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Hi!

Food & Health Coach

I'm Christie Collins.

So what does that mean?
Long story short...

The latest diploma on my wall says "Holistic Nutrition and Health Coach". More then 1000 hours of study went into that alone combined with extra hours spent watching videos and further readings.

 

On the other side of things - I have worked in the food and hospitality industry my entire career as well as attending Conestoga College for Food and Beverage Management. From busser, host, food expeditor, server, supervisor, bartender, manager, wine director and office manager - I have done it all!

Take that experience, add in a curiosity towards nutrition and a passion for cooking.

Then add in years of studying and practising, failing and perfecting techniques, testing and re-testing, trials and hurdles to overcome. 

Having no entrepreneur influences in my early life, it took me some time to start envisioning a life where I have the ability to serve people in a different way then in restaurants, a way to help people who want to eat more plants for any reason - health, environmental or ethical reasons.

After a health crisis (see FAQ below), I knew I needed to start building the life I truly wanted. A business that give me flexibility, a creative outlet and the joy of helping people discover new recipes, meal planning and prep techniques.

 

And if you want the long story, aka details, here they are...
  • Health Crisis? You had Cancer?
    I don't talk about it a ton on my Instagram page, because it does not define me, It's just another part of my journey. Although my scar is VERY visible in most of my videos and pictures, I'm sure you've noticed if you follow me there! There is a stories highlight on Instagram that I've saved updates on my treatments along the way. Check it out if you are curious after reading this!
  • Where did you attend school?
    I attended Conestoga College, in Waterloo, Ontario from 2004-2006 for Food and Beverage Management. Much later (2017-2019) I enrolled and graduated from Nutraphoria's online Holisitc Nutrition and Health Coach program with a specialization in vegetarian & vegan nutrition. I have also completed my WSET Level 2 certification as well as Rapid Excel Training.
  • So, Nutraphoria - Holistic Nutrtion and Health Coaching program - whats that all about?"
    The online program from Nutraphoria for their Certified Holistic Nutrition and Health Coach is very comprehensive and science based. With over 1000 hours of study under my belt from that program alone, plus my extra-curricular articles, books, videos etc over several years I think it's safe to say I know a few things about nutrition. I didn't set out to get super into the actual science of nutrition, I actually wanted something a little fluffier. Having known already that it all came down to eating more fruits and vegetables, less dairy, meat and processed foods, I just wanted something to show that I had indeed studied this field extensively. Well, I was in for a surprise with this program! In a great way. It definitely takes a deep dive into the science of nutrition and our bodies. As difficult as it could be sometimes to grasp the full science explanations and understand the concepts, I was right - it does all come down to balance. There is also a mind-body-spirit aspect, and enjoying life is a HUGE part of why I have pursued this.
  • Certified, but not Registered HNHC?"
    The scope of my business does not involve giving direct nutritional advice to clients. My focus is on guiding clients to making healthier overall lifestyles - using food, recipes and food prep knowledge as my main focus alongside other lifestyle tips I have learned work for me. If a client has specific health concerns, I am happy to recommend a specialist and work alongside their health care team to support all of their food planning needs!
  • What does your restaurant experience have to do with nutrition?
    Having worked in all sorts of restaurant settings through the years, I have gained a deep understanding and appreciation of cooking, dining, wine and enjoying life. A busy breakfast place - I learned how to be super efficient and organized with a line out the door and to stay calm and focused. A busy iconic brew pub - how to spot the small differences between BBQ sauce and Hot sauce, A few different casual fine dining places - the basics of elegant, casual serving, knowing how to read tables and knowing what people want before they do. The foundation of setting yourself up for success each night. Hospitality company in a busy tourist area - fundamentals on how to organize a food buisness from the back end, how to manage social media posting, how to manage people and schedules. Busy, poorly ran fancy golf course - how to multi-task like a boss, how to stay calm with anything going on behind the scenes, curating, ordering for and designing wine and beverage lists. Each place I have worked, I have always been one to ask a lot of questions to the chefs and cooks about any new dishes or ingredients. Along the way, I learned SO much about specific techniques and flavour combinations from some amazing chefs. Loving food and beverages (wine.. mostly wine) has been a huge part of what has lead me to nutrition - wanting to find a way to indulge in delicious food everyday, but still lead a healthful life. Bringing restaurant flavours into your home, but in the most nutritionally dense way possible. That is what my life has been leading up to. All of my experience has lead to this
  • So what is the goal with Grow.Prep.Create?
    Bringing restaurant flavours into your home, but in the most nutritionally dense way possible! Helping people organize their kitchen life! This is what my entire life experiences have been leading up to. There are a few ways you can use GPC to your advantage. For those who just want the occasional or weekly recipes, following on Instagram or my mailing list is where you should be. If you are looking for a platform to have all of my curated recipes plus your favourites in one place, with a great app - check out the GPC Recipe Vault! If you think you could use some one-on-one consulting alongside your access to the Recipe Vault - check out my consulting sessions.
  • What diet do you reccomend? Keto? Low fat? Paleo? Intuitive eating?
    I reccomend the "diet" with the least amount of bullshit. We need to take back "diet" to just mean what we eat, not a specific regime laid out by a book, instgram account etc. If a diet regime is telling you that you should not eat this or that whole food, that rings warning bells for me. No banana's? Carrots? Avocados? Nuts? Whole grains? I believe in balance, and eating as many types of whole foods as possible any given week or day. I still eat chips, cheese, some lightly processed foods and occasionally meat. My overall thinking is we want to lead healthier lives, but not at the complete expense of our happiness. If we are constantly obsessing about how many calories we are taking in or if those chips we ate are going to make us "fat" we are not enjoying life! So make choices each day and week to prepare healthy, tasty foods, to set yourself up for success but enjoy that burger, bowl of chips, icecream, whatever your heart desires (in moderation) and truly enjoy it - don't feel guilty! There are certainly times and circumstances that each fad diet may work for an individual. Overall, however I advocate for a balanced, whole foods dominate, plant based diet. Eating when you are hungry, eating slowly and purposefully (chewing fully helps digestion so much!) stoping when you are full. I do align with intuitive eating guidelines, however I have not done a deep dive myself into the entire philosophy. If you have some deep seeded body issues or disordered eating issues, defineitly look into Intuitive Eating as a way to break free from these engrained biases we have been bombarded with through diet culture. Then come back to me for delicious recipes and food prep ideas! Check out the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating HERE
The fancy certificates!
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