My Younger Years
That’s me up there on the left with my younger sister, children of the 80’s. Now, as a Mom in my early 30’s a lot has changed. I’ll let you in on my story of how I decided to start this site and what fuels my passion to create recipes and learn about health.
When I first went off to university I did not know how to cook a single thing. I remember asking my Mom for a crash course on the very basics (like baking a plain chicken breast and baked potato). From that point, I realized that if I was going to enjoy what I would be eating, I would need to put some effort into upping my skill level in the kitchen. It was a long and slow process.
After school, I moved out west to Canmore, Alberta, where I took a job in food sales. It was an amazing experience and I got to meet and work with a ton of really talented chefs (while living in the mountains). During that time I picked their brains and learned new techniques in the kitchen and expanded my menu.
It was also during this time that I began having some serious health problems. I started struggling with inflammation. I was getting migraine headaches a few times a week and my eyes were so light sensitive that I would see a glint of light off an object and suddenly lose my vision for several hours. I also had these weird bulbous and crazy painful pockets of inflammation on my toes (what I later learned was called vasculitis).
I sought out numerous specialists and went for what felt like a hundred blood tests. The general consensus was that I had the onset of some sort of autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis as these diseases often attack the eyes first, but no one could say for sure.
I was frightened and stressed out. How could I be in my mid-twenties and in such rough shape? I had always taken care of myself in the ways that I knew how (exercising and eating plenty of what I thought were healthy foods). But, I was under a lot of stress and it was taking it’s toll on my health.
I chose to leave that job, even though in a lot of ways I loved it, as I knew it was best for my health. Once I removed that stress the intense inflammation subsided, but I still struggled with the same issues in a more sporadic fashion.
After moving back to Ontario, I leaned about the Paleo lifestyle (eating like our Paleolithic ancestors) from a friend at work. I began cutting out grains, dairy and processed foods and focusing on vegetables, quality meats and seafood, fruit, nuts and seeds. Immediately, I began to see a huge shift in my health. The sporadic inflammation completely disappeared. I also lost 15 lbs that I didn’t even realize I had to lose. I became stronger, leaner and felt better day to day.
I have since adjusted and don’t follow the Paleo guidelines as strictly as I once did. I now include some lentils, beans and gluten-free grains, but I keep the portions small or I find I have issues digesting them.
Seeing first-hand the power that changing your lifestyle (in my case stress reduction) and diet can have on your overall health has made me so passionate to share what I have learned and to continue to learn as much as I can about health and holistic nutrition.
In the fall of 2015 I graduated from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition and became a Culinary Nutrition Expert. In this course we learned about therapeutic foods, healing diets and learned skills such as meal planning and recipe development. This blog is now my outlet to share my ongoing kitchen creations and experiments.
Since becoming a CNE, I am putting my skills that I’ve learned to even better use as we navigate my daughter’s trouble with eczema. We have eliminated a number of common allergens from her diet, which has given me yet another reason to spend time in the kitchen playing with new food combinations and developing new recipes.
I hope as you read my blog, my passion for whole, nourishing and most of all delicious food shines through. When I look back to where I was in my 20’s, I never would have thought this is where I would be. But, I’ve learned that each small change you make towards improving your health can pay off huge and I want to share this passion and knowledge in the hope that it may inspire some incremental changes for others as well.
We are all on a continuous journey with our health. Listen to your body. It will tell you what you need. And, don’t settle for feeling crummy day-in and day-out. There is a better way.
All the best!