Slow and Steady Wins the Race

So you have decided to give yourself a reboot and you want to start living a healthy lifestyle… Well, that’s great! How are you going to start implementing healthy changes?

“I just joined a gym and I am going to go every day except Sunday’s, I threw out all of the bad food from my pantry and I have decided to eat totally raw and plant-based for the next 6 months”.

STOP!! I have seen too many people go down this road and it rarely ever works out for the best.

Getting excited about changing your lifestyle is amazing and I support this 100%. The important thing to remember is that we are all human and perfection does not exist. So why should we strive for perfection, only to be let down? Whenever I am working with a new client I always stress the importance of making small changes daily, as this is the best way to make a BIG impact.

When you focus on small changes every day, you are not bogged down by the guilt of missing a gym session or not having the healthiest of dinners when out with your friends. Instead, you are celebrating your small victories. You cut down the amount of coffee you usually drink? Hurray! You made all your lunches this week? You made two lunches this week when you normally don't make any? Hurray! The small changes made every day will begin to become your habits. Once you have the habit of making your own lunches, reducing the amount of coffee or alcohol or chips in your diet, and finding some time for self-care, then we can move forward to making even more changes every day.  

As I begin to work with a new client I see our work together to be a journey. It is not a one-stop shop where I give you all the advice I could possibly think of to help you reach your goals and then walk away. This method is simply unrealistic and my goal is to help you reach your goals.

So if you are thinking to yourself that you want to start living a healthier lifestyle then all the power to you! You have everything you need to make this a reality. My advice is to listen to your body and be nice to yourself. Health is all about balance. Finding you own balance will take some time and work but I promise you that it will be completely worth it in the end.

My top 3 tools to keep you on track to reach your goals:

1) Share your goals with a close friend – this creates accountability and you are more likely to follow through to reach your goals

2) Start a journal – write down what went well every day and what could use some improvements. You will be surprised to find how your days will begin to mirror each other and it will be easy to pinpoint where to focus your efforts

3) Try a new recipe every week – most people shy away from the kitchen, which results in a dependence on freezer meals or other less-healthy alternatives. Getting in the kitchen at least once a week to try a new recipe will increase your confidence and kitchen skills as well as provide you with a nourishing meal 

My journey to Holistic Nutrition

My health Journey

I have dealt with stomach issues my whole life. Even when I was a kid, I couldn't go a week without having some sort of flare up. At the time, doctors didn't really do much exploration when it came to stomach issues. It was labeled as a stomach bug or perhaps a result of too much "junk food" but nothing more was discussed. So I went years -- make that decades, until I finally was able to figure out why I had these stomach problems to begin with. 

To put it into perspective for you - when I was in high school I always had Gravol, Advil and Imodium in my pencil case. I never knew when one of these flare ups would occur so I always had to be prepared. 

As I got older and started paying more attention to my body I noticed two things. One - that yes when I ate anything in the junk food category that I would get the worst stomach pains leading to lots of trips to the bathroom. Two - that whenever I got the slightest whiff of stress that my stomach would start to do hoops and I would have to make an emergency trip to the bathroom STAT. Even though I could now pinpoint why I was having the problems, I was still not able to fully overcome them. 

It wasn’t until university that I learned how to deal with my anxiety and stomach problems. I was fortunate to join the U of T Rowing team and my life began to change. Suddenly, I was spending every morning with incredible athletes that had dreams of joining the Canadian Olympic team. I had a reason to get up early every day and workout like I never had before. I was not able to eat junk food all the time as my success on the water would not allow it. I was surrounded by amazing friends who all had the same goal – to train and be as healthy as possible to win medals.

Over the 4 years at U of T, I changed how I ate, how I exercised and I learned how to treat my body with love and respect. By the second year on the team I went from a size 14 to a size 6. I was strong and I loved how I felt.

After university I decided to begin working for a local non-profit. The job was fulfilling and I was able to do two of my favorite things: travel and do public speaking. Unfortunately, two years into working for the non-profit, my health began to take a turn.

My whole life I was managing a congenital health condition called Spherocytosis. This is a blood disorder that changes the shape of my red blood cells, resulting in a number of health complications. For me, the complications showed up quite quickly in the form of an enlarged spleen, lots of abdominal pain and really low immunity. At 25, I never thought I would have to take a leave of absence from work and then quit my job all together due to illness but this is what happened.

Fast-forward 4 months and I had surgery to remove my then football-sized spleen and I was on the mend. It was at this point that I began to do research into how I could help my body recover and overcome the challenges that come without having a spleen (namely severely reduced immunity).

After all my time spent feeling sick, taking all kinds of pharmaceutical drugs and dealing with their side effects – I knew that I had to find natural ways to support health.

This is how I learned of Holistic Nutrition. I was blown away that I had never heard of it before because it was such a simple, yet genius concept. Helping people with their health goals by working with the body, mind and spirit. At that point I knew that I had found my calling and decided to apply to study Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto.

For the last two years I have been using the knowledge I gained at IHN to help heal myself along with my family, friends and clients. I am still so impressed with the amazing impact we can make by working with the body holistically. I hope that if you have any health concerns, that you reach out to me so that we can help you live your best life.

A day in the life


A day in the life

I think the easiest way for you to get to know me and the type of nutritionist I am is to give you a glimpse into my daily routine. Now, you may be expecting some beautifully zen day loaded with fresh vegetable juices, sunshine and meditation. This is not the case. I am a Holistic Nutritionist who believes that we can use food to obtain optimal health and I believe a large part of this is learning about balance. We cannot set ourselves up to have a goal to eat perfectly because once we come to the realization that perfection does not exist, we feel as though we have failed. It is very important to me that for myself and for my clients, we set up reasonable, sustainable, and FUN goals. Nutrition does not have to be hard and I will show you how to be the boss of your own health and use food to reach your goals.

My morning usually consists of some kind of exercise – I love to get outside with my pup, Kara and either go for a run in the park or go for a stroll by the water. I am a huge advocate for listening to your body and this has worked very well for me. Once home from my walk/run I will make breakfast number one! This is typically two boiled eggs with pepper and hot sauce. After eating my eggs, I will do some yoga or strength work – again listening to my body and doing what feels good for that day. Then I will pack my lunch for the day, have a quick shower and get dressed for work. I will usually make myself a smoothie to drink on the way to work for my second breakfast!

During the week, you can usually find me at the Vitasave store on Lonsdale and 16th. I work as their in-store nutritionist and I really love the work we do. The constant interactions with the public really keeps me on my toes with my nutrition knowledge and it has been a great way for me to stay up-to-date on all things wellness!

My evenings will look different day-to-day. I will often meet with clients, work on nutritional protocols or do research for upcoming nutrition talks.

Dinner in our house is the time we get to relax, chat about our days and make a delicious meal together. I love trying out new recipes and putting my own twists to them.

After dinner I typically will go for a walk with my partner, Ryan and my dog, Kara. Evening walks have been a great way for us to get outside one last time for the day and is an amazing way to de-compress after a hectic day.

I hope this will give you a better idea of who I am and how I approach living a healthy life. I look forward to learning more about you!