We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenn Malecha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenn, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Health Coach, and my brand (W)holistic Health Boss has been sharing my personal health journey and delivering exceptional customer service to the people I am fortunate to work with. When clients come to me they usually want to know 3 things; do you know what’s wrong with me, can you help me and have you helped others like me. By sharing my personal health story, and the stories of my clients with them I’m able to show them what is possible for their health too, and they take comfort in knowing others have gone before them and succeeded. And as I often tell the health professionals that I mentor, exceptional customer services sells itself and results in effortless referrals.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I wasn’t always as health conscious as I am today. I grew up playing sports, but I was the kid who struggled to run the mile during those stupid PE tests and dreaded spring training sessions for high school basketball. I used to eat the most unhealthy foods after school, in college and throughout my 20’s…just to name a few of my old favorites: frozen taquitos and burritos (my favorite after school snack), frozen yogurt (of course piled high with candy toppings), and pazookie from BJ’s. Looking back, I would say my entire life has been a journey in the pursuit of health. I believe this is probably true for all of us. The journey for some can be a struggle to survive and for others a drive to thrive. I was stuck in survival mode for a long time, and now I’m glad to say I’m thriving. But I’ll be the first to admit it’s been a work in progress. The struggles and success with my own health have been an evolution. After graduating college I battled with seasonal allergies, struggled to lose and maintain my weight, and suffered from hormone imbalances and severe energy dips. Over time I learned to take back my personal power, to find my ideal health and as a result, I have developed a passion to help others do the same. In college, I pursued a degree in fitness, nutrition and health because I thought I wanted to be a sports psychologist. Learning about the body ignited my passion for fitness and health. In 2005, with my degree in hand I set out to become a personal trainer. I thought I knew all there was to know about health and fitness. I was ready to go! As a personal trainer, I tried every diet there was on my clients or myself. Sometimes they worked, but most of the time they didn’t, and I started to notice that the calories–in-versus-calories-out equation wasn’t working. It left me and my clients feeling frustrated, so I began searching for a different approach. Then came my diagnosis of skin cancer at the young age of 26 and my mom’s near-death experience with liver cirrhosis that made taking care of my health no joke. Being diagnosed with skin cancer at such a young age sparked an undeniable urge to get to the bottom of my own health issues and use my knowledge to help others. From the outside, I looked like your typical healthy person – eating “healthy”, working out, muscular etc. – I was a personal trainer after all. Even on paper I looked perfect: normal cholesterol, heart rate and blood pressure levels. My skin cancer diagnosis was a BIG red flag indicating something deeper was wrong. The intensity of my seasonal allergies had also progressed, and I was experiencing more aches, pains and migraines. Shortly after my diagnosis, I enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Course to dig deeper into my own health issues, to get to the bottom of them once and for all. With my newly acquired knowledge, I aspired to help others struggling with weight loss, even though they were “eating right” and working out (I knew there had to be something more stopping them from getting results). The FDN training taught me a whole new way of looking at disease and health. When I started digging deeper, I found A LOT of cellular damage, hormone imbalances, and gut dysfunction… …in myself and my clients. Embarking on functional lab testing and natural health-building approaches was like finding the mythical fountain of youth and it opened my eyes to the possibility of having exceptional health and feeling like myself again!!! So I set out on my ideal health journey. For me, ideal health is more than just working out and eating right “most” of the time. It’s a lifestyle. As I like to say… “Healthy is a way of being, not just doing,” and… “There is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body. Eating right for your body will incorporate healthy foods, but not every so-called healthy food is right for your body.” Now I exercise in a way that’s best for me. I put the right kinds of foods in my body. I’ve minimized toxins in my environment (and continue to do so). I take time for myself, and I continuously work on supporting my body in the ways it needs most. This journey has been hard at times, inspiring at times, and above all educational when it comes to learning about what my body needs. As an FDN Practitioner, I run all kinds of simple at-home lab tests for my clients so we can take a deeper look at their health to figure out what’s holding them back from living their fullest life with their ideal health and weight. The biggest lesson I teach my clients is… “Your health is a journey. It will change direction as you learn more and you will evolve with it, so don’t get frustrated, just hold space for patience and the potential for change.” What you once thought was healthy might look different once you understand your body better. I have learned to embrace this myself. I no longer chase the ideal 125-pound frame because I feel good in my body, just the way it is. Because my energy is endless, my hormones are stable and I feel limitless as a result. When I look in the mirror, I can appreciate my body for how she supports me. But I have to say that although I have adopted a more holistic version of a healthy lifestyle, and I teach others to do the same, it’s still hasn’t been peaches ‘n cream all of the time. In 2016, my health went haywire again. In May of 2016, I opened my guest room closet door and spotted mold growing on the ceiling. It was a day of great relief and fear for me. On that day, everything that I had been experiencing recently came into focus. Exposure to toxic mold in my home over an unknown period of time resulted in cystic acne, irregular and unusually long periods (12 days to be exact), weight gain again, and bouts of depression and anxiety that ‘snuck’ up on me quickly for no previously known reason in 2016. And ultimately mold was likely one of the largest environmental factors leading to my diagnosis of Hashimoto’s at this time. Thankfully my knowledge as an FDN Practitioner came in handy once again. I knew exactly what to do with my diet, sleep, and exercise to support my healing process. I took action to reduce even more stress in my life, to support my body even more and implement the right supplements that would speed up the detox and healing process. I’m happy to say that within just 6 short months after finding the mold, my Hashimoto’s was in remission and I was on my way to feeling 100% like myself again. Life happens. But despite its challenges you can live a healthy life – the one you’ve always dreamed of; filled with freedom and feeling like your best self. You can take back control of your health with the right tools, resources, diet, sleep, exercise, stress-reducing techniques and supplements – just like I have time and time again. As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and Master Transformational coach, I support health-minded professionals in taking back control of their health by giving them access to the right lab tests and resources so they can find the missing pieces of their health puzzle; actually fix what is wrong and get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!). I believe anyone can live a healthier life- the one they’ve always dreamed of, filled with gratitude, empowerment, and joy
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely hike Torrey Pines Reserve, I think this is one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. Then we would explore La Jolla cove to see the seals, spend a day laying on the beach at Windansea and take a bike ride along the boardwalk from Pacific Beach to Mission Beach and around Mission Bay. On Sunday we would check out the La Jolla or Little Italy farmers market and have brunch at Parakeet Cafe in either area. We would certainly have dinners at Herb & Wood, Born & Raised, Fort Oak and my all-time favorite for the food and sunset view JRDN. If time permitted I would certainly take my friend across the border to the wine valley in Mexico, Valle de Guadalupe
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize Reed Davis the Founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® for creating such an amazing health practitioner course that has given me the methodology and tools to help people on a deeper level.
Photography credit Julie Magnussen https://www.juliemagnussen.com/