STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — After a television production career, which included working for Sony TV, NBC and on the sets of the Montel Williams and Wendy Williams shows, Amanda Gargiulo, 41, found herself at a crossroads.
Ater struggling with panic attacks and anxiety, she knew something had to change, and she needed to switch gears in her career. Around this time, Gargiulo started a 40-day yoga challenge.
“I had no clue what it entailed, but I remember a friend saying if you think you need to do it, you probably do. I teared up, then signed up,” recalled the Bay Terrace resident who holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from St. John’s University, Grymes Hill, and another bachelor’s degree in theater from the College of Staten Island, Willowbrook.
“I started clean eating, cut out sugar and meat, practiced Baptiste power yoga six days a week for six weeks, meditated everyday and started using inquiry questions to journal. The program gave me access to presence and that presence took the blinders off… I was able to naturally control the symptoms of my anxiety, including negative thoughts, panic attacks and reactivity,” added Gargiulo.
This life-changing event led to her becoming a certified yoga instructor, teaching at a variety of studios, including Be Yoga & Dance in Rosebank, and several Island-based Intoxx Fitness locations. But when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shuttered the globe, she took her wellness journey a step further.
Utilizing her background in television, she came up with her own brand, Nourish Your Soul Wellness to offer both personalized yoga and nutrition counseling during the pandemic in 2021.
“I have always been so interested in how the foods we eat make us feel, and I decided to run with it,” she admitted, noting during the pandemic she enrolled in a nutrition program through National Academy of Sports Medicine.
“I was already living a whole food focused lifestyle, and people constantly asked me about it. I loved finding new recipes and simple ways to incorporate these types of foods into my diet. I wanted to share all I learned during my own health journey, and struggles, to show everyone that they too could find their own balance without feeling the need to ‘diet’ and without being overwhelmed,” added Gargiulo.
Nourish Your Soul Wellness offers a roster of services, including: one-on-one nutrition coaching, private and group yoga classes, meditation and nutrition tip videos.
“I have a three month package nutrition program where I work one-on-one with clients. It includes nutrition check-in sessions every week. It includes one private yoga class every week, and one meditation every week,” she said.
Gargiulo’s goal to create her own brand stemmed from her desire “to share little bite size pieces of advice that anyone can use to support themselves on their health and wellness journeys.”
The idea for programming was spurred during the shut down of the pandemic.
“I decided to start filming different yoga and wellness tips and my Youtube Channel was born. The channel has since expanded, and I now also share whole food focused, healthy meal ideas. My goal is to help people see they can do things everyday to support their own health, and it doesn’t have to be incredibly time consuming or intimidating,” said Gargiulo.
In addition, she has partnered with brands and companies for a live stream shopping app, Shop Lit Live.
“I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with incredible wellness brands, including Sunday Citizen and Aila, which further allows me to share my expertise with a wider audience,” she said.
Before launching Nourish Your Soul Wellness, Gargiulo became obsessed with living a healthy lifestyle, which led to her being diagnosed with Orthorexia, an unhealthy focus on healthy eating. Once she corrected this issue, she wanted to help others learn the “dos” and “don’ts” of healthy eating.
Gargiulo said it was her struggle with Orthorexia that helped her achieve balance in her life.
“A lot of us struggle with our relationships with foods. I want everyone to know its okay and to be compassionate with themselves. It was only when I was kind and understanding with myself and used the tools of yoga and mindfulness that I was able to find the root cause of the issue and make the change. I want to help all clients find the balance and what works best for them,” she said.
Gargiulo said her favorite part of the job is being able to provide “value” to clients.
“I love to dig below the surface to help my clients find the things that may have been holding them back in the past,” she said. “There is nothing better than watching my clients have an ‘aha’ moment, and see how they may have been getting in their own way,” she said.
NOURISH YOUR SOUL WELLNESS AT A GLANCE
New Businesses in Focus is a weekly column that relates the stories of new Staten Island business owners.
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