There’s nothing we love more than checking in with our grads to see how they’re improving their own health, the health of their families and (sometimes) the entire world. Today, we’re chatting with Audrey Vanderstoop, graduate of the Fall 2014 edition of the Culinary Nutrition Expert program.
What motivated you to take part in the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program?
In the spring of 2014, after over twenty years as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in private practice, I was given the opportunity to launch and manage a Bed and Breakfast called Dunn House in Toronto, Canada. My aim is to be an industry leader in sustainable hospitality practices, creating a new norm by committing to the use of environmentally friendly products, as well as recycling, reusing and reducing. I also provide delicious home-cooked dishes using organic and locally sourced options for special dietary needs, so when Meghan formed The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, I knew it was the program for me. The timing was perfect. The knowledge I obtained has integrated beautifully with the running of this unique business.
How has the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program changed your perspective on health and cooking?
I have eaten well for years and years, but now I see I was motivated by taking things out and reducing my options rather than by the abundance of food in nature. By taking the course, I have made a deeper commitment to plant-based cooking, and eating gluten- and dairy-free. I was delighted to realize after twenty years of talking about nutrition as a way of life, I could demonstrate just how cooking your own food helped you take control of your health. The course changed how I looked at food as a healing agent. I now feed people from all over world and see the results of healthy cooking in the kitchen every day.
What has been your best culinary nutrition creation?
You know, there are no favourites. Everything I made during the course, everything I created, brought me a huge amount of joy. I felt so connected to the process because of the content and structure of the course – from the workshops and assignments to the live stream with Meghan to the private Facebook group. I was my most thoughtful during the recipe creation assignments. It felt like every element was significant. The ingredients mattered, as did the directions and of course the end results. Even the photos became part to the learning process.
What was the most rewarding part of the program for you?
I am so, so glad I decided to join the Deluxe Group Level of the program that included the one on one consultation with Meghan. I highly recommend this level of commitment to everyone considering the course. I never knew how valuable professional coaching was until that moment when Meghan took everything I was learning and customized it to my skills and experience. With a few astute and genius observations she moved my career ahead by years. In fact, I have to credit her for creating my new business plan!
There are so many other rewards I could mention, but a standout is the support and belonging to the CNE community!
How have you been putting what you learned into practice in your life, your business and/or helping someone else?
I am back in the kitchen cooking up a storm much to the delight of the guests at Dunn House B&B! I am told that it is obvious I cook from the heart. That really resonates with me – cooking has always been my way of showing that I care. Now I think I am a much better cook, and I’m more organized in the kitchen. It is so rewarding to teach others what I love to do and do it for a living!
What has changed in your life since you completed (or perhaps since you began) the CNE Program?
By bringing together many people from all over the world, the CNE Program has taught me the value of community and connection. Through the reflections of others, I have learned how I am able to contribute because of my passions, my beliefs and my desire for a better world. I feel so much more confident about writing, creating and just putting things out there.