There is an overwhelming amount of information online on nutrition, diets, and food allergies, so it can be confusing to know where to go and what to listen to when struggling with food intolerances. Since dealing with her own food and body sensitivities, one woman is setting out to create a community where living with a restrictive diet doesn’t have to be difficult. Jenna Schreck of No Whey Lady graduated from Bauman College’s Nutrition Consultant program, and now uses her platform to share gluten-, dairy-, and corn-free recipes, wellness tips, city guides, relationship advice, and so much more. After living through it herself, she is a firm believer that real food combined with positive lifestyle choices can significantly change your life for the better.
As a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and blogger, Jenna decided to turn the unused entryway in her San Francisco loft into a trendy, at-home office space. Keep reading to discover how Jenna transformed this unconventional space, how she got into wellness consulting and blogging, and all her favorite clean skincare products!
Name: Jenna Schreck, Holistic Nutrition Consultant; Health, Wellness, and Relationship Blogger; dog mom to @thehanseldoodle
Location: Mission District, SF
Sq. Ft.: 720
Years Lived In: going on 5
Rent or Own: own
What was your first job and how did you land it?
Believe it or not, the first time around I went to school it was for fashion! My first internship was at ELLE Magazine in the accessories closet. I landed my first real paying job as an Account Coordinator at a boutique lifestyle PR firm in San Francisco upon returning to the Bay Area after graduating with my Bachelor’s in Retail Management and Entrepreneurship. I interviewed with the founder and we just hit is off — if my memory serves me right, I was hired the next day and started the following week. Though it was not my end-all (my sensitive body was NOT built for PR long-term), I learned a lot and I actually think that’s where my initial interest in social media was sparked. Everything happens for a reason!
What inspired you to start your blog, No Whey Lady? Tell us a little bit more about your company!
It’s kind of a funny story — it happened by accident. I was living with my ex-boyfriend at the time and made a post-dinner berry smoothie topped with cacao nibs. I took a photo of it on our white tables and had a light bulb moment. I showed it to him and was like, ”this looks like a blogger smoothie photo doesn’t it?!” He said “yeah I guess” and it bloomed from there. I picked up the domain name, Instagram handle, and all social links literally that night, posted the shot, and started building out my blog. Looking back on it, the lighting was terrible and it really was not that gorgeous – but everyone starts somewhere!
My blog originally started as an outlet to share my food allergy woes and tips and tricks to navigating life with multiple food allergies — it was completely anonymous and no one knew I started it aside from my then-boyfriend and my mom. It made it easier for me to share tummy troubles anonymously, especially as I started sharing about my IBS-C and gut health journey. Two-and-a-half years later, it’s very not anonymous, I have developed zero filter, and it’s expanded to include a lot more than allergy-friendly recipes and some gut health chat.
About a year into starting NO WHEY LADY the blog, I went back to school for holistic nutrition at Bauman College, because I wasn’t satisfied with the answers my gastroenterologists had given to me regarding my NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) diagnosis and my continued gut flare up. I knew there was something more to it, and in true Virgo form, I wanted to feel in control of my body. Since then, I’ve done a lot of self-healing (though it truly never ends) and have made NO WHEY LADY a business so that I can help other people heal too.
I work with clients predominantly dealing with gut and hormone balance troubles. My niche specialty has become working with those with tummy troubles who have been told to go low FODMAP, and women coming off the pill. The latter is where my current interest truly lies. Since going off the pill myself two years ago, I have learned so much about my body. I want to empower other women to understand how their bodies work, honor the process, and support their systems so their inner goddess can shine from the inside out.
And as if that wasn’t enough, I recently started a business with one of my Instagram-turned-IRL friends. One day when I was in NYC for a visit, she took me to a crystal store, and the idea for THE ASTRAIAS was born. We house crystals in beautiful boxes so that they can be displayed or hung in the proper space in one’s home for maximum benefit — be it grounding, love, prosperity, etc. Each spirit box is infused with a little bit of special spirit, spice, and everything nice, and the crystals are picked, cleansed, and doused with love and purpose by us.
How did you decide to create a space in your home for the office instead of renting an office elsewhere?
I cook a lot — for myself and for the blog. I also have a pup, @thehanseldoodle. Between those two things, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to run back and forth between here and a coffee shop or coworking space to get my work done. It’s much more efficient for me to create a productive working environment in my space.
How has your clean and holistic approach to life come through when styling the office? How would you describe the aesthetic?
Interesting you picked up on this! It’s directly correlated. The cleaner my space is — lines, design, etc. — the more productive and creative I am. I feel like my thoughts and ideas have space to free flow and bounce around. The same goes for my digestive system. By following a clean, whole-food approach, my body is able to concentrate on what it’s supposed to do and enables me to show up and be the best me I can for whatever is happening that day.
Everything looks so perfectly placed! Do you have any styling or placement advice for others that are working with smaller office spaces?
I had help! For someone who went to school for fashion and can do everything from wardrobe styling to food styling, interiors just aren’t my strong suit. It’s good to know when you need to call in for backup. I worked with Havenly, an online interior decorating service on my post-breakup living room remodel, and found my interiors angel, Annie. She’s a gem. She has since helped me with the balcony and most recently my office space, which is now my new favorite “room” in the loft!
I 100 percent would recommend getting help from an interior designer. The trick is finding someone who not only understands your style, but how you work and can align their methodology with that. It’s just like dating — you may not find your designer on the first go and that’s OK!
Annie and I have an interesting system: I pick a piece or two that I am drawn to, and give her an overarching vibe — then she goes from there. We go back and forth on the design and pieces probably 17 times before it’s perfect. I can easily say what I don’t like, but I have a harder time explaining what I do like, and can’t visualize it all together in my head. My biggest struggle is feeling like everything has to be completely matchy-matchy, but that doesn’t translate in interiors at all. There is beauty in different colors and clashing textures so long as there is an overarching feeling and energy exuded.
Were there any quirks in the space you had to design around? If so, tell us about them.
All the quirks! It’s not actually a room — it’s the very wide entryway to the loft. We had to figure out how to maximize office space for productivity without closing off the airy feeling of the loft. It’s also the entry point of my home, so it needed to feel welcoming. I am beyond thrilled with the way it turned out. It continues to inspire me every day.
Do you ever find it difficult to work out of your home? What is one thing you always keep in the office to help you stay motivated through the work day?
We all have our unproductive days, no matter where we are working. Sometimes you just have to say f*** it, have a me day, do a dance, get out in nature, etc. But for the most part, I thrive working at home. I’m a creature of routine and my body thrives off of it. I also live with chronic disease (NAFLD + IBS), so being able to have all my stuff, do all my things, and squeeze in all my self-care throughout the day is really helpful and makes me be a more inspired person.
We love that you’re into clean living and using non-toxic products. What are some of your favorite must-have products that you would suggest to women that want to make the switch to clean skincare?
AHHH so many. Full disclosure: I used to work on the marketing team at Credo Beauty, so I’ve literally tried it all. Skin is just as unique from person to person as the gut microbiome, so what works for some doesn’t work for others. I have sensitive, acne-prone skin. All that being said, here are some of my favorites broken down by category:
Cleanser: January Labs Gentle Face Wash for AM or a no breakout PM
Moisturizer: Hydrator from my local derm spa, Dermaplus
SPF: TIZO SPF 40
Eye cream: Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme
Mascara: Lily Lolo
What is your favorite part of your job and working with your clients?
Helping them feel better in their body. Honestly, nothing makes me happier than sharing my knowledge and being able to apply it to someone’s day-to-day to improve the quality of their life — whether that’s related to gut health and food intolerances, hormone balance and blood sugar, infertility, supporting clean skin from the inside out, and even reigniting libido. I feel like helping people – especially other women in this capacity — is my purpose in this lifetime.
What’s the biggest thing you hope individuals take away after visiting your site and Instagram page?
I hope visitors come away feeling like they’re not alone, like they learned something new that they can apply to their own life, and feel inspired to make a shift in their physical or spiritual life — that could mean eating more whole, plant-based foods; learning how their reproductive system works and living in their body, or even just incorporating five minutes of meditation or a self care practice a day.
What’s next for you and your business? What can we look forward to seeing from you?
So much! But first up, I’ve built out my private practice and allocated time to seeing clients one-one-one, both in person and virtually. I couldn’t be more excited! My main focus and drive right now is seeing women who are transitioning off birth control to help them rebalance their hormones through food, supplements (when needed), lifestyle techniques, and spiritual practices — this includes reigniting libido and getting that sex drive up! The added layer there is helping them feel empowered in their divine feminine – to learn how their bodies work, honor their cycles, and be able to give them the tools and support they need to explain that to their partners. It takes a village.
San Francisco looks amazing! What’s your favorite part about living there?
San Francisco is a lovely city! I’m a Bay Area native who thought she would never end up living in SF because of all the fog. Life is funny, yes? My favorite time of year in the city is September, not just because it’s my birthday month, but because that’s when summer hits the city and it is glorious.
As for my favorite part physically about living here? It’s a great launch pad. You can drive a couple hours in any direction (minus west — you’d be in the ocean) and be in a completely different landscape — be it wine country, the beach, the mountains, etc.
What advice would you give to your 22-year-old self?
What you think you want might not be what’s best for you. Focus on the here and now and what makes you happy in the present moment. The rest will follow suit — there’s absolutely no reason to put so much pressure on the future, what you will do, and who you will become.
Also, keep learning, keep trying new things, keep healing, keep sharing — you are an amazing individual who has so much to contribute to this world. OH and don’t forget to dance more — you love it!
Jenna Schreck is The Everygirl…
Go-to meal to cook? Currently? Shakshuka — though I make a mean lamb sirloin and will always eat sweet potato wedges.
Self-care activity you love? Baths, face masks, and acupuncture and cupping.
Favorite workout? It alternates between yoga, pilates, and jogging depending on where I’m at in my moon cycle.
Greatest challenge in your career thus far? Not going back to 9-5 life after technically being fired — yes, that happened. The universe was literally telling me that lifestyle doesn’t work for me.