Grad Spotlight

AFPA Graduate of the Month: Jillian Granger, Holistic Health Coach

During the last 30+ years, we’ve certified over 130,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who are using what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference. 

Meet our featured graduate for the month of February, Jillian Granger, an AFPA Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Holistic Health Coach.

Prof pic 3 books

How did you initially become interested in health and fitness? 


I have always been interested in health and fitness from an early age. For more than a decade, I was a swimmer, competing on the national level, and had a great workout routine. I had always been fascinated with the human body and how it functions. So after college, when I retired from swimming, I became a nurse. During my nursing career, I was dealing with “health” all of the time. But the type of health in the hospital is masking or treating symptoms of another issue, and rarely discussed was how to prevent these health issues. It got to the point where I became frustrated and just didn’t understand why, as healthcare professionals, we weren’t looking at the root cause of these health issues. The chronic health problem list for many patients was devastating. And seeing all of the medications patients were taking (and some of those medications were only used to treat side effects of other medications) was sickening. Because of this, I decided that I needed to look into alternative jobs in which I could help others prevent illnesses so that they can live a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life. I didn’t really know what health coaching was until a couple of years ago. I was working with another nurse who was also a health coach, and I had talked to her quite a bit about her side gig and became very interested. I followed her closely on social media and was loving all of the information she was putting out in the world. I decided that this was something I was meant to do: educate on health, wellness, and nutrition. 

What certification did you choose, and why did you choose AFPA? 

I chose to do the Holistic Health Coach Certification. At first, I was only interested in doing the Health Coach program, but then once I read about the Holistic Nutrition program, I knew I had to do the combo program. Nutrition is such an important part of health, and I feel as though it is not talked about enough. I received very minimal nutrition education in school, so I was excited to learn more about what good nutrition is, what it means to nourish the body, and how to make better food choices. I feel as though when I was browsing other health coach programs, they didn’t offer as good of a nutrition course. The Holistic Nutrition course really drew me towards AFPA. I also loved that the courses were self-paced and all on my own schedule so that I didn’t have to figure out if I could attend a group class while still working full-time. 

What was your career like prior to becoming certified in Holistic Health?  

Prior to becoming certified with AFPA, I was a Registered Nurse for 12+ years. I decided I was done with the stress, frustration, and unsafe work environments that I was dealing with every day. So, I took a leap of faith, and at the beginning of this year, I decided to leave the nursing profession and focus solely on my health coach company, Sage Meadows Wellness

What is your career like now as a Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach? 

I am just getting started in my new company, Sage Meadows Wellness. I am an Anti-Diet Nutrition Coach that specializes in helping women transform their mindset, learn about intuitive eating, good nutrition, and ways to improve their overall wellness. 

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  • Why holistic health matters
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What are your favorite parts of being a Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach?  

I have discovered a passion for nutrition and wellness that I never knew I had before. During all of the time it’s taken me to do research and get my company up and going, it has been so fun and exhilarating! I have never experienced this excitement before in any other job. I also love the freedom and flexibility I have working from home. I set my own schedule and have so much more time for myself and my family. 

How has becoming certified with AFPA impacted your life?  

Becoming certified with AFPA has impacted my life in so many ways. The AFPA courses were engaging, challenging, and informative. I still look back at some of the books when building my own course because they contain such powerful content that is relevant to my practice. I will be able to use a lot of what I learned in those courses for years to come. Not only has AFPA set me up for success in becoming a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach, but I also have changed my health for the better. I understand nutrition on a completely different level. I thought I ate relatively healthy prior to taking these courses, but I realized that I didn’t. I now eat so much healthier and actually nourish my body. And because of better nutrition and understanding the importance of taking care of myself, I now feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

What advice do you give others thinking about becoming certified in Holistic Health? 

If you’re thinking about becoming a certified Holistic Health Coach or wanting to get any other certification through AFPA, stop thinking about it and just do it! The courses were challenging but very educational. I love that you can complete the courses at your own pace. Also, AFPA has so many certifications you can choose from, so there’s an opportunity to always continue learning, which I love. 

Self-promotion time! Why are you the best Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach in Denver?  

Sage Meadows Wellness specializes in Anti-Diet Nutrition Coaching. This type of coaching is unique to most other health coaching programs because it first focuses on your internal self and improving your mental well-being rather than focusing on external cues, such as counting macros for weight loss. The anti-diet approach has been around for a few years, but I believe this type of lifestyle allows you to connect with yourself, listen to your body’s signals, eat your favorite foods without feeling guilty, and stop obsessing about weight or measurements. The anti-diet approach is improving your relationship with yourself and with food. I want to educate others on the principles behind this lifestyle and what it truly means. Topics that I specialize in as an Anti-Diet Nutrition Coach: transforming your mindset so that you can have a more positive outlook on life and have successful long-term behavior changes; intuitive eating so that you can learn to trust your body and become more aware of your body’s needs; good nutrition and what it means to nourish the body; and overall wellness which addresses daily movement, stress management, and quality sleep. The beginning of my program focuses on the internal aspect of why you eat the way you do. This could be from trauma, emotions, self-esteem issues, societal pressures, etc. By doing this, we can explore those negative thoughts or behaviors, and not just cover them up or hope they’ll go away. Once we can make changes to our mental health, we can then focus on external factors such as picking out healthy foods at the grocery store and incorporating daily movement into our routine. Focusing on the internal and then the external changes will increase your likelihood for success long-term, and hopefully lead you to a happier, more fulfilled life. At this time, I am only offering 1:1 coaching, but online courses are coming soon! 

If people want to work with you online, for coaching services, do you have a way to do that?

To start 1:1 coaching to transform your health, you can go to my website,, and fill out the application under the services tab. Or you can find a link to the 1:1 coaching application on my Instagram  

To connect with Jillian, follow her on Instagram for more information, or visit her website here.

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