Jill McLaughlin (Grunewald)'s picture

Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, FMCHC
Founder, Healthful Elements LLC
Founder, Coaches for Health Freedom LLC
#1 best selling co-author, The Essential Thyroid Cookbook

Practice areas: alopecia, hypothyroidism / Hashimoto’s, hyperthyroidism / Graves’, other autoimmunity, adrenal dysfunction, digestive health, blood sugar imbalances

[Photo credit: Gina Zeidler]

After a longer time than I want to remember of slow weight gain, little motivation for exercise, brain fog, and wanting to crawl under my desk for an afternoon nap, I started to take a hard look at what foods I was fueling my body with. I got my hands on some sound nutrition information, which was contrary to what the media was feeding us at the time. This was the year 1997.

It was then that things turned around for me and friends and family starting coming to me for advice. After fumbling and stumbling through a short-lived career in architecture and later owning a design and manufacturing business for five years, I headed to nutrition school to deepen my knowledge and passion for food-based medicine.

Later, in early 2008, to my surprise, I was diagnosed Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroidism), a scary-sounding but common (the most common) autoimmune condition. After refusing the recommended thyroid hormone replacement, my then-doctor stated with shock and raised eyebrows, “Well, you can do whatever your little heart desires.” 

I did just that. My head and heart knew that being on thyroid drugs for the rest of my life was not the answer for me and my Hashimoto’s is now in unmedicated management. And yes, I do believe that thyroid drugs have their place!

To back up about 35 years, I’ve also suffered from alopecia (autoimmune hair loss)—I’ve displayed many bald spots over the last several decades, some small, some not so small. Fortunately, they’d always grown back quickly with the same texture and curl as the rest of my hair. But things took a bad turn in my mid-40s; I became one-third bald and was seeing no improvement. Today, after a lot of work, I have my full head of hair back

You can read about my history with alopecia here.

In immersing myself in learning the whys and wherefores of autoimmunity (including the critical role of digestive health), thyroid nourishment, adrenal dysfunction (thyroid/adrenal issues often go hand-in-hand), what it takes to signal the hair follicle to re-grow hair (the follicles aren’t “dead,” contrary to what the conventional medicine community will tell you), and learning how to manage these conditions with health-promoting foods and other natural therapies, my Hashimoto’s is managed and any new bald spots are small and don’t hang around for very long.

I’m so honored to share this life-changing information with my clients and students. (You can read testimonials from participants of my Reversing Alopecia Masterclass Series here.)

Trainings, learnings, and certifications:

  • 1996: While still practicing architecture, I started self-directed learnings on herbs and whole foods nutrition. (I started by reading two of Dr. Barry Sears’ books in one week and traveled regularly from Seattle to the San Juan Islands to learn from a herbal and nutritional “wise woman.”)
  • 2006: Graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN
    in New York (live program).
  • 2009: Completed Dr. Janet Lang’s by-application-only Restorative Endocrinology course for healthcare practitioners.
  • 2013: Completed Dr. Sara Gottfried’s year-long Professional Hormone Mastermind program.
  • 2018: Graduated from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy program that’s in collaboration with the prestigious Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).
  • 2018: Became a member of The Institute for Functional Medicine. 

Over the years, I’ve also participated in numerous other online trainings from leaders in the functional medicine community and have attended Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) conferences (conference themes: Hormones and Autoimmunity).

I’m the #1 best selling author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and have written for various publications, blogs, and online magazines, including Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Dr. Frank Lipman’s BeWell blog, Dr. Susan Blum’s blog, and Experience Life magazine and have contributed to articles in Self and Shape magazines.

I was also quoted in Oprah’s O Magazine about thyroid nutrition.

There’s no doubt that holistic/functional healthcare has gone mainstream. It’s not a trend, but a movement that’s steamrolling conventional medical practice. I’m proud to be a part of this revolution.