photo by dave lapham
hi, i'm jillian margaret, a holistic nutritionist, strength coach, natural chef, and women’s wellness enthusiast. that’s me and my husband, marcus. we like each other... a lot. we also like our two kiddos atticus and maggie… a lot, a lot.
you know what else i like a lot? helping women discover that they are STRONG and WORTH the effort it takes to feel well. not just “i’m fine” kind of well…i mean the kind that has you rolling out of bed in the morning ready to conquer the day, ready to pour into your family, and ready to pursue what makes you come alive.
my journey to this place started in high school when i discovered the wide (scary) world of beach body workout tapes and 1200 calorie diets. i would wake up at 5AM, do my cardio workout, pack my 300 calorie lunch and wonder why i would proceed to eat 2 bagels with peanut butter and an entire box of cereal as soon as i got home from basketball practice. nine years and a million diets later, i found myself at my “happy weight,” but i was tired, unwell, training for a marathon (i hate long distance running) and stuck in a restricted diet that wasn’t serving my needs. around this time i started dating my best friend and we got married and moved to australia in the span of a year. needless to say, my restrictions and carefully crafted exercise schedule fell to the wayside and i actually felt GOOD. i mean, i was a broke newlywed living on the other side of the planet from every person i knew AND i was attending an amazing (albeit, slightly overwhelming) natural culinary program which left little time to spend relaxing with my new husband, but still…i felt surprisingly good. i learned all food is GOOD if it’s of the best quality and when you eat the good stuff you are actually satisfied with less. i learned that sometimes a walk through a beautiful neighborhood is better exercise than that 45 minute HIIT workout you were supposed to do.
the following few years brought me deeper into this newfound enjoyment of good food and good movement which led me to become a holistic nutritionist and certified strength coach. we settled in chattanooga, tn so that we could relish in the seasons, the mountains, and the local food but also so that we could start a family. we were incredibly blessed (and shocked) to find ourselves expecting as soon as we stopped “not trying” to get pregnant. more on this to come…nutrition and fertility are BEST friends! after nine months of pretending i wasn’t pregnant, working, exercising, renovating our house, etc. i got to deliver our first precious baby naturally in the hospital. it sucked, of course, as any painful event does, but it opened up a part of me that i wasn’t sure existed. the part that held the limitless strength and ferocious drive to protect my family. this new part of my identity also opened up an unlimited storehouse of anxiety. i couldn’t get through 24 hours without crying. my baby was often uncomfortable, never slept, often cried, and was all around a rough kiddo. add this to the non-stop action of my pregnancy and my body was fried. for six months i was in a fog of worry, isolation, and general unhappiness and i didn’t know what to do about it. thankfully, my body and brain were able to heal even though my now rambunctious toddler still hated sleeping and sitting still. again, i was both blessed and shocked to discover that i was pregnant again. my first thought was, “i’ll never sleep again” and my second thought was “i can’t do postpartum anxiety again and be a good mom to my kids.” over the course of those nine months, i crafted my (hopefully) fail-proof plan to nourish my body and brain enough to avoid the postpartum crash that robbed me of those first precious months with my son. that surprise second pregnancy is now my seven month old daughter and i can say confidently, that postpartum anxiety did not touch me. not only that, but i feel better now than i did before kids…much, much more tired but all around WELL. obviously, i’m not perfect. i have my days or weeks that i don’t feel %100, but i’ve learned my body enough to know the roadmap to getting back there and that is powerful.
i’ve learned that i have to fill my cup before i can pour into my family.
this is what i want to help you with. we CAN do hard things. we CAN be the well for our family. we CAN pursue our passions and feel purpose outside of motherhood. but not if we don’t fill ourselves up first. let’s begin, shall we?