I have known Jessica Kishpaugh for three years. She is best friends with a family friend and I met her when we worked as volunteer staff at an adult camp (basically, glorified campers). I have always known her to be physically fit, inspiring, and dedicated. What I didn’t know is how she started her journey to where she is now and her continued goals to be an inspiration to her young child and husband.
Jess grew up like many of us in the 1980s, eating “mini marshmallows, pizza, chicken nuggets and fries, mallomars, ice cream, and chicken parm. Veggies were gross. Eating fish was unheard of (maybe fish sticks).” She didn’t know or understand her relationship to food and it came to a head when she was bullied so badly in middle school that she “zipped up [her] feelings and became very self-protective.” High school offered a relief and she played a lot of sports so she understood how to keep active. College was no breeze as she continued to gain weight and used comedy to make it feel better. She felt listless and struggled with her identity— “I was so unhappy in my skin. I often pretended to be someone I wasn’t, simply to fit in with a group of peers or garner friendships. I almost quit college altogether after my freshman year. I never found my true calling academically and I changed majors so many times that I graduated absolutely lost and confused. Somehow I ended up in law school for the simple reason that I had no idea what to do with my life,” explained Jess.
Then, a shift happened and she knew she wanted to help people. “Maybe deep down I wanted to protect and advocate for people who couldn’t help themselves, people who were just like me when I was younger, who didn’t have any support or tools to overcome pain and challenges,” said Jess. For the past ten years, she has worked in public interest law as an attorney helping to fight injustice, protecting victims of crime, and advocating for children’s well-being and education. Unfortunately, the system has made it less about helping others and more about animosity, deceit, arguing, and legal nuances.
During this time, she was able to find a healthy lifestyle that worked for her and realized she was actually toxic. She learned about portion control, healthy options, and gradually started to feel like a new person. She was able to kick her coffee addiction and ran multiple half marathons and the NYC Marathon. When she had her child, “[she] melted away the baby weight (away) because of these easy nutritional tools and [her] new mindset.”
“Luckily, through my personal development journey, getting really clear about my values, and focusing on self-care in all facets of my life, I’ve been able to let go of my past challenges and my actions are no longer fueled by negative emotions. I also found my passion in health and wellness,” Jess explained. She made the decision to enroll in the world’s largest nutrition school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and completed an intensive year-long health coach training program. She is now a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Lifestyle Coach dedicated to helping others reach their goals. Her mission is to show you how to incorporate self-care into your life as a non-negotiable part of your existence. Jess believes that, “Truly loving yourself is at the very core of your health and happiness.”
We wanted to experience what an Integrative Nutrition Health & Lifestyle Coach does. So we scheduled two sessions with Kishpaugh and learned that she will discuss anything and everything that affects your life because it is all related - from food, family, sex, work, you name it. “My role in their transformation is to work with them to set goals, to derail roadblocks and to help you take action to achieve and sustain health-supporting behaviors. My unique approach is all about teaching and inspiring you in H.E.A.L.T.H! Healthy eating, Empowerment, Action, Love, Transformation, Happiness,” explained Jess.
Because she has experienced the stressed out life we all lead, she understands what we feel. “I love working with busy, high-achieving women who are exhausted, overwhelmed, and typically unhealthy. I help them to create happier, wholesome, balanced lives, and empower them to live a life of freedom,” said Jess.
What Jess provides are actionable items that we can do concerning food and our diet. She taught me how to hold myself accountable and search for others that can be accountable with me. She gave me food ideas, explained the new food pyramid, which is now a plate, and encourages me to think of how food makes me feel versus calorie counting. She made me think differently and getting help from someone on the outside always is a plus.
Here are some tips to guide us to lead healthier and happier lives.
GO FOR HIGH-QUALITY FOOD.
Whenever you can, choose high-quality food: organic, local, grass-fed, sustainable.
Add superfoods into your diet
MAKE EVERY MEAL A RITUAL.
CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE.
To set the tone for each day, take some time in the morning to breathe, meditate, do yoga, dance, journal, and/or make breakfast.
Exercise gives you endorphins. Find exercise that’s truly enjoyable, invigorating, and relaxing for you. Make it a regular, if not daily, routine.
Organize your work and living spaces to be clutter-free peaceful environments
Plan your schedule using a daily or weekly planner.
Prioritize your tasks and focus on one thing at a time.
Delegate tasks whenever possible if you feel overwhelmed.
FIND A BUDDY FOR SUPPORT
Get support from a Health Coach, a therapist, or simply a friend.
Schedule dates or sessions once every two weeks at minimum to talk about yourself and process emotions with an unbiased person listening.
To learn more, reach out to Jessica Kishpaugh and begin your journey of healthy, happy living.