Whether she’s hiking a mountain, racing down it, or simply enjoying time with her family, everything Jennifer McMaster does, she does with passion, presence and perseverance.
A health promotion specialist turned lifestyle architect, Jennifer has the unique ability to illuminate the strengths of people around her. With over 20 years of public health experience around the world, as well as a master’s degree in holistic health promotion, a bachelor's in health promotion and a minor in women’s studies, Jennifer is passionate about helping people thrive and enjoy their human experiences.
She is also a registered kinesiologist with additional certifications in language, communication and behaviour change modalities and she believes with all her heart that anyone can change — although not everyone will.
That’s because she knows first hand the hard work it takes to do so.
“I endured a few crunchy situations in my life and navigating my way through them brought out this passion for helping others,” said Jennifer.
She incorporated as a life coach under the name 1428 Transformations in 2022 and has since helped countless individuals overcome obstacles, break through limiting beliefs, and achieve their personal and professional goals.
Her unique approach blends current and alternative theories about behaviour change, health, and self-optimization to empower her clients so they can co-create programs and interventions that lead to lasting and meaningful change. As a registered kinesiologist, she also understands the importance of a healthy body and mind and how movement, breathwork and client-centred training enhance the human experience.
“I like colouring a bit outside the lines,” she said. “I’ve mis-mashed my existence and it worked. Bringing together all of the sciences and theories I’ve learned to build a framework that is completely my own. So I thought, ‘what if I can help other people to do that?’”
But her journey to helping others started long before her business did.
Jennifer grew up in Northern Ontario, just outside of Sudbury, and despite the aforementioned “crunchy experiences,” she said she really did have an ideal childhood. At least ideal in the fact that she lived in the middle of nowhere, growing up playing outside and soaking up all of the activities the north had to offer. Since she was young, she was always encouraged to live by trial and error.
"I was allowed to try and fail and I was allowed to try and succeed, and I was never reprimanded if I failed," she said. "It gave me a lot of confidence in the world."
After high school, she enrolled in health promotion and kinesiology at Laurentian University, which took her to Scotland for a year to study and work abroad. She loved her program, but loved her experience abroad even more, and quickly decided that she wanted to immerse herself in other places.
She spent the following decade travelling, working and studying abroad, culminating in a master’s program at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Despite all of her incredible experiences, she realized she was somewhat unemployable, and this program allowed her to help people and corporations abroad make sustainable change.
But eventually, the pull of a more traditional trajectory of a house and kids got the better of her, and she knew it was time to move back to Canada. However, having travelled and lived abroad for so many years, there were certain lifestyle pieces she now couldn’t live without.
So she landed in Collingwood, which offered her the outdoor adventure she craved but in a more appropriate proximity to her family. She took a job with the Georgian Bay Family Health Team and began a decade-long career in healthcare.
She loved being a part of a team of allied healthcare workers and her role evolved as she evolved and became more confident working with clients. However, she struggled with the healthcare system as a whole, and working in it was starting to suck her soul.
“We’re doing this ass-backwards,” said Jennifer. “We’re seeing people downstream and throwing them a life raft. Why aren’t we getting them when they are upstream, when they are healthy, and keeping them that way?”
As she was really starting to question her professional life, her personal world was also falling apart. It was time for a change.
So she decided to quit her job and start her own business.
“I am so glad I did,” said Jennifer. "I am so glad I had the support network that I did to be able to step into that wholeheartedly.”
Walking away from healthcare, Jennifer knew she still wanted to be in service to people in some way. So she was faced with the question: What is my value add to the world?
"That's a scary massive question to ask. How can you boil yourself down to that?" she said.
Around the same time, Jennifer was gifted a training program for life coaches, which was where she really started to learn about language technology and the power of words. She said it was the missing piece that connected all of her other teachings. And it changed her life.
Through 1428 Transformations, Jennifer started working with individuals to help them build a way of being in the world that feels authentic and aligned to them. She doesn’t look at herself so much as a life coach, but instead a lifestyle architect. She lives by letting go of the “shoulds” because it doesn’t speak to an individual, and instead encourages all of her clients to uncover what a truly healthy lifestyle looks like for them.
“At the end of the day, how do you find a way to live confidently?” she said. “How do you let your freak flag fly in a way that feels good enough to own everyday.”
She wanted to find a way to have the largest impact, so she decided to focus her programming towards mothers and their children. But then something funny happened. No matter what she did, it was men who kept getting referred to her instead.
And then she remembered fathers have children, too.
“Men are hard to reach, I know,” she said. “But if we keep avoiding them because they are hard to reach, then they are going to get harder and harder to connect with. And there is clearly an appetite for it. So how do we change that?”
Jennifer also realized that there was significantly less programming directed towards men specifically, and when she started researching more about men’s health and some of the crippling statistics out there, it spoke to her. So although still not exclusively, Jennifer decided to shift her focus to coaching men. She is amazed at the experiences it has given her so far.
“This is a safe, removed space for them to explore different things or dark things going on in their life,” she said. “Most men don’t have that.”
In light of having an even larger reach, she teamed up with two coaches in the United States and local coach and fellow Foundry member, Matthew McCartney, to co-create a course designed to help men “move from survival, to a state of thriving.”
“The thing that really struck me was this idea that people are failing to thrive across their lifespan,” she said. “I want to help people get there in their own way.”
The Thriving Man Academy launched its second cohort in February and focuses on helping men learn how to navigate between survival and creation mode and help men in all corners of North America become a better man, father, leader and partner.
At the end of the day, what Jennifer loves most is helping people understand that change is possible.
“I know how it feels when pieces click in my own life and the change that happens in the process, and I know that I love that feeling,” she said. “I love being a small part of that for someone else. When you change, the ripple effects can be generations.”