Ashley Donovan is known as the ‘Self Love Nutritionist.’ She is Certified with the Association of American Drugless Practitioners as a Health Coach. She empowers women to stop feeling like an out-of-control, crazy person with food and to start doing things to be happier, feel lighter, and have a more fulfilling life.
Ashley is a mother, a bright light, and a superstar wellness advocate in the making. She brings a unique approach to self care, self-acceptance, and joy that produces powerful healing benefits.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a busy mother of a lovely 3 year old. I just moved to Dallas TX from the midwest a little over a year ago. While on my way to get my health coaching certification – after the big move to Dallas – after attempting and failing at every diet – I found myself in my kitchen sneaking cinnamon rolls after one of my daughters terrible two’s tantrums. It was shortly thereafter that I discovered something that was there my whole life but that I wasn’t consciously aware of, which was that I was and have been an emotional eater since I was 8.
Tell us about your path to creating your business and your vision
I’ve been a self-improvement junkie my whole life. As I get further into it I realize that the path to my business and vision has been there my whole life and is never ending and always evolving. I know deep down, and have known for a very long time, that I am passionate about empowering women. I have always longed for a strong circle of women. A safe place to be myself and to be vulnerable without the worries of gossip or jealousy. I believe all women want this. I’m striving to create that through my business.
Tell us a little about yourself and your philosophy on wellness:
I used to think that wellness was just about diet and exercise – mainly about food. While food is extremely important, there is so much more. It’s how we are eating our food and why. Which led me down the path of lifestyle techniques. If we aren’t living a fulfilling and happy life, then all the healthy food in the world is not going to do what it’s meant to do. We have to live a life that sets us up for health and wellness and that definitely includes food but food is not the only focus.
What was the catalyst in your life to fuel your commitment to wellness?
My catalyst was hands down becoming pregnant with my daughter. It was the first time I had a big enough reason to eat healthy – because I was feeding my child. She also led me down a path of longing for a career that allowed me to be the mother I wanted to be. And even now I am continuously striving and growing to be my best self – personally and professionally – so that she can see first hand that it is possible to live a life of authenticity and passion.
How do you stay healthy, resilient and vibrant?
Making self-care a priority – even when this means occasionally having to put my family second! I love the saying – you can’t give any water when the well is dry.
Having a deep relationship to spirit that includes spiritual practice and rituals.
Having meaningful relationships – most importantly with other like-minded women.
Being conscious of my negative thoughts and then turning them around to be compassionate and loving thoughts.
Eating wholesome foods only when I am actually hungry, and stopping before I am full.
What are the biggest challenges faced by the people that you work with?
Emotional eating and self-sabotage are the two biggest. My clients don’t believe that they are worthy of love and are extremely afraid to be vulnerable – so they eat. And these are extremely bright women but when they can’t seem to stick to a diet this really can be devastating to their confidence. After awhile we begin to think that we aren’t good enough because we can’t stop eating certain foods or certain amounts of food. How many times have you beaten yourself up over eating too much cake? Years of this negative self talk is what usually sends us to the cookie jar. It gives us instant release, instant pleasure or instant comfort.
If there was only one thing a person could find the energy and resources to make a priority what would it be?
Hire a coach, spiritual healer, counselor or find a program that will address the emotional issues that has come up for you throughout your life. This is what you are meant to heal, this will lead you to the root of all the other issues. It’s all connected.
For instance, for me it’s been disappointment. I’ve always felt like a failure or like my life didn’t look the way I’ve wanted it to. But once I addressed this I’ve been able to use it to my advantage to empower myself and others to live their best life. We are all doing the best that we can.
What is your favorite inspirational quote for wellness / awesomeness / thrival?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconscioulsy give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
You can find out more about Ashley on her website www.ashley-donovan.com and learn more about the coaching services she offers.