I am a registered dietitian/nutritionist, licenced with the College of Dietitians of Alberta. I draw from practical insight in nutrition and personal experience in nutrition-related health challenges. From the University of Alberta, I have a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Major followed by a one-year Integrated Dietetic Internship. These years laid the foundation of my nutrition knowledge and skills on which I have built over the years.
When I practiced as a clinical dietitian, I had the pleasure of counselling teens, adults, and seniors in managing their chronic diseases, weight issues, and food sensitivities. These years also generate many questions in my mind, particularly around the spiritual dimension of eating and the body. To begin exploring these, in 2013, I enrolled at Regent College in Vancouver, BC for a one-year Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies. This year added yet another layer – a very unique and enriching layer – to my existing foundation in nutrition care.
My personal health challenges with severe acne and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) complement my practical nutrition knowledge. From my teenage years into my early 20’s, I struggled with acne, trialing a variety of medications, which yielded only temporary results. I was interested in a long-term solution. This led me to investigate the role that food and lifestyle choices play in the development of acne. I am thankful to have found foods and a rhythm of life conducive to clear skin. Achieving clear skin with lifestyle changes took time. However, like all good things in life, the wait was worth the prize of achieving clear skin, naturally.
Overcoming CFS in my late 20’s was another significant health challenge in my life. CFS took me from an active life of trail running, rock climbing, road cycling, cross-country skiing, and practicing as a dietitian to having difficulty walking around the block, preparing meals, and communicating. It is an illness with symptoms well beyond fatigue, affecting one’s immunity, concentration, memory, balance, sleep, and muscles, not to mention one’s social life.
My experience with CFS taught me that although eating healthy foods plays a large factor in optimizing health, it is not the factor. There are many factors that interfere with how the body was designed to function. These include chemical toxins, heavy metals, mold, viruses, bad bacteria, electromagnetic radiation, psychological and emotional toxins, and food sensitivities. My incremental recovery over two years included addressing each one of these factors with the help of physicians specializing in environmental medicine. To say the journey was difficult is an understatement: My faith, my supportive family and friends, and my doctors made my recovery possible. My experience with CFS and acne broadened my perspective on health – something that added yet another layer upon my foundation in nutrition care.
Health and experiences aside, my interests lay in outdoor adventures and preparing flavourful food. Trail running, road and mountain cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and snowboarding hold a very special place in my life. They help me recharge and absorb the gifts of life, namely those from people and from creation. Preparing tasty foods goes alongside my love for outdoor adventures because activity requires refuelling – right? So, what adds more to the joy of being with people than sharing flavourful food? In the kitchen, you’ll find me fermenting, sprouting, growing, baking, and cooking whole foods. In general, you’ll find me making much of life.