Determining the “why”
I’m often asked about what led me to becoming a holistic nutritionist, and every time, I’m reminded that there really isn’t a single reason for why I followed this path. One might say that my journey began at age 14, when I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). I’ve been able to manage this potentially life-threatening autoimmune condition and live virtually symptom-free for over a decade now (more about that on my website).
Or, perhaps it was when I moved away from home at age 17 to attend university, and on a student meal plan, gained 20 pounds in my first year of studies (that’s significant for anyone, but especially for me, with a petite 5’3” frame!). I took up learning more about nutrition and cooking for myself rather quickly after that.
I think it’s very common for us to have moments in life that scare us into wanting to be more health-conscious.However, one major contributor that has led me to holistic wellness — and in fact, influenced much of my philosophy in health — is my upbringing and family history.
With two working parents, three older siblings, and loads of extracurricular activities, I grew up in a very busy household. Our jam-packed schedule often determined how we ate, with our ancestral roots keeping us grounded in more traditional means of nourishment. We subscribed to convenience foods (yes, I ate frozen dinners and packaged cookies). On the other hand, being part of a family of farmers, the importance of preparing our own food was ingrained in us and carried on from generation to generation; farm to table and having a hand in your own health was very much at the core of my family values (and it’s now at the heart of my work in health and wellness).
Only in more recent years, have I truly learned more about the power that food and nutrition can have on our overall health and well-being. And this has been a major influence on me learning how to cultivate a healthy relationship with food and my body, holistically.
Influenced by my reason(s) for pursuing holistic nutrition, and which very much speak to my philosophy in health and wellness, here are a few take-away thoughts:
Unlearning old habits to learn new ones
Here’s the thing. I wasn’t born with a green juice in my hand. When I first began to travel down the path of better health, it was gradual and I encountered ups and downs along the way. It has taken me many years to get to where I am today, with a vast amount of knowledge for nutrition and wellness, a much deeper understanding of self, mind and body, and in a position where I can help guide others in their health and wellness journey.
Health trends aren’t for everyone
My philosophy in health and well-being is rooted in finding what works for you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the most recent health trend, that we often lose sight of what and why we’re doing something. Insofar that we risk doing something that ultimately isn’t right for us, as individuals. I’m not saying deny trends altogether, but before hopping on the bandwagon, ask yourself why — get the details, do your research, and maybe experiment a little, before deciding if something is beneficial to your health (or simply something you should leave for someone else).
Bio-Individuality for the win
We are all unique, no one person is alike. I’m often asked about what is the best form of nutrition. My answer is always, “yours.” There is a different diet for every person on this planet.
Therefore, my work is to ultimately guide individuals to understanding their unique body and cultivating self-awareness. That way, you won’t have to turn to someone else for the answers, you’ll be able to determine them for yourself. I’m all about self-education.
It’s often the case that great health begins when we peel back the layers, which we’ve built up over years of a lack of self-awareness and of being confused about nutritional information in the media and from other outlets. It’s overwhelming, I get it! I was you once, and that’s part of what led me to my work as a nutritionist. I was curious and I wanted to know more. I wanted to understand my body in order to obtain optimal health and wellness, and to feel and look my very best.
Balance – How about harmony
Although I subscribe to a much healthier way of living than I did several years ago, I believe in harmony, not balance. When you think of the scales of balance, you’ll notice that they rest at a standstill. They’re unmoving (they’re in balance!). This is why I like to refer to great health as harmonic. Our bodies are changing every day. There will be ups and downs, an ebb and flow. What works for you one day, might not work for you the next.
We give ourselves the best chance for great health when we understand our bodies, when we educate ourselves, take control of our health. I’m here to help you do just that. What will be the next step you take towards better health, and why? What is your intent or purpose behind seeking greater health?
For me, it’s about feeling my best, so that I can do the things I want to do, and support, influence (maybe even inspire), and positively impact those around me.
It’s taken me many years to get to a place where I feel confident in not only managing my own mind and body but where I can hold space and offer guidance for others to do the same. What will be your moment that makes you want to take charge of your health? More importantly, what will be your ‘why’?