Read about what some of our past clients had to say about our nutrition counselling approach and the results of our programs:
Help for a better food and body relationship
Anorexia recovery: freedom from a restrictive and rule-ridden approach to eating
I love food. It stimulates each of the senses, keeps us energized toward our goals, yet, I’ve had a rollercoaster relationship with food that was largely based on fear and avoidance. That was until I received some spot-on nutrition education from a registered dietitian at Health Stand Nutrition. Working with Sherene to address a long-winded battle with anorexia nervosa has been inspiring and empowering.
From a restrictive and rule-ridden approach to eating, I’ve developed a healthy and sustainable approach to meals and snacks that supports my goals to travel in the future. I peeled off labels that I thought would never unstick and allowed myself to explore economic, time-saving, and delicious recipes that work for me. If something didn’t’ work, there was space to learn from it, and continuous email feedback helped me stay accountable. The most helpful aspects were the food tracker resource, discussions about basic nutrition, goal-setting, as well as customized meal and snack ideas.
I feel grateful for this ongoing support and keen to take on new challenges in my life. Food was just a stepping stone in the end to approach the goals and dreams that I’d barred myself from running towards. The program allowed me to take challenges at my own pace with the guidance of understanding and down to earth professional support.
Specifically, my dream to travel to pursue international environmental conservation work, and teach yoga along the way seems more tangible. I have energy and inspiration to work, plan for future trips and feel much more grounded in my personal yoga practice.
I’d like to mention that the office is super cozy and homey as well! I was always offered tea and find the Inglewood location very beautiful and convenient. Thank you Health Stand Nutrition for the opportunity to learn, grow, and get back on my feet.
Chocoholically yours in healing,
Meals don’t need to be complicated and difficult.
Deb was great. It was nice to meet with someone that has knowledge about Diabetes and Celiac Disease, she is the first one I have met. What Deb did for me was bring some products to my attention and get me motivated again to make the changes I need to make so that I can feel better again. I enjoyed my sessions with Deb a lot and really appreciate the knowledge she has and the help she gave me to look at things in a more healthy way. She also made me realize that meals don’t need to be complicated and difficult, it really can be fast and easy. Thanks so much to Deb for her help.
Getting a food education!
Getting a food education! I now understand the requirements my body needs for my athletic goals / lifestyle and understand how to achieve these requirements.
I finally went out and got some new pants.
Richelle, happy to report that I bought new pants that were 4 pants sizes smaller. Still wear my belt, but more for looks, as much as it is to hold up my pants. Have bought some smaller shirts as well. So, hopefully it will be less from here.
Now that it is the busy season for us, I am still trying to get out and walk everyday, some days are much harder than others, but I have my snacks beside me, jar of peanut butter on my desk and some vegetables in the fridge.
On our trip to Disneyland, I managed to do really well and make the best choices that I was able with the food choices that were around us. Not a very easy task, that was for sure. Much easier when I got to my sister’s house. But I brought my bran bars with me and they were a life saver for the mornings. My friend went and ate everything she could, then it was funny when she said she prob gained 15 lbs, I’m sure I lost some. She said she should have done what I did, afterwards. One of the days down there, I walked over 21,000 steps.
Wanted to thank you for the things that you taught me, have implemented many things on a daily basis and continue to do them.
I have less cravings and I eat less because I know I can have it again.
I have always thought of myself as highly health aware when it comes to food. Throughout my teens and twenties, I did the odd diet here and there, but never thought of myself as a dieter. I am active, I go to the gym, run a few times a week and spend much of our leisure time riding bikes, hiking and other activities. I cook mostly whole foods and I watch very closely what I eat.
The problem was that there are things that I cannot have control over, such as social events, parties etc. I would often pre-eat, so I could skip the food being served, or I would opt to not eat at all, but then I would arrive home staving. And yet, with such a restricted, health focused diet, I could not seem to lose “the last 15 pounds”, something that I have struggled with my entire life. I measured my food, kept a food diary, weighed myself daily and every time I ate something it would affect my mood and I would then focus on exercise to mitigate the impact of the food I ate. I thought I was doing it right, yet All I think about every day is food and the stress of uncontrollable situations became too much for me. That is when I reached out for help.
I was very lucky to find Deb Lounsbury, with Health Stand Nutrition – she is absolutely awesome. I wasn’t sure what a Registered Dietician would do, but I figured they would simply help me figure out portion sizes and types based on my activities and perhaps they would identify how many times per week I could “food splurge” and still maintain or lose weight… and I’d be on my way.
Instead, Deb helped me realize that I had some (my husband would likely say many) obsessive ways, and bottom line: I was a dieter; even though I did not realize it. Deb and I talked about an approach called Intuitive Eating. This was a methodology where I would need to “lose the rules”; I could no longer write down my meals, count carbs or list portion size, or weigh myself. It seemed daunting at first but with Deb’s support and guidance, it was manageable.
Deb taught me how to eat intuitively. She promised that if I was open to this approach I could be free of my obsession with food and that one day I would eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. She created a world where no food was off limits. She provided me with resources, assistance and support to help to learn to listen to my body.
I really had no idea how my old ways were impacting my life; I had created a world that revolved around food and I felt like I was in prison. I dreaded meals at other people’s homes and meals out to restaurants, where food that I had always deemed off limits was served. So the concept of Intuitive Eating seemed scary. If I allowed myself all these thing I have worked so hard to eliminate I feared that I would binge. But I don’t binge. It surprised me. I learned to savour food and if I don’t love the first bite, I don’t have a second. No foods are off limits and I actually realized that I don’t love all sweets and dessert, I now only eat it if it will satisfy me.
Thanks to Deb and her work, I have increased energy, less mood swings, my clothes still fit and are even getting looser (but this isn’t even important anymore) and in fact my overall stress level has been reduced. I let go of the control and others can cook dinner in our house and I am ok with it. I can go to client lunches and industry events without fear of what they are serving. And the surprise is that I eat less overall and I am not hungry. I even eat bagels- amazing! (I thought I would never be allowed to ever eat a bagel again.)
There are easy days and there are a few hard days. But even a hard day Intuitive Eating is easier than a hard day dieting… because it’s ok to eat on the run, have full fat cheesecake or drink that glass of wine. No more unsatisfying “diet” substitutes. No longer depriving myself of food I like. All of this means I have less cravings and I eat less because I know I can have it again. I know that not eating “perfectly” is perfect and food will no longer impact my mood or affect my end goal, which is to be healthy. A huge weight has been lifted and I am so much happier. I can honestly say I will never diet again- what a freeing statement!
I really can’t say enough amazing things about Deb and what she did for me and for my family who have also benefited from the Intuitive Eating approach taught by Deb and Health Stand Nutrition.
Jennifer Desilets, Age 37
Found a consistent diet to keep a healthy, balanced weight
Prior to visiting Carrie, I had adopted an extremely low carb diet in order to lose 50 lbs, and while that diet worked for me I knew that a low carb diet was unsustainable. So I approached Carrie to get advice on a balanced diet that would give me the nutrition I needed without putting the weight back on. Although I am fairly savvy when it comes to diet and nutrition, I found Carrie to be extremely supportive, motivational, and knowledgeable. The 3 sessions were very worthwhile and I still refer to them on a regular basis. The fact is that 7 months after losing all that weight I have only put on 5 lbs, thanks to a sensible balanced diet and the motivation that Carrie instilled in me. I also had BPH (prostate enlargement). Carrie did some research for me on what foods to take, and what to avoid. 7 months later, the BPH is totally gone, which just shows that many ailments can be treated by diet. Whether you are looking to lose weight, keep the weight off, or get your health sorted, you will find a friend in Health Stand Nutrition.
Tailored plan to move you forward
Sherene Sieben BSc, RD is a consummate professional. Throughout our assessment, we discussed portion sizes, what constitutes a healthy meal and snack, caloric intake and energy levels. She was supportive and comforting, funny and knowledgeable. She gave me tips about integrating regular snacks into my meal plan and a slick tracking tool to record them as well as to manage changes I am making to my diet. I felt we were in partnership regarding my health and wellness and we came up with a plan which is reasonable, sustainable and tailor-made for me. If you are looking for a registered dietician to help move you forward on your path to wellness, I would highly recommend Sherene.
Deb knows about nutrition and understands people.
I went to Health Stand Nutrition for help to gain weight. I ate meals but could not gain weight. Deb Lounsbury listened to my concerns and understood my problem. She made me feel at ease and I felt that she was interested in my concerns and could help me. She gave me a meal planning package to help build balanced meals and healthy snacks. She wrote out suggestions so I had notes to refer to when I returned home. I was especially pleased when she gave me recipes to get me started on my road to healthy eating. I also enjoyed my sessions with Deb. We chatted and had a few laughs. Deb knows about nutrition and understands people. I would highly recommend her to anyone needing help in planning and eating nutritional meals.
Diane Harris, Retired junior high school teacher
Binging no more!
I originally went to see Andrea with a desire to gain control of a binging problem. I have always been an all or none eater. A “good day” consisted of only healthy eating. No sugar, no treats, and very few carbs. If I “broke down” and had one cookie it then became a “bad day” and the eating was out of control and my whole day was bad. As a result I tried every diet and fad to lose weight. But the only thing I gained was even worse eating habits and more binging. Food consumed my mind and I found it hard to enjoy meal times. Andrea taught me how to not “diet” but eat the right amounts of a variety of food to feel full and satisfied. And most important she taught me that the grey area is OK. It’s okay to have a treat without guilt. I now have my bingeing under control and eat the right amounts of food to give me the energy I need. And I have a “treat” every day – in control – knowing that there’s always tomorrow to have it again. And for the first time in my life I am not totally consumed with what I’m eating. I can actually enjoy going out for dinner and preparing meals! I also feel confident I am teaching my daughters a healthy balance about food and eating. Thanks Andrea!
Cholesterol Down in 3 months
I went to Andrea almost a year ago now with a cholesterol problem. After analyzing my current diet and changes that I already made, she was able to present a multitude of further choices that would help even further. One of the best things in the changes to my diet that I appreciated was that I was able to continue to eat a lot of the foods I like. I only had to change some of the preparation methods and quantity. With the changes we made to my diet as well as exercise, I was able to reduce my cholesterol by over one unit in only 3 months. Andrea is very positive minded, and helps you focus on what needs to be done to achieve your goal. At the same time you feel committed, not pressured, to do what it takes. Thank you very much Andrea.
40 lbs down with a custom plan for me
When I found that my weight gain was beginning to interfere with my lifestyle, I decided that it was time to engage some professional assistance. From the day that I first met Andrea, her bouncy enthusiasm for her work was infectious. She is a very knowledgeable professional who brings a down home approach to her advice. She works with her clients in a manner that best suits their needs. Andrea and I agreed on a reasonable objective and then developed a strategy to achieve it. The objective was to lose weight at a reasonable pace until I had the overweight problem under control. The strategy was for me to develop a better understanding of the nutritional value, fat, fiber and caloric content of various foods and how they worked together in the human body to aid in healthy living. We mixed the nutritional discussion with other lifestyle commentary which enabled me to put the whole issue in context. One thing that I felt was very important from the beginning was to have fun doing it and not to lose energy as a result of lowering my caloric intake, as I exercise regularly as well. In fact, eating smarter increased my energy level. Andrea had many helpful hints in day to day living which enabled me to make the “dieting” aspect of the strategy very manageable. The simplest piece of advice that Andrea gave me was that there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t eat while on the program as long as I understood what I was eating and the impact it would have on my progress. Success was up to me. A simple, initial target to lose 5 -10 pounds turned into an updated goal of losing 30 pounds. When that was achieved over six months, without ever feeling hungry, I decided to go for 40 pounds, which is where I was many, many years ago. Having achieved that milestone, Andrea and I are now working on a strategy to stabilize my weight loss and to ensure that the eating habit improvements achieved are embedded into my normal routine. I recommend Andrea very highly to anyone who would like to better understand the value of the food they are consuming and to learn some helpful, customized hints to improve their eating habits in a healthy, user friendly, way.
Measurable overall changes
I just wanted to share with you the measurable changes that have occurred in my health/life since our first meeting about three and a half months ago. My total cholesterol has dropped from 5.8 to 4.6, and my doctor tells me to expect a further substantial reduction over the next year or so. My weight has dropped approximately 13 lbs. so far. I find that I need about one to one and a half hours less sleep per night than I needed before, to have the same energy the next day. Lastly, my digestion improved. There was nothing wrong with it before, but now it is turbocharged! his is all pretty exciting stuff for me, and I attribute it 100% to the program that you laid out for me. I will continue to mention you to people who might benefit from the same thing you did for me.
Balanced blood sugars
Andrea Holwegner has been very helpful with some blood sugar difficulties that I have been dealing with for years. She taught me how to eat in a way that keeps me full and ensures that my energy levels are high. Feeling light headed due to low blood sugar levels has been a consistent problem for me, probably since adolescence. I seldom experience this now, and if I do, I am now aware of what specific types of food to eat that are beneficial to me. I feel much healthier and through a combination of eating the proper foods, spacing meals and snacks appropriately and daily exercise I have lost 15 pounds – an added bonus I was not expecting. I have gone from being very close to having diabetes 6 months ago, to having current blood sugar levels that are normal. I am so pleased with the way Andrea’s advice has helped me create a healthier lifestyle.
Registered Social Worker
Professional athlete achieves 15-20 lbs. muscle gain
I originally came to Andrea Holwegner looking for assistance in attaining some very specific goals that I have struggled to achieve for more than 10 years, even with the assistance of other ‘nutritional professionals.’ I play professional lacrosse for the Calgary Roughnecks, and as a professional athlete I have found that the physical demands of my sport call for a very scientific approach to nutrition coupled with expert knowledge of sport-specific training routines. This truth combined with the natural hurdles of my vegetarian diet (I’ve been a vegetarian for over 15 years), have made my goals of weight-gain (and maintenance) very challenging. It was not until I begin nutritional sessions with Andrea that my objective of adding positive pounds (size and strength) in the amount of 15-20 lbs was realized. Moreover, I was able to achieve my goals in a much shorter time-span than I originally thought possible. Thanks to Andrea, and her professional, sport-specific advice, I have achieved my weight-gain objectives, which has in turn greatly enhanced my game – all without compromising my dietary restrictions. Thanks Andrea.
I have always had a very active lifestyle that has increased the need for proper nutrition in order to take care of my body. Andrea really helped me by promoting a routine that would keep my energy up so that I could continue to stay physically active, but at the same time, increase my awareness about what my body needs in order to stay healthy. Thanks to Andrea’s awesome advice on what to eat before and after workouts, I find that I always have the energy to continue on with my day, even after a very hard swim or a difficult day in the weight room. I have even noticed a difference in my competitive swimming as I now have more focus and more determination, which I’m sure is a result of the advice that Andrea gave me. Andrea’s plans are great because they incorporate small changes that seem to make huge differences in my day (for example, adding a handful of nuts after a workout really helped my recovery rate, and I didn’t feel as tired the next day!). I loved her healthy alternatives to a few of the foods that I like also. On a final note, I also loved the recipes she gave me! My mom and I make them all the time. I especially enjoy the smoothies as they are a great snack and give me that extra boost I need before I go for a workout! Thank you again for all your help Andrea!
I knew when I signed up for Ironman Canada, that I would need to ensure my nutrition was going to support the demands of an endurance training plan. I came to see Andrea and the information she provided to me was exactly what I needed. I came away with a formula to calculate precisely the amounts of carbohydrates and protein I needed as well as a new awareness of how to best restock my body’s fuel reserves and when to do so after working out. The information was invaluable to me for a successful training season and allowed me to fulfill all the training sets I needed to do, and have the energy to do every last one of them! I was confident about my food plan, which was absolutely integral to my successful year and competition. I never once felt that I had to compromise being a vegetarian as I knew exactly what my parameters were and how to best achieve optimal nutritional health.
Andrea Holwegner and I met to discuss my personal goals, which were to increase my energy levels and muscle mass. She did a fantastic job at individually assessing my needs and offered numerous food choices that were catered for me. Since my visit, I have noticed an incredible change, I am feeling a lot stronger during my workouts, and my energy levels are higher then ever! I would without a doubt recommend Andrea to any individual looking to improve their lifestyle, no matter what fitness level or goal they have!
Learned new tricks for energy and weight
I am 23 years old, very active and involved in competitive sports but my eating habits were a total disaster. My portion sizes were too large, my meals were not balanced and I was always hungry. I went to see Andrea so she could help me in terms of eating properly and maybe guide me to losing all my extra pounds. And did she ever. She explained to me what I was doing wrong and why and what would be the right things to do. Her explanations, diagrams, charts, and recipes made sense to someone who had never really paid too much attention to their diet. Since I saw Andrea the first time, I have lost over 20 lbs just by eating properly and continuing to exercise regularly. She bestowed me with confidence and made it all seem so easy, which I now realize it is. I feel great, have a tremendous amount of energy and fit into my jeans at the back of the closet again.
Competitive speed skater
Since meeting with Andrea I feel that I have a better understanding of the nutritional needs for my body. My energy level has increased significantly. I am a 19 year old competitive short track speed skater. This past season I had a lot of trouble with sickness and low energy. I thought I ate well, trained hard and recovered well enough to maintain my busy lifestyle and athletic performance. I tried many things to regain my energy; I rested more and even compromised training programs. I have always tried to eat “healthy.” To me healthy meant fewer treats and a restrictive lifestyle. After meeting with Andrea I discovered that my thinking was wrong. As an athlete my energy needs are high. She has taught me how to balance my eating in order to maintain my desired performance. I have learned that being healthy does not have to be restrictive and complicated. She has helped me gain a greater understanding of nutrition, so that I can apply it to my lifestyle in practical ways. I really appreciated her wisdom, understanding and enthusiasm.
short track speed skater
Healthy vegetarian pregnancy
When I became pregnant I was concerned that my vegetarian diet may affect my growing baby. As a result, my doctor recommended that I see a nutritionist. Visiting Andrea was a great move because I learned that while my diet was basically good, there were many ways to improve upon it. I had to pay particular attention to my daily intake of protein, iron and calcium. It was a little challenging at first, as I had never been used to consciously planning my meals. However, I now had more than just myself to think about and so I was determined to do things right. I was grateful for all the handouts I was given and the many menu suggestions. I have never been much of a cook and have little imagination in that dept. I was therefore pleased that the suggestions were often very easy to prepare, though not necessarily obvious to the nutritionally-challenged! On my third visit to Andrea I also received great information on baby nutrition, something I have just started re-reading. We are still in the early stages of providing our daughter with solid food, but at nearly 6 months old, Asia is in the top 10% of all female babies her age for height and weight. I’m sure that this is due in no small part to the good advice I received while pregnant. Between us we’ve built a very healthy, bouncing baby.
Struggles with anorexia
It has been nearly 2 years now since my struggles with anorexia first began. At my lowest, I weighed just barely more than 37 kg (82 lbs.). I had lost hope that recovery was ever possible and at points was ready to simply give up. It is said that overcoming an eating disorder is, by far, more challenging than living with the disorder itself and take it from me, living with anorexia is a nightmare. I find it difficult to explain exactly what anorexia does to a person, but it was a constant tormentor and I suffered immensely. Andrea has been working with me for over a year now and with her help I have come a long way. She encouraged me to continuously seek help and honestly gave me the hope that I could get through this. Together, we worked on increasing my meal plans and adding in new foods, since my list of ‘safe’ foods had gotten smaller and smaller with time. Gradually, my list grew more and more, and with it, so did my confidence. There has been a dramatic shift in my eating patterns. I went from barely eating anything in a day to now eating 3 meals and 2 snacks each and every day. For the first time in over two years I feel ‘normal’. I am pleased to say that I have gained back all the weight that I lost and even a bit more to ensure I remain healthy at nearly 100 lbs. I can’t say that I’m 100% cured, because recovery from an eating disorder is a long and trying process. But, what I can say is that I have made many changes to my life and my hopes for the future have returned. I am entering into my second year of Nursing in University and absolutely love it! I must continue to work hard and will encounter many struggles along the way, but I am confident that I will live a long and healthy life. I decided to write this letter because I truly believe that if Andrea could help me, she can help anyone. I can imagine that at times I must have been an extremely difficult client, but she never gave up on me. And because of her, I am here to tell you all my story of success.
Why is it that we wait until something goes wrong before we take action to ensure our body gets the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy. I made it all the way to age 53 before my balloon popped. I’d always thought I was eating properly, boozing socially and often congratulated myself that I didn’t smoke. My problems were cholesterol related and became evident at my annual medical examination. My Doctor was shocked when he passed me the results of my blood work. Now I was shocked! It was my first sign of trouble. He gave me six months to get my ducks back in order and a requisition to repeat the blood work by year end. If I could not normal my cholesterol level I was going on the pill. I hate pills! I then met Andrea Holwegner from Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. In six months and three short meetings Andrea passed her nutrition experience to me with a commitment that by year end I was not going on the pill. I followed her plan and made some lifestyle changes. Together we shocked my Doctor again! This time a positive shock. Will I be staying with Andrea’s plan? You bet….. Thanks Andrea. You do great work.
Yours now with:
Achievable goals one at a time!
Andrea Holwegner has been my nutritionist for over a year now. Working with Andrea has had significant impact on my health and quality of life. Andrea motivates one to make important health changes through helping you set achievable goals, one at a time. This process allows a person to make life changes not just temporary fixes. For example, it’s taken almost a year to lose 6 lbs. but they are staying OFF! I have a lot more energy, and know how to get good energy at times of the day I need it. I am rarely ill. My blood pressure is way down. I love nutritious foods and new culinary adventures. Andrea is positive and patient – there isn’t a goal you feel you can’t tackle as you begin to realize how important your nutritional health is. I even had her come and speak with my staff to emphasize the importance of not just teaching health and nutrition, but modeling it!
My usual tricks for losing weight were no longer working and I realized that I needed to become more informed about food and its effect on my body. With Andrea’s help, I have discovered how to gain control over my weight by making simple choices concerning what and when to eat. The results have been very gratifying in terms of weight loss and my overall health.
Better health & energy!
This note is to say thank you so much for all your help with my nutritional questions. I have learnt so much from you. I found it quite fascinating to learn how to group foods together to get the best possible effects and how to choose foods which suited my lifestyle. I feel so much more energized now that I am including balanced meals with more protein. I know I will use the information you gave me the rest of my life and will impart this knowledge to my family and friends. I found your suggestions on lowering my blood pressure and choosing heart healthy foods a great help. Thank you once again, I know I will recommend you to anyone I feel needs help with his or her nutrition.
Andrea was a tremendous help to me in changing my eating patterns only slightly to make a huge difference in my ability to control hunger. So long as I keep to that pattern of eating, I can feel well, energetic and fit. Weight loss is always very slow for me, but at least being able to not feel hungry all the time helps curb some of my unnecessary eating. Feeling well and improving on fatigue is a real bonus. Andrea made me feel like it is very possible to deal with the hunger that was getting in the way of my losing weight.
I was advised be my doctor to consult a dietician for help in reducing my cholesterol levels and in losing some weight. Andrea gave me great advice on the kinds of foods to eat to help me to do so and what times of the day to eat certain foods in order to keep my energy levels up. She also gave me some recipes to use and the ones I have tried so far have been delicious. Andrea is very helpful and is willing to spend time explaining her suggestions to you, without making you feel that if you eat something “bad” you are a failure. I know that I can call on her at any time, if I have any questions related to diet.
Real Estate Agent
Noticed Change Right Away
Last week my doctor recommended that I come to see you. I am thankful that she recommended you. After only one meal I noticed a change. I really don’t remember feeling this good for a long time. My cravings for sweets has diminished and it’s just a bad habit now. Soon to be broken. I have more energy and I am full for a much longer period of time. I can’t believe what a difference this has made. Just by altering a few combinations and adding more carbs to my diet it has made a huge difference. I also eat smaller meals and snack in between. I am acutely aware if I have made a poor choice as I go from feeling great to not so good. I am much more aware now of what I’m putting in my mouth. I don’t want to feel crappy anymore because of the food I’ve decided to eat or not eat. Eating at the right times makes such a difference. I feel great. Thanks Andrea for finishing University. I’m sending a letter to my doctor also.
Help for glucose intolerance
I was recently diagnosed as glucose intolerant. With Andrea’s assistance I have been able to reduce my glucose level to near normal in a very short period of time. She helped us with meal planning, provided valuable information on food groups and shared many excellent recipes. Her approach was very professional, practical and informative. Thanks to Andrea, we are well on our way to a healthier lifestyle.
A journey of health & weight loss
I am 48 years old. About 3 years or so years ago I weighed over 240lbs and was totally out of shape. I decided to try to loose weight and get fit. I started by walking the dog and then worked my way up to running. I entered a 10 K race and stated to feel much better. Next I ran a half marathon and then competed in and finished a 180 km bike race. In February of last year I was 211lbs and 27.5% body fat. I could not seem to loose any more weight so went to see Andrea.
Andrea asked me to record what I ate and then she advised me what to do. Simply put I had to eat less, and understand serving sizes that were appropriate for me. She also suggested I write down what I ate to increase awareness of what I am eating. The plan was simple and very easy to follow and it worked. She also put me in touch with an endurance coach who helped me with my training program.
By October 3rd of this year I was down to 184 pounds and 19.9% body fat. I ran 2 Marathons (My best time was 3:49:09 at Victoria) and competed in the Mad Hawk, a 3 day Ironman distance triathlon where I completed the 180 km bike portion of the race in a time of 6:44:51 which was about an hour better than my time last year. Since then I have devoted more time to weight lifting. My weight has gone up slightly since muscle weighs more than fat. I now weigh 193 lbs but my body fat is down to 15.7%.
Since I first started working with Andrea she has given me much more information on healthy eating , blood pressure reduction, and eating for endurance events. Her program is easy follow and stay on. I eat everything I did before just smaller portions. Sure every once in a while I pig out on something, but as Andrea says it is what you do 90% of the time that counts so don’t worry about one meal here or there. I don’t write down everything I eat each day anymore because making healthy choices has become more or less second nature. But if I ever notice my weight or body fat creeping up I again start keeping close track of what I eat and I get everything back in line. I found keeping a record of what I eat and the activity I do has been very helpful.
I think people as a rule underestimate what they eat and over estimate the physical activity they do. The fad diets may work for a time but can you stick with them? Will you have energy to be active? Can you eat regular food or will you be buying special diet food? Will you be eating the same food as the rest of the family? I think sensible eating as Andrea prescribes is the only way to go.
A solid plan will get you there!
Almost a year has gone since I first contacted Andrea at Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. My lifestyle was preparing me for an early grave. I was working one full time job as well as sub-contracting which used up a considerable amount of my time. I kept going by consuming large amounts of caffeine and taking pain killers to alleviate the headaches so I could handle the next day which held even more unrealistic expectations. Having so much on my plate lead me to grabbing fast food daily. My weight had sky-rocketed and once again, I was classed as obese. (Don’t you just hate that word?) . To top that, I had developed lactose intolerance & I had found out I had been anemic for several months. I also wanted to ensure that I am getting adequate nutrition to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer & osteoporosis. By some stroke of luck, despite my excessive weight I had not developed high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
A few years ago I used to do a fair amount of hiking and skiing and wanted to get back into it. I found Andrea in the yellow pages of the phone book & looked up her link on the web site. I was quite impressed with her broad scope of experience and believed she could help me develop healthy eating habits that would ensure I was getting adequate calcium, increase my iron levels, reduce weight and have enough energy to get back into a physically active lifestyle.
Andrea did not give me a diet. She evaluated my eating habits. I had already begun to change them before I actually saw her. I already had a good grasp of Canada’s Food Guide. She provided me with a wealth of information to help me increase iron absorption. With the help of supplements prescribed by my doctor, my iron is now at a normal level. As well, I am better equipped to keep the iron up. She also gave me information to help me make choices to ensure that I am getting adequate calcium in my diet for my age level.
Most people see the big accomplishment as the weight loss. And they like to see that big number. I don’t want to tell how much I lost. I am still embarrassed about getting that heavy. I will say that I have lost somewhere between 35 & 40% of my original weight. Also, the number of pounds that I lost is not where I wanted to focus. That’s just cosmetic. Here are some numbers that are more deserving of a pat on the back (and a massage!)
About a year ago, I was totally out of breath trying to complete a 10 K hike with and elevation gain of 350 Meters. To start getting back in shape I changed my eating habits and started walking about 5 KM a day and made sure I got out cross country skiing at least once a week. Once the snow melted, I started riding my bike. Six months after my first consultation with Andrea, I completed the MS Bike Tour (a 2 day 167 KM bike ride to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis – check out their website http://www.mscalgary.org/msbike.htm). I figure I probably put about 3,000 KM on my bike this year. After the bike tour, I thought I should try running. I started by running one minute at a time until I got up to 5 KM and I now run to and from work (a 5 KM run each way). I have also gone on 34 hikes this year in the mountains (~480 KM with a total elevation gain of over 23 thousand meters (75 thousand feet). And the best part is that about half of these hikes were new. I got to go to places that I had not been before. I recently started trying indoor climbing. And I was recently introduced to snow shoeing. I think I’m hooked on both.
The one thing that cannot be measured is the levels of energy, alertness and confidence that comes with getting healthier. And there no way I can describe the rush when I completed the bike tour or made it to the top of a climbing wall the first time. And the best photographer cannot capture what you get to see when you cross a mountain ridge.
I have discontinued subcontracting. I have not felt the loss of income – By the time I factored in how often I was eating out because I was too tired to prepare my own meals, I don’t think I was making anything. I have also completely given up caffeine and pain killers & feel much more relaxed.
I do give myself credit for what I have been able to do. It did not come without hard work. But I did find that the hardest part is the first month or so. After that, it becomes habit. And it is not something that happens overnight. It took a lot of patience.
Andrea helped by helping me with food plans to address my specific issues of obesity, lactose intolerance and anemia. She did not tell me to eat this or not eat this. She provided me with the information to make eating decisions that affect my overall health and reducing the risk of disease. She also helped simplify the whole idea of good & bad fats. (I no longer believe that one peanut will make me gain 20 pounds!) I also have a larger variety of foods in my diet.
She also provided me with information on what and when to eat to maximize my physical performance – particularly in completing the MS Bike Tour. She is now assisting me with information on foods that help minimize the severity of menopausal symptoms.
Andrea did not develop a plan for me. She looked at what I wanted to accomplish and what I was willing to do to reach my goals and helped me develop my own plans – ones that I knew I would follow. Because of Andrea’s background and her research, I felt confident that I was following a plan that would have long term health benefits.
If I wanted to give advice, I would suggest that you look at what excites you. (What makes you so eager that you are willing to get up at any hour on a Saturday morning?)
While your goals may be completely different than mine, Andrea can help you come up with a plan to get you there.