I decided on a career as a holistic nutritionist after learning the link between my food choices and the health problems I had suffered. I wanted to be an author after being inspired by nutrition-type cookbooks while spending evenings devouring book after book while my wee-ones were tucked in bed. I’d highlight words and sentences I wanted to know more about, and dog-ear all the “recipes-I-wanted-to-try” pages. I was on a quest to understand all I could about nutrition and food. I wanted to better appreciate the mystery of how and why our body works when it gets the nutrients it needs.
Knowing that too many antibiotics as a child was one of the main reasons my body suffered as a teen and young adult, I wanted answers to my children’s ailments, so we could avoid medications unless absolutely necessary. That lead me to read books about herbs, and nutrients, foods and supplements. I was intrigued when I found answers to allergies, tummy aches, fevers, infections, blood sugar imbalances and other ailments with alternatives to conventional medicine. It was exciting and made me hungry for more knowledge.
As my family grew, I started working part-time at a health food store, and registered for the nutrition diploma program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
I had an experience on my third night working at the health food store that left me frozen in my tracks and compelled to find ways to help people prevent illness and disease through nutrition. When the young man came flying through the door, I assumed he was just in a hurry. It turned out he was in shock. He was determined to see for himself what he’d just learned. He wanted to confirm what the doctors had told him about his newborn child’s condition. “Do you carry folic acid?” he asked sharply. “Yes we do” I replied as I led him to the B vitamin shelf. Being the eager new employee I was, I jumped into telling him about the different brands…but price point wasn’t his mission and he ignored me as he pulled the bottle off the shelf and glared at it. “Really, that’s it?” he said in astonishment. “A bottle of capsules could likely have prevented my son from being born with Spina Bifida?” From anger to sadness in three seconds his chest fell as his mouth formed a weak “wow” and he turned to walk toward the door. I was too stunned to say anything for a while and as he reached the door I managed an “I’m sorry.” …and he was gone. I stood there for some time in bewilderment at what had just happened, my heart aching for that family, for such an easily prevented tragedy. (Folic acid, by the way, is available in foods. A proper daily intake of leafy green, beans and whole grains eliminates the need for this supplement, however a supplement is recommended for pre-natal insurance.)
There have been so many experiences, over several decades, where I’ve watched the innate ability of our human body heal and repair with the right conditions, be it elements in capsules or a shift in our food intake. My passion is teaching clients and audiences to prevent ill health. There is so much to know and understand!
Passionate about food and health, Victoria Laine began her career as a holistic nutritionist, and professional member of the (I.O.N.C) International Organization of Nutritional Consultants, in 2001. She has been a yoga instructor since 1999. Victoria is a nutrition and whole-food educator, yoga and wellness instructor, and dynamic author and speaker.
Overcoming her own health problems over 20 years ago led her to inspire and support others to overcome and prevent health challenges through healthy eating and lifestyle choices. The result has been a rewarding career with an array of fun, optimistic experiences.
Victoria worked as the resident nutritionist for The City of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services Health & Wellness program developing educational contests that encouraged healthier eating of their 1,000 fire fighters, as well as providing one-on-one consultations to assist them to overcome personal health challenges, despite their stressful lifestyle.
Victoria has led workshops and spoken to numerous groups, including Capital Health, Alberta Health & Wellness, Teachers Conventions, women’s wellness groups, and at corporate events and public libraries. Her popular “Chocolate Yoga” workshop is an offshoot of her first book, Health By Chocolate, promoting whole-food eating and conscious buying.
Combining a love of food and nutrition education, Victoria developed and taught a Continuing Education series called “Cooking for Health, Naturally” at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton’s prestigious cooking school. She has consulted with catering companies and restaurants wanting to incorporate healthier ingredients into their recipes and menu choices.
Victoria is a real-life, whole-hearted vegan who strives to live the ideal of veganism…“to promote a healthy, humane, caring world and to seek to avoid foods and products that are linked to animal cruelty or exploitation.” She is doing her part to encourage the transformation of the world by promoting conscious food choices. Many of her readers are trying to reconcile their conscience with their cuisine, and need the practical strategies and resources for do-able, everyday actions.
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