Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Iovinelli.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My health and wellness journey began in my early twenties when I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I had been to countless doctors and specialists to try and manage my chronic conditions (IBS, Interstitial Cystitis, and Asthma) and didn’t want to rely on medications anymore, which many times caused side effects that were worse than some of my symptoms. One day, a nurse practitioner asked me about my diet and lifestyle, and handed me some information on an elimination diet and nutrition, and the rest was history! (Looking back, it seems odd that no doctor up until that point ever mentioned that what I was putting in my body could be contributing to my illness, even though my symptoms were in my digestive system.)
For the next several years, I became immersed in the world of nutrition and holistic healing, because I was starting to get relief from some of the nurse’s recommendations. I did my own research through the internet and reading several different books. I started following prominent nutritionists and holistic health experts on social media, and that’s also around the time I launched my Instagram account and started sharing the information I was learning and recipes I cooked up. I was able to put all of my chronic health conditions in remission and taught myself how to nurture my body and mind with real foods and self-care.
I became even more committed to my holistic health journey after getting married and wanting to start a family. With all the knowledge I had acquired leading up to that point, I knew I wanted to give my baby the best possible start and that meant really cleaning up my diet and lifestyle. I was fortunate to have an extremely healthy pregnancy and healthy, joyful baby boy. My chronic conditions remained in remission and my new family enjoyed a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, in 2015, I started to develop some bizarre and debilitating symptoms. I had unexplainable severe back and rib pain that sidelined my work-outs and landed me in physical therapy. No one could figure out what caused these issues as I wasn’t injured or sick prior to this happening. As the months went on, the pain moved up my spine, and my neck became so stiff I couldn’t even turn it most mornings. The neck and rib pain was interfering in my daily life including taking care of my son, driving, sleeping, and working. After that, came the stroke-like migraines and neuropathy, then mystery fevers, panic attacks, episodes of paralysis, and swollen painful joints. No one could figure out what was causing all of these symptoms and pain because I was very healthy up until this point, and was doing my best to eat well and exercise as much as I physically still could during the breakdown of my body. I saw nearly 10 specialists in Chicago and received “possible” diagnoses of Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia (nothing was definitive or conclusive). But, something didn’t add up, I knew that my body was signaling that something was really wrong. I decided if the doctors couldn’t help me, I would help myself, so I left my job in the legal industry and enrolled in nutrition school and decided I was going to do everything possible I could to heal myself and then help others lead healthy, whole lives so they would never have to suffer like I had throughout my life. Months after enrolling in school, a friend mentioned getting a test to rule out lyme disease so I took her up on the suggestion and sought help from a LLMD in Wisconsin. I was officially diagnosed with late-stage lyme disease and two other tick-borne infections called bartonella and babesia. I still remember the day I was diagnosed, I was overcome with a rainstorm of emotions that were a mixture of relief and fear. I was relieved that someone had finally figured out what was going on, and that it wasn’t anything I did or could have prevented from happening, the fear was related to my uncertain future and rigorous treatment plan up ahead.
My life forever changed after being diagnosed with lyme disease, treatment is very difficult, and it has been a tough battle every single day, but I was not going to let an unfortunate situation or challenging season in my life ruin everything I believed in and had worked toward, so I continued to show up and go after my goals and dream of owning my own health coaching and nutrition business.
The heartbreak of living with chronic illness “fueled the fire” for me to dedicate my entire life to helping others find healthier lives. We all deserve to be healthy, that is a basic human right and I feel blessed to be able to help others find this well-being in their own lives.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
My advice to young women just starting out on their business journey is to never, ever give up! Even if the going gets tough, don’t settle, and don’t give up on pursing your passions and doing what sets your soul on fire! You have unlimited potential and you absolutely deserve to be happy and healthy, this includes having a career that brings you joy.
Believe it or not, we do have a significant amount of control over our own lives and you have the ability to create a lifestyle you absolutely love! If every day you can wake up and choose to be happy and find gratitude for what you DO have, no matter what the circumstances, you will attract more joy and success in your life.
Another practice I strongly believe in is to stand with your peers and help each other out. Try trading in judgment for love and it will get you a long way. Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back. We are all in this life together and its crucial that we help each other out along the journey.
Also, don’t ever try to be someone you are not. With social media, there is a lot of pressure to conform or follow the lead. We all have unique talents and gifts that we bring to our careers and clients, and the world needs YOU just the way you are.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Wheatgrass Warrior – what should we know?
I am a “holistic mom on a mission” and a certified health coach who believes that gut health and a positive mindset is at the core of your well-being.
My mission is to educate and support clients to create sustainable lifestyle changes that allow them to embark on a life-long health journey because wellness is not a destination — it is a way of life. I am incredibly passionate about helping others learn about nutrition and nourishing their body, mind, and soul with real foods, a powerful mindset, and an irresistible self-care plan.
Healthy living is not limited to eating well, but also includes relationships, stress management, self-care, exercise, and spiritual and mental health. I focus on a “real food” diet and holistic self-care approaches that have empowered me to overcome debilitating symptoms and illnesses and allowed me to live a more joyful life. When you create balance in all areas of your life, everything falls into place, and you can live the life you desire–your potential is limitless! I offer various group programs and challenges throughout the year as well as working with clients on a 1:1 basis. I share my recipes and health tips on Instagram and my website.
Additionally, I am is a contributor to various health-related websites and publications including Shape Magazine, The Today Show, Vitacost, BuzzFeed, and Huffington Post. I also partner with well-known food brands to develop healthy recipes and have collaborated with Whole Foods, DOLE, Mikey’s, Dave’s Gourmet, and Quinn Snacks to name a few.
In 2017, Ashley was named a “Foodie Mom of the Year” by Glancer Magazine in the Chicago Suburbs, and the international organic brand Nature’s Path featured her in their “Organic People” blog.
What sets me apart is I have real life experience in dealing with chronic health issues that allows me to better understand and help my clients. I have been sitting on the other side of the table and wanting (and needing) to improve my health and diet. I know what it’s like to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and wanting something more for your life.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I have read so many books over the years, but some of the experts that stand-out include Gabrielle Bernstein, Kris Carr, and The Food Babe. All of these women have inspired me in some way or another, and I am grateful for the knowledge and growth I acquired from their influence and content.
I am also a firm believer in journaling and meditation, and that is something that is non-negotiable in my daily routine. YouTube has some great, free guided meditations that you can follow along to.
- Website: http://www.wheatgrasswarrior.com
- Phone: 630-335-3272
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/wheatgrass_warrior
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wheatgrasswarrior
Lauren Vitiello (www.laurenvitiello.com)