8 min 1 sec

Picky Eater’s Year Abroad Cooks Up $500/Month Side Gig

One woman’s journey from notorious picky eater to health-conscious adventurer of foods enables her to consult other adult picky eaters, resulting in a $500 per month side hustle.
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Words of Wisdom

While communicating with other picky eaters in a Facebook group, Jacky realized that many of them had tried to unlearn their picky habits. However, the nutritionist or therapist they were working with didn’t understand what it was really like to be an adult picky eater.

But Jacky, she understood. She had been there herself—and she knew she could help others outgrow their limited diets more effectively than confused and frustrated health coaches.

Fun Fact

When Jacky was 6 years old, she agreed to try a baby carrot. Her parents were so excited about her trying a vegetable that they pulled out the camera and started taking pictures. Jacky immediately felt a heavy pressure and self-doubt. As you can imagine, she didn’t eat the baby carrot.

Notes from Chris

Episode 350

Mac n’ cheese. Pizza. Grilled cheese. Chicken fingers. For 23 years, these were the main food groups of Jacky Lamenzo’s diet. She wasn’t just a picky eater. She was a notoriously picky eater. Every attempt at a new food earned gasps and shocked faces from her friends and family.

“Wow! Jacky’s trying something new!” they would say. Every. Single. Time.

It was always a big fuss—so big of a fuss that Jacky just embraced the label and stopped even trying new foods altogether. It wasn’t worth making a scene every time she ate a green bean.

But things were about to change—and change very fast.

Jacky’s application to teach a year abroad in China was approved, and before she knew it, she was off to the other side of the world. As you can imagine, she was in for a rough ride—culinarily speaking.

However, it actually wasn’t that hard for Jacky to break outside of her self-imposed food boundaries. All she needed was a mindset and environmental shift.

Her very first dinner in China, Jacky tried everything—yes everything—on the table. Since dinner was served family-style to her and her fellow teachers, she got to try what she wanted, in the time that she wanted, and in the amount that she wanted.

There was no pressure to eat everything on a paid-for plate. There were no friends staring her down ready to applaud her if she tried something new.

Finally, at 23 years old, Jacky no longer considered herself a picky eater. And she wanted to help others break away from the label as well.

Only six months into her year teaching in China, Jacky had completed the online health coaching certification program from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and taken her passion for good food and wellness to an official level.

By this time, Jacky had made a bit of a name for herself in the Picky Eaters Facebook group. And when she announced that she was officially certified to be a health coach, she quickly found her first client.

At one point, Jacky was consistently earning around $500 per month through her very niche health coaching. However, she realized that she was most effective (and had the most fun) when she only took on one client at a time.

Jacky’s thrilled that her story and hard work have resulted in changing lives and widening palettes, but she’s eager to see if she can impact far more with her upcoming book. And she still has more new foods to try!



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"My very first dinner in China, I tried everything on the table, from pineapple and eggplant to tofu - nothing which I had ever dared to try before. And without the pressure of others asking whether or not I liked it, I was able to try comfortably and LOVED everything!"
—Jacky Lamenzo #SideHustleSchool

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