Nutrition

Is Your Food Making You Sick?

I have a special place in my heart for food sensitivities and allergies. Many years ago, I was on a date with a man who enjoyed fine wine and food. We had a great dinner and even finished off a bottle of wine together. Everything seemed to be going well until I woke up the next morning unable to open my eyes due to heavy, swollen eye lids and eczema on the sides of my mouth. I was completely shocked, embarrassed, worried and upset. What had I possibly done? 

As the days went by, I continued to eat healthy and drink plenty of water. My swollen eyes finally deflated after 4-5 days. Then, the following weekend, it was another date that surrounded amazing food and incredible wine. Once again, I woke up with swollen eyes. At this point, I knew it was the wine. What was so 'wrong' with wine? After PLENTY of research I had discovered that I was very sensitive to sulphites which is a preservative found mostly in wine, dried fruits and some packaged foods. After avoiding these foods and non-organic wine, I felt like a new woman! 

Skip to 2 years later, continually eating healthy, exercising and drinking water, I noticed that no matter what I did, I could not lose fat and could not clear an eczema rash I had on my face. I was reminded of my sulphite sensitivity and thought "maybe there are more things that my body is reacting to!?"

After receiving a life-changing food sensitivity test, I was told that I was severely sensitive to many common healthy foods: pineapple, banana, green beans, eggs (and the list goes on). 

Although I couldn't wrap my mind around the concept at the time, I quickly avoided these foods, and made sure that I rotated the foods that appeared "good/non-reactive" to prevent future sensitivities, as many people can become sensitive to foods that they eat too frequently. 

Once I avoided these foods, and focused on proper digestion and supplementation, I watched the fat/excess weight fall off. I was finally clear-headed, happy, and had great skin again! 

Many people have food sensitivities and don't even know it. If you relate with these symptoms, you may want to get yours tested:

  • Digestive disorders (gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, nausea)
  • Migraines
  • Weight gain
  • Mood/Attention disorder (anxiety, depression, irritability, hyperactivity, lack of concentration)
  • Joint pain/musclestiffness
  • Skin conditions (itching, redness, swelling, eczema, rashes)
  • Lung conditions (Asthma, Bronchitis)
  • Loss of memory
  • Fatigue
  • General malaise

    I am now offering food sensitivity tests that take approximately 7 days to receive. After taking the test, you will get a detailed list of 96 common food panels, and your personalized reaction to them (low, moderate, high). You will also get a 5 day rotation food plan with foods that are 'safe' to eat. 

    I am passionate about this health topic because I have personally experienced the frustration and know how difficult it is to live a healthy and happy lifestyle when food sensitivities are dragging you down. Knowledge is power. Help yourself out with this test, and zone-in on 'green light/GO' foods and avoid those that are not compatible with your immune system, for better health and overall happiness. 

    Contact me today to learn more about this new and exciting service!

    xoxo Jessica

My Healthy Take on: 'Chinese Fried Rice'

Picture this: it's Friday night and you're craving a salty and sweet mix of delightful Chinese food, but you don't want the added MSG, high sodium or calories. Well... this receipe is your dream come true! Packed with flavor and nutrients, this 'Chinese fried rice' inspired dish will keep you feeling satiated and pleased. The best part is: you most likely already have all the ingredients in your kitchen! 

You will need:

  • 1 can preservative-free carrots and peas
  • 1 can sweet corn (sodium free)
  • Organic quinoa
  • 2 bouillon cubes (I used beef but feel free to use veggie or chicken)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 organic eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Braggs soy seasoning (optional)
  • Pepper (to taste)

    Directions:
    Boil water with bouillon cubes and add desired amount of quinoa (it's usually a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio).
    On a separate pan, lightly fry scrambled eggs until almost-well done. After placing eggs in a small bowl, use that same pan (with olive oil added) and add diced onion. Cook onions until they are caramelized. 
    When the quinoa is finished cooking, let it rest for 10 minutes with the lid on. Once the 10 minutes has passed, stir quinoa until it is fluffy. Add cooked eggs, sauteed onion and drained carrots/peas/corn from the can.
    Stir all ingredients together. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Braggs Amino Seasoning along with a dash of pepper.

Eat, share and enjoy this delicious and easy-to-make recipe!

*To make this recipe vegan, omit the eggs for diced tempeh or tofu, and cook quinoa in a veggie-broth!*

xoxo JMH
 

Rainforest Coconut Protein Bites

Move over granola bars... these bites are made with the highest quality ingredients and are loaded with nutrition and impeccable taste! 

Ingredients: 
1 cup organic wheat-free rolled oats
3/4 cup rainforest nut butter with coconut (Nut to You Nut Butter Inc)
2/3 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup organic canadian maple syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic shredded coconut
pinch of sea salt

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mash with your hands, roll into bite-size balls and finish off by rolling the balls in a bowl of shredded coconut for a decorative and tasty finish! 

Fueling Your Strength Training Workout

Not only is what you eat important, but when you eat it is crucial—especially as an athlete. Eating the correct foods at the appropriate time before, during and after a workout will not only properly nourish and fuel you—you may also see gains in your performance. Fueling for strength training is slightly different than fueling for cardio-based workouts. Here are a few tips to follow in order to get the most out of your workout.

1 to 2 Hours Pre-Workout

To keep you from feeling hungry before a workout, without stomach discomfort, choose a mini-meal or snack that combines healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and protein.  Depending on your personal goals and needs, the amount of food required is unique to you. An example of such meal could be an amaranth porridge sprinkled with almond milk, nuts and seeds.

30 Minutes Pre-Workout

Your focus should be on simple carbohydrates right before your workout. Select foods that provide quick energy and are easily digested. Fruit is a perfect example of this, as a light, easily digestible and quick on-the-go option to consume while on the way to the gym. For easy pre-workout fuel try filling a date with coconut oil for a delicious and efficient pre-workout snack! Or for an energy boost on the go, try Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer.

During Your Workout

During your strength-training routine, the essential components to focus on are quick energy and electrolytes. If you are training less than an hour, you can stick to electrolytes as your focus. If your workouts are longer than 45 minutes to an hour, you may want to consume easily digestible carbohydrates. Most athletes find it easier to drink than to eat during a workout, so seek out carbohydrates in a gel or drink format. You can blend up fruit and dates to make a gel, or make a fresh fruit juice for a steady burst of energy. Vega Sport Endurance Gel was created for this purpose.

No matter the length of your workout, electrolytes are essential. As you sweat you lose minerals sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride with water. When choosing an electrolyte replacement look for one without artificial colors, flavors or fillers, such as Electrolyte Hydrator.

Immediately Post-Workout

One of the biggest mistakes I see in action at the gym is people rushing to have their post-workout protein drink, thinking that it is the one-and-only essential macronutrient needed in order to build muscle. This is simply a myth.

Post-workout, your focus is to replenish lost glycogen stores in order for protein synthesis to occur. Simply put, you must consume simple carbohydrates first, then protein later, in order for muscle building and strengthening to occur.  Consuming a post-workout carbohydrate based drink is highly recommended due to the ease of digestibility and assimilation—less work on your body! To replenish your muscle glycogen fastest, consume a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Recovery Accelerator takes the guessing out of your post-workout meal, in a delicious drink that provides recovery support.

1 to 3 Hours Post-Workout 

A high protein meal is needed several hours post-workout—not directly after—as many assume. Some plant-based protein sources include clean plant-based protein power, such as quinoa, beans, lentils nuts and seeds. If you are having a post-workout meal, include dark leafy greens for added vitamin and antioxidant support. Fueling your body on a clean, plant-based diet is the key to forming strong muscles and supporting long-term health. Follow these essential tips while working out, to see and feel the difference in your workout—and in achieving results!

Originally posted on: www.myvega.com

Breakthrough Health and Fitness Plateaus

Have you been eating healthy and working out hard, yet find yourself stuck at a certain number on the scale or fitness level and cannot understand why? You may have hit a plateau. Here are a few effective things you can do to get out of it and reach that health and fitness goal you’re striving for!

Calories Count!

Don’t get me wrong, I am the last person to count calories, but they do come into handy when trying to break a plateau or lose the last 5 to 10 pounds. Even when eating a healthy, whole, plant-based diet, you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Pay attention to the types of calories you are eating. Fats can be a calorie culprit. 138 calories for a tablespoon of oil can easily add up. While it’s not healthy to cut out all fats (fat is essential for brain development, healthy skin and reducing inflammation), keep your eye on exactly how much you are consuming on a daily basis. Try consuming more plant-based fats, like nuts, seeds and avocados, which are more filling than other oils, and focus on eating mindfully.

 

Exercise: 

You’re at the gym, day in and day out. Working harder than ever—yet you still can’t seem to lose weight. While there can be many factors at play, there are two main points to consider. First, are you taking breaks? If you’re over-training and not giving yourself active rests, your body may be producing too much cortisol (stress hormone) which will stop weight loss and strength gains in their tracks. Take breaks and switch up your routine. Try switching up your workout by trying new machines and repetitions, or attempt to do a functional workout like squats, push-ups and plank using your own body weight. If you need inspiration, find a good personal trainer to help you get more creative.

Sleep: 

Getting enough rest and time to recover is essential when losing weight and breaking plateaus. Not getting quality sleep may lead to an increase of the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain.

  1. Get into a healthy sleep routine. Using an eye mask or earplugs may come in handy if you live in a noisy area. 7 to 8 hours is an ideal range of sleep, depending on your own body chemistry.
  2. Hitting the sheets 10:30 p.m. or earlier, if possible, will allow your body to reach its natural delta-phase, which is deep, quality rest. You will feel more energetic and uplifted the following day—I promise!

Overall, it’s evident that breaking a plateau and reaching your goals takes planning and effort. Identifying which area of your routine may need a little more focus and planning is crucial. The combination of sleep, proper food intake and mixing up your exercise routine will allow you to bust through your plateau, reach your goal and thrive! Share your experiences below (before and after using these tips) and identify which element you found helped you best!

Originally posted on: www.myvega.com


References

  1. Kondracki NL. (2012). The Link Between Sleep and Weight Gain — Research Shows Poor Sleep Quality Raises Obesity and Chronic Disease RiskToday’s Dietitian 14 (6); 48.Accessed 8/20/13 fromhttp://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060112p48.shtml
  2. National Sleep Foundation (2013). How much sleep do adults need? Accessed 8/20/13 fromhttp://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/white-papers/how-much-sleep-do-adults-need

5 Unhealthy "Health Foods"

Just because it’s found in the health food section, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy! With so many fancy words and phrases—such as “gluten-free,” “low calorie,” and “fat free”—it’s easy to assume that many of these so-called health foods are beneficial to your body. Here are the top 5 seemingly healthy foods that may be contrary to your best efforts to eat clean!

1. Rice Cakes: 

Although these “healthy” cakes are labelled as low calorie and low fat, they are your blood sugar’s worst enemy—especially if they are the caramel covered variety. With no fiber or fat, these cakes are digested by your body into glucose and cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, ultimately leading to a crash, which leaves you hungry soon after. The key to weight and energy management is sustaining a balanced blood sugar level. If enjoy rice cakes, it’s ok to have them  in moderation. Just be sure to add nut or seed butter to them to bring down the glycemic index of the food and balance your blood sugar.

2. Vegan Dessert: 

Just because these sweet treats are labeled vegan, doesn’t make it okay to consume them on a regular basis. They are almost always full of sugar and high in calories. I definitely abide to the 80/20 rule—consuming treats 20% of the time—but beware of labelling. Yes, most vegan foods are healthy, if they are whole and unprocessed! Try making your own dessert, something simple such as almond butter stuffed dates sprinkled with cinnamon!

3. Salad Dressing: 

While browsing the salad dressing aisle last night during a grocery haul, I noticed that almost all salad dressings on the shelf were full of preservatives, colors, sugar, artificial flavoring and even dye! Rule of thumb: if a dressing is “low fat”, it’s most likely full of sugar, to make up for the missing flavor or feeling of satiety (fullness) that would otherwise be contributed by the missing fat! I recommend making your own dressing with an Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, spices, sea salt and lemon juice. Quick, easy and yummy! Ditch the bottled stuff!

4. Granola:

I must admit–I do love a bowl of granola from time to time, but it’s difficult to find a healthy one! Most granolas on the shelves of the grocery stores are jam-packed with sugars, sweeteners and dried fruit. When selecting granola, look for one lower in sugars (especially if you’re adding fruit to your granola), or better yet, make your own version. Granola is a healthy food that can be taken to the extreme in a not-so-healthy way. Look for simple, natural, low sugar (or naturally sweetened) versions.

5. Nut/Seed Butter:

I also love almost any type of nut butter. It is so versatile, delicious and can stabilize your blood sugar levels and ward off hunger. But choosing the right type of nut or seed butter is very important. Most generic nut butters are full of hydrogenated oils, sugar, color and preservatives. Yuck! I highly recommend looking for natural, organic nut/seed butters that have fewer than three ingredients. Making your own nut butter is simple and easy, but if you’re on the go or are looking for  a quick fix, choosing raw, non-hydrogenated nut/seed butters with no sugar added is the way to go!

Here’s to making smarter choices at the grocery store. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally posted on: www.myvega.com

4 Simple Swaps for a Healthier Life

Whether you’re dining out or eating in, making a healthy substitution to your meal or snack can make a huge difference in your health, in both the short and long-term. Knowing what common foods can be swapped with superfoods or nutrient dense options is key to making healthy substitutions.

Swap out: Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is known for being low in nutrients and high in cholesterol. Even if you are attempting to be healthy and go for a low fat version, you will see that it contains even more sugar added than the original! Steer clear from all that, and try using hummus for a boost of fiber, protein, healthy fat and carbs. Hummus is filling, plant-based and tastes delicious—try adding garlic or red pepper for a flavor kick. 

Swap out: Cooking oil

Instead of using tradition sunflower or olive oils for stir-fries, which are not stable in high heat, try using extra virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is a multi-use oil that is stable in mid to high heat. It can even be used as eye makeup remover and body moisturizer! Coconut oil is made of medium chain triglycerides, which can be used as a fuel source, similar to carbohydrates. Try it instead of margarine on toast, or pre-workout, try it paired with dried or fresh fruit.

Swap out: Chips

Potato chips tend to be cooked in hydrogenated oils, and are usually packed with salt, unpronounceable ingredients, and calories. Try making your own kale chips in the oven by separating bite-size pieces of kale and seasoning them with sea salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast and slowly bake until crispy. Now that’s what I call a nutrient dense crispy chip!

Swap Out: Candy gummies

If you’re looking for a sweet and chewy sensation, try noshing on some dried fruit. Mango, pineapple, apple, figs and other dried fruits are sweeter than fresh, but still full of fiber and nutrients with no added sugars, colors or flavors. Dipping them in natural nut butter will give them a delicious, sweet-and-salty taste.

Eating healthy isn’t difficult if you have the tools and knowledge to do so. Making healthy swaps can not only save calories, but it can save your health—by avoiding artificial and processed ingredients that aren’t good for you. If you follow the 80/20 rule of eating wise 80 percent of the time and enjoying treats 20 percent of the time, you will not feel deprived. 

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally posted on: www.myvega.com

Pre-workout Energy Bar Recipe

Need a quick bite before you run out the door? Make a batch of Pre-Workout Energy Bars to store in your freezer!

Ingredients

  • 10 dates
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
  • Sea Salt, to taste

Preparation

  1. Place ingredients into food processor and process for 30-45 seconds.
  2. Shape into bars and place in shredded coconut and lightly dust with sea salt.
  3. Place into the freezer for a chewy and delicious bite anytime!

 

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally posted on: www.myvega.com

Glorious Green Smoothie

Do you crave a taste of the topics, but still want to maintain a glorious, nutrient-packed green smoothie? This recipe is a sweet and fresh way to start your day! Don’t let the green color fool you, this recipe will leave your taste buds wanting more of the tropics without buying a plane ticket!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup coconut water (coconut milk may be used as an alternative)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 serving Vega Protein Smoothie Viva Vanilla

Preparation

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy smooth.
  2. If you desire a lighter consistency add more coconut water or coconut milk!

 

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally posted on: www.myvega.com

PB&J Concord Grape Smoothie Recipe

A new twist on a classic favorite! Try this mouth-watering, satisfying smoothie that will bring back childhood memories. This nutrient dense smoothie may taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but is gluten-free and full of plant-power!

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender (liquids first).
  2. Blend until smooth.

 

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally published on: www.myvega.com

Cake Batter (Dairy-Free) Milkshake Recipe

Have your cake and eat it too! This smoothie is a healthy indulgence that tastes just like cake batter. Celebrate your birthday every day with this nutrient-dense delicious treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup vegan vanilla coconut ice cream
  • 2-3 cubes of ice
  • 1 serving Vega One French Vanilla
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • Naturally colored sprinkles
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut

Preparation

  1. Blend all ingredients (except for sprinkles and shredded coconut) in blender.
  2. Top smoothie with shredded coconut and sprinkles.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally published on: www.myvega.com

What matters more for healthy weight loss?

Are you ready to be the best version of you? Whether you’re a fitness guru, or a fresh face to world of health and movement, this column is your new home (gym). You can expect articles, photos and videos on sports nutrition, optimal weight and energy! As a certified nutritional practitioner and personal trainer who has worked with professional athletes, Olympians and celebrities, I’m ready to share my unique approach to health and fitness to help you thrive. 

A very hot and debatable question I hear in the health and wellness field from many of my clients is: Which matters more—fitness or diet when it comes to sustainable and healthy weight loss? Can we out-exercise a poor diet, or is food our foundation?

With so many controversial fitness and diet trends and theories such as clean eating, paleo, and juice cleanses (to name a few), it’s easy to be confused on what is best for sustained weight loss, or optimal weight. So what is my take on which is more sustainable for weight loss? Glad you asked

Sustainable versus short-term goals

While short-term fad diets and crazy workouts may work for a few people who need to get fit quick (for a fitness competition or bikini body), I will be discussing sustainable, long-term fitness and nutrition goals and how to reach them.

I believe that sustainable weight loss is a happy marriage between food intake and exercise output, I also believe that the quality of the foods you eat and the quality of your workouts play a key role to achieving sustainable goals. Studies have shown that while both food intake and exercise have individually been proven to be effective with weight loss, the combination of the two is most effective for long-term goals.

Fitness for weight loss

If you’re looking for a way of exercising that is sustainable and healthy, choose an activity that you enjoy. I know it sounds simple, but many people join fitness groups or activities that they absolutely dread because it’s the latest craze or they want a quick fix and will do whatever it takes. The downfall to this is that it’s unsustainable. I recommend taking a month to try as many different forms of activity a possible and see what you enjoy the most. Maybe you sample yoga, weight training, running and Crossfit to name a few. Once you find your fit, make a schedule and stick to it. Finally, find friends who can join you in your exercise routine, which in my opinion will excel your progress as you’ll be more likely to work out if you have the extra support!

Nutrition for weight loss

Sustainability doesn’t just apply to a successful workout routine, it also applies to what you eat. Notice that I never use the word diet? This is because I don’t ever want anyone to think they are on a diet. Rather, I encourage people to find a way of eating that is a happy medium between being pleasurable and beneficial to their body and the way they look. I believe and educate clients that eating whole, natural foods, and mostly plant-based, is optimal.

Every body is different and has different needs, but the one consistent rule of thumb when it comes to choosing foods for your grocery cart or your plate, is eating simply: fresh (local, organic when possible) foods from mother nature. The term nutrient density should be top of mind. Eating foods that have high amounts of vitamins and minerals should be a priority.

Food rotation and variation is also important. So many people are in zombie-mode when grocery shopping. Choosing your favorite foods every week (even if they’re healthy) can actually turn out to be stagnant in terms of nutrient variety. In order to get a well-rounded balance of nutrients in your diet, eat the rainbow! Select a variety of different fruits and vegetables and challenge yourself to try a new fruit or vegetable every week. Mix it up!

If you’ve ever heard the saying “70% of how you look is what you eat and 30% is exercise,” you will understand the importance of nutrition when it comes to optimal weight. As a personal trainer, I can see this in my clients. No matter how hard the work in the gym, if their food intake isn’t on point, it shows. This isn’t to say that exercise doesn’t have its benefits! Exercise, whether or not your goal is weight loss,  improves mood, increases energy and promotes better sleep. 

Both are extremely important in their own right, but it’s the proven combination of the two and how you approach them, that will help you reach your weight loss goals faster.

Bottom line: you cannot out-run a bad diet!

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally published on: www.myvega.com


References

  1. Wu T, Gao X, Chen M, van Dam RM.  (2009). Long-term effectiveness of diet-plus-exercise interventions vs. diet-only interventions for weight loss: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews 2009; 10(3): 313-323.
  2. United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Accessed on 9/8/2014 from: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx

Diabetes Month: How I turned a "negative disease" into a positive lifestyle change

My health journey began at the tender age of 11. After losing a dramatic amount of weight in a short amount of time, and feeling off for several weeks, alongside frequent thirst and fatigue, my mom decided to take me to my family doctor. I remember sitting in the room and getting my finger pricked to test my blood glucose (or sugar) levels. With a result of extremely high blood sugar levels, my doctor immediately diagnosed me with type 1 diabetes—I remember seeing my mom’s eyes swell up with tears, looking extremely upset. I, on the other hand, had no idea what was happening or how my life was about to change.

11 years of eating and drinking whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted was all about to change, dramatically.

Living with the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes

I was quickly entered into a whirlwind of education, learning everything about food, my body, my blood sugar levels, insulin and what diabetes meant. Without a doubt, it was a lot to take on as an 11 year old, but I didn’t know any other way. I knew I had to make a choice: either participate, learn as much as I could and live a healthy and happy lifestyle, or say “screw it” and let diabetes take over my health, and ultimately my life.

For those of you who may not know, diabetes is classified into two types: type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed to people under the age of 18 which has been linked as a genetic disorder, and type 2 diabetes, usually diagnosed during adulthood which has been linked to lifestyle factors (such as obesity and poor dietary choices).

I remember having to adjust to my new routine of testing my blood glucose levels 4-5 times per day, and taking insulin injections 4-5 times per day. Having to inject myself with needles throughout the day sure made me tough, real quick!

How nutrition helped me manage type 1 diabetes

I met with a dietitian who created a meal plan for me that was based on the Canadian Food Pyramid. My meals consisted of all macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) which seemed like a good idea until I started to feel sick. Almost every meal had a slice of bread, and a glass of milk alongside the main course. Little did I know, I was lactose-, and gluten-sensitive, which drained my energy. Soon after feeling constantly low on energy and bloated, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

After months of reading nutrition books and trying many different styles of eating, I discovered the power of eating plant-based. Filling my plate with veggies and pseudograins, while ditching bread and milk, made me feel like an entirely new person. I regained my energy levels, and ultimately my happiness.

They say “you are what you eat” and I truly believe in this quote. I can personally see and feel how different foods effect my blood sugar levels, mood and weight, very very easily. While over the past 14+ years I have experimented with almost every way of eating out there, I can definitely say that eating a diet that is rich in whole foods (mostly organic and plant-based) has made me thrive. Soon after studying at University of Toronto, I became a personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor and holistic nutritionist, which all helped me control my diabetes and help others regain their health.

I refuse to let diabetes run my life

Most people who meet me, don’t realize or know that I have type 1 diabetes until long-after we get to know each other. This is because I don’t let diabetes run my life. Many people think if you are living with the disease, it takes over your life, that you are restricted to many things—such as foods or activities—but I am here to let you know that this is simply a myth. I like to show people first that I live a normal life, then tell them I have diabetes. I always find it humorous to see their shocked faces and answer all their questions.

Even though I was diagnosed at an early age, my outlook on dealing with this life-threatening disease, has helped me to take care of myself. 

Whatever may happen to you in your lifetime, it’s all about your attitude.

When challenged in life, you always have the choice on how to handle the situation. Although sometimes staying positive may seem like more of an effort, I can promise you it is worth it in the end.

Today, I continue to eat well, exercise six times per week, and surround myself with like-minded friends. Support and positivity have led me to turn what may have seemed like a negative disease into a positive lifestyle that can hopefully encourage and help other people to take charge of their health and be the best versions of themselves.

Written by: Jessica Morris

Originally published on: www.myvega.com