"Don't Sweat It Nutrition" is quite an eccentric and provocative fitness program, how did you come up with the business name?
We spent quite some time brainstorming and throwing around a bunch of ideas. We wanted something that was relatively simple and would represent our approach to coaching. There is just too much information out there around food, diets and how you should eat.
Truthfully, it is incredibly overwhelming, even for us at times. We want our clients not to worry so much about that sea of information.
We keep things simple, and adapt to your lifestyle and preferences.
Our goal is to make nutrition simple, sustainable and for life.
How is your nutrition and fitness programs different and perhaps better from the myriad of plans online?
Both Alexis and I took the Precision Nutrition course, which is a habits-based program that really addresses the whole person.
Weight loss isn't necessarily "easy", it's a journey, but it doesn't have to be complicated or incredibly strict and we provide our clients with plenty of autonomy to pick from a broad spectrum of healthy, minimally processed foods.
I utilize that philosophy when I'm making clients fitness programs as well. Every person that we work with is a unique individual with their own story, where they've been and where they're going, and that must be considered when tailoring the right program. It truly is a science.
Can you share some of your personal stories that motivated you to build your business?
I grew up playing various sports, soccer was the one that really stuck for me. I had the privilege of working under some phenomenal coach's in my life. People that really made a lasting impact for me and helped shape me into the person I am today.
I have been working as a Peace Officer for Alberta Health Services since 2012. Having the opportunity to help others and making a positive impact on their lives is what I find most rewarding about the job, but I knew I wanted to make a more direct, lasting impact.
This was a pivotal moment helping me realize my true passion; health and fitness.
I returned to school, a mature student with some life experience behind me, and gained more knowledge in subjects that truly peak my interests. Even though I teach others, I am constantly in search of growth and know that there is so much left to learn. I hope to inspire, motivate and educate others to see their own potential.
3 years ago, I was dealing with mental health that restricted me from seeing my full potential. I lacked confidence, made poor food choices, surrounded myself with an environment that did not align with my goals. I was basically the villain in my own story. And yet I continued with my bad habits and never did anything about it. I decided that I needed to take a step back and reflect on my character, and honestly I was fed up with who I was becoming.
I just wasn't myself anymore, so I decided to make a change and get a gym membership. It felt really good to get out of my comfort zone and try something new, but I was definitely nervous, anxious and had no idea on what to do at the gym. It was my first step to becoming the best version of myself and I had no idea where it would take me.
Fast forward 2 years, I am now a nutrition and health coach. It has been a long road, but it is also only just beginning.
Plus, along the way I found that I wasn't alone, that I could inspire others through my past struggles.
If I could replace my old habits with healthier habits, others can as well.
Our mission at Don't Sweat It Nutrition is to be a guide on your journey, a support system, just as many have been for us in the past.
Your program highlights the importance of lifelong learning and consistency, how do you see nutrition being taught to kids in schools? Is it being addressed adequately? how can it be improved?
Canada's food guide has recently changed their guidelines, which is the standard that we teach across the country for the most part, and it has greatly improved on what it was!
But, more importantly, kids tend to learn by example and this starts in the home. We can teach kids healthy habits all day long but if the parents, who are in control of the money and decisions, are leading with poor choices then that is what the children will see, and be most likely to embody later in life.
Healthy habits need to start in the home and be put into practice on a regular basis, this begins long before kids are in school, and should become second nature by adulthood.
However, we have been granted the privilege of abundance. We can have almost anything we want at the click of a button. And so our priorities around food have shifted, what do I want? Rather than, what does my body need?
Which, as we are witnessing around the world, is why obesity rates, cases of diabetes and heart attacks, as well as other cardiovascular killers are more prevalent than ever in our society. And, for the most part, these are largely preventable!
How can your program contribute to someone's mental health and overall well being?
We can't speak for everyone, but how we look and feel is definitely hard wired into our mental health. Without physical activity, eating whatever and whenever, and just approaching life with a lackadaisical attitude, it begins to seep into all aspects of your life.
Pretty soon you start lacking motivation in other areas, maybe you notice yourself making compromises where you wouldn't before, your confidence is slipping and you can't necessarily pin point why. But, starting slow you make changes, clean up your eating habits and start moving on a regular basis.
Your confidence comes back up, you feel more in charge of your own life and decisions.
And best of all you notice that you're eager to take on new challenges rather than dragging your feet or refusing, because now your energy levels have increased!
Aside from helping you look and feel your best, we realize that having choices and being a part of your own decision making is crucial.
Humans are emotional beings, and no one likes to be told what to do or how to do it.
Our goal is to educate you about your nutritional habits and choices, grant you the autonomy to change your habits in a way that fits your lifestyle and individual preferences, while still aligning with your goals.
Amidst the pandemic and calls for physical distancing/isolation, how are you coping? and what has been the biggest struggle for you?
Just like everyone else, we are experiencing significant change in our daily routines. Our coaching is done mostly online, or over the phone, and so hasn't been impacted too much. What we have had to adapt to is creating new strategies for people during these unique and unprecedented times.
Individually, our experience is a little different, simply because I also work in the hospitals and am still working part time through this pandemic. Alexis is at home, like most, through the quarantine. We have been working on small habits, still continuing to be consistent with our food choices and really taking this time to reflect, slow down and work on personal growth.
The biggest struggle was to create a new routine.
We were all faced with a similar situation as business' all started rapidly closing their doors.
Our natural ebb and flow of life came to a halt, we had to adapt, a new normal had to be created and game plans revised based on resources available.
But as the dust settled and the weeks have past, we have noticed a new calm amidst the panic. By slowing down and appreciating what we have here and now.
We are seeing bonds, once lost reconnecting and, I'm sure for most, the feeling of being able to finally stop, take a breathe, and reorganize our priorities in life.
Over the past few years, there has been a growing movement towards natural/organic food and the focus on a healthy lifestyle, how does your brand contribute to the global shift in eating habits?
Alexis and I don't make strict meal plans, or tell you what you can and can't eat. Our goal is to help you to eat whole, minimally processed foods. It's not that people have to eat organic everything, that can get quite pricey, but ultimately we pay now or we pay later. Invest in your health now and it pays dividends down the road.
Play the waiting game and eat whatever you want, you'll be paying in medical bill's, less energy will prevent you from keeping up with your kids or grandchildren, and you simply may not be here as long to watch your family grow. We will teach you how to shop, clean, prepare and cook all kinds of healthy, whole food options.
Limiting how much we have to process and package our foods is crucial for our health, as well as the planet's health.
Due to this pandemic, I believe that we are going to see a huge global shift in the way that we do things now. We probably won't have access to as much food, fruits and vegetables that are out of season will be much tougher to get, and ultimately we will have to switch to more local vendors to provide for our cities and towns.
A great solution would be to start growing your own food! But what if you don't have much room? I live in a 500 square foot apartment and am able to grow my own vegetables with Tower Garden by Juice Plus! It's amazing how much food you can grow on the Tower Garden.
It requires only 10% of the space and water that a normal garden requires, allowing you to grow up to 32 plants. Want to get your whole community or apartment building on board? The Tower Garden comes with a few options. You can get just a single garden, a family garden, and even a community garden.
Community organizations, churches, neighborhood associations, restaurants, schools, workplace cafes, food banks, and many more, could benefit from the experience of growing a large garden. In as little as 225 square feet, you can have a garden that produces 336 plants.
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