Meghan’s goal is to educate as many young people as possible about holistic health to help them to avoid some of the heartache she went through with her health issues and disordered eating.
This is Meghan De Jong
Nutritionist Specializing in Anxiety, Gut Health & Hormones.
I was inspired to have a career in nutrition and well-being after struggling on my own for so many years with disordered eating and other health issues. I realize that I completely lacked the education and understanding about nutrition and well being when growing up, which caused much of the challenges that I faced in my high school years. After finding what worked for me and my nutrition, I was so inspired to be able to work with other people to support them in their struggles! It’s been my goal to educate as many people as I can about nutrition and holistic health to help them to avoid some of the heartache that I went through or at the very least, to let them know that they are not alone!
1. How do you think confidence relates to healthy eating?
I think confidence and healthy eating are extremely connected! When we fuel our bodies with delicious and nutritious foods, it helps us to feel our absolute best self, not only physically but also mentally! When you eat healthy you start to have more energy and confidence to go on to do more of what you want in life! For me personally, when I started to understand how to truly nourish my body with the foods I ate, it gave me the confidence that I would be able accomplish more of what I wanted for my life. Not only this, after really diving into the world of nutrition, I began to build more confidence to teach others about what healthy eating could do for them and their lives as well!
2. Have you always focused on plant based recipes and wellness, or has this been something that has evolved with your career?
I became a vegetarian at the age of 18. This was mainly due to environmental concerns and generally a declining interest in eating meat from both a taste and health perspective. However, growing up this was certainly not the case – I loved meat! Since beginning to develop my own recipes about 4 years ago, I have always made them plant based because it’s the way I like to eat. I also like to provide plant based recipes because I know they are so good for not only human health but also our planet, and I think that sometimes people don’t realize just how delicious they can be!
3. How has leading a healthy lifestyle allowed you to build more confidence and self-love?
This is such a great question! When I was in high school I really struggled with disordered eating. I had no idea about the concept of self love nor did I have very much confidence. After I struggled for quite some time, I realized that it was absolutely necessary for me to fuel my body with healthy foods as an expression of self love! Whenever I was struggling with my eating, I would remind myself that eating healthy was such a beautiful act of self love and so important to build my confidence! As I began to understand more about what a healthy lifestyle looked for me, I began to feel much more confident about who I was and what I had to offer to the world!
4. What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenged I faced was finding enough courage to actually start practicing as a nutritionist! Although I knew that I had all the education to do so, I felt really really nervous about starting out! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find nutrition clients, that I would give the wrong information, or that I wouldn’t be able to run a financially successful business on my own.
I overcame this challenge by starting slow, but just going for it, despite my fears and doubts! I did lots of work on ignoring my negative self talk, and instead looked for reasons as to why I would and could be successful at a career in nutrition. I looked for support from my mom, sister, boy friend, and friends who continuously encouraged me to start my work even when I would come up with a million reasons as to why I shouldn’t!.
Today I couldn’t be happier with my choice to work as a nutritionist! Everyday I wake up feel so excited because I love all the people that I get to work with and all the things I get to do.
5.How can educating youth about health and nutrition better their future?
Another amazing question! I think education someone on health and nutrition can have one of the single biggest impact on their life! When we educate youth about nutrition and health, they will be much more well equipped to make decisions that best support their bodies! In turn, this results in much happier, healthier, and well off adult individuals! I think we often forget that our nutrition is so much more than just eating good to feel good in the short term! Having good nutrition can help to prevent chronic illness, support positive mental health, improve confidence and decision making, and can literally dictate the genes we turn on and off, impacting the types of people we become!
6. What inspired you to have a career in nutrition and well-being?
I was inspired to have a career in nutrition and well-being after struggling on my own for so many years with disordered eating and other health issues. I realize that I completely lacked the education and understanding about nutrition and well being when growing up, which caused much of the challenges that I faced in my high school years. After finding what worked for me and my nutrition, I was so inspired to be able to work with other people to support them in their struggles! It’s been my goal to educate as many people as I can about nutrition and holistic health to help them to avoid some of the heart ache that I went through or at the very least, to let them know that they are not alone!
7. What is your favourite recipe?
Gah this is so tough! There are so many to choose from! I am a huge fan of making what I like to call a “Nourish Bowl” loaded with all sorts of different veggies and other healthy foods! My favourite nourish bowl combo is; finely chopped kale, baked cauliflower and yams, curry roasted chickpeas, a scoop of sauerkraut, and then dressing it all with a creamy lemon tahini sauce!
However, if I had to pick a specific recipe, I think it’d by my “Butternut Banana Blueberry Muffins!” They are the perfect snack as I find them the right amount of sweet while still being super nourishing! You can find the recipe HERE.
Written by Ameya Wagner
BeaYOUtiful participant. Aspiring journalist and author.