I talk a lot on here about my assistant Jen, but have you gotten to know Kristin yet? That's her up there with me- having a jolly old giggle. Lots of things you may not know about her. One is that she carries around a camera that is bigger than her. (And for those of you wondering, now that you have met me, Jen and Kristin, contrary to evidence, you do need to be under 5 feet tall to work here.
Kristin's been interning with us since January and is totally amazing town. She was spending her days, and often long nights, lending her chef talents to your kitchen while she waited for her legal docs to come through. You gotta love a woman who loves a Canadian man so much that she'd move to the frigid North for him. Well, she's all well and legal now and needs an extra amazing job that is great enough for her extra amazing mad kitchen, cooking, prepping, tasting, and teaching skills (and yes, we are working on keeping her here too!). But if you know of anything, post below wouldn't you just!
She is running an "Inspirational Women" series on her blog and yours truly was invited to take part. She graciously allowed me to share part of the interview with you here. Enjoy!!!
After developing Chron’s disease when she was 26 and told she was going to have to have surgery and be on medication for life; Meghan decided that conventional medication wasn’t an option. She took her health into her own hands and by living a holistic lifestyle was symptom free within weeks- successfully curing a disease that doctors deemed incurable. After her diagnosis she quit her job in marketing to heal, and decided afterwards to not return, and instead to go back to school to become a holistic nutritionist. Three years later with a successful business she guides others to health with her popular website, workshops and cooking classes. She is living proof and inspiration that food matters, we are our best doctors and we can pave our own paths to health. So without further ado, my interview with Meghan!
1. You have done so much in just a few short years. You came from the world of advertising and changed your career completely by going to nutrition school to become a holistic nutritionist, which resulted in a growing business including a popular blog, cooking school and online health shop. What sparked this drastic change in career?
Should I elaborate? I had been dealing with health issues for nearly four years while working in advertising. It took the diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, which i was told was incurable, to kick me in the bottom and make me look at how I was living and how I wanted to live. To get healthy, I knew I needed to start cooking, looking at foods that could help alleviate the symptoms of my disease. Along with other lifestyle adjustments, I got healthy, remain so nearly 5 years later and there sparked my inspiration to share the goodness in as many ways as I could. My goal was to make it as fun as possible in the process.
2. How did you get interested in cooking, and what made you want to teach it to others?
I have always been a creative person. When I was younger I used to sew all my clothes- I’ve always been into creating. For me, cooking was the creative part of health and nutrition. I learned to cook by experimenting with new foods. I used cooking as my stress reliever from studying when i was in nutrition school and found that I could understand the nutritional aspects of food far better by working with them, tasting them and seeing how I felt, versus just reading about it in a book.
3. You have to be the most inspirational person in living a balanced healthy lifestyle. How do you stay balanced with such a busy career?
I am sure if you asked those close to me, that might say I am not that balanced. I suppose the cliche ‘work hard, play hard’ comes to mind. I do both. When I am in work mode, or when things are busy, I work my bottom off. I work long days, and expend a ton of energy. Even in those busy periods though, I do my best to make plans to catch up with friends, go to yoga, go for walks and bike rides, eat well- those important things. With that being said though, when things are quieter, I definitely make time to play. In the last year alone I have ventured to Montreal, Vancouver, Tofino, LA (three times!), Jamaica and St. Lucia. I also managed to spend most of last summer working from my family’s cottage. I suppose the best goal for me as I move further into my career and only seem to get busier and busier is to learn to make time everyday for that balance to come in to play.
It’s tough though as I love to bits the work that I do!
4. Anything special you like to do on your off-days?
Days off will often find me taking little adventures out of the city, to a yoga class, to a massage, out with some friends for lunch or dinner, to concerts, events around the city. Though I do have the freedom to take a day off when I want, in running my own biz, it is rare that I am completed disconnected from work for very long.
5. How is your lifestyle different now than it used to be? What was the turning point that made you commit to a healthier lifestyle?
With a disease that conventional medicine only deals with via surgery or pharma meds, I knew I needed to do something else. I made the decision that I wanted a life of health, rather than sickness. That made all the difference and everything changed after that. I am gentler on myself physically, meaning I have no interest in hardcore workouts, I put a priority on the foods that I eat, say no to jobs or tasks that i don’t want to do, rarely do things out of obligation. The greatest gift of this lifestyle is the amazing amount of positive people it attracts. I have met more amazing people in the last five years than in my entire life before that.
6. How do you stay positive in an increasingly unhealthy world? Does the large amount of new health research that comes up seemingly everyday have an affect on you, how do you form your opinions?
New research has no effect on my opinions on health or how I live or eat. I don’t need to read a study to know that I need more sleep, more water, or more broccoli. I am never surprised to see drugs being recalled or death rates from various lifestyle related diseases (like cancer, heart disease and diabetes) on the rise. It is sad to say, and hard to watch, that’s for sure. I live in a bit of a bubble with the health-minded or at least curious people that come through my classes and attend my events. When I do get out there- travelling around the city, seeing what people eat in airports, what magazines say on their covers, all I can think is “Wow! I have a lot of work to do”. Thankfully, with my classes getting busier and busier and all the people now taking an interest in natural health and nutrition, I know I am far from alone in getting the truth of good health out there.
7. How does it feel to be considered an inspirational woman? Who, or what inspires you?
I think it’s funny. I just do what I do because I love it. It feels good to know that doing what I love with integrity, transparency and passion is inspiring others in a positive way. That the greatest gift of the work that I do. Planting seeds and getting to see them all grow! What inspires me? EVERYTHING!!! A menu can inspire a blog post, a cookie can inspire a new recipe idea, a person can inspire a shift in business goals. I am forever being inspired and than figuring out how to translate that inspiration into my own actions and goals.
8. What is the best piece of healthy living advice you can give readers?
Don’t stress it! We get so hung up on all the little things, doing everything just right. The most important thing for great health is being happy. And often that means getting enough sleep, moving our bodies regularly, having healthy, nourishing relationships, loving our jobs and eating as much unprocessed foods as we can. Keeping it simple is key! Sorry, no earth shattering revelations here. It is common sense. We have it, we need to use it.
9. What is your favorite thing to eat? To cook?
If I could live on power smoothies I would. Oh wait…I do! They are so easy, fully of goodness and keep me fueled!!!
10. And, the million dollar question: What’s in your fridge?
Right now? Nothing!!! When I am teaching classes, my fridge tends to be taken over by whatever is needed for the class and then I pick at the leftovers until the class comes around. Right now I have a whole lots of celery, kale and cucumbers for juicing. Some bottles of home-brewed kombucha, pickles and saurkraut. Miso paste, homemade almond milks, jars of nuts and seeds and an assortment of veggies. Pretty much what I live off when I am not doing any fancy cooking or recipe creation.
Question Of The Day: Who or what has inspired you this week?
Yes, we are very FULL in our classes but here's where there is still room: