Gut health + nutrition guidance
Healthy cooking & meal planning
*Note: I am not a guru, doctor or counselor and by no means do I have this all figured out. However, I have pulled myself through a lot of limiting behaviors, am an obsessive self-help student, have finally become stoked to be me, and know that I can help, guide, coach and mentor you do the same!
Who am I?
I am Gemma.
I thrive on living vibrantly. To me, that means feeling exuberant, glowing, stoked about both being me in my strong, grounded body on this planet AND as high-vibrating energetic part of this vast Universe. And no, this doesn’t always come naturally, some days I still have to trick myself into getting out of bed, playing nice and feeling worthy.
I have come a long way, though! I’ve overcome some pretty big health and wellness struggles:
Battling and overcoming multiple eating disorders and compulsive behaviors.
Reframing my workaholic, “busy” lifestyle.
Identifying and recreating my self-sabotaging thoughts - I am not pretty, not smart enough, need perfectionism for success (this struggle is an ongoing journey).
Hormone balancing to overcome amenorrhea (no period) and get pregnant naturally.
I now revel in yoga, meditation and journaling to zone into my inner self for peace and reflection; I am re-energized by hiking, running, and paddling...and simply being in nature; I cherish one-on-one conversations to get to the heart of people; I love creating meals with whole, colorful, flavorful, unique ingredients to nourish by body and soul.
I am independent and ambitious, which has not always served me well. I’ve used these traits to search for love and acceptance by trying to be “successful” through being the thinnest, smartest, hardest working, blah, blah, blah, perfectionism.
In a nut shell, my spiral into self-destructive habits started sometime after moving from England to the United States at age 11. I was suddenly conscious of my body. Before that time I don’t remember thinking about my thigh size or how many calories I consumed. Between age 12 and 25 my food-body relationship was restrictive, compulsive, sneaky, vanity-driven and self-critical trying to live up to cultural standards of beauty.
Middle school was a harsh transition into American life, but high school was great. Beyond bouncing between organized religion, running and food for comfort, I have fond memories of leadership camps, football camaraderie, homecoming parades and endless puffy paint projects.
College was intense. Architecture studio life involved long hours, which I “balanced” by partying like an animal.
After I survived (and passed!) the college chapter, I knew something had to change, and I was finally ready to chip away at the clouds of self-destruction and lack of worth. I started to baby-step my way into choosing happiness, mindful living, and creatively healthy cooking. Danielle LaPorte guided me into the world of self reflection and meaningful living.
I called myself a picky meat-eater; I rarely chose to eat any meat other than fish, but occasionally a piece of bacon or organic meat called to me. Exploring foreign, raw, vegetarian recipes was a highlight in my day-to-day routine along with exercise, anything from running to kickboxing to yoga.
I started to eat intuitively and trust my body to tell me what it needed. I started to connect and listen to my internal wisdom. Sweet freedom!
The next hurdle was hormone balancing. At age 30, I finally decided to stop taking birth control. I’d been married for four years, and we were open to the possibility of little ones. I knew that my body would need a few months to regulate and figure out how to go through its monthly cycle. However, after six months of no period I started to explore how I could holistically encourage hormone balance.
I tried herbs, teas, oils, acupuncture, diet and energy therapy. After a year, I went to a western doctor, who concluded that I was healthy and if I wanted children he could get me started on drugs to force my body into ovulation. Yes, I was ignorant enough in my youth to take birth control, but as a more knowledgeable adult, I cringed at the thought of forcing my body into anything else. I passionately wanted to empower my body to heal itself for my long-term health and well being.
Shortly after seeing the western doctor, my husband and I decided to move to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The first six months was a rollercoaster of lifestyle changes; we were inspired to start a vegan lifestyle, which ended two months later, as I was feeling nauseous and bloated, getting headaches (which is very uncommon for me) and overall dull. Then I attended a presentation about leaky gut by a lady who trains people to be holistic wellness coaches. This opened my eyes to two life-changing keys: 1) probiotics, and 2) wellness coaching.
I’d been seeking for years to find a career path that resonated with me, that lit me up, and that I was contagiously passionate about, and I knew at my core that this was it! My ego pushed the idea away at first, but as the idea niggled in the back of my thoughts, I visited a naturopathic doctor. I was extremely excited to finally get educated advice on how to help my body find hormonal balance. Yet after the first visit I was already frustrated. (This is an unfair critique because I’ve only visited him once, and he had no test results to truly understand my condition, but it was how I felt.)
I just had him on such a pedestal in my mind as someone who would be able to hand me the miracle cure. He made assessments and judgments based on very little, impersonally gathered information, gave me a generic outline food to eat in a day (paleo), and told me to eat meat with every meal. I left feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and more ready than ever to be a coach and give others one-on-one holistic, personalized direction and support to make epic lifestyle changes.
Since then, I’ve adjusted my eating again, committed to sleep, reduced my workaholic tendencies, started to crave meditation, learned to be more vulnerable, stabilized my hormones AND gotten pregnant, yay!
My continued life-changing learning and inspiration has come from Gabrielle Bernstein, Brene Brown, Super Soul Oprah, Jen Sincero, HeatherAsh Amara, Connie Chapman, Brett Larkin, and Hayley Carr….just to name a few.
In essence, I have realized that life is what we manifest. We get back the energy that we put into the Universe.
We have to be our own wellness and happiness advocates and experts. Everyone is so very different -- some people can be vegan, some raw, some gluten-free; some connect through people, others through nature; and no two people have the same gifts to offer to the World.
To expect a doctor, yogi, counselor, friend, etc. to understand what you feel day to day and identify what makes you tick is unfair and passive. Only YOU, through reflective dives and your intuitive knowledge, can complete that evolving challenge.
Are you ready to design your vibrant life? I am here to help!
*Experience, education and training can be found here.