Where joy
is part of the journey.

Where joy is part of the journey.

Your pregnancy is what happens between ultrasound appointments, glucose tests, and pelvic exams. And postpartum life? Yeah, that goes well beyond your 6-week postpartum checkup. When I became pregnant, I'd already spent years working with women to meet their health goals. But through my own experience, I got a front row seat to just how dysfunctional U.S. pre- and postnatal care is. I knew I had to do something. You deserve health and joy. I'm here to get you both. Read on to learn more, or drop down to FAQs or my "formal" bio.

Your pregnancy is what happens between ultrasound appointments, glucose tests, and pelvic exams. And postpartum life? Yeah, that goes well beyond your 6-week postpartum checkup. When I became pregnant, I'd already spent years working with women to meet their health goals. But through my own experience, I got a front row seat to just how dysfunctional U.S. pre- and postnatal care is. I knew I had to do something. You deserve health and joy. I'm here to get you both. Read on to learn more, or drop down to FAQs or my "formal" bio.

welcome to we get to be well

xo,
Michelle-Marie

Did you get the same xeroxed "pregnancy diet" sheet your mom got in the 80’s?Standard nutrition advice for pregnancy is stale and, often, outright incorrect. And information for after you give birth? Well, that's missing altogether.

You spend hours Googling "what foods to eat in pregnancy" and "what fish to avoid," but don't know who to trust and what applies to you specifically. I'm here to help you make your pregnancy the joyful experience it should be, while addressing the 6 aspects of a healthy pregnancy your doctor likely doesn't think about.

Congratulations on choosing to not settle for less than you deserve.

Doctors are great at troubleshooting when fetal milestones aren't being met, but not always great at giving you the tools you need to thrive between those medical moments. They're in the business of "delivering" your baby, unharmed. They're not experts on nutrition, building networks of support, or transitioning you into parenthood. You want to do more than meet the minimum milestones along the way. You want to maximize every opportunity for your growing family to thrive. Let me help.

We Get To be Well applies the latest research to the 6 facets of health that impact you during this important time. It's a challenge to status quo pre- and postnatal care.

Read on to the FAQ's below. In them, you'll find my philosophy for making pleasure a central piece of your pregnancy wellness plan. Learn about my services here.

I BELIEVE IN...

intersectionality (thanks, Kimberlé Crenshaw!), indulging with intention, and honoring traditional wisdoms.

I'm NOT ABOUT...

false dichotomies, all-or-nothing thinking, the compare & despair trap, or bullshit excuses.

YOU CAN FIND ME...

following paths of curiosity, staging photoshoots of my dogs and cat, trying new recipes, and planning my next trip.

daily rituals:

sipping green tea from my favorite glass mug, cooking simple foods with big flavor, gently moving my body, reading in bed, making my baby laugh

Who’s We Get To Be Well for?

You! You've got a hunch there's more to an optimally healthy pregnancy than check-ups and prenatals. I'm here to help you feel confident that the 6 aspects needed to support you and your baby are met. No stress. No overwhelm. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Hmm...That sounds more like a statement than a question to me. I’ll judge you if you’re one of those people who stands up at an author reading and makes a 5-minute self-congratulatory statement disguised as a “question.” (But I don’t think that’s you.)

Perfect = Boring. I don’t give a fig about those things you’ve internalized as your shortcomings. Seriously. Figs are too delicious and highly seasonal to just give them away all will-nilly. 

Perfect’s for suckers. Happy’s for winners. We can work together to figure out the difference. 

I’m afraid you’re going to judge me for not being perfect…

Through workshops, educational programs, and nutrition counseling. For starters, get on the email list and I'll send you free ideas, resources, and practical whimsy that make you go, “Huh, I never thought of it that way.” Also, checkout my toxins reduction course - Fearless Phaseout - or, learn how to work with me one-on-one. You should be the leader of your health journey. I'll equip you with the knowledge, confidence, and tools to get you there.

How do you help with that?

Are you for holistic medicine or Western medicine?

It means I approach you as an individual with a unique social context, genetic set, lifestyle habits, and goals. I consider how this complex biography - including your emotions - interacts with your biological systems. It's a challenge to the one-size-fits-all, "just slap another band-aid on it" status quo. It also means we'll contextualize your fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum health in your real life situation, instead of consulting stale textbooks that are, alarmingly, based on men's health.

I saw you mention functional nutrition. What does that mean? 

To be honest, pretty tediously. I wish different for you. 

The TL;DR version is: From my personal experience as a pregnant person of - ahem - "advanced maternal age," tons of research fueled by curiosity and necessity, and a whole lot of book-learnin’ that landed me credentials. See my “formal” bio below.

How'd you figure all this stuff out?

Yes.

What’s your biggest life regret?

Wow, you’re just going there. Ok, well, I’d have to say it’s every time I didn’t add-on guacamole.

Is that really your biggest regret?

So persistent....I share my embarrassing, regrettable life stories on the blog and in my emails. Get on the email list, then grab the popcorn and your notebook - there are always relevant takeaways. 

So, what can I expect from We Get To Be Well?

We Get To Be Well is a space to have a different kind of conversation about women's health. It’s where you come for resources, support, and straight talk on living well. 

You can think of it as cozy and inspiring, like your favorite coffee shop that also sells books...and fashion magazines...that you can peruse without buying, while enjoying your cappuccino.

It's also where I, Michelle-Marie, share my philosophy on health. I value practicality and sustainability over idealism and trends. Having said that, I think we need to be bold and dream big when it comes to our individual and collective futures. 

We Get To Be Well is our rallying cry. It acknowledges that our personal health is bound up with our community health. Together, we'll use systems thinking (it's all connected!) to imagine desirable futures in healthcare.

I offer one-on-one counseling, nutrition and lifestyle education through group programs, masterclasses on specific topics, and a place to express your commitment to health justice advocacy. 

I also value pleasure and connection and don't think in absolutes. So, I'll never be the one to tell you you can't share a basket of fries with your BFF.

Basket of fries? Should I actually be eating those?

If you love fries then the answer is: Yes, sometimes (But make damn sure they're hot and crispy). Don’t worry, I’ll share my perspective on this and my strategies for making sure pleasures are never guilty. 

Can we do this fast? I don't have a ton of spare time.

I'll help you figure out how to prioritize your goals and make sure all your bases are covered. Resources like my low-toxins baby registry have saved a lot of expecting parents valuable time. Courses like my Fearless Phaseout program for reducing toxins exposure make implementing sustainable changes fast and low-stress.

Are you going to tell me this is all in my mind? That I can think away my fertility challenges?

Nope, because it’s not. We’re fortunate to live in a time of rapid discovery about the brain and how it interacts with the body's systems. It’s scientifically proven that pain and mindset are linked. But that doesn't mean there aren't physiological imbalances to address. We'll bring it together - the mind and the body. Dichotomies be damned. 

It feels like there are so many moving parts to pregnancy. I’m overwhelmed. What should I do?

I’ve been there. Start with a deep breath. Then take one informed step at a time. 

Ok, I'm ready to take the next step. Now what?

Join the waitlist for Fearless Phaseout here. Or, inquire to work with me one-on-one.

Who’s We Get To Be Well for?

You! You've got a hunch there's more to an optimally healthy pregnancy than check-ups and prenatals. I'm here to help you feel confident that the 6 aspects needed to support you and your baby are met. No stress. No overwhelm. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you help with that?

Through workshops, educational programs, and nutrition counseling. For starters, get on the email list and I'll send you free ideas, resources, and practical whimsy that make you go, “Huh, I never thought of it that way.” Also, checkout my toxins reduction course - Fearless Phaseout - or, learn how to work with me one-on-one. You should be the leader of your health journey. I'll equip you with the knowledge, confidence, and tools to get you there.

Can we do this fast? I don't have a ton of spare time.

I'll help you figure out how to prioritize your goals and make sure all your bases are covered. Resources like my low-toxins baby registry have saved a lot of expecting parents valuable time. Courses like my Fearless Phaseout program for reducing toxins exposure make implementing sustainable changes fast and low-stress.

How'd you figure all this stuff out?

To be honest, pretty tediously. I wish different for you. 

The TL;DR version is: From my personal experience as a pregnant person of - ahem - "advanced maternal age," tons of research fueled by curiosity and necessity, and a whole lot of book-learnin’ that landed me credentials. See my “formal” bio below.

Are you for holistic medicine or Western medicine?

Yes.

Are you going to tell me this is all in my mind? That I can think away my fertility challenges?

Nope, because it’s not. We’re fortunate to live in a time of rapid discovery about the brain and how it interacts with the body's systems. It’s scientifically proven that biology and mindset are linked. But that doesn't mean there aren't physiological imbalances to address. We'll bring it together - the mind and the body. Dichotomies be damned. 



I’m afraid you’re going to judge me for not being perfect…

Hmm...That sounds more like a statement than a question to me. I’ll judge you if you’re one of those people who stands up at an author reading and makes a 5-minute self-congratulatory statement disguised as a “question.” (But I don’t think that’s you.)

Perfect = Boring. I don’t give a fig about those things you’ve internalized as your shortcomings. Seriously. Figs are too delicious and highly seasonal to just give them away all will-nilly. 

Perfect’s for suckers. Happy’s for winners. We can work together to figure out the difference. 

It feels like there are so many moving parts to pregnancy. I’m overwhelmed. What should I do?

I’ve been there. Start with a deep breath. Then take one informed step at a time. 

I saw you mention functional nutrition. What does that mean? 

It means I approach you as an individual with a unique social context, genetic set, lifestyle habits, and goals. I consider how this complex biography - including your emotions - interacts with your biological systems. It's a challenge to the one-size-fits-all, "just slap another band-aid on it" status quo. It also means we'll contextualize your fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum health in your real life situation, instead of consulting stale textbooks that are, alarmingly, based on men's health.

Ok, I'm ready to take the next step. Now what?

Join the waitlist for Fearless Phaseout here. Or, inquire to work with me one-on-one.

What’s your biggest life regret?

Wow, you’re just going there. Ok, well, I’d have to say it’s every time I didn’t add on guacamole.

Is that really your biggest regret?

So persistent....I share my embarrassing, regrettable life stories on the blog and in my emails. Get on the email list, then grab the popcorn and your notebook - there are always relevant takeaways. 

So, what can I expect from We Get To Be Well?

We Get To Be Well is a space to have a different kind of conversation about women's health. It’s where you come for resources, support, and straight talk on living well. 

You can think of it as cozy and inspiring, like your favorite coffee shop that also sells books...and fashion magazines...that you can peruse without buying, while enjoying your cappuccino.

It's also where I, Michelle-Marie, share my philosophy on health. I value practicality and sustainability over idealism and trends. Having said that, I think we need to be bold and dream big when it comes to our individual and collective futures. 

We Get To Be Well is our rallying cry. It acknowledges that our personal health is bound up with our community health. Together, we'll use systems thinking (it's all connected!) to imagine desirable futures in healthcare.

I offer one-on-one counseling, nutrition and lifestyle education through group programs, masterclasses on specific topics, and a place to express your commitment to health justice advocacy. 

I also value pleasure and connection and don't think in absolutes. So, I'll never be the one to tell you you can't share a basket of fries with your BFF.

Basket of fries? Should I actually be eating those?

If you love fries then the answer is: Yes, sometimes. (But make damn sure they're hot and crispy) Don’t worry, I’ll share my perspective on this and my strategies for making sure pleasures are never guilty. 

Calling all (aspiring) bon vivants!

Grab your FREE guide to quieting society's voice in your head so you can stop putting off happiness for someday and live the life you crave right. damn. now.

free guide

Stop the
Madness!

      


    An anti-patriarchy health guide
    in 7 steps

    Michelle-Marie Gilkeson is a women's health specialist and expert on food and wellness culture. She helps people uncover the root causes of their negative health symptoms, and supports women to access more pleasure and connection through life's many phases. (Oh, and she's been known to call The Patriarchy to account, too)

    She received a master's degree in women's and gender studies from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Her research included an analysis of cultural perceptions and policy on public breastfeeding, and women's obstetrical care and birthing options in the U.S.

    While in Chicago, she worked on the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, compiling reports on police misconduct in Chicago and the UK, contributing annotations to a bibliography on human rights and foreign policy, and organizing events to bring thinkers together on topics such as decriminalizing drug addiction.

    About Michelle-Marie, Founder

    You're in the right place.

    fancy-pants bio
    (written in the 3rd person
    for modesty's sake)

    Michelle-Marie also worked under the direction of Mariame Kaba as a volunteer facilitator for Project NIA's Girl Talk, which supported incarcerated girls and young women at Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center through art projects and conversation.

    Upon returning to her native Los Angeles in 2011, Michelle-Marie continued her career as a dancer and became a member of Dorn Dance Company, helmed by choreographer Randé Dorn. In addition to spending five years performing with the company at venues like the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana for LA Fashion Week, White Box Theatre in San Diego, and LA Dance Festival, Michelle-Marie was the managing director. 

    In 2012, she completed her 500-hour Pilates mat and apparatus training, and took her certifying exam with master teacher and founder of Body Arts and Sciences International (BASI), Rael Isacowitz. Michelle-Marie served the Pasadena and South Pasadena communities through private and semi-private Pilates therapy. She became sought after by individuals with chronic pain and mobility limitations. She is also a certified Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, trained by Dr. Sarah Duvall,  whose comprehensive education program is approved by the American Physical Therapy Association. 

    A lifelong lover of radio and interview as a medium for exploring culture, Michelle-Marie joined the IMRU Radio Collective, which has produced the nation's longest-running LGBTQIA radio news magazine since 1974. Her interviews and stories on queer life and culture have aired on more than 200 radio stations internationally (though she didn’t believe this until she heard her own voice on the radio during a trip to Vancouver). She was also the show director. For queer radio show, This Way Out, she was a news anchor and served on the board of its non-profit production company. 

    She has presented her research and ideas at conferences like Just Food (joint conference of the Association for the Study of Food & Society; Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society; Canadian Association for Food Studies; and The Society for the Anthropology of Food & Nutrition), Working Class Studies Association's Working Class Organization and Power; Humanities, Power, and the Public; and Suiting Up: Disciplining the Aesthetics of Difference at the Gender Institute (University at Buffalo).

    Her own journey as a dancer and chronic pain sufferer prompted rigorous research and a search for solutions to status quo healthcare. She studied under Andrea Nakayama, MS, of the Functional Nutrition Alliance, and became a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor in 2018. Recognizing the significance of food systems to individual and community health, she returned to grad school. 

    Michelle-Marie holds a second master's degree in gastronomy, with dual concentrations (food history & culture; food policy) from Boston University's Gastronomy program, which was developed by culinary legends Jacques Pépin and Julia Child.

    While in Boston, she also earned a professional certificate in the culinary arts, training directly with Chef Jacques Pépin and other renowned chefs, including Michael Leviton (Craigie Burger), Kevin O'Donnell (SRV; Giusto), Cara Chigazola-Tobin (Honey Road), Seizi Imura (Cafe Sushi), Jody Adams (Rialto; Porto), Chris Douglass (Ashmont Grill; Tavolo Ristorante), Barry Maiden (Hungry Mother; Facebook), Jeremy Sewall (Row 34; Island Creek Oyster Bar), Janine Sciarappa (Sweet Lessons), and Jim Dodge (Bon Appétit Management; Julia Child Foundation board). 

    The James Beard Foundation named Michelle-Marie the 2019 winner of the Robert Mondavi Winery Memorial Award. Given annually to an individual engaged in the study of wine and the culinary arts, the scholarship recognized her resolve to bring a multidisciplinary food studies analysis to her work as a nutrition counselor, and her commitment to design her nutrition practice (that's We Get To Be Well!) in ways that challenge dominant understandings of health and wellness.

    Michelle-Marie's writing and recipes have appeared in The Boston Globe and at Boston Book Festival's Lit Crawl. She's a proud member of the Food + Wellness Equity Collective, founded by Yoli Ouiya and Sonja Overhiser.

    Certified Comprehensive Instructor

    “Michelle-Marie is who you go to when you need the truth, even if you don't yet know you want it.”

    let's work together

    overheard:

    you may recognize me from:

    send me the goods!

    Get We Get To Be Well resources, guidance, and practical whimsy in your inbox weekly. Expect things like: 

    > my recipe for super easy mole enchiladas
    > the story of that time I learned mindfulness from a dentist's chair
    > 7 tips for communicating your needs to your doctor

    Ready to put yourself first ?

    saintes-maries-de-la-mer, france

    Get We Get To Be Well resources, guidance, and practical whimsy in your inbox weekly. Expect things like: 

    - my low-toxins sample baby registry
    - a guide to the pregnancy glucose test (and what to do if you
    get a high reading)
    - 7 tips for communicating your needs to your doctor