Welcome to Move. Nourish. Heal! My name is Mike Murdoch and I’m a Plant-Based Chef & Recipe Developer, Yoga Teacher, Motivational Speaker, keto & intermittent fasting enthusiast and all around Nice Guy. I have a passion for science-based nutrition and have a clear vision: Fix our broken food system by expanding people’s knowledge, shifting their dysfunctional relationship with diet and eating. By sharing my personal journey, experiences and recipes I’m hoping to help YOU find your own path towards Optimal Health.
My entire life has revolved around food. From my early years as a little fat kid, struggling with weight, body image and eating disorders; to my career in Food Service spanning 20 years. For better or worse, cooking and eating has always played a central role in my life. Growing up inactive, overfed and undernourished; that feeling of being “healthy” was something that eluded me for most of my early life. Beyond giving my thumbs a good Tetris or Mario workout, no form of physical activity was ever remotely enjoyable. My body was embarrassing, weak and useless in my adolescent mind. The whole thing was just too exhausting to think about. With help from the Low-Fat craze that stuck in the 80s and 90s; by the age of 13, I topped the scales at nearly 240lbs! My teenage years saw huge fluctuations in weight from uneducated “flexitarian” eating habits and near starvation. All of this left me exhausted, unhealthy and riddled with inflammatory conditions like cystic acne, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.
As life pulled me along, I made a decision that changed everything: instead of pursuing a degree in microbiology and immunology at University of Toronto, I went to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute in Ottawa. After receiving a Grande Diplome in French cuisine and pastry at the top of my class, the culinary world was my oyster. This experience allowed me great opportunity; apprenticing at both the Governor General and Prime Minister’s residences, as well as working at one of Ottawa’s oldest and most prestigious restaurants.
After years of the restaurant industry grind, my path shifted again; I began working as a corporate chef. In the last decade I’ve worked for three of Canada’s largest food retailers as a recipe developer, tester and product taster. There are currently no less than 100 products on Canadian grocery shelves that have recipes I created on their labels. Plus hundreds more that my tastebuds played some small role in developing. This was prestigious and satisfying for a time, but as the years went by I became more and more unhealthy and unhappy in my work. I was helping to sell the processed foods that made me overweight as child. And they weren’t doing a lot to improve my health in my 20s either…
Meditation and yoga changed all of that. These practices transformed me. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. A consistent yoga and meditation practice helped me to find inner calmness and self-appreciation. Ten months after my first yoga experience, I was a certified teacher! My yoga practice gave me access to a different experience of my body. Suddenly the dietary abuses that were second nature undeniably altered my body’s ability to flow and recover. The more my practice evolved, the fewer excuses popped up in regards to my unhealthy eating practices. I felt amazing when my diet was clean. I felt sore and depressed when I slipped back into old eating patterns. When the two lined up, my practice exploded.
In the last few years I became increasingly interested in the healing potential of food and diet choices. That latent biologist in me became fascinated with all the newest science around the ketogenic diet, plant-based eating, gut microbiota, inflammation, intermittent & prolonged fasting, epigenetics, autophagy, stem-cell generation, meditation and mindfulness… What we think we know about the body, the gut and the mind seems to be undergoing a renaissance. In 2016 my curiosity lead me to obtain a Culinary Nutrition Expert certification. This started combining my passions of mindfulness, movement and yoga with food, science and nutrition. I began running Mindful Eating workshops all over my yoga community and now have a small tribe of Mindful Foodies spreading the word about Plant-Based eating.
This stuff works, and now the science is starting to appear to back it up. I’m determined to share the magic with anyone who is open to shifting what they believe is possible. My own struggles shaped who I am. Through sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to help you and your family find a path towards Optimal Health and Wellness.