Growing up, food was a big focus in my life. Routine trips to the grocery store would take all afternoon as my parents carefully inspected every packaged food and piece of produce before adding it to our cart. Family conversations revolved around where to find the best Italian or Chinese food in the city. And when we were sad, my parents’ way of cheering us up was taking us out for dinner. When my sister was heartbroken over a boyfriend, my father gave her a quick hug and said “Let’s go get char siu” – my sister’s favourite dish, BBQ pork.
Fortunately, the amount of food I ate as a kid was balanced by my relatively active lifestyle. I liked playing sports, but I wasn’t great at them. Actually I wasn’t really coordinated and I got injured a lot. So I chose the safest activity I could think of – walking. If it was a choice between a 20 min TTC ride or a 45 min walk, I would always choose the latter. I would regularly walk from my home in North York to the Harbourfront and back on the weekend just for fun. If only Fitbits and tracking steps was a thing back then!
Then… university happened. You know the Freshman 15? I gained the Freshman 40. By the way, I’m 5’1”. Ooops.
I had a meal plan and it was based on the number of visits, not how much you ate. Let’s just say I got my money’s worth. And with the workload of school, I couldn’t justify the time for those long walks anymore.
As a student studying life sciences and psychology, I felt the irony that my health had slipped. Getting my health back was easy either. I wasn’t immune to fad diets. I didn’t like how I looked with the extra weight but I also kept failing at dieting. I struggled with this a lot until I got to the point where I just accepted I wouldn’t look the same as my high school self.
After graduation, I went through my ‘quarter life crisis’. Feeling unsure about a career in healthcare, I moved out west to Lake Louise, Alberta and worked in a hotel. My coworkers would always ask me questions about articles they had read on nutrition. That’s when I realized I loved talking about nutrition.
So I went back to school for nutrition and that’s where it clicked. My own eating habits suddenly made sense. I finally learned why we eat the way we eat. I lost the extra weight. So when you choose to work with me, you’re not just getting textbook nutrition advice, but my personal experiences as well.