She traveled the world showcasing women’s accessories but she wasn’t fulfilled. Jacqui Justice began to study nutrition and wellness to help treat her own digestive issues. “I went to doctor after doctor searching for answers until I finally found a naturopathic who figured out my issues and literally changed my life.” This lead Jacqui on a quest to learn everything she could on food, wellness, and the gut, but she never thought of herself as a nutritionist. “One day a friend of mine said why don’t you just become a nutritionist, you’re so good at it and so obsessed with it.”
Realizing she could help other people with the same issues that she’d had, the very next week Jacqui began a course to get her Master’s in Nutrition at New York Medical College. “Taking pre-med courses was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I studied night and day for 4 years.” During this time Jacqui had her first baby so the enlisted her in-laws to help out. “If you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen.”
When Jacqui graduated, she decided she wanted to work in the preventative area rather than with people who were already ill. She created her own internship with a local firm, Designs for Health. “I interned at this company for over a year, got my certification in Functional Nutrition and then in 1996 I decided it was time to go out on my own.”
She didn’t waste any time ramping up her practice. Jacqui got an office and began to advertise her services. “I visited doctors’ offices all over Westchester County handing out my business cards and explaining my wellness programs.” Jacqui even partnered with other fitness and wellness centers in the area to grow her business.
When asked what she specializes in, she says it’s mainly weight loss resistance and the wellness issues that surround it. Most of Jacqui’s clients are women between the ages of 40 and 60 who are going through peri-menopause. “Women are really frustrated with the advice and information they are getting from their doctors regarding symptom relief and stubborn hormonal weight gain.”
Jacqui calls “the infamous MenoBelly” – the scourge of menopausal woman everywhere. “Belly bloat and fat is a big issue and I work to help my clients discover what’s causing it for them so that together we can send it packing!”
Jacqui uses a Functional Nutrition approach to naturally balance her clients’ hormones. She tests for food sensitivities which cause inflammation and runs a very comprehensive blood chemistry to give her a clearer picture of what’s going on. Each client receives a customized nutrition plan based on their individual nutritional needs, biochemistry and lifestyle.
“Weight loss is the biggest goal for many clients and I use the skinny jeans method rather than a scale.” Jacqui asks her clients to hang in their closet the pair of skinny jeans that they’d li
ke to fit into. They try them on every week and as they get looser, Jacqui believes that will motivate her clients to continue with the program.
The program begins with a questionnaire and then a consultation and Jacqui’s kick start cleanse, a very gentle food detox that gets immediate results. Jacqui then creates a customized wellness plan based on their individual nutritional and biochemical needs, likes and dislikes, lifestyle, and goals.
Jacqui says stress in today’s world is a huge part of living a healthy life and she works with her clients to build in some de-stress techniques. She also works to balance your hormones through the food you eat. “Counting calories is out, balancing your hormonal response to food is in.”
“My Dad was like the original Yule Gibbons making protein shakes, taking all kinds of vitamins, working out, bicycling, and lifting weights. I like to think I’m following in his footsteps, in a way.” Jacqui says she really loves what she does, “One of the most gratifying things is to see a client’s success.”
Go on a quest to learn as much as you can about a subject that is personal to you.