Total chaos in my very first cooking class ever. May, 2008
I have been very fortunate with my work to have so many amazing people help support my efforts. One of those sweet and smart peeps was Ms. Alana Clark. For the whole of last summer and the better part of the fall- she helped me with my blog and other tech savvy stuff. I would send her my blog posts as word docs and she would get them up and ready for me. Amazing help!
As she wraps up her nutrition studies and gets going on her own amazing business ventures, we decided to part ways. Now, I can't wait to join one of Alana's Yoga In The Vineyard adventures. Though give me a glass of wine and it may be Meghan In Wheel-Barrel Getting Hauled Around in A Vineyard. Such a great idea right? Yoga, wine tour, lunch, day-cation? Perfect.
For one of Alana's assignments for school- she chose to interview me. Have you ever been interviewed before? It's funny. See I answered the questions as she asked them, as honestly as I could. Then when she sent me the final interview, I was like... really? That's me you're talking about. Gee whiz, I sound profesh and even Geer Whizzer, I guess I have done a lot in a short time.
After much internal debate, I have decided to share the interview with you- and maybe help you to understand a little more how I came to land here.
Part 1: Making Love In The Kitchen, And In Business
as interviewed by Alana Clark
For anyone that has met Meghan Telpner, images of vibrant health, wellness, tropical destinations, education, leadership and maybe even sunshine and rainbows come to mind. With a refreshingly realistic approach to nutrition and healthy living, Meghan Telpner has taken the world by storm, and with humour and passion inspires people to take a look at their lives and start living their lives now. Based in Toronto, Meghan is Chief Love Maker at the The Love In The Kitchen Academy and director of Nourish Your Soul Holidays. Her successful blog aptly titled Making Love In The Kitchen has an avid following of international readers and clients extending across Canada, around the United States, the Caribbean, the UK and as far reaching as Mozambique and Australia, and offers tips, recipes and entertaining videos on how to prepare healthful, nutritious goodness from whole foods.
When I was handed the assignment of interviewing and profiling a successful entrepreneur in the nutrition field, I thought immediately of Meghan. Not only is her enthusiasm, charisma and positive energy truly inspiring, but I also credit Meghan with inspiring me to take my own leap of faith towards nutrition. Through her frank and open honesty in her blog, I learned of her struggle with Crohn’s disease, how she took her health into her own hands to live symptom free from this seemingly incurable autoimmune disease, and left her corporate job in advertising to get well and follow her dreams. While sitting at my own desk in my cubicle at my corporate marketing job, this story resonated with me and I couldn’t wait to learn more about this captivating woman dressed head to toe in a rainbow of colours and educating me that I should also have a rainbow of colours in my diet for optimum health too. This made sense to me. It’s now almost one year later and as I am finishing up my final courses at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (the same school Meghan attended and graduated with honours as class valedictorian), I think it is only fitting that I interview the girl that started it all for me.
I met Meghan at her vibrant loft in the trendy Queen West area of Toronto. This awesomely colourful artist's loft space is also where she meets with clients and runs her cooking school, The Love In The Kitchen Academy, featuring inspiring topics such as Healthy Meal Prep, Raw Food Power, Natural Body Care, The Veggie Transition and Eating For Awesome Energy. Although I had already read much about Meghan on her blog, there were many business questions that now as a budding nutritionist and business owner myself, I was eager to learn. Meghan in all her positivity and warmth is always pleased to share with others and perhaps this is part of what makes her such a magnet for her clients, readers and fans. We sipped on some amazing Kombucha Mojitos (alcohol free) that Meghan had whipped up in her kitchen, always the healthy hostess.
I first asked Meghan what the catalyst was for her entrepreneurial journey. Meghan answered that after following “a typical path, finished high school, went to university where I got an undergraduate degree in fashion, which I had no idea what I was going to do with it” she decided to go traveling as many new graduates do. While traveling through Africa however, Meghan began to experience debilitating health challenges which cut her travels short and landed her back in Toronto. Unsure what to do next she then landed a job in advertising. Although Meghan was good at her job and had a successful career on the go, she knew inside that she wasn’t made for 9-5 work, that she couldn’t work in a cubicle. In fact, in typical Meghan humour, she often joked that her “job really killed” her day. In just 3.5yrs., an amazing 8 jobs later (Meghan really loved job interviews!) she found herself at 26 years old and too sick to go to work.
Going from doctor to doctor, Meghan was desperate to find a solution. Three and a half-years after traveling to Africa, and 19 doctors later, Meghan was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Rather than taking the conventional approach (surgery and medication) Meghan explained to me that she “chose a completely holistic approach that included acupuncture, yoga, meditation, herbs and natural, clean, whole foods. In a relatively short time, I was essentially healed of the symptoms that had plagued me for all those years and so inspired that I decided to go back to school to study nutrition.” She took a huge leap of faith to go back to school. When I asked her if she had to make a lot of compromises or a lot of fear to leave a well paying job to return to life as a student, Meghan provided me with the incredible insight that “it never seems like that hard of a struggle when things are right. There was no need to do a pro versus con lists when you know that you are on the right path.” Since my own decision to leave the corporate world and pursue nutrition school myself was only a few short weeks, I knew that she was right about this. I had innately known this was the next step in my life and when presented with the opportunity, didn’t stress over the decision as I had with many other decisions in life and made the transition from full-time career girl into full-time student.
To be continued next Tuesday...
Alana Clark is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the founder of Little Sprout Nutrition, a company that specializes in pre-conception, prenatal, and postnatal nutrition for women, as well as good food and health for the whole family. She was inspired to pursue her own passion of Holistic Nutrition after discovering Meghan Telpner’s blog, Making Love In The Kitchen. She now works to inspire others towards living in a world full of good food, great health and of course, sunshine and rainbows.