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Laura-Leigh Mckenzie

BSc, CHNC

Repairing the relationship with food

Lucky for me, at the time I was working alongside local farmers and learning about the role of soil microbes in growing healthy, nutritious food. Intent on getting to the root of my own digestive issues and fueled by a fascination with our human gut microbes, I began my training in holistic nutrition and was finally able to start repairing my relationship with food.

As a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, it is my absolute pleasure to walk alongside other women on their own journey to repair their gut health and foster a healthier relationship to food.

Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant

Like so many women, I struggled to build a healthy relationship to food through my adolescence and into my early twenties. I used food as a coping mechanism and covered the spectrum from nearly starving myself to achieve a sense of control, to binge eating as a means of dealing with stress. In 2017, my body sent me a rude awakening and my digestive system completely broke down. I struggled with chronic digestive issues, intense brain fog, anxiety, depression and feeling isolated in my experience.  

Repairing the relationship with food

Having personally experienced the effects of an imbalanced gut on mental health, I am passionate about teaching diet and lifestyle shifts that can improve gut health, and in turn, ease mental health struggles such as low mood, anxiety and depression.

Our gut health is absolutely critical to our mental health in a myriad of ways and when we see our gut health start to suffer (often due to diet and stress), the chances of our mental health also taking a hit are high. Similarly, if our mental health is suffering, it’s likely that we experience some level of digestive upset; the two go hand in hand. With this in mind, I believe that nutrition is an important and often overlooked factor to address when aiming to strengthen our mental health and alleviate ongoing struggles.

My approach when working with clients involves small, sustainable changes that create a foundation for long term health. Above all, I am here to guide clients through the inevitable challenges, roadblocks and resistance that comes up when making shifts and carving out a new path forward.   

Professional Background

After completing her BSc in Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and Master’s of Environment and Sustainability at Western University, Laura-Leigh began working with local farmers, supporting their efforts to grow healthy food in an environmentally conscious manner and market it effectively to customers in the Calgary area. During this experience, she gained valuable insight into the pitfalls of our global food system and the many health issues created by it. She became increasingly aware of the benefits that a local food system could offer, with small scale regenerative agriculture playing a pivotal role. She became fascinated with the role of soil microbes in creating healthy soil for plants to thrive in, rendering the use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides unnecessary.

After taking a soil health workshop in 2017, Laura-Leigh realized that her true interest lay in how this same principal applied to the human body. Eager to learn more about the role of microorganisms in our gut and how they impact our overall health (coupled with her own digestive despair), Laura-Leigh enrolled at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to complete her certification in holistic nutrition.

From there, Laura-Leigh became particularly interested in the connection between our gut health and mental health and how diet and lifestyle can influence our experience of anxiety and depression. She currently works with women who are struggling with their digestion and suffering from anxiety and/or depression, educating them on how to eat to fuel their unique body and brain, and supporting them through one small shift at a time.

Laura-Leigh and her husband also operate a small Vegetable Farm in Jaffray, BC so they can supply the community with healthy, nutrient dense food that’s grown in healthy soil teeming with microbiology!