I had the pleasure connecting with Sharon Pendlington, Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Personal Nutrition. We chatted about many things including what drew her to field of nutrition to her ideas around comfort food and eating healthy.
What drew you to working in the field of nutrition?
I had been exploring and sharing various forms of holistic health (such as teaching yoga and supporting women during labour and delivery as a birth doula) for several years. I really wanted to find a way to support people to take their health and happiness back into their own hands, rather than looking outside of themselves for others to ‘fix them’. At the time, I was personally struggling with hormone health issues and not finding the relief that I needed. I trusted that holistic nutrition would be a field where I could make a difference in people’s lives, and where I could also improve my own health and wellness so that I could live more fully myself!
Is there a specific health focus in your work?
Yes, Women’s Health! After incorporating healthy eating, natural supplements and lifestyle changes that I was learning about during my training into my own life, almost all of my symptoms disappeared! I had no choice but to specialize in women’s health and share my knowledge and experience with other women struggling with symptoms of hormone imbalance!
Many believe that when choosing to eat healthy you give up the pleasure of eating comfort food, what is your favourite healthy comfort food meal?
I think my own idea of ‘comfort food’ has changed considerably in the last few years. I used to be comforted by big meat-and-potato holiday meals, with homemade baking and all! And I still prepare these meals for the joy of sharing this tradition with my own family. But nowadays I am comforted just as much by simple, warm foods that are easy for me to prepare, like soups, roasted veggies, or a warm quinoa salad. My favourite comfort foods seem to be warming autumn foods, like this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup In general, I try not to deny myself foods that give me pleasure, because I don’t believe that would be sustainable for very long, but I also know that my comfort foods are a lot healthier than they used to be!
Do you find it challenging to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle?
I really enjoy healthy, whole foods, so if I were single it wouldn’t be difficult for me to maintain this lifestyle. However, I have two children that have a different palate than myself and a husband who loves to dine out, so accommodating everyone’s preferences can sometimes be challenging.
What is one piece of advice you seem to give the most?
I often advise my clients that stress is likely contributing to their symptoms or keeping them from reaching their health goals, and we really need to find a way for them to manage it. Its never all about food during a holistic consultation. Oftentimes a small lifestyle suggestion or adding a natural supplement into my client’s daily routine will make a huge difference to how they feel, and provide the motivation needed to continue to slowly make dietary changes that will support their long-term health goals.
Sharon, thanks for taking the time to chat with us!!
Learn more about Sharon and the wonderful work that she does on BeWellTV