A few years ago my life was stress and anxiety filled. We had recently moved back to Edmonton from Montreal with my husband and toddler. An eventful move with delays and surprises, new jobs, new place to live while we looked for a house, long commutes to work. My world oftentimes felt on auto pilot as we tried to settle into new routines. I had promised myself when I left my mental health job in Montreal to focus more on my own self care.
But, a year later I found myself once again suffering from burn out and compassion fatigue in my new job.
I decided to leave the mental health field and transition back into retail management figuring it would be easier on my mental health. I started a new job, was pregnant with my second child and soon was again was sucked into a workaholic's rhythm of bad habits... no breaks, eating on the run or at my desk while I worked (if I remembered to eat at all). Putting everyone else and my work first, days fuelled by coffee, overtime, fast paced and high stress and zero work/life balance. Sound familiar?
I had not been feeing well since before I left Montreal but my doctor there had brushed it off because I was "so young" probably just "stress" . I had some tests done with my new doctor in Edmonton who took time to listen to me and then I as a result saw a specialist. Baby Willow came Earthside. I had made some major shifts in how I was eating. I started exercising daily. I began practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, accountability work in a likeminded community. But then reality hit one morning.
It began with a phone call from my gastroenterologist.
It went like this:
“The biopsy we took shows that yes, it is cancer.”
Time stopped; my life changed.
I was floored; a diagnosis of Stage 3 Colon Cancer for someone my age was of course unexpected. After surgery and months of chemotherapy in 2015/16, exercise, nutrition, supplements and self care... my cancer is gone.
I am full of gratitude in its place.
Chemotherapy poisons your body and destroys your gut. Nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight gain, weight loss, anxiety, depression, PTSD, brain fog, cognitive problems and many other side effects... chemotherapy shows no mercy. I had made some huge shifts in my eating, exercise and lifestyle before I started treatment and, because of that, I feel that my body was better supported in each stage of my cancer journey. I wanted to learn more about how this worked. I wanted to learn more about the power of food as medicine; the chemistry and science behind the minerals and nutrients in food and how they work in the body. And, the powerful effects of positive stress management, self care and lifestyle on bodies in our every day life.
I earned my certification in a government recognized program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition as
Holistic Nutrition Practitioner in 2016/17. Putting what I learned into practice in my own life, in tandem with realistic self-care habits and routines, has been key in my bouncing back.
Now I am using my experience and training to help others. My work and life experience set me aside from the rest. I truly "get it" and that is why my plans and support programs really work.
I keep things simple, realistic and sustainable.
Are you ready to make a change?
READY MADE MEAL PLANS & eBOOKS
Done for you grocery lists, recipes and prep guides.
Everything you need to hit the ground running!
My training in nutrition includes a number of specialties including autoimmune and gut health but my passion for
and customized wellness
is where my heart and purpose connect