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Justyna Julia
Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Thrive With The Seasons is your guide towards a kinder, more flexible approach to health and wellness, that is based on a sustainable lifestyle. We free ourselves from restrictive diets and extreme workouts. Instead, we encourage you to take care of yourself in ways that don't just include food, like moving throughout the day, immersing yourself in meaningful conversations and bringing joy into your life. 

My Story

I’m not your traditional nutritionist.

I haven’t experienced a life altering health issue that inspired me to study nutrition and heal with food. My story is a little different and is based on four principles

  • Prevention
  • Quality of Life
  • Gut Feeling
  • Connection & Community

 

Prevention and Quality of Life

It all began on one afternoon as I browsing through countless documents my sister had saved on my computer. I stumble upon her application to the Canadian School of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, which included a personal essay about why she wanted to become a Naturopathic Doctor. Now I don’t remember her essay word for word, but I thought I’d share my ultra-short rendition.

My sister was recalling visiting my grandmother in Poland every couple of years and began to notice that the number of medications she was taking was increasing. My grandmother was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, and was taking multiple medications to manage the pain and disease. The ironic part of it all was that many of these drugs were interacting with one another causing additional side effects, yet all of them were prescribed by the same doctor. My sister wanted to become a Naturopathic Doctor to better understand the root cause of disease and illness, and help people avoid the same health issues my grandmother was experiencing.  

Thinking back to my own visits to Poland, I was heartbroken to see my grandmother’s limited mobility, her lack of independence and frustration with pain. But she was a resilient and stubborn woman who regardless of her physical limitations, found a way to continue enjoying life to the fullest, fuelling passion for cooking and spending time with family and friends.

However, it was clear to see that her quality of life was declining at a rapid pace.

My sister’s purpose and my grandmother’s health story has given me a different perspective on life and shaped my purpose in my journey to becoming a nutritionist:

My purpose is to enhance your quality of life through a preventative and sustainable approach, so you can enjoy and do what you love with the ones you love.  
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Gut Feeling

Have you ever been in a situation where deep down you knew something was wrong and realized your initial instinct was right?

I remember distinctly in February 2010, visiting the campus doctor multiple times a week for 2-3 weeks. During that time, I experienced stomach flu symptoms continuously for 2-3 weeks. As you can imagine, it was painful and energy draining to say the least.

At first, I assumed it was a stomach bug that would go away in a couple of days. When the symptoms persisted without any improvement, I went to see the doctor, who, based on my symptoms, noted I had the stomach flu and told me I’d get better in a couple of days. Deep down I knew something was off. I’ve had the stomach flu before and this was lasting way too long. But with the doctor’s order, I went home and continued to drink lots of chicken noodle soup and Gatorade to replenish my electrolytes.

A few days later, I went back to the clinic and told myself I’d refused to accept “stomach flu” as the diagnosis and would ask if there were any tests they could run. Luckily, I saw a new doctor who was determined to get to bottom of this and asked me additional health questions. As soon as I told her that I was on antibiotics for a couple of weeks due to a tooth infection in December followed by wisdom teeth removal, she had a suspicion that it was a much serious issue - clostridium difficile (C. Diff).

Antibiotics can affect not only the target pathogen but also the good bacteria in our gut. Our gut contains thousands of different types of bacteria, some good and some bad. If antibiotics kill enough healthy bacteria, the ones that cause clostridium difficile (C. Diff.) could grow and make you sick. This can be potential life threating depending on the status of your health.

I was asked to submit a stool test right away and within hours, the doctor called to confirm that I indeed had C. Diff. Oh, the relief.

When it comes to your health, there’s no one who knows you better than yourself. Your body is constantly giving you signals which allows you to make decisions based on your needs. All practitioners have a set of tools to support you through your health, but if you feel as though something is off, you’re probably right and I encourage you to explore it.   

Connection & Community

Over the years, I have seen the evolution of technology and social media progress at lightning speed. Gone are the days where we knock on our neighbour’s door for a cup of sugar or getting together with friends without being distracted by our phones.

Now don’t get me wrong, technology and social media has provided us with the ability to connect with people we’d otherwise never meet and learn from experts from around the world. But from personal experience and observation, I’ve noticed we’re lonelier, we’re less connected to nature and our own needs, we spend less quality time with our friends and we’re often victims of the negative impact of comparison on social media.

My mission with Thrive with the Seasons is to help you connect with your needs, provide you with the tools to live a thriving life, cultivate a strong community, foster relationships with local businesses and farms, and lastly, inspire you to fuel with seasonal and local foods.

The future of health is community and I invite you to join my thriving team!