Of all the careers I dreamt of having when I was young, a nutritionist was never one of them. I grew up in meat, potatoes, and canned-goods kind of family that didn’t see many fresh veggies though dinner was always the most important time of the day.

This meal was mandatory in my house. No questions asked. Daily recaps and serious discussions all happened at supper. This routine created a structure I was familiar with and brought me to the realization that regardless of what you’re eating, dinner time is precious and fundamental in establishing a healthy lifestyle.

It was lessons like these that I grew to appreciate over time, especially as I realized the power that food had in a family. It's amazing that there’s really something to experience and learn from in every situation, even when eating mushy beans.

However, these lessons can be hard to keep in mind when faced with tough news. In 2010, my grandparents and best friend’s mom were all diagnosed within a 6 month time period. Suddenly, cancer was the only thing I thought about. Where was the lesson in this? I certainly didn’t feel ready, nor did I want to learn from this experience.

Through alternative cancer research, I discovered a plant-based therapy that completely flipped my world upside down. Food could help restore your body from sickness? You have the ability to heal? These questions catapulted me to reevaluate every single choice, relationship, and goal I had for myself.

I had never felt this way before and my happiness seemed to become contagious.

As my diet started to shift into a lifestyle that was rooted in whole food consumption, I began to realize my love for being well. Not only did eating these foods help fight off disease, but I felt AMAZING living this way. I believe this was the first time I truly experienced good health. My weight adjusted, skin cleared, and energy skyrocketed. I had never felt this way before and my happiness seemed to become contagious. I witnessed a shift in my family and friends and began to experience a wonderful series of serendipitous events, one after another.

Before I could catch my breath, I was living in another city, in a new relationship, adopting habits I had only dreamed about, studying holistic nutrition, and surrounded by incredible people. Every aspect of my life had amplified and I became overwhelmed with compassion for the bumpy road that had brought me to this beautiful place. Suddenly, I was home.

So when asked why I choose to live a healthful lifestyle, the answer seems obvious. Every part of my life is better. I now work at a supportive cancer care centre in Victoria, BC where I'm able connect with people experiencing this realization every day. Eat well, be inspired, and witness the beautiful lessons that can arise from any situation when given the opportunity.

What inspires you to live well?

article originally published on www.lulora.com