FOOD IS FUEL. What you feed your body has a direct connection to your physical and mental health. When eating becomes mindful, there is space for a change. What you eat, and what you think about food, has a huge impact on both body and mind.

Born in the early 80s, my childhood landed right at the peak of the Low-Fat craze. My parents, listening to the health advice of the time, made a concerted effort to buy low-fat products. Those formative years were spent playing video games and shoveling as much “healthy” junk food down my gullet as possible. By 10 years old I hit over 180lbs and by 13 had topped the scales at nearly 240lbs! Around 14, my interest in health shifted. I realized what I had been eating wasn’t working, so I became a vegetarian/flexitarian. This can be a healthy shift, but not always. Through malnourishment and the consumption of limited processed vegetarian “foods,” I lost some of that weight. I started eating a little differently than my family and as the years passed I developed a passion for healthy cooking. It was inconsistent to say the least; I knew nothing about diet or nutrition at the time, but the seed was planted back in high school. A last-minute decision changed my life path from scientist — I was headed to the University of Toronto for microbiology and immunology — to Chef. I enrolled at Le Cordon Blue Culinary Arts Institute in Ottawa and a couple years later left with a Grande Diplome in Culinary and Pastry Arts at the top of my class. This was an integral step towards the place I am today, but French cuisine hardly helped to improve my health at the time. While outrageously delicious, French food is not healthy for the most part. I packed on about 30 pounds in my first year there. I ate. A lot. We got to take home all the food we made in class. I lived with two other Cordon Bleu students, so there was no shortage of buttery, meaty, creamy French delicacies in our fridge.

Fast forward 5 years and everything started to shift. For over a decade now, I’ve been absorbing the latest nutrition science like a sponge. The more I take in, the more it all seems to make sense. In 2016, I completed a certification in Culinary Nutrition, looking at food and diet to heal the body and mind. This helped to unify all the nutrition knowledge I’d amassed over the years. Now I spend my weekends running Mindful Eating Workshops. In the last couple years, my own health skyrocketed with the commitment to a more consistent Plant-Based diet and the incorporation of intermittent and prolonged fasting. I resisted these shifts for so long, on some level knowing they would have a profound impact, but fearing the changes they would require. There are no absolutes in the diet and nutrition world; all our bodies are different and respond differently. When you start to be honest with how your current food choices are affecting your health, the change starts to become a lot easier.

Change your perception and expand your awareness around food and diet. Small shifts can have a noticeable and lasting impact. Ready for a change? Let’s get you back on track with your journey towards Optimal Health!