Does this sound like you?
You've found eating a plant-based diet can be confusing or overwhelming, but you still keep trying. You want the glow that comes with eating more plant-based foods: clear skin, more energy, and easier digestion.
You like that eating more plant-based foods also means you're doing something to reduce animal suffering, and taking a step towards saving the planet. But there are cravings, failed menu plans you had downloaded from the internet, and awkward social situations that can seem like too much to bear.
You want to have a solid plan to eat more plant-based foods that is easier and works with YOUR life. No one-plan fits all. Just a plan that you KNOW you can make happen with all your unique life circumstances.
Vibrant. Lighter. Making a difference.
If this sounds like you, you are in the right place. And yes, eating more plant-based foods can be a part of your daily living.
However, eating more plant-based foods can certainly have its challenges.
It comes with its own special set of struggles that I know really well. A decade ago I had to overcome many of these myself. Some included having a limited budget, supporting others, and having my own health problems.
Since then I have helped others to eat more plant-based foods through coaching and workshops, and I know everyone has their own set of circumstances that create challenges when adopting a new way of eating.
But your transition to eating more plant-based foods doesn't have to be so overwhelming.
That's where I come in.
I coach people who want to adopt a plant-based diet but struggle with the logistical and social challenges of fitting it into their daily lives. I help them confidently incorporate this way of eating, so they can feel vibrant, lighter, and more in line with their values.
When I was a child in grade school I started becoming very sick. I would be sick for very long periods of time and was susceptible to lung infections. After being referred to an allergy specialist we learned that I had asthma as well as many allergies and hayfever.
I began taking antihistamines and steroid inhalers. This led to my first memories of complete confusion in every day activities. Due to the medication, I would experience drowsiness and worsened short-term memory. As I got older these side effects became even more of a problem, especially when it came to studying and writing exams in high school.
Everything I was experiencing with my asthma, allergies, and skin issues were considered normal since many family members have similar issues that all seem to get worse with age.
I was determined to get myself off all my medicine and live a life free of limitations.
My allergies limited many foods I could eat and places I could go (which was a major bummer since most everyone I knew had a cat or dog).
My family and medical professionals told me that the ailments I was experiencing were genetic and they warned me about all the additional diseases that “ran in my family” which I was likely to experience when I aged.
As a young adult I began to question the only medical world I knew (which included a perspective of isolating physical ailments from all other life factors) and began searching for something different.
I was looking in places I had never been exposed to, and didn't know existed until I found them. These included things like holistic living (understanding that all areas of health are connected), plant-based eating, and natural-based medicines (including use of herbs).
This happened at the same time in my life when I began learning about how much my food choices affect the environment, the lives of animals, and the lives of humans (including my own health).
When looking at improving my personal health, I was forced to also consider what I was putting into my body including medications and food.
Between my studies in university and research I conducted in my free time, I began to see more connections in various aspects of health that affect one another. I applied what I was learning one step at a time to my own life. This involved not only a change in diet and general lifestyle habits, but also a change in attitude and perspective.
I resolved that although I may be genetically susceptible to various undesired medical conditions, I may not have to physically express them.
As I learned more about the food industry I was flabbergasted that such horrific places and cruel actions exist as a part of our daily food system. It was hard for me to accept these things were real. I didn't know what I could do. I felt angry, sad, misdirected, lied-to, and ignorant.
I was only scratching the surface of what I didn't know about the mass production of food. Not long after that first exposure I read more books on factory farming, the food industry, saw documentary films, and was faced with the truth behind what many of my food decisions contributed to. It was overwhelming, to say the least. I felt helpless. I decided to eat more plant-based foods, slowly becoming vegan over time. I hoped that my food choices, among other actions in my daily living, would lessen my impact on the planet and others.
The thing that made the biggest impact on my overall health was transitioning to a plant-based diet.
With every improvement I made in my diet I could see improvements in my mental, physical, and spiritual health and I never considered going back to my old habits. Diet was a keystone aspect for me in improving my overall health.
I've been living free of symptoms from my ailments for many years now. I successfully lowered my medications and eventually removed them completely from my life (although there are rare exceptions, like when I am stung by an insect -those reactions are terrible!). This is not an anomaly, nor is it restricted to people who had the ailments I did.
Adopting a plant-based diet did not happen overnight for me. I was exposed to lots of information regarding health, treatment of animals, and destruction of the planet for a couple years before I realized how much power my choices could yield or that I really had any power at all.
Today, I've been exclusively eating plant-based foods for over a decade and experienced many health benefits as a result. Not only did I eliminate most of my allergies, asthma, need for eye glasses, and skin conditions, but I also have consistently clearer skin, much more energy, and experience better digestion.
I want to make a difference in other people's lives while having a positive impact on the planet, and I want to share my knowledge of health and making plant-based foods with anyone who is interested to learn more.
That is how I decided to start offering my services.
In 2009 I facilitated my first workshop on how to make simple nutritious plant-based meals. This workshop was fully booked, and had been sponsored by a couple of local businesses.
I really enjoyed making food for other people. Seeing the (then) lack of available healthy plant-based options in stores and restaurants, I decided to start a catering company. I wanted healthy plant-based foods to be accessible to people when they are out and about.
During this time, alongside my catering company, I continued to hold workshops regularly. These workshops talked about the importance of raw foods in our diet, how to eat more plant-based foods, and preparation of three course meals.
There came a time when I had a little one to care for, and my catering company was growing too fast.
I couldn't accept all the orders I received and, on top of that, there were days I woke up to find my little one with his hands in the fridge and a big smile on his face. He had been eating an order of desserts!
At about the same time my catering business was becoming too much for my circumstances, I started having more people asking me for individual help to eat more plant-based foods and improve their health. In response I offered private sessions over the phone without charge to help them out.
Very quickly I realized that getting help to fit new healthy habits into their life was something that people really needed, whether the food was already available to them or not. And, being very much an extrovert, I found speaking with people and helping them navigate their challenges was more nourishing to my soul than making food alone in a kitchen for hours.
Becoming a coach made sense.
How could I not? I absolutely loved being able to share my tips with others in ways that helped them extend their new habits beyond the workshops and food demonstrations.
I was finally able to use my university degrees, and various health certificates in a way that ties them all together. Even my position as a peer counselor at university was useful here! I completed a year long health coach training program and began coaching clients.
Unintentionally, the clients that came to me all wanted to eat more plant-based foods (whether more by volume or exclusively) regardless of what their other health goals were.
So, eventually, I embraced that. At first, I was worried I was pigeonholing myself by becoming a “Plant-based Health Coach” but, honestly, why not do what I am good at?
Today I still lead workshops, offer health coaching, and personal training. I will even do a food demonstration here and there. To be experiencing the best health I have as an adult, and to be feeling like I am making a difference helping other people and the planet, is something I am incredibly grateful for.
Are you ready?
Surrounding yourself with resources, tools, and community are all helpful in transitioning to a plant-based diet. That being said, it can still seem overwhelming.
Sometimes you just want to eat more plant-based foods without worrying about all the “other” stuff.
Having a direct approach with a customized program and a go-to person can be extremely helpful.
If you are ready to start eating more plant-based foods, in a way that fits YOUR lifestyle, and no matter your reason for making this change, check out my current coaching services or seminars. And if it’s personal training you’re looking for, I’ve got you covered with that, too.
Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Strength and Fat Loss Coach, Trained Health Coach, B.Sc., B.A.H.