meet jess baumgardner
I met Jess a few years ago as a health coaching student. I googled "health coach philly" and genius Jess had that as her website name. She'd just gotten her business up and running with regular clients, and since then, she's grown in so many awesome and inspiring ways. She keeps it real (yes, this green smoothie loving woman has a standing Friday pizza night), and her magic lies in making wellness fun and accessible to the rest of us. She and her team launched a super cool wellness event here in Philly in April and has even bigger plans for next year's event. A mom, wife, and entrepreneur, Jess is unstoppable.
I've had the opportunity to collaborate on her new biz's cooking classes over the past year, and this coming June, we're doing a special collaboration to celebrate Summer Beauty Foods for health and beauty inside and out. If you're in the Philly area, be sure to check it out!
Name: Jess Baumgardner
Occupation: Entrepreneur / Health Coach
Hometown and Current Residence: Philly
When someone asks what you do, what do you tell them?
I used to say that I'm a health coach who works with women one-on-one to find more balance with food and career and to discover happiness and health in life. I still do that but now spend most of my time working on wellness events like pop-up dinners, cooking classes and festivals that impact even more women.
What do you love about being a health coach?
I love being able to help someone find their "healthy." It's not one thing for everyone and I've learned that over the years. I've had clients get divorced, land new jobs, move to different cities—all while changing their self-care and food habits. It's all so connected and has nothing to do with counting calories.
What's your day like?
Ha! Crazy. But a crazy that I love. If I was still working in corporate marketing, I'd probably hate how busy I am, but when I'm working on something I'm truly passionate about, I can work forever (though I know I shouldn't).
7 a.m.: I wake up because that’s when my daughter Carmen wakes up. We cuddle, watch a show in bed, and go downstairs for breakfast smoothies and playtime.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m: I see clients, work on events, or grade assignments as a Culinary Nutrition instructor with Matthew Kenney Culinary.
5-7 p.m: Carmen time before she goes to bed. THEN we make dinner, finish up work, clean up the house because I'm crazy.
8 p.m.: Dinner and watching Billions (we’re obsessed)
10 p.m.: Bedtime and HGTV
You just hosted the GOOD FEST in Philly and have some exciting new ventures launching soon—tell us more!
We just had our very first Wellness Festival in April with 350 women. We thought it was going to be a Philly festival, but we had guests from all over the country AND Canada and Bermuda! It was amazing. All of my business partners have now come together to promote one brand which we just relaunched as B+YND (B-YND.com, @B_YND). Formerly known as GOOD or WHOLE, B+YND now combines all of the wellness events and online membership.
Your advice for foolproof healthy living for busy women?
1. Keep it simple. I'm literally on an airplane right now and was worried about what I'd be able to grab for lunch since airport food sucks. I brought an avocado. Simple, yes, but I can add it to any tiny green salad at the airport and it will keep me full.
2. Make time for you. The email will still be there tomorrow. Sometimes, ya have to turn in. Spend time with your loved ones, or go grab a glass of wine with the girls. This one is SUPER hard as an entrepreneur because there’s always so much to do! When I was working for someone else, turning off email at 5 p.m. was easy.
3. Accept the fact that even though you are super Type-A, you can't do everything at 100%. This leads to many tears, trust me. It's okay to be at 50% sometimes. Just say it out loud, take a break, and come back when you’re clear and ready to work. I literally will tell my business partners—I suck today, I'm going to get a pedicure.
How does a mom of one (with another one on the way!) approach beauty?
Simply. I used to wear makeup every day when I worked in an office. Ever since Carmen was born 2 years ago, I’ve stopped wearing foundation almost 100%. My skin has improved DRAMATICALLY. I like to work on beauty from the inside out. When I’m drinking tons of water and eating nourishing foods, my skin shows it. I also know if I'm eating sour patch kids and chicken fingers (#pregnancy), my skin shows it! I'm okay with this, but I try to keep things in check since I don't want to depend on makeup.
When do you feel most beautiful?
In Hawaii. Probably because I’m relaxed.
What’s your glow-getting skincare routine a.m. and p.m..?
I wash my face in the a.m. and p.m. with a cleanser (it's always different because I'm always trying new brands. Right now I'm using one with probiotics!) I use the P50 Lotion (a toner) from Rescue Spa and then a light moisturizer. I try to do a face mask from Franklin + Whitman (local brand!) once a week as well. That's it :)
What do you do to reset your skin?
I used to get facials every season—when I didn’t have a child or a business. Now I’m too busy for that so I try to go 1-2x a year. And now I'm SUPER STOKED to have a friend doing facials (hint, hint, Emily!). I love that the Franklin + Whitman face masks I use each week have SIMPLE ingredients like cocoa or coffee. They are bomb.
Do you have a beauty trick you’d like to share?
Tongue scraping. Every a.m. and p.m. after I brush my teeth, I use a tongue scraper to remove all the gunk that appears. This 10 second habit has changed my life!
What’s on your nightstand?
A Gabrielle Bernstein book. I read her books like textbooks, from time to time (not all at once) because I’m obsessed with her advice. Magnesium oil spray for spraying on my feet at night (helps you fall asleep!), Lavender essential oil (same reason), and a photo from our wedding.
What's your fave glow-getting dish?
My go-to lunch is cooked quinoa topped with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, greens, veggies and a simple vinaigrette made from mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and any herbs I have.
Craziest skin or beauty trend you’ve tried: Microblading my eyebrows—I love them.
Desert island beauty product: Coconut oil—trendy, I know, but it can be used to moisturize any part of the body and is antibacterial.
Top 3 desert island foods: Honeydew melon (obsessed right now), avocados and hemp seeds
Personal style in three words: simple, casual, all-black
What you’re super good at: Organizing. I'm in major, major purge mode right now. IDK what is even left in our house at the moment.
What you're embarrassingly bad at: Remembering things. Pregnancy brain, followed by mom brain, followed by pregnancy brain again.
Guilty pleasure: Pink starbursts and blow-outs
Smoothie or juice?: Depends! Juice for refreshment; smoothie for sustenance.
Must-read book: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
Where you’d like to be in 10 years: On the more creative/development side of B+YND, being able to see things more high level and not so in-the-weeds. Preferably in Hawaii.
Favorite instagram: @luluandgeorgia because I'm in a redecorating mood
In your fridge right now: Not much because I'm going on vacation! But typically, something like avocados, greens, fruits, almond milk, nut butter, chicken, cooked grains, prepared salad dressing.
You have 20 free minutes in your day, what do you do with it?: Make a cold-brew smoothie.