Who Am I?

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All photos courtesy of  Miaou Photography

All photos courtesy of Miaou Photography

Hi I'm Kara-Lynn,

Kara or K-L for short, and I am many things in this life, as most of us are. I am a woman, a vegan, a cat lover, a tree hugger, a hairstylist, a make up artist, a yogi, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and most recently, a blogger. 

If someone had told the 17 year old me that I would one day be a vegan nutritionist, I would have laughed wholeheartedly! As much as I wanted to be vegan at the time, my efforts were thwarted by my hatred of legumes and love of all things cheese and ice-cream. Actually, 17 year old me worked at a Dairy Queen franchise in my home town, and I probably gained 15 pounds that summer. I was no stranger to weight gain and other minor to moderate health challenges, with digestive issues, eczema, asthma, and budding allergies being at the forefront. I honestly don't remember a time in my youth where I didn't have "tummy troubles" as my mom called it. Although I would have bouts of extreme abdominal and joint pain (severe enough to render me in the emergency room) no doctor could seem to diagnose a problem. 

Fast forward a few years... after high school graduation I went to beauty school and became a hairstylist. I loved my career so much, and I still enjoy doing hair part time today. A good friend I met through work encouraged me to join a gym with her and talk to her dietitian. I agreed and almost immediately I saw results. Although I lost weight... I still never felt great. Those minor health problems persisted and I needed to find answers. Being the inquisitive person I am, naturally I began to research and experiment with food. After much trial and error, I found a diet that worked for me and my digestive health began to improve slightly. But alas a piece of the puzzle was still missing. 

In 2012, at the age of 29, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. The pain I had been experiencing, had become a full blown autoimmune condition. For a moment, I felt like my life was over. I worried that this would mean the end of my career. As a hairstylist and make up artist, I had a physically demanding job, and I became obsessed with finding ways to lessen and manage my pain. It was through this quest for answers that I stumbled across a plant based diet. I was skeptical, but I knew I couldn't keep popping Advil and Aleve like candy... I fully committed to an anti-inflammatory vegan diet for 30 days and to my complete amazement I began to notice changes.

Throughout that first month I experimented with all kinds of vegetable dishes, I tried new legumes, I scoured blogs for recipes, and I even started sprouting! Within weeks my energy improved, I started shedding a few pounds and my pain improved so much, I started back to the gym, doing gentle exercise. I was convinced that the vegan life was the life for me! 

I knew my discoveries were not a coincidence, and yet I had to go through all these crazy trials and errors to find a path to healing. I became frustrated with our current healthcare system, and wondered why no one had told me that food could make such a difference in one's life... Like seriously, why isn't this common knowledge?! I knew I had to find a way to share my new found knowledge with the world!

Enter the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition... In September 2014 I set foot in my first nutrition class at CSNN, and I knew I was in the right place. I was so inspired by my instructors, I immediately started brainstorming about what I might do upon graduation. It was during my studies that my passion for not only our personal health, but also the health of our planet deepened and the Nomshell philosophy was born.  Upon graduating as valedictorian in the fall of 2016, I realized just how much I wanted to help others, and right away began to build this site. 

I am so pleased to be able to share my passion with all of you, I hope I can inspire you, empower you and help you on your own journey to wellness. 

Healing can be a long and winding road, but if we help one another, we just might all find our way.