Hi! I’m Jillian. Before I became Paleo, I was pretty much the most unhealthy person ever. I used to smoke almost an entire pack of cigarettes everyday and eat the worst foods imaginable. I ate fast food on a daily basis and drank a bunch of energy drinks and diet sodas, as well as fancy Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffees. I struggled with weight issues. I was always up and down, but mostly on the chubby side. When I did lose some weight, I was doing it the wrong way and eating things like Lean Cuisine (which I would never eat now). Along with the weight issues, I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and pretty severe PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).
While I was getting my Bachelor of Science (for Criminal Justice) at Adelphi University, I decided to quit smoking cigarettes as my New Years Resolution for 2012. I always knew cigarettes were bad, but I never knew about the effect that food has on our bodies. I always just thought it only mattered the amount of calories you ate and how much you weighed. I knew about the diseases you could get, but I just thought that was only if you were obese not because of what you were eating. A calorie was a calorie in my mind, and the less the better. For the criminal justice program I had to take a class called Culture and Society, and in that class we were assigned to read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, watched the documentary Food Inc, and were taught about the paleo diet.
Reading that book, watching the documentary and learning about paleo completely changed my life for the best. It changed my whole view on food, and made me realize that we have been brainwashed by the big food industry. I lost 25 pounds and realized how good I can feel. My digestion got a lot better, I had more energy, I was the happiest I’d ever been and I enjoyed life so much more. I discovered the power of food on our health and wellbeing. After I received my BS in Criminal Justice and realized how passionate I was about healthful living and a paleo lifestyle, I went back to school to become a Certified Dietary Manager. I should’ve done more research on the program, because at the end it turned out to be completely different then what I thought. I wasn’t alone in that either. Other students in the program, and myself, thought it was about helping patients improve their health with nutrition, but it turned out to be basically just managing the food service department in the hospital.
I was definitely disappointed at the end, but I don’t think it was a waste of time either. I learned valuable kitchen skills and how to run a food service operation, which I do see myself using in the future. So after a disappointing internship, I decided to start a blog and begin sharing my knowledge with others. I discovered the Nutritional Therapy Consultant program given through the NTA and finally found the program I was searching for! I learned so much about nutrition and how food works in the body. I loved the NTC program so much! I started implementing what I was learning into my life to help with my IBS and PMS. Before becoming a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, I thought PMS was unavoidable and I’d have it forever. I now know that PMS is not normal and within just a couple months I’ve drastically reduced my PMS symptoms! My IBS has also gotten insanely better in the last three years, but my digestion isn’t perfect just yet. Natural healing takes time, patience, love, and trial & error. It’s a journey and I’m enjoying learning about my body and figuring out what works for me. We’re all different – there’s no perfect diet that works for everyone.
I’m proud to call myself a Nutritional Therapy Consultant! I want to spread my knowledge, and help everyone I can to discover paleo and see how much better their lives can be.
I am also currently studying to become a Certified Holistic Medical Cannabis Practitioner – which is essentially a pharmacist for medical marijuana. Cannabis has been shown to be helpful for (and has been used by humans for thousands of years) cancer, anxiety, sleeplessness, pain, autism, seizures, menstrual cramps, digestives troubles, and many other issues. I’m excited to integrate this new tool into my practice – especially for the clients who live in states where they have easier access to this medicine.