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.

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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

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Faces of Recovery: Allison Jorgens

Jorgens signed a copy of her latest book, Read it With a Grain of Salt.

Remember Allison Jorgens, the author of Read it With a Grain of Salt who donated a signed copy of the book to Eating Disorders of York Region at the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Health Fair?

Jorgens also recently participated in our “Faces of Recovery” campaign, an initiatve that encourages men and women of all ages who have struggled with eating disorders to share their story of recovery and survival.

You can read Jorgen’s story, here.

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EDOYR at the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Health Fair

Leviana (Events and Communications Coordinator) and Michelle (placement student) at our booth at the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Health Fair!

We got some great comments about this quote, so we thought we’d share it!

Allison Jorgens, Canadian author, stopped by our booth to give us a personally autographed copy of her book, “Read It With A Grain of Salt.” The message reads, “Dear EDOYR, Empower yourself to make healthful choices.” Thanks Allison!

This is the front cover of Allison Jorgen’s book, “Read It With A Grain of Salt.”

A ton of different vendors were at the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Health Fair.

The Richmond Hill Public Library’s Health Fair was from 10am until 1pm Friday.