Amy Jarosky lived an intense Manhattan life working at a hedge fund for over 10 years. While tackling the daily grind, the New Jersey native developed a vague interest in health and wellness while dealing with the pressure and responsibility of investor relations. While she still practiced yoga once in a while and ate a normal diet, she felt, well, not great.
Finally, she knew she had to make a change. She pointed to the map, landed on San Diego and went. Once there, she didn’t do anything drastic, just simply started eating healthier, sleeping and practicing yoga more regularly.
Then, she decided her life needed a bigger transformation. Enrolling in Institute for Integrated Nutrition jumpstarted her journey. Now, she offers personalized wellness concierge services, counseling clients and connecting them with other practitioners. Here she shares her tips on how to start a new wellness routine, and how she’s integrating them herself.
SBS: What drew you to IIN?
Amy Jarosky: I liked that it was an online program. It was flexible, and I could travel or listen to lectures while I was on the subway. And, more importantly, I believe in the mission and what they stand for. They focus on diet primarily but also clients’ career and spirituality and how everything plays into wellness. It’s not just what you eat.
And, IIN teaches you how to start your own business. They have a percentage of courses focused just on that. It teaches you basic info like how to get your contacts in one place, as well as ideas about website hosting and necessities for getting started. They make it easy for you to begin. They also encourage you to start seeing clients halfway through the program, so I started working while I was learning. It pushes you, and that ends up being so helpful.
My main goal was to help my former self: people working stressful jobs. I want to help them find balance, incorporate a healthy diet and lifestyle. I started doing corporate presentations, and then the one-on-one sessions too.
SBS: What’s your personal stamp versus other health coaches?
AJ: I offer super quick and easy changes you can do with any schedule, which is important for anyone working in a corporate environment. For example, instead of requiring a huge meditation in the morning and night, mine is one and a half minutes both times. That works for busy people instead of discouraging them.
SBS: What are the challenges you face now as an entrepreneur?
AJ: I was used to working at a corporation, and then all of a sudden I was on my own. When I looked around, nobody was there! It can be lonely, so I made an effort to connect with other health coaches and create a network.
Then, finding clients that are truly ready to put in the work is challenging. It’s not like a magic pill. It takes effort and desire to improve and change. Keeping them encouraged is a challenge. So, for clients I don’t feel are fully into it, I’ll start slower and recommend one or two changes every session instead of three or four. I’ll build slowly, and eventually they catch on.
And, if someone has a hard time staying in it, I ask them to honestly consider, what’s getting in the way of you reaching your goals? Is it doubt? Is it something in your schedule? Let’s pinpoint what the obstacles are and work on them. A lot of people don’t even know why they’re not motivated or why they can’t reach the goal. Figuring out what it is proves to be the key a lot of times.
SBS: What are the biggest obstacles to change?
AJ: Time management is a big one. Just shifting how you’re spending your time is challenging. A lot of people are going down social media holes and wondering why they have no time. So many things in New York can distract you. So carving out time
is important. Put those items like workouts and meditation in your calendar. That’s a way to make sure they happen. They’re non-negotiable, and you know you’re not willing to skip over them.
SBS: What are the first areas you look at?
AJ: For clients who are constantly tired, we obviously check out your sleep. But it’s not just how many hours you’re getting. It’s also about which hours your getting. Plus, are you sleeping consistently? Are you eating or drinking right before bed, and what are your nighttime rituals?
As for dietary stuff, we take a look at your preferences and habits: Are you gluten or dairy free? Do you eat meat? Then we figure out what your average day looks like. Digestive issues are the number one complaint I get, so I always dig into that whenever I have a client. Nine times out of 10 there were foods they don’t realize are bothering them. But if you ask about the feeling after the food, they might recognize a pattern. I find those triggers.
SBS: What does Embody offer?
AJ: We’re a wellness concierge service, and we offer one-on-one, hour-long nutrition sessions. Our approach is really detailed and specific to each individual. We go over your health history and anything you’ve been doing. Then, we start by providing tips and strategies. That might mean meal plans and access to other practitioners. We have relationships with acupuncturists and massage therapists and personal trainers. We can oversee someone’s whole wellness plan. It’s not just what you’re eating; it’s your overall wellness picture. You can pick and choose a la carte services, or have us handle everything. So, for example, maybe you want a supermarket tour for new foods or help with new recipes. We’re here for anything you feel you would need. We can create a personalized, special plan just for you.
SBS: What are some simple changes that can jumpstart a wellness transformation?
AJ: Self-care is number one. No matter how busy you are, set aside at least a couple minutes to just slow down and be present. Breathe and focus on yourself. It can be meditation, it could be listening to music, it can be a form of exercise or it could be a massage. Whatever it is that’s just for you, focus on that.
Then, make sure you eat breakfast! Never skip breakfast, and try to avoid a high carb option like a bagel or donut. The breakfast should be filled with protein and healthy fats so it will satiate you and provide you with energy for the day. That sets the tone for the rest of your day, and it motivates you to stay on track.
Next, drink tons of water every day. If you’re dehydrated, it can come across as mild hunger. Also, avoid as much processed foods as you possibly can.
SBS: What are the main reasons people fall off the wellness wagon?
AJ: It’s often simple: being busy or traveling. So, when I work with someone, I figure out where they’re going and create a plan or routine for the road.
The next reason is if you’re not in a supportive environment it’s hard. If your family isn’t interested in healthy eating, it can be lonely and challenging. When you’re making big changes, you need to support. If you’re dealing with something like that, try to create a more supportive environment, perhaps through another group. Reach out to others that may be going through a similar transformation, and go to events where you can meet new people.
SBS: What’s your wellness routine now that you are a coach?
AJ: I’ve gotten more and more consistent because it’s really important to me to walk the talk. I don’t want to tell clients what they should do without me experiencing it.
Making suggestions from a personal place has allowed it to resonate more. I can speak from my own experience. I’m not perfect, but my clients actually help me stay on track! My meditation and self-care practice has improved…and it’s also the most challenging. It takes a lot of work to fit that in every day. That’s the biggest one I’m most proud of. I notice the most change when I’m consistent.
Amy’s NYC Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Hu Kitchen
Splurge Restaurant: Buvette
Market: LifeThyme Market
Nightlife Spot: Little Branch
Fitness Studio: any cycling studio
Yoga Studio: Yoga Vida
Fun Activity: Music and food festivals
Calming Activity: Listening to music
Fitness shoes: Adidas
Books: A Return to Love, The Four Agreements
Online Resources: Well + Good, anything by Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Josh Axe FB live videos
Amy’s SBS Mantra: Be Mindful: When you are fully present, there is less worry, fear and anxiety. You can more easily work through any current struggles and truly appreciate the little things in the life.
What's the best, zaniest part of being Amy? Many people don't know I have a twin sis! We're the same, but different. Most importantly, we're besties.