Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

Leave a comment

A Part of Holistic Health: Holistic Nutrition

Jacqueline Marie, Holistic Nutrition student

“Before we begin to discuss how nutrition, chemicals, deficiencies or imbalances relate to depression, mood and anxiety disorders, it is important to know that every person is biochemically unique,” says Jacqueline Marie (right), Holistic Nutrition student, soon to be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, at the very start of our conversation, making it clear that not only are we all different on the outside, but on the inside, too.

There is more than one natural remedy, Jacqueline continues, adding that seeing a Holistic Nutritionist or an Orthomolecular Practitioner for a thorough analysis before starting any new health routine or program is recommended.
Seeing a Holistic Nutritionist or an Orthomolecular Practitioner could help an individual determine what kind of natural remedy would best benefit their body, since every body is different.
Allison Jorgens, author.

Allison Jorgens (left), author of Read it With a Grain of Salt, says at the age of 17, when she was a competitive figure skater, her parents found out she was struggling with Bulimia Nervosa. “They were concerned most with nutrition in terms of my physical health, so they sent me to a dietitian.”
“The dietitian went through what I was eating, how my eating disorder affected me, [considering] when I was binging, purging and what I was taking in,” Jorgens says. “[The dietitian] gave me a meal plan that was suited for someone dealing with a condition like Bulimia [Nervosa].”
Now with a BSc in Nutritional Sciences, Jorgens is studying at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition towards the designation of Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Jorgens says she wrote her first book, Read it With a Grain of Salt, not to provide advice or suggestions, but to educate her readers on holistic facts.
The young author enrolled in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to learn about optimal eating.
“My entire book is about processed foods, but I wanted to take the course to educate on alternative natural foods as well as for personal interest,” Jorgens says.
Jorgens advises that anyone looking for nutrition information can look to both dietitians and holistic nutritionists, as they are both credible and can help, but in different ways. “It is really important for each individual to research which professional is right for them.”
A Holistic Nutritionist will be able to first determine deficiencies or toxicity in the body and then suggest modifications or a supplement accordingly, Jacqueline says.
A Holistic Nutritionist or an Orthomolecular Practitioner could determine what may be the best possible natural remedy to ensure an individual’s body is no longer deficient. For example, if I was experiencing fatigue and a lack of energy, I could meet with a professional to understand why I had been feeling so tired.
If the Holistic Nutritionist or Orthomolecular Practitioner determined that my body was low in iron, they would suggest the best possible natural remedy and also discern how my body was absorbing the nutrients, to determine whether the issue was the actual vitamin or mineral or if it had more to do with what my body was doing with the nutrients.
“We would also be able to correct and help the person better absorb nutrients from food or supplement,” Jacqueline says. “A full assessment is needed for this.”
The Gut Brain Connection
 “The digestive system contains 100-million neurons and produces equal amount of neurotransmitters as the brain,” Jacqueline says.
A neurotransmitter is a messenger. It is a chemical released from a nerve cell, which transmits an impulse from one nerve to cell to another nerve, muscle, organ or other tissue.
The gut, however, produces about 66 per cent of the happy hormone, Serotonin, for the body, Jacqueline adds. “That’s why the right foods can make you happy or the wrong foods can leave you feeling anxious or depressed.”
Every body is different when it comes to processing nutrients. “Every one has a different speed of digestion and the quality and quantity of enzymes, which directly impacts absorbality,” Jacqueline says.
Alternative Medicine and Mental Illness
“The alternative medicine approach encompasses the mind, body and spirit of the individual,” Jaqueline says. “They are all interrelated and affect one’s overall well-being.”
Jorgens says she has dealt with unexplained infertility, which may have been related to stress. “I dealt with it holistically,” Jorgens says. “I went for massage therapy, to see a nutritionist…I did the whole thing and it was so helpful for me.”

Some options of holistic treatments for mental illness include acupuncture, chiropractic care, nutritional assessments, massage and reflexology, yoga and many more.
“More people are using natural remedies because they may not want to be dependent on synthetic drugs,” Jacqueline says. “They can be addictive and can alter one’s biochemical traits, which can directly affect one’s brain.”
Natural remedies are less addictive. “They may become addictive if the person over uses them,” Jacqueline says, “but [there] is less of a chance due to [their] potency.”
What are Amino Acids?
Jacqueline describes Amino Acids as “building blocks of proteins needed for growth, development and hormone signaling in our bodies, as well as cell repair…”
The human body naturally produces 10 of the 20 Amino Acids. Those remaining 10 that the body doesn’t naturally produce are known as Essential Amino Acids, those we must ingest from food.
“When we do not consume these Essential Amino Acids, the body breaks down proteins found in muscle, skin and hair in search of them,” Jacqueline says.
Deficiencies in the body can lead to anxiety and panic attacks, addiction, obsessive thoughts, phobias (like a fear of snakes, heights, foods, etc.), depression, negativity, low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, violence, suicidal thoughts, etc., Jacqueline says.
She advises not to supplement without discussing health with a holistic health care practitioner.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Jacqueline at
To speak to Jorgens about her experiences and studies, e-mail her at
Disclaimer: Thank you Jacqueline Marie and Allison Jorgens for taking the time to speak with Eating Disorders of York Region about Holistic Nutrition. This blog post expresses some perspectives that our readers may find insightful. The opinions expressed are those of Jacqueline and Jorgens.

— Leviana Coccia

Leave a comment

Advertisements could prevent us from living “Life in Balance”

EDOYR honours “Life in Balance.” We believe it. We live it. We love it. But, we also live in a world where the term “balance” is often ignored.
The other morning I was watching Food Network Canada’s Chef at Home starring Michael Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, before leaving for the office. The volume was on low, but I could still see what Smith was making. Right after Smith put what appeared to be a loaf of honey oat bread into the oven, this commercial came on.
This Atkins Diet commercial introduces Cheryl Lynn Wolf, the 2012 Success Story Superstar Winner, and then describes all the foods dieters can eat to find a perfect balance between carbohydrates. In other words, the commercial tells its audience that if they go the Atkins way, they can be just like Cheryl.
The selling point: You can get your free Atkins Quick-Start Kit by following the directions provided in the advertisement. What that really means: If you apply for a free start kit, you could be just like Cheryl.
As soon as I watched this commercial, an extremely loud “this answer is not correct” noise seemed to go off in my head. You know the one:
Companies, not just Atkins, sell us what they say are quick fixes for our problems and insecurities.
In this example, we are promised that if we are unhappy with our weight, all we have to do is go on the Atkins Diet to find happiness, like Cheryl did. The problem with that, though, is eternal, lifelong happiness cannot be achieved through the purchase of products, whether these products are weight-loss plans, a new book, teeth-whitening toothpaste or a new pair of shoes.
Not to mention, we honestly have no idea if Cheryl is truly happy. How is her spiritual well being? How is she mentally? Does she love herself for who she is (regardless of the fact that she lost weight)? We don’t know the answer to those, but we’re tricked into thinking that Cheryl must be happy in all those areas because before and after photos show her smiling from ear to ear after using the product being sold to us in the very commercial we are watching.
After Atkins spokesperson Courtney Thorne-Smith stopped selling a diet (like the other several that exist but do not work…I mean, the diet industry has a 98 per cent failure rate!), this commercial came on.

Anna Olson, chef and host of Sugar and Fresh on Food Network Canada, shows us that cooking can be as easy as 1-2-3, especially with the new Philly Cooking Creme, which can be used for dressings and sauces of all sorts.
My first sarcastic thought after watching this advertisement: The Atkins Diet would not approve.
Do you see how we are thrown from one extreme to the next? We could be watching television for our own personal pleasure and then be told that to experience even more pleasure, we would need to buy into a diet program to help us lose weight. Then moments later, we could be told to indulge because it’s easy, fun and, well, taboo.
Where’s the balance in that?

— Leviana Coccia