How I got started
Growing up I was overweight and ate a diet made up of convenient, processed foods. Then, when I was 16 years old, I had a tonsillectomy that resulted in weight loss. Seeing that I actually had muscle beneath my fat was enough to inspire me to abandon the unhealthy habits I had learned — I started exercising regularly, preparing nutritious meals and moving toward a holistic way of living.
As happy as I was about my new way of life, I was even more ecstatic when I learned I could make a career out of helping others do the same.
I received my degree in Dietetics from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1991, then began my career as a hospital-based Registered Dietitian. While working in clinical positions, I also ran my own personal training business on the side. Six years later, I decided to fully go out on my own, teaching fitness and nutrition to individuals and small groups, as well as creating and running successful large group classes and wellness events.
It was during this time that I realized the conventional education I had wasn’t enough, either personally or professionally. I was in my early 30s and had just had my son when I started experiencing every symptom of hypothyroidism. I was having a difficult time just existing in my current life, yet my conventional doctor refused to treat me.
I wasn’t willing to accept that my destiny was to struggle with these symptoms for the rest of my life. So, I began my training in the field of Integrative and Functional Nutrition and Medicine, and through it was able to holistically manage my condition and feel like I truly got my life back.
This education proved helpful again in my early 40s, when I started to experience significant adrenal fatigue. I had to take naps in between clients at work, I fell asleep on the couch by 7 p.m., I couldn’t tolerate my normal exercise regime, I was sore all the time, and I felt depressed and apathetic. Through testing, supplementation and lifestyle adjustments, I was able to crawl out of the hole I was in and once again get back to my desired life.
I took a 10-year break from self-employment when I moved from Illinois to Minnesota, working there in a variety of management and education roles for one of the country’s largest premiere health and fitness clubs. But, I found I missed helping clients on a day-to-day basis and well as being an entrepreneur, so I decided to go back into business for myself — that’s when Wellness 4 Women was born.
Why I love what I do
Seeing and hearing the results from my clients is what brings me to work every day. There’s nothing better than a client telling me for the first time in years they can sleep through the night, have consistent energy throughout the day or no longer suffer from the symptoms that plagued them for years.
Many years ago, I vowed I wasn’t going to become victim to my genetics. My family members are overweight, have multiple chronic health conditions and are dependent on medications. Through functional medicine, I’ve been able to avoid all that. And I’ve since vowed to empower and inspire others to do the same, helping them hop into the driver’s seat of their health journey so they can live the life they deserve.
While my professional practice has evolved and spanned many areas across health and wellness, my passion and expertise has remained in women’s health issues, particularly infertility, autoimmunity, hypothyroidism, sex hormone imbalance, gut health and, of course, stress management. As a working mom and wife, I know all too well the amount of stress women are under and how it impacts our overall health and hormone balance.
I’m not going lie, living a healthy life is a commitment — you need to want to make the investment in your health in order to get the results you deserve. But, it is possible! I understand the changes and challenges women endure over their lifespan and am here to support, inspire and empower you to take control of your health’s destiny.
More about me personally
I live in Minnesota with my amazing husband of 27 years, Dennis, and our playful and devoted dog, Luka. Our son, Alec, goes to college locally, so we’re lucky to be able to see him whenever we’d like. We love to be out in nature, which was the main selling point of our home — it backs up to a regional park with thousands of acres of trails and ponds that we (our dog included) love to use as much as we can.
I’m an educational junkie, so when I’m not outdoors you’ll often find me with a book or article in hand, at a conference or class, or completing a new online certification. I also spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen and the gym — how can I help guide others if I haven’t tried the recipes and workouts myself? My motto for both areas is that less is more: healthy foods should be quick and easy, while exercises should take minimal time but offer maximum impact.