Nutrition and water intake are the most undervalued or misunderstood essential ingredients to a healthy brain and body.

Choosing to eat healthy natural foods is the most important piece to maintaining good health and staying young. What we eat determines our weight and body composition – not how much we work out.  80 to 90 percent of our weight is determined by what we eat.

Do You Know that Cheese is White?

Until I was 15 years old, I did not know that cheese was white in colour, the orange is added. I found this out when I was on an exchange in Australia and went on a tour of a dairy farm. How embarrassing for me. During this time as an exchange student away from home for a year, I overate because I was home sick. As a guest, I had to eat what was put in front of me or people would be offended, as this is a social and cultural obligation. So, I ate a lot and then I discovered chicken chips (not real chicken but there were delicious). I gained 15 pounds. How unhealthy I felt with the extra weight. I became tired and lethargic. Plus, my clothes did not fit very well. I often heard ‘you are so pretty, but you need to lose weight’. Although they were being honest, it felt mean. When I arrived home in Calgary after a year of overeating and emotional eating, I reduced my food intake; I was sick of eating. It took at least one year to get the weight off.

What I have come to realize is that I am a super taster and super smeller. I have never put pepper or salt on my food, nor will I ever put lemon on a dish. I like my chocolate straight up sometimes with caramel, but no almonds, nuts, or fake cherries. It already has such a big flavour to me.

I have had food poisoning twice in my life. The first time I ended up being sick for a week. The second time was when I went to Brazil. This trip changed my relationship with food forever. I ended up in the ICU for 9 days with my Brazilian friend. We both got Salmonella poisoning which apparently is the kind that can kill or cripple you. I ended up having this “Salmonella” for over 6 months with two different rounds of antibiotics. I developed allergies to chicken, eggs, dust, chlorine, and all sorts of other things.

Weight Gain

I have had the opportunity to work along side several strength coaches and medical doctors who developed protein powders, drinks, bars, and diets. I tried all these diets, and they only made me fat. For women I have discovered calories matter, fake food such as protein bars and powders can be deadly for our weight. They are like chocolate bars, but not as satisfying. Adding 250 to 300 calories a day from only one bar, is easily gaining a pound or two a month. And, the inflammation from eating chemicals leads to extra weight gain.

I’ve discovered that the secret is to focus on health and eat only until I am full. Portion control is key.

Because of my career choice, people assume that my diet is perfect.  It is not. Balance is important. I eat healthy 80 percent of the time and 20 percent I treat myself but don’t go overboard on calories.

My evolution with food is that I now eat when I have earned an appetite, not on a schedule. Real food is the easiest for our bodies to utilize for healing, for energy and for staying young.

Balance is the secret.