Why I Love Nutrition
I grew up in rural Canada, digging my hands in rich rural soil, eating the miraculous bounty born of seeds, and gazing at majestic prairie sunrises and sunsets. A humble and loving beginning.
I am grateful for much of my childhood. I see now that this exposure to planting and harvesting and feasting on simple, natural fare has brought me full circle to today: I am an advocate of sustainable agriculture, and a lover of simple, nutrient-dense whole foods.
But my life hasn’t been without its challenges. Like most, life’s trials have provided me with many lessons – and I now use these profound markers on my personal and professional growth as the inspirational gems they were meant to be. Without these health bumps along the way, I would not be here to serve in the place I occupy today.
The decades unfolded as such: High cholesterol plagued my 20’s, followed soon after by painful stomach issues. A doctor’s advice to consume ‘2 bowls of All Bran and milk each day’ only exacerbated my discomfort. Unrelenting feet swelling tormented me through my 30’s and 40’s, and by age 49, I was sporting very unsexy medical support stockings. Add to the list a host of other maladies across the years: tinnitus, recurrent bladder infections, fibroids, fertility issues, gallbladder removal, depleting periods of anxiety and joint pain, I was starting to feel older than my age. And then top it all with the arrival of perimenopause, which peppered me day and night with hot flashes – silk fans and sleeveless tops became my new fashion statement.
But along the way, I never stopped paying attention to my body and realizing the evident effects of specific foods. At one point, I saw an herbalist who armed me with herbs, a probiotic, and placed me on a 2-week restricted diet. I was dumbfounded by the results: gone was my stomach pain, and in its place, vastly improved energy returned. Later, a visit to a naturopathic doctor led me to eliminate gluten and dairy, and within one short year, I was sleeping better, the swelling in my feet was significantly reduced, and the hot flashes abated. My health world was shifting and I was seeing first-hand how my body would respond to the food choices I made.
My grocery cart was changing, too: less processed foods and more natural, one ingredient whole foods heaped the buggy.
After entering a bodybuilding competition at age 50 while following an all-natural diet, my pain returned with a vengeance and I succumbed to a deep depression, weight gain, and exhaustion. I was humbled by my pain, especially when a few months earlier I was lifting weights 5 days a week. Every part of my body hurt, whether I was sitting or lying down, what had I done to my body? Years of high-level corporate stress, which included travel bouts for 2-3 weeks at a time, had also taken its toll. And so, I took the leap: I quit corporate life!
I became a student at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Vancouver, and buried myself in books, tests, and papers. Such an exquisite eye-opener! I now had the knowledge to help the body heal – from both my instructional study and incorporating the restorative natural protocols that had alleviated my own health woes. And I became sensitive to the reality that we are unique beings, that no one diet suits all, and that we each must pay attention to our bodies in the context of our distinctive life conditions. In so doing, we can properly feed both body and soul, and bring about true health, vitality and joy.
As the Menopause Navigator, my mission is to make food both healing and nutritious! I believe every woman, with guidance and education, can experience the restorative and therapeutic effects of nutrition…and to understand the impact food and lifestyle choices have on our health.