Shelley Hillesheim – My Story
This is Me . . .
I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
The College Years
I have a strong business background with an undergraduate degree in marketing. For bragging sake, I graduated with honors and was the valedictorian of my college graduating class. Yep, I even gave the commencement speech to a room full of thousands of people. It was a glorious moment. Immediately after I graduated, I went to work in marketing for a utility company. Not the sexiest form of marketing, but I loved it. I had the privilege of actually working in an area that I studied in.
Having a deep love affair with education and learning, I went back to school a few years later and got an MBA, while working full time. Perhaps I’m a little bit of a glutton for punishment, because at the time, it felt like the most challenging that I had ever done. That education and my time in corporate America made me extremely passionate about what it means to run a solid business and provide outstanding customer service.
Developing New Roles Along the Way
My path climbing the corporate ladder changed drastically when I had my second (and final) child and made the decision to stay home with the kids. Honestly, this was not my natural calling. But, I saw the tremendous value in being at stay-at-home parent and was willing to take time off from my career to be in that role. In those few brief years, amazing things happened and I became a very different person. My priorities shifted and although I had always had a strong appreciation for health and wellness, there was a new kind of fire fueling me.
I went on a relentless pursuit to be a good role model of health for my kids. That led me to hardcore training and dieting to compete in ‘figure’ competitions, where I learned a new meaning of the word discipline. I also got a few opportunities to represent the sport by doing some fitness modeling. That part was kind of fun. But over-training, under-nourishing and competing over several years eventually took its tool and I crashed, hard!!! It was so bad that I actually blacked out one day while driving home from the gym. I only did minimal damage to my vehicle, so nothing too serious, but I’ll tell you what, it was a SERIOUS wake-up call. I leaped into the medical system to begin my search for answers, but quickly discovered that the form of answers I was finding didn’t satisfy me. The doctors spent minimal time talking to me to really get my story and then quickly prescribed medications to balance this and that and see how it went. I certainly didn’t know everything, but I knew that I didn’t want that for myself.
The Shift to Radical Self-Care
I then started on a relentless pursuit to finding my own solutions that were effective in the most natural way possible. Believing in a food as medicine model, my first stop was culinary school, but not just any culinary school.
Nutritionally-Focused Culinary School
I searched high and low for a culinary program that also addressed nutrition science and found exactly what I was looking for at Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, CO. I completed my education there as a Certified Natural Foods Chef where I learned the importance of bio-individuality, ingredient quality and preservation, and nourishing ourselves in every way we can control. Additionally, I learned about food as medicine and the critical role that nutrition has in treating specific conditions. My kitchen skills were also amped up significantly, and not only with cooking. I learned kitchen set up, organization and management so I could maximize efficiency and enjoy spending time there. A very worthwhile investment in myself. This knowledge not only changed my life and helped me address my own health concerns, but it also was the launching pad for developing my business,
A Nourished Life.
My journey Building A Nourished Life
My journey building A Nourished Life began with developing a portfolio of hands-on, nutritionally-centered, group cooking classes. I offered and taught those classes at two different cooking schools in Denver.
Spreading the Word
As the business gained momentum, I wanted to get the healthy cooking message out to as many audiences as I could. To spread the word, I developed and taught nutrition/cooking programs to many different groups and individuals:
- Patient education programs for doctor’s offices
- Corporate wellness programs
- School districts – parents and students
- Private events
- Also, I taught after-school kids cooking classes through Sticky Fingers Cooking
In addition, I worked on special projects with key partners.
- Biotta Juices – Developed recipes using their imported bottled juices and became their chef spokesperson.
- Community College of Denver – Partnered with the School of Science to design a pilot program to teach cooking to their nutrition students. I developed the entire curriculum and taught the first ever cooking classes of its kind through the school.
- Bauman College – Volunteer my time to work with Bauman students in learning how to develop and market their own businesses. Also provide internship opportunities for current students.
- Nutrition Therapy Institute – Developed an intern program to provide meaningful opportunities for NTI students to gain exposure in the culinary profession.
A Nourished Life Makes the MOVE into Self-Care Coaching for Ambitious, Driven Women who tend to run themselves into the ground trying to do it ALL.
The impact of this work has been fantastic and I have been able to pursue my passion and create change in so many lives. For this opportunity, I am deeply grateful. One desire that burned in me through all of this experience was the idea of true transformation. I wanted to impact women’s lives so much that they would be better for having learned what I had to teach in such a way that it would change them for the rest of their lives. I was able to create small ripples with the work I had been doing, but I wanted to be even more impactful; to help people find answers faster than the long journey it took me to create real, sustainable changes in my life.
Being profoundly committed to continuous personal improvement and education, I went on another search to find a program that could teach me a structure for helping people with healthy transformation. I landed at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Life Transformation Coach. There, I studied the powers of transformational coaching methods and it rocked my world. I also received priceless first-hand coaching experience working in an Integrative Internal Medicine Wellness Center called The Care Group. There I got to work one-on-one with patients and help them make practical changes for a lifestyle more geared toward making THEMSELVES a priority. It’s from this platform that I’ve moved A Nourished Life into a Self-Care Coaching practice where I still discuss the virtues of healthy cooking and eating (you must know that will be a focus, given my background) along with diving deep into the potential lifestyle blocks that keep women from achieving the lifestyles they desire. I work with women who are old enough to know better and ready to take ownership of their lives and do the work it takes to get tthere!
Check out my PROGRAMS to learn more