about Katie Oglesby - the garden girl

garden consulting with Katie Oglesby garden designer Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Which came first, The Garden Girl or the health coach? That’s a trick question — they really happened at the same time. But my story really begins with the Sick Girl.

When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with an inflammatory disease called Kawasaki that attacks the heart. After recovering, I was regularly sick with things like allergic reactions (hives, itchy hands and feet, which led to severe abdominal pain and eventually two separate anaphylactic reactions), a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, sinus infections, and strep throat which led to countless antibiotics. The more I got sick, the more allergic reactions I started to have to the antibiotics I was given. 

“Get more medications and keep moving”

I continued to battle with annoyingly persistent health issues into my adult life, just accepting it was the hand I was dealt. “Get more medications and keep moving” — that was my motto! 

I never questioned my doctors. I assumed they were always right.

Until I had an anaphylactic reaction to hair dye (I know, right? So random) that left me unable to digest food, and led to filaments on my eyes that affected my vision. As I tried to navigate the medical system, I was shocked and frustrated by the lack of communication and collaboration regarding my health conditions. Rather than being listened to, I was sent all over to various appointments, and got no acceptable answers.

When I visited my eye doctor, he whispered to me that I needed to try a functional medicine doctor. He wrote the person’s information on a piece of paper and slipped it to me, saying “I didn’t give you this name.”

That moment was pivotal for me. I began to question everything, to look into other modalities of healing, and to take the responsibility for my health into my own hands.

I refused to accept “There is nothing you can do”, or “Take this pill” or the best yet, “Can you get better insurance?”. I learned to trust and check in with my intuition as I continued to search for the right professionals to help me on my dirty journey to health.


Even though I thought I was already making the healthiest choices possible, I actually wasn’t– and I had no idea that my lifestyle — diet, exercise, beauty products, cleaning products — were all contributing to my symptoms.   

Food was the first area of my life I “cleaned up”. 

I removed inflammatory foods from my pantry. I started integrating more fruits and vegetables in my diet. I used fresh herbs with my cooking as much as I was able. This shift in “cleaning up” my life forever changed my relationship with food.  

Next up on the clean up journey? Beauty and household products. I discovered that what I put on my skin and in my home were triggering my symptoms too. Now I use an organic plant based hair color and use beauty products and household items that are completely toxin free.

But I also realized I needed to slow down and reevaluate everything in my life. Finances? Career? Relationships? All of it. The stress from chasing success, from divorce, from sleeping poorly, from comparing myself with others — all of these contributed to how I felt too. My life had become unnecessarily complicated (it happened without my even realizing it).

I started to investigate health, wellness, nutrition, our food system and stress. I went down rabbit holes trying to understand how I could support my body’s ability to heal. I realized how disconnected I was from my body and emotions. 

Most importantly, I realized I had missed the connection between them.

It really hit home as I was binge-watching documentaries about farming and our food system. I realized: “Katie, your soil is depleted!” By which, of course, I meant my inner soil. I was working so hard, trying to be everything to everyone, and I had nothing left to give.

That had to change.

It was time to get my hands dirty and really dig into what I wanted to accomplish in this life.


More than ever, I was learning to value food as medicine, and as an avid gardener, I fell in love with the soil, the seeds, and the process of growing fresh fruits and vegetables.

Gardening was enjoyable exercise and a way to slow down. 

It fed my soul and my family. 

By getting my hands dirty, I was digging my way to clarity on my purpose and my health goals. 

It also gave me a way to connect with my body, live more consciously, and feel empowered.

The dirtier my hands got, the better I could ground myself in what I found fulfilling.


My symptoms went away. My Hashimoto’s was gone. My digestive issues resolved. My eyes no longer felt like I had hairs stuck in them. And I stopped taking the six prescribed medications, costing over half my monthly salary. 

I am symptom free and I feel healthier than I ever have before.

I can’t describe the sense of relief that I felt arriving in this place– especially after navigating a medical system that failed me. After this health transformation and incredible dose of insight into what it really takes to heal, I decided I needed to help others. And that’s what inspired me to enroll at Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach.

But health and gardens — they go together. And if you, like me, feel better when surrounded by green, growing things, a garden might be the way to get your hands dirty on your own health journey too.

So whether you’re interested in a garden that’s a serene, mentally and spiritually healing place to sip your tea… 

Or a kitchen garden that feeds your wellbeing and your family… 

Or you’d like to clean up your lifestyle so you feel better, no garden required… 

That’s what I’m here for.



  • Ebible Garden Designer
  • Gardenary Certified Garden Consultant
  • Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • Balanced Body Pilates Mat Instructor

media bio

Katie Oglesby is a Certified Health Coach on a mission to help her clients to stop being passive participants in their health journeys and become courageous, informed advocates for their wellbeing. As a Garden Coach and Real Food Advocate, she fuses the healing power of gardening with the healing power of food-as-medicine in her kitchen garden designs and holistic approach to lifestyle and nutrition coaching. In a past life, she was a private investigator — and her intuitive skills are stronger than ever to help you investigate your *own* health.