Let’s begin.

Thank you for your interest in my journey.  Let me begin by introducing myself.

Who am I?

For 13 years, I have owned and operated Vickie’s Specialty Shop in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.   It was my passion and allowed my family and I to do so many things that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do.  Life was good.  However, it became apparent to me, over the past couple of years, that my time at Vickie’s would be coming to an end.  My children were ready to leave the nest and I started to get restless.  I wondered what else was out there for a 40-ish woman to do.   I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though.  Let’s start from the beginning – or a little closer to the beginning.

Yankees Game - NYC buying trip
Yankees Game – NYC buying trip
Jays Game - Toronto Buying trip for Vickie's
Jays Game – Toronto Buying trip for Vickie’s

What am I about?

This blog, for the most part, is a nutrition blog.  It’s a blog where I will share tid-bits of my journey into wellness, what I’ve learned in school, articles that I read about health, etc.  I am not an expert – YET.  Currently, I am studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) in Ottawa.  Nutrition and wellness have slowly become my new passion.  It’s definitely what’s next for this 40-ish woman.

To give you a bit of background on how I got to be where I am, I’ll tell you a bit about my own journey into wellness.  This may also be a good time to point out that I do not personally believe that the journey ENDS in wellness.  I believe that it is a journey where we are always learning, and changing, and doing a bit better from day to day or month to month and certainly from year to year.

How did I get here?

About 4 years ago, I was suffering from some pretty debilitating digestive issues.  It had reached the point where we could no longer go out to social events or restaurants for fear of  “an episode.”  Meal times, snacks, etc revolved around the question “Where is the nearest bathroom?”  Not much of a life and I know, from listening to many of you, that this is not an uncommon experience.  As a society, we are stressed to the max, our lifestyles are crazy busy, and our digestive systems are the first to suffer.

Fast forward a few months.  I had visited several Health Care Providers and felt like I’d tried just about everything.  Finally, as a last resort, which many times it is, I decided to see a nutritionist.  She is no longer practicing, otherwise I would add her name here.   We worked together for a few months, deciphering everything that was going into my mouth.  We tried elimination diets and just couldn’t get to the root of the problem.  Boy! Am I glad I don’t have to live without night shade vegetables!!   In our last meeting, my nutritionist commented that I always had gum in my mouth and suggested that I try to do without it for a while.  She said, “it may not be hurting but I can’t see that it would be good to always be relying on any substance. ”  So… I left her place at 10:00 that day and spit out my gum.   Within about 2 hours of that final meeting  I NEVER had another episode.  My symptoms and digestive upset simply stopped.   Upon further inspection, we’ve come to believe that the aspartame in the gum was causing an allergic reaction in my body.  Fascinating,  don’t you think?   My whole life, I had been DILIGENT to keep aspartame out of our home and our bodies yet here I was, chewing 2 packs a day, of an aspartame laden substance and not giving it a second thought.

What now? 

So…. that experience lit a spark in me.  I started to ask questions.  Things like “Why is nutrition the last thing we look at when we get sick?  Why does it take such suffering before we understand that what’s going into our mouths, literally, affects everything else?   Why are we so resistant to change our diets and lifestyles?”  That spark, became a fire underneath me.  I could not stop learning about nutrition and trying to apply what I learned for myself and my family.

Which brings us to the present.  The kids are gone, my passion is no longer in my current career, I’m drained and burned out.  I get sick again – really sick  – and I cannot recover.   The universe is trying to tell me something don’t you think?  It took me a while to clue in, but I finally did.  My husband and I sat and talked and talked and talked and came to the realization that yes, life is indeed short and to live a life unfulfilled is to not really be living at all.  So… I took the giant step to walk away from my business.  I attended an information session at CSNN  where the owner, Natalie, used many of the same phrases that I had been using in my own life and she just brought it all home for me.  I came home and said to my husband, “This is it. This is what I need to do.”  Now, keep in mind that we have 3 grown children, 2 of whom are in college and university.  I had no idea where the money would come from but I KNEW, with everything in me, that this was what I was meant to do next.

My first day of school at CSNN
My first day of school at CSNN

So…. here I am.   I am a student at CSNN, studying nutrition and I’d like to share my journey with you.    I hope you’ll enjoy the ride almost as much as I do.