interview with jessica murnane on know your endo (KYE)
Featuring: Jessica Murnane
Interview By: Fela M'tima Dunfee
Fela: Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for wanting to do another interview with me!
Can you introduce yourself again, and what it is you do for the Endometriosis community?
Jessica: HI! Wow, a lot has change and hasn't changed since we last spoke.
I'm still the founder of One Part Plant (my movement to get everyone to eat at least one plant-based meal a day), author (my first book is One Part Plant Cookbook), and host of the One Part Podcast. But NOW I'm trying to make big sh*t happen for endo. I knew it was time for me to do more for my community (I have Stage IV myself).
Fela: Last time we had an interview, which I'll link here, we talked a lot about your cookbook because it had just come out! But now you're working on a new project! Let's talk about it!
Jessica: YES! I just launched Know Your Endo. Know Your Endo (KYE) provides education, awareness, and support for those living with endometriosis. Which means TONS of information on endo. We even have an entire section called "Ask A Dr", which I have one of the country's leading endo surgeons answering questions (many are ones I've actually been messaged). We have a diet and lifestyle section to offer tips and solutions to help manage endo. And we're offering online courses too! I think I'm most excited about the courses. And the Ask A Dr section. And... Ok, I'm just excited about the whole thing.
Fela: What was the inspiration behind Know Your Endo?
Jessica: After I wrote my cookbook last year, I was shocked at how many messages I received from people saying my cookbook was the first time they'd learned about endo and it explained what they'd been going through. A COOKBOOK was helping diagnose people? This felt so wrong to me. I knew that me writing a page in a cookbook about endo in-between recipes of chocolate chip cookies and lentil soup wasn't enough. I needed to do more.
There were already a lot of great blogs out there (like yours) sharing stories and also tons of complicated medical websites, but I felt like there was something missing in this space: a super straight-forward website with just the information, answers from a real life Dr., and also diet and lifestyle management ideas. Know Your Endo was born.
Fela: Can you explain what about having Endometriosis influenced the specific courses that Know Your Endo will provide?
Jessica: Yes! I am so excited about the first course, The Endo Toolkit. The biggest inspiration for the course is that endo has no cure. Wah wah. But really, we all know there is no cure for endo, which can put you into a pretty dark headspace. Because of that we need tools to give us confidence to manage our disease. My goal with these courses is that people living with endo can develop tools to have more good days than bad and feel 20%, 30%, 50% even 80% better.
Each week, I will teach a new tool to help manage endo. The tools that completely transformed my life ( I used to be in a very dark place, myself).
The tools are: Good Food, Stress-management, Natural Products, Movement, and Alternative Medicine. These tools can be so powerful and I want to teach you how to use them in a simple and very practical way.
Fela: What is the goal of Know Your Endo?
Jessica: EDUCATION. AWARENESS. SUPPORT. I go all caps when I'm excited.
You know how it takes someone an average of 10 years to get diagnosed? I want to knock that down to a single digit. But this will only happen if we create more awareness and educate.
It's also so important to me for this site to be a resource for people to share with their family and friends. It can be so hard to explain your disease without sounding like you're complaining or being a drama queen. You can easily send a link to KYE to the people in your life and say "hey, this is what's going on with me." Chances are they'll be so much more open and supportive if they understand it better.
Fela: What are some details about the course that are super important for women interested to know?
Jessica: For starters, I used to be a hot mess. My birth control pills had me like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and I looked like an extra from The Walking Dead. I was so depressed and in so much pain that I was not myself. I started at zero when I began making changes in my life. I didn't know how to cook. I hated healthy food. And I thought meditation was a joke. I'm teaching from that perspective. Meaning, I know it takes time to make changes. And sometimes these changes can feel impossible at first. But they can happen. And I want to help you do that. We'll take them one at a time and you can do it at your own pace.
Another thing I'm excited about is the private community page for the course. When's the last time you've been in a room full of ONLY people with endo?! It's rare! There will be a community page for the course and this will be such an awesome resource for people to connect, share their challenges, and celebrate their successes.
Fela: You've been keeping very busy the past year with all these projects! How do you manage your endo symptoms while working so hard?
What are your tips for other women running businesses with Endometriosis?
Jessica: It's putting you and your endo first. Which sounds selfish and annoying to hear because we all have so much on our plates.
But if you don't take care of yourself, there's no way you're going to be able to take care of the rest of the stuff in your life (including your business).
It's about creating a set of tools that you can lean on every single day to help you get through it all.
Fela: What has been the hardest challenge of starting Know Your Endo?
Jessica: I think the hardest challenge was trying to make sure everyone felt included. For instance, the famous stat of "1 in 10 women have endo" is not actually inclusive, because it does not include younger woman, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. But there really isn't any other way to say that stat without making it super complicated and confusing.
Because of that I asked for help and got some tips from people more experienced with this. I learned to do my best to be sensitive to the pronouns I was using throughout the site and making changes like "menstrual products" instead of "feminine hygiene". It's not going to be 100% perfect, due to the nature of this disease. But I'm hoping people will recognize we really do want to include everyone.
Fela: Well Jessica, I want to thank you again. It's incredible how many women with Endometriosis you have already helped and will continue to help! Do you have anything else you'd like to mention about the course that I forgot?
Jessica: The fact that you have endo already makes you a bad ass. But I feel like it's time we all take ourselves to the next level. No more sitting back and letting endo win.
Time to show it who's boss. I truly believe in the power of these tools to make that happen.