My Journey to Holistic Nutrition

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.

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