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Coaches Spotlight - Natalie
February 27, 2018

Today we are featuring one of our lovely coaches at Vitality, Natalie. Natalie is a Registered Dietitian. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and completed an eight-month internship in the Saskatoon Health Region. She then passed the Canadian Dietetics Examination and is a Registered Dietitian with the Saskatchewan Dietetics Association. Read on the learn more about Natalie! 

What is the book (or books) you’ve recommended the most often and why?

I really enjoyed "Diet Cults" by Matt Fitzgerald. What Fitzgerald offers is an alternative to the diet subculture – he offers an “agnostic”, reasonable approach to healthy eating – one that I as a dietitian can definitely agree with. It means healthy eating in a flexible, no-nonsense matter. It means having the ability to eat for pleasure, and also eat for health.  Also, I recommend anything by Ellyn Satter if you want to raise happy, healthy eaters!

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the past 6 months (or recent memory)? 

I purchased (for $3) the Paprika App for my phone - it's amazing! It holds and categorizes all my recipes. I can rate them, amend them, categorize them, and make shopping lists from what recipes I want to use. It's such a convenient way to store all my recipes. It's cool because it allows you to upload right onto the app from your browser without having to copy and paste the link! It saves from so much paper clutter and is so convenient to use. #notanad

What is an unusual food or flavour combination that you love? 

Not really a combination, but I have a [newfound] love of eating canned oysters.

Throughout your nutrition journey, what new behaviour or habit was been fundamental in reaching your goals? 

I went through a phase a few years ago where I would restrict certain foods (refined carbohydrates & sweets) but then after awhile, when I would get a chance to eat them (or when I finally caved!), I found I went overboard and went crazy on them!  I hated the way I felt like the food had "power" over me. It sounds really funny but I think a lot of people can relate to a sort of "power struggle" with food, especially ones we perceive as "bad". But it doesn't have to be that way!  It took lots of work to change my mindset about certain foods (and I'm still working on it). I'm truly a believer that there's no "good" or "bad" foods. And food doesn't have a moral scale! When I really learned and believed this, it changed my outlook on those foods I had previously restricted because I thought they were bad. I am much more moderate now and it is so freeing!

What advice would you give to a new Vitality client embarking on a nutrition journey? 

Be kind to yourself. There are days when you will feel like giving up; maybe there will be weeks where you lose focus or feel like you've "messed up". Be kind to yourself and realize you are human.  

Be loving. If you try to change yourself from a place of hate, you won't get anywhere. You must practice self love. Changing the way you look will not magically make you love yourself more. You must love yourself first. 

Be patient. Reaching your goals will not happen overnight, or even in a few weeks. It takes time and lots and lots of patience!

When you felt overwhelmed with your nutrition goals or lifestyle changes, what did you do to get back on track or stay on course?

I usually just take a step back and re-evaluate my priorities. I then work on one goal or step at a time, rather than a whole bunch of things! I think nutrition and lifestyle changes can be overwhelming when we try to do too much at once. Start with one goal at a time, make your steps toward that goal a habit, and then move onto your next goal.

If we opened your fridge or pantry, what one ingredient would we always find?

In my fridge: Lemons. I use them for everything - cooking, cleaning, baking, and making dressings. 

In my pantry: Garlic. MUST HAVE MORE GARLIC. I will always double or triple the minced garlic called for in a recipe. 

What is something that not a lot of people know about you? 

I think I'm pretty much an open book. I have a quote collection I started when I was a teenager that is creeping up on 1,000 pages.

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