I took my first yoga class as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. It was Bikram yoga taken in a tropical setting. That night I slept like never before and I was hooked on yoga.
Fast forward to life after having 2 boys. I fell into a routine of going to the gym and taking cardio classes. I also held on to all my routine eating habits: cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner. And of course wine while making dinner.
After having my second son, I decided to go back to yoga. I took Hot Bikram classes and peppered in cardio classes to the rest of my busy life with 2 little kids under 5. But despite my hectic and full life, I began to realize I just didn’t feel as healthy as I should.
One year, well into my 30's, and during a carb-induced fog that is the week between Christmas and New Year’s, some friends and I challenged each other to a detox.
The 7 day detox journey removed our usual comforts of coffee, gluten, sugar, dairy, soy & alcohol from our lives in the dead of winter. We leaned on each other for support as we sipped smoothies & soups and made unfamiliar recipes. At the end of the 7 days, I felt like I lost a layer I didn’t even realize that I had been carrying around. I was left with the question, "What do I eat now?" So I just kept doing more of what I did for those 7 days, drinking smoothies, eating the same delicious soups and snacks and the weight actually kept coming off, all 30 lbs.
I decided to become a yoga instructor and eased into a new way of eating that over time became second nature. I became more in tune to cues my body was giving me and discovered I was anemic, living with low iron and therefore low energy levels for years.
I began to realize that most of my students had a steady, solid, loyal practice on their mat. However, they were searching for a missing piece that they thought their fitness journey would fill. On the mat, they were clear, focused and consistent. But what did they do when they stepped off their mat?
In 2019, I began a Health Coaching program with IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) with the goal of helping myself and others find the missing pieces of the puzzle of health and wellness, feeling good and looking amazing. The focus is not on being vegan, keto, paleo or one of the other hundreds of dietary theories you can find in a google search, but on figuring out what you need, uniquely.
The answer is not always on your mat and it’s not even always on your plate. It’s who you spend time with, your relationships. It also includes your job, spirituality, what you do for fun, and your finances. This is what can fuel you make you crave all those sweets, alcohol and any other guilty pleasures you indulge in to relax, reward yourself or feel good in some way.
"I met with Jill after receiving my new allergy report from my doctor. I was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of food that had an adverse effect on my body, and Jill helped me find healthy alternatives to these foods. For example, she recommended that I use lentil noodles instead of rice noodles and tapioca as a thickening agent instead of flour. But her advice didn't end with food substitutions. We spent an hour discussing sleep patterns, emotional triggers and the benefits of a routine. Jill was an amazing resource and inspiration for me. And I love that she walks the path she recommends to others. I follow her on Facebook where she continuously posts new recipes and bloggers her clients can try."
Jill's detox was so delicious and easy to follow. She was there to answer any questions or concerns I had. Her detox helped me get back on track during summer and even shed a few pounds! I got to try new recipes and food that I now incorporate into my weekly meal prep.
I started taking yoga a few years ago, dabbling between studios and trying to find the right fit. I noticed that a good teacher is fine but a great teacher could make all the difference and Jill is beyond a great teacher! She has helped me take my practice to a higher level and I seek out her classes. She is kind, nurturing and challenging at the same time. She honors your stage of yoga, your space and your journey. I notice that Jill's yoga journey is about connecting to something higher and that for each person, that may mean something different. I feel challenged to accept my strengths and keep working on myself where I need to. Look for Jill's name on the schedule, take that class and enjoy your time on your mat!