Welcome to the Whole Approach forum. I have been one of the main moderators of this forum since 2002. Please allow me to offer you an introduction to my philosophy and background.
I believe that wide spread health and happiness can only be found when our societies develop a whole life, whole world perspective that honours all life.
I am a Certified Nutritional Practitioner with a special interest in immune and digestive recovery including general detoxification and recovery from food allergies and candida overgrowth. I believe deeply in mind-body medicine and in conscious eating, shopping and lifestyle choices that benefit ourselves, our ecology and our local and global communities. I am passionate about the benefits of pure healing remedies and food choices. I'm passionate about a self responsible, co-creative, positive outlook and I'm passionate about the importance of healthy homes and an ethical, ecological, economy.
The Power of the Mind and Brain
We can use our minds to change our brains in a way that influences our bodies and our experience of life. Increasing evidence in the field of neuroplasticity, meditation and other mind science is providing abundant evidence of this rich opportunity that we all have to alter our experience of our circumstances and possibly even to alter our circumstances. As citizens and consumers, we have more power than we think, to create the changes in the world that we wish to see.
Being the Change we Seek
By seeking out product and service options that meet our principles, we are building change. In her book, EcoMind (one of my favorites), author Frances Moore Lappe writes about how we are collectively agreeing to (or complicit in), the creation of a world that individually, none of us would agree to.
I believe that, with enough expressed will from a conscious and politically active public (a growing percentage of us), who vote for change with our wallets as well as our ballets, one day, everyone on the planet can have access to high quality food that is produced with care for the health of our biodiversity, our soil, our farmers, and others along the distribution line.
According to Raj Patel, well known food activist and economist, we are currently producing more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet. And, according to a a meta study done by a US university a few years ago, if all food production in the world was converted to organic, agroecological methods, we could increase world food production by 50%. By doing so we would simultaneously reduce many health, social justice, occupational health, pollution and climate problems.
Great positive impact really is possible through informed choices about the production processes and business practices that we support when making our purchases. Seeking a democratic, ecological and compassionate production and distribution chain in all of our necessary purchases will go a long way towards building healthier lives and the creation of more resilient communities and a healthier more just world.
I encourage those with the means to do so now, to take advantage of the power of choice that those of us living in the developed world have, to change our own life and the world in whatever ways are within your means.
Home Sweet Home
Matched in importance with what we eat and what we think, I place great importance on the health of our indoor environments. Caring for our home, in the sense of a healthy building is an essential and most overlooked component of personal and societal well being. Choosing building products, furnishings for their healthfulness while learning about the creation of optimum electromagnetic environments has never been more important.
My Personal Journey
I came to this work after a personal crisis as many health practitioners do. I had started out studying and working in graphic arts. Following that I went back to school to pursue my humanitarian interests. I then worked in the social services as a field worker mainly servicing the homeless in a downtown East Toronto neighbourhood. After a life-changing, learning-intensive recovery from a severe health crisis in 1992, I left this career to begin my formal nutritional training
The health crisis was transformational and my journey to health took over two years with many ups and downs. It demanded all of my will and commitment. Though a lifelong medical condition involving my immune system has persisted, I was able to recover from a debilitating CRC- Environmental Illness condition and attain much greater control over my health.
I now believe that this illness was a wonderful gift to me but I didn't always feel this way. I now realize that the sickness catapulted me into an intense and meaningful engagement with life and survival. Hindsight allows me to look back appreciatively on some of the most terrible experiences as some of my most influential teaching moments ever.
Personal transformation ripples out
The knowledge I have gained and the path it directed me on have brought insight and purpose to my life about the impact that my choices have on well being - my own - as well as that of others. The importance of how my life affects the world outside me have perhaps been the most profound because I realized that, through healing ourselves, we can actually help create a healthier world.
Creating a different world through healthy, ecological and ethical choices can, among other things, help prevent harm to human health caused through environmental exposures. I feel particularly passionate about this since my own health was severely damaged from environmental exposures. Over the years I have increasingly come to realize many ways that we can generate change in the world to help us, as a species, transition towards creating a world we want to live in. Most relevant to our work here, we can spread awareness about the importance of healthy lifestyle and food choices and share excitement about how much power we can have through the choices we make.
A sensitive body prone to allergies and chemical sensitivities is common for those recovering from CRC. The subsequent search for highly nutritious, fresh, all natural foods and household and personal care products can result in a radical shift in perspective about the average person's lifestyle and the impact it can have on air quality, human health and environmental health.
'Thinking like an ecosystem'
In healing our own health from a condition like CRC, which can be likened to restoring an ecosystem, it becomes evident that we need to be in a healthy indoor environment in order to heal. This awareness can extend to the realization that we need food and air produced in a healthy outdoor environment in order to thrive and in order to positively influence the health of our planet, we need to start conducting our lives as if we are but a part of the ecosystems we exist in. Or, as author Frances Moore Lappe says, "We need to start thinking like an ecosystem."
In this way, recovery from CRC, reconnects us back to acknowledgement of the importance of restoring natural systems to balance in order to sustain the natural systems that our own body systems depend on for Life.
The discovery that that the food choices I needed to have a healthy body could have benefits far beyond my own health was perhaps the most profound of my realizations. Healthy organic foods and other natural products were not only good for me, they were also beneficial for the local farmers, the local economy, the workers all along the supply chain and for the protection of our soil, air and water quality, which is of course comes full circle back to be good for all of us.
For me, this generated a passionate sense of responsibility to the people and other creatures that are affected by my actions. The realization deepened that, that through our actions as citizens, eaters and shoppers, we are in relationship with many others in both seen and unseen ways.
Heal thyself to find thyself
All in all, the illness offered me a chance to develop a more meaningful, more nourishing, healthier lifestyle. The lessons of whole systems, health, and balance changed my perspective and my quality of life – forever.
Perhaps the most interesting part of these explorations for me is that, over the years, I've observed that many people having similar transformations. It actually seems common among those who have recovered from CRC, that they end up developing a highly intuitive, sustainable approach to life that respects our human need to live in tune with natural rhythms. So when I say this illness may have a gift in it for you, remember that in the changes you make to heal yourself, you can be a part of a much bigger change and try to remain open to the ways this can enhance your life with increased depth and quality.
My nutritionally related background has included the development and presentation of a four week course in healthy lifestyle transitions for healing; health articles; nutritional counseling; health-food retail management; quality product promotions; and health food retailer-training.
I joined the Whole Approach team in March 2002, as the moderator/ coach on the forums. I’d like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my background.
Prior to 2002, I managed a health recovery hotline for the Canadian health food retail distributor including specific help for those using the same products Whole Approach sells. I also provided retailer and consumer seminars about the careful selection and use of natural health products and specifically health recovery from candida related illness.
Walking along side you
I look forward to walking along side some of you as you pursue your own healing journey. I wish you a rich and rewarding healing experience. I encourage you to believe that, even when your progress seems slow and your suffering great, you may be gleaning benefits that you cannot see in the moment. Remember too that your lifestyle changes will not only help to create a better world, your courage to pursue healing with a whole approach will help you to develop acceptance, compassion and wisdom. When approached with this kind of mindfulness, the level of our challenges is directly proportionate to the strength and resiliency our spirit can gain through the acceptance of them.