My Story

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Life has taken me on an intense journey – one filled with joy, devastating loss and tremendous love.  This journey has led me to a career in Holistic Nutrition. My struggles and triumphs have made me certain of its value and passionate about supporting and spreading wellness.

Life dishes up some surprises

I first started studying holistic nutrition in 2012. I’d been through quite an upheaval— Unexpectedly, I found myself as a single parent with two very young children.  I was wiped out from breastfeeding, extreme mental and physical stress, and emotional devastation. It had taken a long time to feel back in control of my life. Now I wanted to do something that felt right, that nourished me, body and soul. Holistic nutrition was a perfect fit. I started to volunteer and began learning more about nutrition. My interest grew into a passion that happily filled all my spare time.

But then life took another unexpected turn when I met a dashing young engineer. I fell for him hook, line and sinker (if you’ll pardon the pun about a certain online dating site)—and happily, the feeling was mutual. He also had two youngsters. The process of blending our two families into one big, awesome one was full of daily challenges. Plus, I had just left one long-time employer and made a career change.

Juggling four kids, two homes and two careers was wildly busy, so I set aside my nutrition studies and concentrated on keeping up with what had to get done.

The big, bad surprise

In the midst of all that crazy busy, building toward a new life, I got a shocking diagnosis: breast cancer.

It seemed impossible. I was a healthy thirty-something who ate well and exercised a lot. For God’s sake I juiced on the daily!  But there it was—cancer.

I was lucky. Mine was early stage and hormonally driven—the best kind of terrible. At first, I was blissfully naïve. I thought that prognosis meant I wouldn’t worry about dying and leaving my kids … but as any cancer survivor knows, that naivety is just a form of denial. The torment of knowing cancer could still be lurking never leaves you…it just takes a backseat while you worry about things like hair loss, mastectomy bras, and nipple tattoos.

Even in the best-case scenario, breast cancer is anything but a pretty pink ribbon. The treatment sends you to hell and back. After a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, two mastectomies, and hormonal therapy I was finally given the “all clear.” Then I had two reconstruction surgeries to put humpty and dumpty back together again.  All this in less than three years. Today I still deal with some of the lasting side effects of my treatment.   But believe me, I know I had it easy. The strength of those who deal with late stage and metastatic diagnoses amazes and inspires me every day.

Highs and lows on a twisting road

I’d overcome cancer. Things were looking up—WAY up. To celebrate I would fulfil a life-long dream.  I took a trip to Nepal and Tibet with some of my favourite people, including the wonderful man in my life. At Base Camp on Mt. Everest’s northern face, he proposed.

We came home filled with joy. And then my mother told me she’d found a lump in her own breast and she was sure it was growing. It made me so angry. Though my treatments were finished, I was still very much in the middle of my own battle, still working through the fear, the side effects, the emotional isolation. I felt like cancer had taken so much more than my breasts, and I needed a break!

I wouldn’t get one. Mom’s pathology results were not good. She had one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. A whole new, horrible battle lay ahead.

At the same time, I was tormented by expectations. So many people in my life thought it was time I went back to work now that I was healthy again. I felt compelled to return the loyalty of my supportive employer and colleagues. I figured I should be strong enough—and I sensed that’s what others thought—but I knew I wasn’t ready to return to the grinding day-to-day routine I’d had before cancer.

But as difficult as this time was, I would not come undone. I’d already been through so much and I knew what I needed to do, that I had to set boundaries and ask for help. Thank goodness for the loving, supportive people around me. Love of life and my beautiful family got me through.

Mom died just six months after she was diagnosed. Her cancer was too aggressive and her body too weak.

Realizations and the road ahead

Cancer takes so much and leaves an enduring residue of fear.  But it’s also given me many gifts for which I’m grateful. It has slowed the pace of my life. It’s given me a fresh perspective. Most of all it gave me time to appreciate my family, my life and all its beautiful craziness. Life, I realized, is so much better with me in it.  I’m not just alive now, I am present…and that makes for a very powerful existence.

After Mom died, decisions about career and lifestyle that I’d thought were so difficult became very easy. I decided not to return to work and I re-enrolled in the nutrition program I’d parked years earlier.

The calling was crystal clear: I needed to help people who like me, had endured hardship and were mentally ready to take care of their own self.

And so here I am, on this new journey, one that will allow me to share what I’ve learned about simple whole foods, healthy lifestyles and good self-care. I am so excited to help others live life to the fullest by helping them be the most nourished version of themselves.

Testimonials

  • Amanda got me started on a path that changed my life.  I was feeling tired all the time and keeping up with my 3 boys was a struggle. I knew I had to do something. She helped me tackle my nutrition one step at a time.  I did the work, lost 60 pounds and I feel great. I have more energy than my kids now!!

    Robin, Abbotsford, BC
  • Amanda is warm, knowledgeable and passionate about what she does. It’s contagious! She makes herself available, always has time to listen and is full of helpful advice.  Working with her has been wonderful!

    Patricia, CBS, NL
  • I never knew that eating healthy could be so tasty.  Amanda’s meal plans took my food sensitivities into account and introduced me to lots of healthy new foods. It eliminated so much stress. Not only did I know what was for dinner – but I knew it was going to be healthy and taste great! I don’t know what I would have done without her!

    Pam, St. Johns, NL

Testimonials

  • Amanda got me started on a path that changed my life.  I was feeling tired all the time and keeping up with my 3 boys was a struggle. I knew I had to do something. She helped me tackle my nutrition one step at a time.  I did the work, lost 60 pounds and I feel great. I have more energy than my kids now!!

    Robin, Abbotsford, BC
  • Amanda is warm, knowledgeable and passionate about what she does. It’s contagious! She makes herself available, always has time to listen and is full of helpful advice.  Working with her has been wonderful!

    Patricia, CBS, NL
  • I never knew that eating healthy could be so tasty.  Amanda’s meal plans took my food sensitivities into account and introduced me to lots of healthy new foods. It eliminated so much stress. Not only did I know what was for dinner – but I knew it was going to be healthy and taste great! I don’t know what I would have done without her!

    Pam, St. Johns, NL

Testimonials

  • Amanda got me started on a path that changed my life.  I was feeling tired all the time and keeping up with my 3 boys was a struggle. I knew I had to do something. She helped me tackle my nutrition one step at a time.  I did the work, lost 60 pounds and I feel great. I have more energy than my kids now!!

    Robin, Abbotsford, BC
  • Amanda is warm, knowledgeable and passionate about what she does. It’s contagious! She makes herself available, always has time to listen and is full of helpful advice.  Working with her has been wonderful!

    Patricia, CBS, NL
  • I never knew that eating healthy could be so tasty.  Amanda’s meal plans took my food sensitivities into account and introduced me to lots of healthy new foods. It eliminated so much stress. Not only did I know what was for dinner – but I knew it was going to be healthy and taste great! I don’t know what I would have done without her!

    Pam, St. Johns, NL
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