some grace and be intentional about what brings you joy.
My joys are scheduled like everything else on my calendar. I am that intentional about it. I believe the abundant life we have been given is a life full of possibilities, creativity, and purpose. We are limitless. We can be amazing mamas, kickass business owners, wives, aunties, etc. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for being an incredible entrepreneur.
IIN: Anything else you think the IIN community would love to know?
Agatha: You are changing lives and communities around the world, taking the mystery out of wellness and making vibrant living accessible to everyone. There are those who come to IIN because they want to get well and those who come to IIN because they want to start a new career helping others live their best life. Keep on changing lives! I am so proud to be part of this community. I can’t recommend IIN enough.
Want to join this amazing global community of change makers? Get our free Curriculum Guide to learn more about the program that can jump-start your health transformation and help you create a lucrative, fulfilling career.