NUTRITION | LIFESTYLE | HERBS
I have strong roots on the North-West coast of BC; where ocean and forest collide in perfect powerful harmony. I grew up surrounded by acres of rainforest; a place where I developed at a young age a deep connection with the natural world. We harvested fiddleheads in the spring and filled our buckets with huckleberries in the summers, picked devils club spikes out of our dirty feet and played in the woods until dusk. I come from a family of fishermen, builders, gatherers, adventurers and creatives; I landed smack dab in the middle.
I learned in late childhood the reality of having food allergies; how ignoring them affected my immune system, and how my quality of life changed drastically once listening to my body. As a competitive gymnast I loved movement and personal strength, but the reality of being sick meant I spent many days in bed in stead of the gym. Although some think maybe this hindered my success, I see now that this is when my creativity blossomed. I spent hours and hours reading, drawing, and writing stories. As much as I wished it could, my life couldn't be spent in bed. My mom took me to see a Naturopathic Doctor, and we identified some food intolerances that were the culprit of my stomach problems, poor immune system, chronic eczema and severe lack of energy. The transition period was long and slow, but I can tell you that it changed my life.
Experiencing this personal growth at such a young age is what launched me into needing to know everything I could about food and it's relationship with the body. I learned how to cook mostly based around the fact that I didn't want to rely on anyone else to make me feel energized, vibrant, and healthy. I learned to eat intuitively, to listen to my body, and how to create with food. I wanted to learn more.
I went on to study Holistic Nutrition and Integrative Medicine at Pacific Rim College - the most comprehensive on-site Holistic Nutrition program in Canada - completing 3 years of study and 360 hours in our college clinic where I discovered my passion for helping others and broadened my knowledge of the body and it's relationship with food, graduating with honours in 2016. My Nutrition studies are based around Western Science, with Eastern modalities incorporated. Western Nutrition, Biochemistry, A&P, Pathophysiology, Western Diagnosis/ Lab Tests and even Pharmacology were all key foundational pieces to my studies that helped me understand the pathways of the body and the way it worked at a cellular level. Ayurvedic Nutrition and Herbs are weaved into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) body philosophy and diet therapy. I developed an amazing set of skills in Western Herbal Medicine and Energetics, spending time with plants and using them as another beautiful tool to help the body heal.
I started photographing food as I learned about its complexity. Studying nutrition pushed me to experiment with beautiful food, and I wanted to capture what I was creating in a way that showcased its unique and incredible beauty. Since then, my focus has shifted slightly from capturing only my creations to capturing other creatives in their element. I love working with other passionate souls, adventuring into the woods, cooking whatever I can outside, and creating an adventure out of work. What started as a creative outlet and hobby has turned into a career that I was not anticipating. My love affair with photography is strong and steady, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities my camera gives me. It pushes me to wander, explore, create, meet new faces, build strong friendships, and show people how I see the world.
Combining my passions of creativity, adventure, nature and food; I have completely found my calling. This work inspires the hell out of me, and as unique as my two paths are, they coexist in absolute harmony in my life. I am forever grateful for them.
My values lie within strong communities with access to real food; farmed ethically and seasonally by local passionate people. Cooking and eating with people we love, connecting to food in a way that once came so naturally to us and allowing it to nourish us on each and every level.
Eat whole, live whole.
My goal is to help show you how amazing you can feel by fuelling your body with what's best for you; through eating whole foods that are as rich with flavour as they are nutrients. I hope to help you get back in tune with your body, as each rhythm and movement is telling you something. I work with the seasons, meaning I promote seasonal foods as well as eating according to the climate (yes-eating with the weather!). I recognize that we are all genetically unique, therefore require a unique set of habits to keep us feeling energized and healthy. This also means we need to live and eat appropriately as to avoid developing things we may already be susceptible to. Supporting and nourishing your body with a diet and lifestyle specific to you will help your immune system work through whatever it is that it's currently battling; whether that be a common cold or something deeper. Through adjusting the foods you eat as well as how you prepare them, addition of herbs and or supplements, shifting lifestyle habits and educating you I hope to help guide you back to a state of balance and wellbeing.
Current location - Victoria, BC, Canada
Instagram - @birchandberries
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