Happy New Year’s Eve! Meet Jenny Jacobs Berk, an inspirational woman who is paving the way in transforming the human experience with food and our bodies. Every single day, we are inundated with myriad mixed messages about what our eating habits should consist of, what our bodies should look like, and what new fad diet or exercise regime will help us fit this mold. Jenny’s approach to healthy living is not one-dimensional; rather, she takes a holistic approach by looking at both the mind and body experience. Our favorite thing about Jenny’s approach is the emphasis on positive psychology and positive body image. Rather than fostering shame or guilt, the spotlight is on what nourishes our body and our soul. Learn more about Jenny by visiting her website, following on Twitter at @yennyb1, on Facebook at Jenny Eden Coaching, on Instagram @yennyb40, and on Pinterest.
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a Certified Eating Psychology coach specializing in helping men, women and adolescents create a more peaceful and sustainable relationship with food and with their bodies. I earned my Master’s in Psychological Services from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 and subsequently worked for 13 years as a Health Educator at HMR helping hundreds of people lose weight, become healthier, and overcome
disordered eating. In 2015 I earned my Certificate in Eating Psychology from the Institute of Eating Psychology. I launched Jenny Eden Coaching to support individuals through dynamic eating psychology with a unique mind/body nutritional approach to learn who they are as eaters, create movement and exercise they love, and use mindfulness techniques to slow down and intuitively nourish their bodies.
Fun fact! In my 20’s I worked as a talent scout for Universal Records and/ MCA records. One of my “jobs” was to go to the Universal Grammy’s after party and sign in all of the celebrities who showed up and write down who they were for our publicity department. How fun is that??
Who is someone who inspires you? What knowledge have they imparted?
My mother inspires me greatly. After raising 2 children, at the age of 50, she went to culinary school and started a career as a NYC chef under the auspices of some of the top chefs in the city. Her creativity astounds me as she is also a talented seamstress, potter and quilter, as well as doing all types of mixed media art. She models and embodies the notion that you can always recreate yourself and you’re never too old to learn and grow and change the course of your life’s work.
Describe a challenge you faced or a crossroads in your life that defined your path.
When I began conceptualizing my business last year I knew I wanted a beautiful, modern and functional website but felt stymied on how to produce that and to realize my vision. After
speaking with some newly graduated design school students I hired one to help me code and design the site with me. I had absolutely no technical knowledge of HTML or WordPress or really anything having to do with building a website. But I taught myself much of the basics and didn’t let fear prevent me from achieving the look and functionality I wanted. It took time but I am really pleased with how it turned out. I am still learning on the job but it feels empowering to overcome these fears and jump in as I continue to upgrade and optimize the site on my own.
What do you think of the site? www.jennyedencoaching.com
What are your favorite websites, apps, or other tech tools?
My favorite website would have to be Facebook – only because I’m a very social person and I love having the platform available to find out in a moment’s notice, for instance, what my best friend from 3rd grade who maybe lives in Guadaloupe (not a real scenario but you get my point) now is doing – to enjoy pictures and read about life events as they occur even for people whom you really like but wouldn’t necessarily call or visit frequently. And it’s an amazing platform for business and news as well.
My favorite app is “Words with Friends” I am a total word nerd and could literally play 24/7 if I had the opportunity. I actually remember looking forward to studying for the verbal SAT’s in high school. It’s a good stress reliever for me and keeps me intellectually stimulated!
What hashtag describes you/defines your life goals?
#savortheflavor Too many of us are filled with guilt and shame for simply enjoying delicious foods. I’ve learned in my personal journey with food and through my studies that it’s not only ok to relish in and enjoy food but NECESSARY as human beings to do so as we were born to seek pleasure and avoid pain. In my business I try to help more and more people truly savor their food and find enjoyment in the eating process without all the drama and anxiety.
What song makes you want to dance, gives you courage to face the day, or makes you feel strong?
Oh there are so many! I love to dance and move. I have to say, however, the song that inspires the most dance parties for me and my 3 little girls at home is “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. I mean, how can anyone possibly sit when that song is on right?
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Stay present, stay embodied and stay focused on your goals. Find your strengths and be confident in them but don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. Be supported by and support other women in realizing their dreams and successes.
Describe your ideal job.
I have my ideal job right now! In my opinion, an “ideal job” is one where you can actually make money doing what you are absolutely passionate about. An ideal job is where you don’t even mind the mundane aspects of the work because you love it so much. I have always wanted to work closely with people and help people. There were many avenues to take in this arena. I realized through my own personal journey with struggling with weight and body image for many years that this is a powerful area where many people need support. I have become very at peace with my body and with food choices and it feels amazing and freeing. I want to continue to impart that calm and happiness to anyone who lives in pain every day about their thoughts and behaviors around eating and body image.