Being a certified Metabolic Effect Fitness Specialist, CPT, Holistic Nutritionist, Flexible Dieting advocate and Culinary Meal Prep Coach, Aesthetician (retired 😉 ), SAFElite Bikini Model and Judge and Writer is a bit of a mouthful so I usually describe what I am as a Holistic Health & Beauty, Lifestyle Coach who loves to share information through writing and blogging. I’m also Celiac and love to experiment with gluten free baking and cooking. I’m the oldest sister of 4 girls, wife and mommy to two miniature dachshunds, Penelope and Little Miss. I’m a Genuine Health Sponsored Athlete, Bench Canada and GoodLife Fitness Ambassador as well as an ambassador for FitFluential and Sweat Pink. In addition to that I have a background in marketing and work in the health field designing, building and marketing medical facilities. I wear a lot of hats and am passionate about them all 😉
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease around 10 years old, I was really forced to look more carefully at what I was eating. To read every ingredient and know if it contains gluten takes some work, especially as a kid. Eventually I caught on and with my mom’s help in the kitchen, healthy cooking became a hobby for me. I have a true interest in nourishing and satisfying nutrition and love to cook, bake and create. My focus is on whole foods using health supporting ingredients that are chosen around your needs and particular goals. This means you will find all sorts of recipes including grain free, paleo, aip, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free and vegan options. Basically a little of everything. I also believe in balance and have a true love for dark chocolate and coffee….antioxidants right? No food is necessarily bad food it’s more a matter of learning when, why and how of each choice. This is nutritional freedom.
Training and healthy eating have been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I have been working out since I was old enough to have a membership at the local YMCA! Actually before that I remember doing workout videos in my parents living room with my LA Gears on :). I danced and did gymnastics when I was young, played volleyball and basketball throughout school and started weight training in my early teens. I also picked up Pilates and yoga in my 20s and really just love all of it.
My first career path was aesthetics, I went to beauty school right out of high school and loved it. I worked in spas, salons and cosmetic counters as an aesthetician, makeup artist, lash and nail extension technician and learned so much. I also set up shop in my apartment and saw clients there too. Life lead me to my next learning experience and while working for a medical company I ended up going back to university for business and marketing degree. A really tough, busy and exciting time in my life!
It was around that time (2007) that I discovered physique competitions. I was introduced through a friend and went to a show where I was inspired by the athleticism of the fitness competitors and the grace of the figure competitors and since then I’ve competed numerous times with many different experiences and outcomes including several 1st place finishes in several organizations. One of the facets of competing that I really love is the stage. I love the glitz and glamour. When can you get away with wearing that much make up, such a dark tan, big hair, bling and 6 inch heels?! 😉
Even before competing something I’ve always enjoyed is being in front of the camera. I’ve modeled for several supplement companies and promotions, hardcover books and calendars and well as some personal projects. Booking photo shoots is a great way to stay motivated and to keep track of your progress through amazing photography. I highly recommend booking photo shoots as motivation and also great documentation of your progress.
For me, competing is something fun and something that motivates me but it’s not the reason I love to hit the gym or the reason I’m so passionate about great nutrition. I actually really love to eat so it’s important to me that my nutrition is as delicious as it is nutritious. I strive for balance in mind, body and spirit and my goal is to have a metabolically healthy and fit body I’m comfortable in all year round. Competing is a hobby for me and something I do when the timing is right but being fit, healthy and well balanced is something I strive for for every day. Sure I love physical beauty but for me, true optimal health is what is most beautiful and I’m really passionate about sharing what knowledge of nutrition, fitness and beauty as well as just overall health & wellness in general.
Training hard and eating clean for competing led me to wanting to learn more and I dove into learning everything I could. My initial experience was your typical bodybuilding type diet of tilapia, asparagus and sweet potato plus a heck of a lot of long and boring cardio and although it ‘worked’ for the show I knew it wasn’t something that would work as a life long way of living for me. I hit the books, did a ton of research, identified amazing mentors, got certified as a Precision Nutrition Coach with Dr. Berardi and learned how to design outcome based programs based on caloric requirements as well as emotional and metabolic needs. In addition, I also trained as a Holistic Nutritionist and personal trainer specializing in the Metabolic effect and HITT style training along with metabolism and metabolic health.
Because even coaches need coaches I’ve often outsourced my own programming and have had the pleasure and incredible learning experience of working with different coaches over the years including the legendary trail blazing Dr. Layne Norton who is my current coach and mentor along with Dr. Bret Contreras, The Glute Guy. I”ve also worked with Erik Ledin of LBC, Amber Dodzweit (mega girl crush), Jean Jacques Barrett of AP Protocol and the notable Queen of Pain A.K.A Scary Sherrie, Sherrie Agius. My first ever coach was a football star and true athlete and trained me as such. All of these coaches have their own distinct opinions, methods and training protocols and have each each influenced how I think about nutrition and training. They have, in many ways helped shaped my journey and coaching style. Not every method will work for everyone long-term and it’s important to find a good fit when looking for a coach. The utmost important aspect when looking for a coach is finding one that understands the science behind nutrition and takes special care with yours (dieting or not!). I can’t stress that enough, this is your health.
My philosophy when it comes to competition preparation or ‘dieting’ in general is that it must be fun and enjoyable. Preparing for competition shouldn’t be a chore but an adventure (if you aren’t having fun, why the heck are you doing it?!). I also believe it should be done in the utmost metabolically healthiest way possible. I’m an advocate for natural bodybuilding and do work for this cause by sitting on the judging panel for Serious About Fitness and Physique Canada, the only truly drug free organization in Ontario (maybe Canada). I’m also a foodie and a total lover of great food. I believe that over restricting your food choice is unnecessary and detrimental. An enjoyable balanced nutrition strategy is something essential for a healthy frame of mind and body during and long after your contest or fat loss phase. Dieting can be delicious.
In addition to coaching I love to write. It’s really where my focus is these days. I find it such a great way to get my thoughts out and share information with you beautiful people. ’cause a girl’s gotta know this stuff! I’m currently writing for GoodLife Fitness as well as Healthy Living Blogs, FitBlogger, Food Bloggers of Canada, Genuine Health and quite a few other amazing publications. Contact me if interested in working together on piece!
Part of my life also includes working for a medical firm. In 2009 I took a contract with them and moved to Toronto for 18 months. My job was overwhelmingly intense and included extremely long hours and very stressful situations. I was busy to say the least. I also met, fell in love and married my husband in that time! I enjoyed my work and the time spent with my new hubby immensely but my training and nutrition took a back burner for probably the first time in my life. I found myself gaining weight, suffering from migraines and back pain as well as just overall feeling unhealthy and unhappy. When I returned to Ottawa and settled into our new house and routine I was determined to lose the 20(+/-) lbs I’d gained and really re-prioritize. Health is so important and I’d somehow allowed things to get in the way. It took me about 1 year and a half to get back to get back to where I wanted to be. In 2012 I decided to put my clear heels on again and get back onstage.
In 2013 I really found true balance with fitness and nutrition again. I was able to really apply my own knowledge and with minimal but metabolically effective time in the gym, delicious and nourishing, balanced nutrition, I achieved my best physique yet with what seemed like the least about of work. Metabolic mastery at it’s best.
In 2014 I had some unexplained health issues crop up that ended up being a parasite (crazy!). I spent almost 10 months suffering through various symptoms including fatigue, indigestion, severe bloating and distention. That journey was such an experience and really forced me to tune in to my body’s needs even more. I wrote all about it while trying to get a diagnosis and summarized it in this blog post.
That infection and treatment set me back in terms of my gut health and reminded me of exactly what it felt like when I was a kid and everything I ate hurt. Through specific nutrition and gut healing protocols, autoimmune specific nutrition, naturopathic and conventional medicine I’ve been working to repair the damage the parasite and antibiotics caused. My focus has been getting back to feeling great again and sharing the ins and out with you through my blog, emails and social media. I hope to help those of you suffering with digestive issues feel great again too.
I’ve now recovered almost fully and I continue my gut healing and support through nutrition I move on to my next phase in life. Although I may compete again one day right now my focus is elsewhere. I’m focused on healing my gut and strive for optimal heath as I prepare to start a family. My current goals include rebuilding a strong and healthy metabolism through reverse dieting and metabolic training as well as focusing on great gut function, optimal nutrient intake, overall wellness and increased fertility.
I believe healthy living is something that has to be a lifestyle to be long lasting. Quick fixes, 21 day diets or restrictive meal plan and meal replacements don’t work for the long run. We need to take care of our mind body and spirit for optimum health & inner (and outer!) beauty.
Helping others find holistic health and wellness (especially through digestion!) and maximizing metabolisms is my passion and I hope this website and blog helps you in your journey of optimal health, fitness and inner (and outer) beauty.
WBFF Fitness Model & Bikini 2007 & 2008
OPA Figure 5th place 2008
FAME 1st place fitness model 2008
FAME 2nd place bikini model 2008
SAF 1st place fitness model 2008
SAF Best Theme-wear 2008
SAF ElitePro Fitness Model 2009
SAF ElitePro Fitness Model 2012