Tell us about your fitness journey
- I was [surprise surprise] kicked out of phys-ed in grade 10 for lack of participation. Honour student otherwise, but I felt incredibly insecure with my body. The gym uniform was tiny terrycloth shorts! Also, I really had no role models for being active and healthy growing up.
- I took up running to… [another shocker] quit smoking when I was in my early 20s. I figured my lungs would hurt so badly that I wouldn’t be able to drag off a cigarette. And I was right. Within a week of attempting my first barely jog around the block, I quit cold turkey. That started my love of running, and eventually I ran a couple full marathons.
- Realizing what my body was capable of and the pride I felt at my accomplishments hooked me. I wanted more.
- Conquering squash was my next goal. I’d never played a racquet sport before that, but within 6 years I made it to A level player and played tournaments all over western Canada.
- Next I dabbled in weight-training –> I’d been certified as a fitness instructor and personal training for a few years by this time, but decided to give it a focused go myself. I loved how my muscles began to develop and that lead me to the next 8-10 years of competitive body building.
- I won my 1st comp in novice figure, even against women 20 years younger than me! And then continued on until I got my Elite Figure and Fitness Pro Cards.
- Finally, I discovered CF through friends that opened up a gym in Calgary and have never looked back!
When did your love of nutrition come to play?
- When I began body building. I was lucky to have met a coach that was natural and holistic in his approach. I never starved or carb depleted, and I didn’t do excessive cardio. I just trained hard, but smart – and the results spoke for themselves.
- Even better than the physique changes though was my wellness and health just fricken soared! Niggling chronic issues that I always thought were just normal (cold sores, tummy issues) resolved themselves. That was a game changer.
- I experienced firsthand the power that food has, and I needed to know what exactly optimal nutrition doing inside my body to make me feel so amazing. Whatever it was, I needed to keep doing it always!
- You don’t realize how unwell you are until you truly feel well. And after that, it’s hard to accept much less for yourself.
- So I went back to school, the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Since then, I can’t get enough. I’m now an instructor at the same school and continue to add more sports physiology & nutrition certifications yearly.
What does holistic nutrition mean to you?
- Holistic means understanding that everything affects everything else in body: food, lifestyle, mindset –> it’s not hokey though. In fact it’s very evidence-based. It’s about understanding and addressing your own unique physiology with nutrition, supplement and lifestyle support.
- I’m a self-professed nutrient geek! Science tells us what different nutrients are needed for optimal function in all the different systems and pathways in your body, and that knowledge is very empowering. It takes the focus off solely weight or body image, and that’s refreshing – not to mention, more sustainable.
- Alongside the science & physiology, the human-side is paramount in facilitating transformation –> finding the strategies that’ll help each individual implement that science into their everyday lives (e.g. coaching, yummy food, habit building, etc)
- I founded Mipstick Nutrition 7 years ago to help active adults build their best bodies from the inside out, to help them tap into the power of nutrition and the power within their own bodies. The word ‘Mipstick’ is just a silly word that my daughter would say when she was little (instead of lipstick). To me it’s playful, silly, and perfectly imperfect.
A happy moment
- My first year of figure competing when I realized the potential I had in sport, but also when I realized wellness after so many years of being unwell before that.
- Fitness and the community it brings with it gives one a sense of worth and pride that truly changes who you are, and therefore it changes the way you put yourself out into world.
A sad moment
- Losing people I love. The passing away of loved ones, losing my parents.
What’s your inspiration?
- My kids – Ty, Dustin, Jessica! That may sound corny, but honestly they really really are! As they grew into their own persons, they’ve became these incredible humans that I admire and respect.
- I remember the first time I felt this. Ty was about 12 years old and he had decided he wanted to be a singed (I had heard the kid sing in the shower…) He was insistent so I googled a summer camp with a producer who had worked with some notable names.
- I listened to the other kids in the group who’d clearly been singing their whole lives, and I left feeling brokenhearted for Ty thinking about how deflated he would be feeling at the end of the first day. Instead he was so pumped!
- He ended up working with this vocal coach for a couple years and now he has an amazing voice. That first day, he let go of ego. He wanted to become a singer – so he made it happen. I learned from him that day.