Hi there! I’m Jessica Dowches-Wheeler (or DW for short). I'm a holistic health coach, clean beauty advocate & healthcare executive with over 10 years in the field. I write about cleanish eating, teach Whole-Woman Wellbeing, and believe that good health is the foundation for women who want to change the world.
Transforming yourself into a healthy, happy, glass-ceiling-busting, world-changing, cant-keep-their-hands-off-you, green-juice-drinking, inspiring and REAL woman doesn't have to mean giving up your favorite foods or resigning yourself to a life of deprivation.
Where's the fun in that?
Instead, I'll teach you how to choose foods that feel good in your body so you can continue kicking ass in your career and life. And yes, you can still drink wine.
What is Whole Woman Wellbeing?
In short, it's my coaching philosophy. I believe that our health is more than just the food we eat or the way we move our body. That's why I teach women not only how to eat clean, but also about finding purpose and joy in their careers, maintaining healthy relationships, shifting their money mindset, embracing spirituality & mental health, and giving back through community involvement.
Why I’m here today
At 23, I lost my dad to lung cancer. I was grieving my way through grad school, under constant stress, and struggling with stomach pain, acid reflux and anxiety.
I also discovered that I have the genetic mutation for hereditary breast cancer. That means I have an 80% chance of developing breast cancer at some point in my lifetime.
After grad school, I moved to Maryland for my first “real” job. I married my soulmate, Blake, and we welcomed two sweet Birman boys, Berlioz and Toulouse, into our family. I also welcomed some pretty bad habits, like eating takeout pizza on a weekly basis, adding Starbucks runs to my daily commute and eating dessert almost every night.
I still struggled with stomach pain, but during this time, it got much worse. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night with crushing pain and running to the bathroom. It would keep me up for an hour or two, but I still felt okay when I woke up the next day. I thought it was normal - no one really talked about it, so everyone probably experienced something like this, right?
A few years later, I was tapped to join a new organization, and we moved again. To be completely honest, I was hesitant about the opportunity. My values were totally out of alignment, and I always felt like an outsider. I struggled as a new leader without the training and support I needed. I made a lot of mistakes and felt like a total failure.
Aside from that, Blake and I had long, terrible commutes around Baltimore and DC, which left little time for social lives or cooking at home. Those were two huge missing pieces that we had in abundance before I took this job. I had friends at work that I spent time with outside of work, we cooked dinner together several nights each week, and we had time for exercise and hobbies. Around this time, I also started meeting with a breast surgeon to talk about undergoing a prophylactic double mastectomy. Talk about sucking the last bit of joy from my life.
Having little joy in my life left a gaping hole. Which I promptly filled with wine. I no longer drank wine because it paired well with the meal I made. I drank it to cope with (and escape from) my life. I drank it to help me get to sleep, even though I still woke up several times a week with stomach pain. I sunk into a deep depression and felt like a shell of the woman I used to be.
It all came to a head when I found myself in the emergency room with stabbing abdominal pain. At first, I thought it was my appendix, but a colonoscopy confirmed my diagnosis: irritable bowel syndrome. Finally, I had the answer to the stomach pain I dealt with my whole life.
My doctor suggested I try a low-FODMAP elimination diet, which I did (an entire YEAR later). It was the best thing I could have done for my health. The diet involves eliminating different categories of foods, then slowly reintroducing different foods to figure out what caused pain and discomfort. My triggers were wheat, garlic, onions, and other foods in the fructan category. The diet taught me to pay attention to my body. To be mindful of what I put into my mouth and how it made me feel.
I also learned how stress impacts gut health. I finally realized that the stress from a job I wasn’t aligned with was exacerbating my IBS symptoms and wreaking havoc on my mental and emotional health.
I started seeing a therapist to help manage some of the stress and prepare for a surgery I didn’t want to have. My lightbulb moment came in one of those sessions. I mentioned that I was actually looking forward to having the surgery because it would mean being away from work for 12 weeks. And I knew if I had that much time away, it would be torture to go back. (I guess having my breasts chopped off wasn’t torture enough?)
That night, I made the decision to look for another job, and I asked the Universe for help. Eventually, the Universe led me to align my values, ideals and strengths with a job I loved: working in my coaching business full time. Without the heaviness of my last job, I had the space to truly heal my gut. I had time to prepare foods that felt good in my body. I enrolled in an integrative nutrition program and found a lifestyle that works best for me: clean eating.
Now, I’m sleeping through the night and feeling better than ever. I know what foods give me energy and feel good in my body and what foods I should avoid if I want to feel my best. I know who I am and what I stand for. I’m in a career and job I love that allows me to have balance and fulfillment every day. I’m taking steps to reduce my risk of cancer. I embrace failure and mistakes and use them as growth experiments - because I know it’s about progress, not perfection.
Fast forward to today
I’ve coached hundreds of women on career wellbeing, finding balance and making their health a priority.
If you think something feels off in your body, your career, your relationships, or your life in general, something probably is.
If you find yourself going through the motions, putting up with pain or discomfort day by day, or ignoring the warning signs of something serious, you’re not putting your health - or your life - first.
You might not know where to start, but that’s where I can help. Together, we’ll uncover the mental and physical blocks keeping you from owning the boardroom and the bedroom. Step by step. Hand in hand.
Because I believe that good health is what will change the world. When we feel good, we have the energy to pursue our purpose. And if every woman lived her purpose, every need in the world would be met.
How We Can Work Together
Download your free 28-Day Reset Workbook
Kickstart your Cleanish lifestyle with this self-paced 28-day program. You’ll get guidance on what to eat and what to avoid, daily journal prompts, daily, weekly & monthly planning pages, and helpful tips to help you get started. Download it here!
Hire me to speak to your group
If you have a women’s leadership group, sorority chapter, book club or other social or corporate group, I’d love the opportunity to join you! I’ve spoken at conferences, corporate women’s groups, classrooms and other small venues. You choose the topic, I provide the entertainment :) Learn more and inquire here.
Looking for support? Join the EmpowHer Wellness Inner Circle!
I bring driven, inspiring, badass women together to share stories of triumph, encourage each other on our goals and dreams, and create a system of accountability to keep us motivated on our wellness journeys. Join virtually here, or in-person in the DC area!