“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou
I’m Veronica – a Holistic Nutritionist, aspiring Childbirth Educator, and overall student of life. I’m also a wife to my high-school sweetheart, Steven, and mama to the most remarkable 5-year-old daughter there ever was.
About 10 years ago, I hit rock bottom – hard. I was suffering with anxiety, panic attacks, IBS, and more. Through the desperation brought on by my health struggles, I learned to care for my health naturally and be my own best advocate.
Since that time, I have educated myself
somewhat compulsively. My passion for natural health has grown exponentially since becoming a mother.
I love writing and educating others about nutrition for the whole family, natural childbirth, and breastfeeding, among other things.
I’m so excited to have the ability to share my knowledge and experience with you. Thank you for joining me.
I was raised along with my sister in Kitchener, Ontario, a suburb about an hour west of Toronto, by two incredible parents. By most standards, I had an awesome childhood. I was a gifted child and almost always top of my class, I took part in school activities, I did the usual sports lessons, and I made friends easily.
But after a couple traumatic experiences, I began to develop an anxiety disorder that, as a child, I couldn’t put words to. And so, I struggled.
By the time I entered junior high, making friends wasn’t as easy anymore, I stopped taking part in activities, and I stopped attending enrichment classes. Before high school began, I’d been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I had a difficult time throughout high school managing life with my symptoms, and I self-medicated more than was wise – but I pushed through.
I took a year off after high school to gather myself before embarking on post-secondary education. It was a good decision for me. I worked a full-time job in retail and in January of that year took on a second job part-time to help out at my then-boyfriend Steven’s family business. His dad hadn’t been well, and needed some time off.
They owned a health food store, which was totally foreign to me. Through working in the health food store I started learning about nutrition and supplementation.
It was fascinating to hear the testimonials from clients and customers whose health had been so positively impacted by changes in diet and lifestyle.
Sadly, in May of that year, Steven’s father passed away. It was a shock to everyone in the family. I had personally never experienced the death of a close family member; it was all very new to me. I remember feeling a lot of pressure and the responsibility of taking care of Steven’s family and their business.
Needless to say, the pressure I put on myself caused a huge flare-up of my symptoms. Within weeks I was so full of anxiety I could barely leave my bedroom, and everything I ate made me sick – I started an anti-anxiety medication.
In September, I was due to start college where I was enrolled in the architecture program. I tried my best to go to my classes, but my anxiety levels were so high, and my IBS was so severe, I couldn’t manage.
The anti-anxiety medication wasn’t really helping and I was having strange side-effects that my doctor hastily dismissed. When he tried to convince me to stack yet more pharmaceuticals on top of what I was already taking… I’d had enough.
I started using what I knew from working at the health food store and adjusted my diet. I ate more vegetables, cut out cow’s dairy, stopped using products with aspartame and reduced my sugar intake. Plus, I supplemented with specific nutrients to assist my gut and nervous system in healing. Then, I weaned off the pharmaceuticals and slowly the side-effects resolved. I wanted to continue healing so I could enjoy my life again, and truly begin my studies in architecture.
I found a zest for life I hadn’t felt for a long time.
I had a renewed love of learning, and began researching nutrition-related topics heavily. Steven and I took a small trip, we got engaged, and were planning our wedding. We bought our first home. But, I felt conflicted about my education.
Once I finally made the decision to pursue my education in Holistic Nutrition, rather than architecture, I felt a peace.
I still regard this as one of the best decisions of my life.
Since earning my nutrition certification, I’ve continued my education in Culinary Nutrition, Iridology, Energy Medicine, Electro-dermal Screening, and more. I often joke that if “professional student” was an actual job option, I’d take it.
I’m now nearly 8 years free from IBS symptoms and panic attacks.
I’ve worked hard over the last number of years to contribute to building our family business (that unfamiliar health food store) into what it is today – Healthoholics. I continue to act as Managing Director where I direct business development, marketing, and our corporate wellness programs, among other things.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to begin branching out on my own, creating this community – where I can express my passion around advocating for natural childbirth, promoting peaceful parenting, eating real food, living a holistic life, and more!
It’s been 10 years since I felt my life hit rock bottom.
I’m now a Nutritionist who also happens to be a home-birthing, extended-breastfeeding, organic-home-cooking, holistic mama.
I didn’t see my life taking the turns it has – but I am so glad it did! If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that there is always a silver lining.
It’s my hope that you can learn from some of my struggles and apply the lessons to your own life. Stay tuned – I can’t wait for what comes next!