Absolutely. I truly believe that everyone should have a Nutritionist as part of their primary health care team.


The answer is simple. You’re cells are made up from the nutrients you obtain from your diet. Plain and simple. The old saying, you are what you eat is certainly true. But more so, you are what you eat, assimilate and absorb, meaning that you need to eat well, digest well and be able to actually use what you obtain.

What you put in your mouth matters a great deal. There are many facets of life that are beyond our control. In fact, much of life is beyond our control. As much as we’d like to think that ‘we’ve got it’, or that we should strive to get our lives together & look on the outside that we have everything all running smoothly, this is just an illusion. What we can control for certain are the choices we make. We always have choices, whether we like them or not.

Doing our best to choose what is healthful, productive and will fuel our bodies & our minds is something we are in control of. We can chose what to eat & drink, how much, how often & when we like. This can have a drastic effect on the cells that make up our cells and how we feel.

Whether you are affected by a minor, acute issue like a skin rash, or by a chronic health concern like diabetes, high blood pressure or an auto-immune disease or the likes of cancer or arthritis & other inflammatory conditions, nutrition has a definite role to play.

What we eat & drink today later on builds the cells, tissues, organs & organ systems that make up who we are.

Both your body & mind are much more likely to be healthy if you eat & drink well. If you consume fast food, junk food, pop, coffee & alcohol regularly, your body will not obtain the nutrients it needs to sustain healthy cells. Your calorie count may or may not be sufficient to maintain weight, but the health of the cells is another matter.

You may or may not look or feel great on the outside, but are you feeling great on the inside? If you are feeling unwell, if you have a minor health concern or a major health issue, does your body get the proper nutrition it requires, or could you make some improvements?

Seeking the guidance of a Holistic Nutritionist can help people to define or refine current food habits, establish or re-enforce good eating patterns focusing on nutrient dense foods that provide your body with a wealth of health promoting factors. This also runs true for our furry friends. If they eat well, they are more likely to be well.

I’ve spent years defining and redefining my food and as I change, so does my food and beverage intake, not just in volume but also diversity, how, what & when I prepare, and even where I source it. I am always keen to keep up with my body’s needs and as the changes keep coming, my mind needs to be flexible to adapt and keep changing. I explore new things, revisit old things and attempt to work with the information I have. When I don’t have what I need, I again, begin exploration and learning.

If you find yourself wanting to improve how you feel inside & out, if you want to make better choices with food, you want to find flexibility within your body & mind, you need more focus or a more positive outlook, you want to better manage your stress or simply just want to make a change, but need someone to be supportive or guide you, maybe I can be of service.

While my nutrition consulting has been an on and off occurrence in my professional life; have found a re-connection & calling to offer my services again in this capacity. I think over the years, my patience & understanding have grown. My ability to establish stability & consistency is improving, and my passion for good health & great food continues to grow. Over the years I’ve offered services to both people & at one point, exclusively to companion dogs and cats, but now, let’s bring it all back together.

Let’s talk food!

I don’t think so…

As part of my mindfulness practices, I continue to remind myself that when I think something, especially when I seem to be really attached to it, or feel very strongly about it, I need to take time and ask myself why? Why do I believe this, is my thought really true, is it fact, or is my opinion simply that; an opinion.

I do my best to assess whether I am actually telling the truth? Is my belief in this thought something that is actually valid or is it simply opinion? Can I find flexibility in my mind to see other paths, thoughts, ideas?

Is our current state of constant mental activity, constant engagement with technology and social media platforms serving our highest good, or is it feeding our thoughts and driving our thinking patterns? Personally, I find more often than not, I need to turn away from social technology, as often times there are things, thoughts, situations presented that feed into negative thought patterns and before I know it, I’m in, engaged, agitated and just not okay. It takes me time to disengage, re-align, let go and move forward from a more productive, effective, light and positive way.

When I create a thought based on things I see, does this have a positive or negative effect on my thinking patterns, the judgments I make about people, situations and the world around me? Are my thoughts constructive, are they productive? Can I be more kind, respectful and helpful in my thoughts?

Is there any negative judgement to the things I see, experience or am a part of?

I think yes to all of these things. Can I then take time to observe my own thoughts? Can I detach my hold on what I think, to approach them as an observer, and then ask – Are my thoughts serving my highest good, or the good of others?

Taking time to be present, sit my our thoughts, assess what and why I feel a certain way and how my patterns of thinking can possibly change to something more productive, can I be more positive, more compassionate, open minded and willing to be an observer more frequently? Can I listen more intently, speak more softly, both to others and myself?

As I continue to practice, I notice I am finally starting to observe more frequently. I am less often inclined to jump in with verbal or mental chatter and more often thinking mindfully first, assessing, re-assessing, then expressing. Don’t get me wrong, I blurt or spurt crap now and then. Hopefully, I’m able to catch myself more often than not, but in those times when thoughts run away with me; hopefully, others can find compassion in their practice as well to see we’re all just doing what we can with what we’ve got.

Enjoying a life engulfed in yoga in all its facets, the physical postures, breathing techniques, mindfulness, meditation, concentration, focus, dedications to health in all its disciplines, and continuing, on-going lifetime of practice and learning. I’m in.

May we all continue to experience the adventures of the yogic path with steadiness in our seat & feet and lightness in our hearts and minds.

One of my many loves in life is aromatherapy. I fell in love with essential oils when I was about 15 years old, while working a co-op with a local massage therapist and holistic healer who used essential oils with her clients. My first smell of lavender essential oil hooked me for life.

It didn’t take me too long before I had a growing collection of these amazing, therapeutic, healing, health promoting essences, which to this day has grown to a collection of nearly 60 different oils. My love of these essences inspired me to become a Certified Aromatherapist in 2000.

Among the diverse benefits that can come from this specialized branch of Herbology, with very quick, effective and direct affect on the brain through our sense of smell, it doesn’t take too long for benefits to affect our mood.

With all that is going on in the world, I can only imagine how everyone’s mental state has been affected. Everyone in some way has had their world turned upside down. I feel very blessed to have built up to the many tools in my “tool box” of life. The art and skill of aromatherapy is one of those tools.

Aromatherapy is not just good smells. The olfactory sense (our sense of smell reception) connects directly into the brain. The naturally occurring chemicals contained within the extracted essences from various plant matter is a very targeted way to get these compounds into the blood stream, where they work their magic.

I thought I would share some basic essential oil knowledge that some might find helpful at this time. Some common essential oils that are easily accessible, relatively in-expensive, versatile and offer some good mental health benefits with very few contraindications (reasons why they may not be appropriate): Cedarwood, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lime, Mandarin, Rosemary & Ylang-Ylang

Cedarwood can support a sense of calm & well-being with its earthy, basic tones that help to calm the nervous system.

Frankincense is a relaxing, mildly sedating essence that helps the mind focus, along with support the body’s immune response. Also earthy and calming and provide great support for meditation practices.

Grapefruit, like all citrus essences, is uplifting & refreshing to the mind. Helps to clear the mind and supports good circulation to the brain.

Lavender is likely the most versatile essential oil that provides benefit to just about every aspect of mental and physical well-being. Calming and soothing to the nervous system, safe enough for use of babies and young children. Its light floral tones help to balance a busy mind and relax the muscles.

Lime is uplifting, inspires confidence, can brighten some dull days and help to remove the dark cloud. It’s sweet, fresh and clean smell can help to clear out negative emotions and support a brighter outlook.

Mandarin’s sweet and astringent qualities, like grapefruit help to refresh and clear the mind.

Rosemary is wonderful for encouraging good circulation throughout the body, but especially to the brain. Rosemary is well known for encouraging neural networks in the brain to help with memory. It has a strong, awakening aroma that is sure to light up your brain.

Ylang-ylang is earthy, rich, lightly floral and basic. All earthy tones help ground both body and mind. It is mildly sedating, without being too much so. Provide great support for meditation practices. Helps to focus the mind, provide support and a sense of calm.

While this is just the “tip of the iceberg” so to speak, it will give you a good starting point when it comes to utilizing essential oils to help the mind.

Sometimes the easiest way to utilize essential oils is through a diffuser that mists directly into the air, or through skin application with a carrier oil such as grapeseed or coconut with a few drops of essence added, then massaged into the skin, or even in the bath tub. There are many application types, choosing one that suits your needs and is convenient generally brings the most benefit – simply because you will use it.

Knowing that everybody is different and everyone’s situation is different, please consult a health care provider who is adequate trained in essential oils, such as that of a Certified Aromatherapist for the best guidance for your particular situation. Please note that although anyone can access essential oils right off the store shelf, please be respectful of these powerful health tools. Having solid guidance and awareness will better allow their safe and effective use.

I hope this inspires your mind to seek out additional information and willingness to explore these amazing, health promoting and supportive tools.

E-RYT 200 & RYT 500 Certified with

​© 2020 Jo-Anne Hopkins Live Love Laugh Do Yoga

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