I became fascinated with the power of food and nutrition 10 years ago after years of research, self-experimentation and support from alternative health care practitioners led to recovery and (mostly) remission from years of debilitating symptoms related to a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). During that time my love of running and physical activity was severely limited which contributed to some really low periods  in my life. But eventually I learned about the link between the gut and the mind, how healing is not about one thing but looking at all aspects of your life and began to chart my own course. 

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From a very early age I always felt like I needed to succeed to be loved. This is a product of many things and I point no fingers of blame. But it is an important truth I had to acknowledge to move forward. This way of thinking led me to multiple post-graduate degrees in the sciences culminating to a doctorate from UCLA in Environmental Science and Engineering.  But I wasn't happy. Not only that, I wasn't fulfilled and everything felt like a grind. There was no flow in my life or work.  

At around the same time, a relationship came to an end and I began to exhibit symptoms of IBD.  I did the mandatory rounds of specialists who told me this had nothing to do with stress or nutrition and that I would have this illness forever. At one point, after many medications stopped working, I was told prednisone was in my future and potentially, one day, surgery. Oh to dream!

"No more." I thought. There is another way, I'm just not sure what it is. So I veered away from allopathic to alternative care and began a long journey of self experimentation and growth. I began to trust and nurture my intuition. This doesn't mean I didn't look to empirical evidence (you'll see LOTS of peer-reviewed references in my blog!), but I just knew that was only one part of the puzzle.  

After many years, I developed a toolbox of approaches that not only made sense to me, but worked for me.  These tools helped me get to know myself better, recover from IBD and stay off prescription medications, rebound from minor flare-ups and surgery and support a new love of all things trail (running and mountain biking) . But this process isn't static and I'm constantly learning from other practitioners, colleagues and most importantly clients.  

My formal education  in the sciences and through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition helped bring everything together and set me on my way to establish a business in holistic nutrition coaching.  Now I'm finally feeling like I am finally heading in the right direction in my life. 

My goal today as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist is to help people who are suffering with intestinal disorders and diseases or gut imbalances as well as empower amateur athletes through individualized, holistic approaches in nutrition. 

As an avid long distance and ultra trail runner and yoga and strength training super fan, I firmly subscribe to the importance of body movement in maintaining overall health and can truly appreciate the richness of setting challenging physical goals. No matter what age and circumstance.  I welcome the complex experiences that can emerge from performance challenges and hope to support you in preparing your body  and mind for performance and recovery no matter the physical challenged.

I've also been very interested in local foods and foraging lately so I can't promise you won't see some blogs and instagram posts on that! 

Hope to hear from you!

melissa

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ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
R.H.N. (Honours), Registered Holistic Nutritionist Diploma, Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, March 2017
D.Env., Doctorate in Environmental Science. School of Public Health. University of California at Los Angeles, USA. February 2009.
M.Sc., Biological Sciences. University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, December 2000.
B.Sc. (Hons.) Major Marine Biology. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. April 1997.

RECENT RACE ROSTER
2017
Coast Mountain Trail Series - WAM25km, Whistler, BC - TBD
Scotiabank Half marathon, Vancouver, BC - 1:55:16
Survival of the Fittest, Squamish, BC - 18km - 2:42:11
2016
Frosty 27km, Manning Park, BC - 4:17:39
Fat Dog 40 miles, Manning Park, BC - 11:22:45
2015
Sky Pilot, Squamish, BC - 2:54:25
Squamish 50km, Squamish, BC - 8:44:31
Iron Knee 25Km, North Vancouver, BC - 3:23:16
Dirty Duo 25k, North Vancouver, BC - 3:32:56
First Half Marathon, Vancouver, BC - 2:07:53
2014
Baker Lake 50k, Bakre Lake, USA - 6:46:27
Squamish 23km, Squamish, BC - 3:05:11
Comfortably Numb 25km, Whistler, BC - 3:13:16