19 things you probably didn't know about me

  1. I worked in a food truck peeling potatoes, making homemade French fries, poutine and hot dogs for 5 summers. If you ever want to best poutine in Québec, go to Gentilly, Québec and stop at “LaRoulotte à Patates” right in front of the church. And if you don’t know what a poutine is, there it is: French fries + gravy + cheese curds. It tastes better than it sounds. 😉 Because I’m gluten-free, I can’t have it anymore (cross-contaminationfromsharedfryer and presence of wheat-based ingredients in the gravy).

    Poutine

    This is what a poutine looks like. 😉

  2. I left my home province (Québec, the French-speaking Canadian province) in 2007 to learn English. Although I could understand basic English (when spoken slowly!), I could barely speak it before the age of 24. That’s why I still have an accent and still make mistakes when I speak. Most of my family still only speak French and can’t even read my book & cookbook. That’s why I’m pretty excited about my upcoming book that will be published in French early 2015. 🙂
  3. I never wanted to be an author. It never even crossed my mind and never was a goal of mine. But when I faced my own digestive issues, I just felt compelled to share all the hidden information I worked so hard to find that I just felt like I had to write a book.
  4. I also never ever thought I would want to be a doctor. I always felt like nutrition could be a powerful form of medicine and to me, it seemed like doctors were spending very little time with their patients and relying mostly on medications. But everything changed when I discovered naturopathic medicine, a more holistic, humane and natural way of practicing medicine. The decision of going back to school at the age of 30 was certainly not easy but I feel like I’m on the right path. Actually, when I first learned about this profession, I remember telling my husband “This is what I should have done!”. And he said: “It’s not too late, do it!”. I’m so blessed to have his loving support. When we made that decision, we were living in Germany and he had the dream job of working for BMW (he’s an automotive engineer). He didn’t think twice about leaving his dream job and beautiful Europe behind to support me. Toronto hasn’t been too kind with job opportunities for him and that makes me feel guilty.. but I’m so glad I have him! <3
  5. I was raised on a dairy farm, which means I was fortunate enough to be raised on butter and full-fat raw milk. When I started dietetic school, I was a bit horrified by the saturated fat scare and started buying margarine… only to switch back to butter a few years later. 😉

    me and my dad at the farm

    me and my dad at the farm

  6. I was vegetarian (ovo-lacto-vegetarian) for 2-3 years when I started my career as a dietitian. I ate a lot of whole grains beans and tofu and drank soy beverages. I didn’t feel good at all and obsessively counted calories in the hope of losing weight… without any results. I switched to Paleo in 2010 and couldn’t feel better. My favorite foods are red meat (bison, beef), butter, any kind of vegetables and fruits as well as plantains, dark chocolate and coconut. I now know that I feel better when staying 100% gluten-free and nut-free, although I can tolerate a bit of good-quality dairy, organic corn and white rice once in a while.
  7. I got a tattoo at the age of 18. That’s the age you become an adult in Québec. It was an act of rebellion against my parents more than anything. I’m glad it’s on my lower back and not on my face. 😉
  8. I was very afraid of losing my registered dietitian license when I first “came out of the closet” and started a blog and website in 2011 to help more people understand that the mainstream nutritional guidelines don’t work for most people: we don’t need grains and saturated fats aren’t evil! Fortunately, I have enough strong scientific evidence to back up everything I say and there’s nothing they can do to stop me now. 🙂
  9. I never liked to argue and always tried fitting in a mold. I never wanted to be noticed or be different… but I had to throw all of that away when I started learning about REAL nutrition. I felt like I had to speak up to stay true to myself. I couldn’t lie anymore now that I knew. I still find it hard because I’m very shy and am definitely an introvert, but I’m now up for the challenge. I think so many people need to learn the truth and be given the option of trying more natural options to improve their health and quality of life.
  10. I married my high school sweet heart. <3 I first met Jonathan at the age of 12 when we started going to the same high school. I didn’t talk to boys too much then but at 16, I suddenly saw him with new eyes. I still remember this intense feeling of “he could be the one”. Through common friends, Ilearnedthathehad had a crush on me for a while! Both very shy, it took us an extra few months before we started dating… but we have been together ever since. We moved in together at the age of 18 and finally got married 11 years later.

    Prom, 2000

    Prom, 2000 (the black and white makes me feel so old!)

  11. I hoard food. Good-quality food. Sometimes, I work hard to find REAL food so I just bought a small chest freezer to be able to keep more in stock. I currently have 12 lbs of ground grass-fed meat, a quarter (about 50 lbs) of a pastured pork and 25 kg (55 lbs) of grass-fed butter in there. I also hoard cans of coconut milk (since my grocery store runs out quite often) and chocolate (what? you never know when a zombie apocalypse could strike?).
  12. 99% of my furniture comes from IKEA. I sold everything I owned in 2010 before leaving the country for 3 years and when I moved back to Canada, I had to start from scratch again. And I happened to be living right across the street from a IKEA. It’s cheap and looks good for now. 😉
  13. Hammocks. There’s something about them that makes me forget all of my worries. I never had one but would always be the first one running towards one whenever in sight. I just bought my very first hammock in Guatemala and a hammock stand to hang it in my backyard. I think I should coin the term “hammock meditation” because it makes me feel so relaxed without even trying.

    my passion for hammocks! (clockwise: in Mindo, Ecuador, MY OWN HAMMOCK AT HOME, in Antigua, Guatemala, in Copan Ruinas in Honduras)

    my passion for hammocks! (clockwise: in Mindo, Ecuador, MY OWN HAMMOCK AT HOME, in Antigua, Guatemala, in Copan Ruinas in Honduras)

  14. I have a love and hate relationship with cooking. I go through phases of enjoying cooking and phases of not enjoying it at all. I love food, don’t get me wrong, but eating REAL food means spending more time in the kitchen and it’s important to try to keep things fun and varied to keep going. I’m sure most of you can relate to that daily challenge.
  15. I love photography but don’t know anything about it. I dream to learn more about this art and get my first real camera (believe it or not, all the pictures on my website are taken with a $100 digital camera…!).
  16. I was 26 the first time I traveled abroad (without counting the USA). My first destinations were Spain, Portugal and Morocco where I backpacked for a month… and I was hooked. I caught the travel bug pretty bad. Since then, I’ve traveled to a total of 23 countries, mostly in Europe and South/Central America) and live abroad for a total of 2 years (1 year in Melbourne, Australia and1yearinMünchen, Germany). There is not a single place on this planet that I don’t wish to visit, with the exception of Antarctica. My feet get itchy when I stay in place for too long… 😉

    My travel map!

    My travel map!

  17. Right after graduating in Nutrition, I was hired by Health Canada, was promoted to a full-time permanent job within less than a year and earned more per year than I’ve earned in the last 3-4 years! But I wasn’t happy. I felt trapped. I felt useless. I felt like I was wasting my potential. I’m glad I said adios although my bank account isn’t as happy. I’ve followed my heart ever since and although it’s not always easy, I don’t have any regrets. <3
  18. I hate being told “You’re lucky”. Many people have told me that I’m lucky and it makes me cringe every time. I don’t consider myself lucky. Yes, I traveled quite a bit. Yes, I am very grateful that I was able to get published. Yes, I’ve been able to create my own business and become self-employed. But none of these things were handed to me on a silver plate. I am not special. I wanted these things and made them happen. Luck didn’t have much to do with it. I worked very hard for all of these things and it took a lot of time, patience and sacrifices to get there. If you have a dream, you can make it happen. 🙂
  19. The one food that I can’t eat and wish I could eat is: a chocolate croissant. Not the cheap stuff though, the real French croissants made with REAL butter and good quality chocolate.  Fortunately, I don’t really miss bread, pasta or other foods rich in gluten anymore now that I’ve been gluten-free for 3-4 years.

Well, I think that’s enough for now. I feel like you know (almost) everything about me now. 🙂

Which # surprises you the most?