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Evolving Well with Jennifer Fugo

22 February 2012


©Heather McLaughlin Photography

Being beautiful and fashionable is not just about the clothes you sport, but about how you tend to your mental, physical and emotional health. I sat down with lifestyle and health coach Jennifer Fugo who happened to help me get healthy and lose 40lbs three years ago at the most stressful time in my life. She was instrumental in teaching me how to not only be healthy but to think healthy.



1. What is the name of your company and what do you do?
Gluten Free School is the premier online destination for those who want to live a healthy, gluten-free life. We offer an array of free tele-classes from health experts as well as articles, recipes, product reviews and low-cost programs for those who need more support to really make the gluten-free lifestyle stick.


Gluten Free School is the premier online destination for those who want to live a healthy, gluten-free life. We offer an array of free tele-classes from health experts as well as articles, recipes, product reviews and low-cost programs for those who need more support to really make the gluten-free lifestyle stick.

2. What are your qualifications, your successes and why did you decide to create this company?


©Heather McLaughlin Photography

I'm certified in health coaching and am trained in Plant-based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. Most of my clients are gluten-free or wish to be, so that's my main focus.


I was named a "Gluten Free Guru" by Philadelphia Magazine and have been quoted in many publications such as eHow, Yahoo News, Philadelphia Magazine, Main Line Parent, etc. (a comprehensive list can be found on my site athttp://www.glutenfreeschool.com/press)



I'm also an RYT 200-hr yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance. I'm currently working on my 500-hr teaching certification. I teach at two studios in the Philadelphia area -- Dhyana Yoga and RYAH yoga.



I decided to start Gluten Free School because so many clients begged me to concentrate my knowledge of food and lifestyle changes for those folks who really want to be healthy. Generally, the gluten-free lifestyle doesn't focus so much on healthiness. Rather it seeks to replicate the same old processed stuff everyone was eating before going gluten-free. I teach people how to live healthy in a way that happens to be gluten-free!



I also wanted to reach a larger market and I found that I could offer lots of free and low-cost events to the public over the phone which has been a tremendous hit!



3. What other activities are you involved in the fitness realm and how do you encourage others to get fit?






I personally am into yoga. I teach almost 10 hours a week and also try to get on my own mat and practice about 2 to 3 hours a week. There is nothing like being led in a practice. I also workout with a trainer an hour per week. Goes to show you that you don't need to kick your butt super hard in order to stay in shape. The key is to combining a healthy diet with moderate exercise and daily movement even if it's just easy walking.

4. What is your approach to individual health and do you believe more in natural or chemical remedies? Or both?

My approach is based around the idea that you've got to address the root cause of a problem. Ideally you want to address everything as naturally as possible, however there are times when you may need more help. I honestly think that before drugs are prescribed you've tried everything else including exercise, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, etc.

5. Do you have any creative outlets? If so, what are they?

I have many creative outlets, but seem to have little time for them these days. However, when time is available for them, I love to read, garden, and make jewelry. I used to sew a lot as well as crochet, but that's gotten by the wayside over the years.

6. I hear you like to travel. Where do you like to go for a little R&R? Do you suggest R&R for health purposes? What kind of R&R do you recommend for those who cannot travel? Or on a daily basis?

Yes, I love to travel and honestly don't do it enough anymore since I'm the only lady at the helm of my business, so I can't always step away like I used to. This past year, I didn't take any long far-away vacations for R&R and have really ended up regretting it. In my opinion as both a health coach and a yoga teacher, R&R is one of the best things you can do for yourself. 

If you're limited due to various issues, you can certainly find some sort of local hobby or club to join that will help take you out of the mundane. Go for a walk (even if it's just around your neighborhood), visit a local national park or monument, visit with friends that live in a different area, or join a sport league. 

The point is, just get out of your house and do something different. Push yourself to be slightly uncomfortable and allow your mind to be fully present to what you're doing with the task at hand. Otherwise, your mind is running circles around things that don't exist -- the past and the future. So rarely are we truly present to the here and now.

Also, check out yoga or tai chi, and try meditation.


7. What do you believe a person must do to be successful in a healthier lifestyle change?
First, you've got to decide what exactly it is that you're going to change. Ideas such as "Eat Healthy" or "Eat more veggies" are too vague. You've got to get really specific, make a plan and enlist help. That's how this process works.

Secondly, start eating real food. If it comes in a box or bag, you might want to think twice. An apple and nut butter is an excellent energy snack which many have forgotten about. Trays of sliced veggies in the fridge are a much better grab-and-go snack compared to tortilla chips or something else chip-like.

Thirdly, you've got to remember that becoming healthy takes time and effort. It will not happen overnight. For the folks looking to go gluten-free, I often have to remind them that to be healthy means that you've got to go back to the most natural food possible that also happens to be gluten-free. 

8. If anyone is interested in your services how can they contact you and join your site and program?

Visit me at http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/ and join my email list!