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 Caitlin Iles, graduate of the 2012 edition of the Culinary Nutrition Expert program.
What motivated you to take part in the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program?
I was motivated to take the Culinary Nutrition Expert program because I felt that, despite my degree in holistic nutrition, I was lacking the practical skills necessary to help my clients transition to a whole-foods, healthy diet. I knew the whys behind healthy eating, but needed to find out how to create delicious, healthy, and beautiful meals out of healing whole foods. Luckily I stumbled across Meghan’s program in a monthly update on IHN grads and applied that very day! To say that the CNE program is a game changer would be the understatement of the century.
How has the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program changed your perspective on health and cooking?
The CNE program changed my perspective on health and cooking by introducing me to new foods I had never heard of (wakame and Irish moss anyone?) and teaching me how to incorporate some seemingly scary ingredients into easy-to-make, nourishing meals. The program also taught me how to use food as medicine to re-balance the body and create a foundation of lasting health.
But perhaps most importantly, completing the CNE program showed me how easy and FUN it is to get in the kitchen, experiment, and create new and exciting meals from beautifully simple, locally sourced ingredients. By encouraging students to get out into the community, flirt with farmers, and choose the most nourishing foods for our bodies and our planets, the CNE message promotes the long-lasting health of its students and the world we live in. This message isn’t too common in a lot of circles and the ACN is doing a great job of making us all a little more mindful in our choices of what we put in our bodies, what we put on our skin, and what businesses we support.
What has been your best culinary nutrition creation?
It’s hard to choose just one creation! I would have to say in terms of what I make the most it would have to be my Garlic and Ginger Cauliflower Fried Rice. My clients have gone crazy for my smoothies and easy breakfast ideas, such as my Veggie Egg Cups To-Go or my Banana Walnut N’Oatmeal.
How would you describe your current day job?
I just recently came on as the Program and Marketing Manager at a new gluten- and dairy-free, allergen friendly, whole-foods based bakery called Inside Out Bakery and Catering (dream job right?!). I’m also hoping to start a mentorship with Vinyasa Yoga for Youth in Saskatoon so that I can take all that I’ve learned and been blessed with and give back to the community.
What was the most rewarding part of the program for you?
The most rewarding part of the program for me has been the ability to teach my clients, family, and friends how fun and easy it is to eat real food! They can come to me with questions on how to “healthify” certain foods and I can usually send them away with a recipe I created using the knowledge I learned as a CNE. They’re satisfied because it tastes just as good as the original, but doesn’t have all the junk that keeps them sick and tired.
How have you been putting what you learned into practice in your life, your business and/or helping someone else?
I’m extra super excited to be organizing my very first nutrition and yoga retreat with a friend from June 25th-28th. It’s called Re-Treat Yourself: A Nourishing Weekend to Release, Rebalance, & Restore and we’re hosting it in the beautiful rainforest in Langley BC.
Check out Caitlin’s Culinary Nutrition Expert Profile here!