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I grew up eating real food (most of it from our family farm) - a basic diet of meat, potatoes, vegetables, preserved fruit - and there was always dessert! We were blessed with 'normal' good health: our family of seven worked and played hard, we enjoyed a wholesome lifestyle based on family, faith and community.
I carried my Mother's made-from-scratch philosophy into my own cooking domain, adding new fruits and veggies (like kiwis and broccoli!) when they showed up at the local Co-op store. I cooked the healthiest way I knew for my family of four - often for more - and extended my passion for food into business ventures. The teahouse and kitchen shop weren't very financially successful, but ideal outlets to experiment with the growing array of available foods and possibiities how to prepare them. Full, fun, busy years.
My kids grew up and left home, a good time for other changes. I started a new job and joined my husband in his running habit - and kept cooking healthy food.
My kitchen had become a zone shared with my husband, who was exploring his response to the '90's low-fat health hype. Other nutrition messages were coming my direction through family and friends with food allergies and skin conditions. Their digestion troubles and unsatisfactory prescriptions triggered questions. Were these symptoms of nutritional imbalances? Could food be the cause or the answer for healing? I'd grown up with the four basic food groups but hadn't speculated that they might not be the answer for everyone's nutritional needs. One thing I knew for sure: I needed to cook differently for certain people when they ate at my table.
Enter my interest in holistic nutrition. I prepared recipes my friends could eat, but what about the food on my plate? Running ate up lots of calories so I wasn't worried about weight but I wanted to be a good athlete and injury-free. I started making small changes with healthier fats (nuts and seeds), less animal protein, more veggies and fruits.
My job working in a medical doctor's office presented a close-up look how disease, obesity and ill health are painful, costly and confining. Interraction with staff and patients was never boring, but as a career my heart wanted to be involved in health care that looked at the whole person, one that considered causes as well as symptoms. Though pharmaceutical prescriptions can be medical necessities, I couldn't accept that there weren't other options towards preventing and healing disease.
In 2007 my husband and I made an adventurous cross-country move. Eureka! This was my window of opportunity for a shift to a holistic health/nutrition path. I wasn't sure what that would look like, but "happening" to see a Canadian School of Natural Nutrition sign in Halifax pointed me in the direction to what I am today - a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
I no longer work in a doctor's office, but all around me I see the results of eating processed and refined foods - real food matters more than ever. As my knowledge of nutritional real foods has expanded, along with the understanding of individual requirements and responses for health and healing, I've become passionate about applying this myself, sharing it with those dear to me, and encouraging others in their steps toward better health.
Being well in body, mind and spirit is an on-going journey of commitment and time - let's start with "real food matters".