My visit with a Holistic Nutritionist: Part 2

keep-calm-and-eat-gluten-free-15I had my second consultation with my Holistic Nutritionist yesterday.  She allotted 90 minutes to go over her findings and discuss a plan to help alleviate my symptoms.  You can check why I went to a Holistic Nutritionist in the first place here. Continue reading

My visit with a Holistic Nutritionist: Part 1


For about the past 6 months or so, I have been feeling like a stranger in my own body.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  I am hoping many of you lovely ladies will know exactly what I am talking about.  You know the feeling:  brain fog, chronic fatigue, irregular cycles, spotting at random times, PMS that is through the roof and seems to last all month.  Well, you get the idea.  My doctor says it is all related to peri-menopause.   I can’t bring myself to write how long she said it could last. Continue reading

Joyous Health Giveaway!

mccarthy_joyoushealth_pb-819x1024 To end our week with Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health, we are excited to give away a copy of Joy’s new book, Joyous Health:  Eat & Live Well Without Dieting. In order to enter, you have two jobs to do.  Go to Active Living Zoomers’ Facebook page and ‘like’ us if you haven’t already.  Then come back to this post and leave a comment below telling us your favourite tip on how you live a healthy, joyous life. Contest ends Friday, April 4th and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 7th.  Good Luck Everyone!

Interview with Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist

Joyous Health - Joy McCarthy

To say Susan and I are excited about today’s post is an understatement.  We are thankful to have had the opportunity to interview Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist and creator of the Joyous Health blog.  This intelligent and joy-filled woman has a list of accomplishments to her name.

Here are just a few:

  • Certified Nutritionist (CNP, RNCP).  Joy graduated with honors from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition where she is now a faculty member.
  • Nutrition Coach for clients across the globe
  • Health Expert on Global TV’s The Morning Show
  • Has made appearances on CBC’s, Steven and Chris show
  • Corporate wellness speaker providing professional workshops and seminars across the US and Canada.
  • Co-creator of the EAT WELL FEEL WELL nutrition and yoga program
  • Contributes on a regular basis to Tonic Toronto and Best Health Magazines

And most recently, she can add author to her list of accomplishments with the release of her first book called Joyous Health:  Eat & Live Well without Dieting.  Both Susan and I have a copy and are learning much about our bodies and how the foods we eat play a key role in living a healthy life.

Active Living Zoomers:

Your book and website seems to be geared towards the 20 to 30 something age demographic.  Our readers are in their 40s,50s, 60s and beyond.  Do the same Joyous Health principles you promote apply to any age group?  Is it too late to adapt a Joyous Health lifestyle later in life?

Joy McCarthy:

The advice on my site and within my book absolutely can apply to people of all ages, both genders, all ethnicities and social status.  It’s never too late to begin a new, positive health habit, whether it’s drinking lemon and water first thing in the morning, taking advantage of the music mineral to reduce stress or getting a daily dose of nature – these health habits help everyone to live more joyously.  It is never too late to adopt a new health babit.  All you need is a little motivation and inspiration – hopefully my book provides both.                                                                                                                   ** Joy did correct us by saying her core client/demographic is 35-55 years of age. 


As we hit our 40s and 50s, both Susan and I have found our bodies can no longer tolerate certain types of foods.  We have other friends who have developed intolerance to dairy and gluten later in life.  Is this common as we age?  Why do you think this occurs?


Intolerances occur for a few reasons, the most common one being the consumption of the same foods day after day promotes the development of food sensitivities (at any age).  Your body can become depleted of the very enzymes you need to break down these foods properly.  When food is not properly digested, these food proteins can be absorbed into the blood stream and give you symptoms and promote an inflammatory response.  Gluten is a prime example of an intolerance that can develop when you eat too much of it, too often.  Many people eat toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and then pasta or a dinner bun with their main evening meal.  Gluten is an epidemic of intolerance for all ages.  Additionally, as you age your gut becomes a little less efficient at producing enzymes and stomach acid to digest food. 


My doctor has told me I am beginning perimenopause and Susan is officially in the throws of menopause.  As a Holistic Nutritionist, what advice would you give women to make these different stages in life as Joyous as possible.  Is it possible to find a hot flash joyous?


During perimenopause and menopause, one of the most important health habits to take advantage of is an anti-inflammatory diet.  Nature has provided us with an abundance of foods to aid the body in hormonal balance.  Eat more brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, good fats such as nuts, seeds, fish, avacados and high quality protein such as organic chicken, beans and lentils.  Avoid sugar, caffeine and processed foods.  Choose alcohol in moderation; there is nothing wrong with a glass of red wine once in a while.  There are most certainly herbs to help with hot flashes and supplements but I would recommend talking to your natural healthcare practitioner to find the right dosage for you.


Do the ‘Foods to Eliminate’ and ‘Super Foods’ you list in chapters 4 and 5, respectively, change as we age?


The foods to eliminate and super foods apply to all ages!  So dig in :)  It’s even more important as you age to eat antioxidant rich foods to prevent premature aging and disease.  There’s nothing wrong with aging gracefully, but if you can age healthfully too by ensuring your diet has plenty of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acid-rich foods, this will help your skin to stay supple and be less prone to wrinkling.



Baby Boomers are from a generation where you never question your medical doctor’s advice or treatment.  In the first chapter of your book, you talk about ‘Think prevention, not suppression’.  Our doctors quite often diagnose, then prescribe medicine to suppress our symptoms without addressing the root of the problem.  How would you recommend we empower ourselves and approach our physicians to further look into the ‘root’ of our symptoms?


Knowledge is power.  There is no shortage of information available to you, so if you are suffering from a health issue do your own research and look at natural solutions in conjunction with talking to your doctor.  For example, digestive problems are very common in the 60+ age group.  This is where, rather than taking a pill to suppress the symptoms, look to natural solutions such as probiotics or digestive enzymes to resolves the issue.  My dad is a perfect example of a man empowered in his mid 60s!  After over 30 years of being on a common drug for heartburn, he was able to go completely off the drug and is now symptom-free by following a natural approach.  Again, talking to your natural healthcare practitioner is very important if you are going to start supplementing. 


What should people look for when searching out a Holistic Nutritionist?


When seeking out a Holistic Nutritionist, ask lots of questions.  Most nutritionists (myself included) will offer a complimentary 10 or 15 minute phone consult to help you decide if holistic nutrition is right for you.


One of Susan’s favourite things to eat is salty, Lay’s Potato chips.  I love a good French baguette…with a glass of red wine…and a slice of brie.  Can we live a Joyous Life and still enjoy our favourite foods?


I have a healthy substitute for pretty much every craving!  However, there’s nothing wrong with having an indulgence now and then, so long as you enjoy every morsel and do not have any negative symptoms from that food.  If you crave salt, make sure you add sea salt or Himalayan Rock salt to your foods rather than table salt.  Better yet, make my Sea Salt Turmeric popcorn recipe in my book to satisfy that salt craving.  If you find you crave unhealthy foods more often then not, then your body is trying to tell you something.  Cravings are a sign of an imbalance.  For example, if you crave a lot of sweets then you may need to look at eating more blood sugar balancing meals.  One of the most common things people tell me when they eat joyously, is that their cravings completely disappear!  All of the recipes in my book are really well balanced and so incredibly delicious you won’t be missing those Lay’s Potato chips one bit!!

joyous health book

We appreciate Joy taking the time from her very busy schedule to answer questions about the Joyous Life and how it can help us live an Active Zoomer lifestyle.  Have you ever seen a Holistic Nutritionist or Naturopathic practitioner?  If yes, please share your experiences!

** Check back on Wednesday where I will tell you about two of the recipes I tried from Joy’s book.