The Educated Eater is a project created out of a passion for nutrition, built in the spare time of two Registered Holistic Nutritionists (RHNs) on opposite coasts of Canada: Kimberley Record (me), and Hollie M. Hunt-Last (without whom this project may have fizzled out completely).
The idea for the Educated Eater arose from the reality that people are busy, and when it comes down to food choices, convenience often takes priority over nutrition; and with over 55% of adult Canadians – and about 26% of children (!!) – being overweight or obese, it’s obvious that the mainstream convenient options aren’t working. So, rather than focus on this as a problem, we saw an opportunity to contribute to a solution: giving people guidance on how to eat healthy without sacrificing taste, time or money (yes, it is possible!).
The Educated Eater concept came about in the fall of 2008, when I was living in Vancouver, BC. I was participating in a transformational program that challenged us to develop a community project that would stretch us out of our comfort zones, with the purpose of exposing our natural leadership abilities. Since food and nutrition has long been a passion of mine (as most others in this field can relate to), but I was seriously lacking in creativity and confidence in the kitchen (perhaps also not unique to me), I chose to start a cookbook project that would bring together a community of Canadian nutritionists to create a collection of recipes and practical tips for healthier eating.
Side note about me: I’ve always had more of an “eat to live” mentality–which has kept me very healthy–but I knew this would not necessarily make for practical nutrition advice for every client. In other words, I wasn’t sure I could sell the idea of a raw-kale-and-hummus-sandwich on sprouted-wheat bun to the average North American. Yes, I’ve eaten this (pictured below) and it was reasonably good by my standards. Not sold? Then please, read on…
The purpose of the cookbook was to provide a resource that nutritionists could offer to their clients, while at the same time, giving them something they could be proud to contribute to. And from a personal standpoint, it would give me a platform to begin expanding my own culinary horizons (much needed, some might say).
I lauched the project in early 2009 and immediately received many wonderful contributions from RHNs all across Canada, which excited me even more. I also had the priviledge of developing a friendship with one contributor in particular who stood out with her passion and knowledge in the field: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, from Moncton, NB. We then began working on the project together, “coast-to-coast”, and got some momentum from the synergy that created.
If you have just been referred to this blog, it’s likely because you were originally offered an opportunity to contribute, or you heard about it through someone who has made a contribution. Either way, you may be wondering since that time “What the heck ever happened to that project?” Afterall, that was in 2009, or 2010 or even 2011…whenever it was that you got word of our “final deadline”.
Well, here’s the quick answer: life. That’s what happened to it. As mentioned earlier, it’s been a project created out of our passion for nutrition, in our spare time. Unfortunately some events over the past couple of years have limited that spare time – but definitely not our passion, which is why we haven’t given up on it, despite our collective obstacles.
A brief insight into our combined project interruptions (we’re only human after all): from my end, a pregnancy plus two years of new (single-) motherhood, and a cross-country move to Ontario have managed to distract me sufficiently; and from Hollie’s side, expanding her wealth of knowledge by completing a doctorate–amongst other amazing accomplishments–has kept her busy. But despite her crazy schedule (she engages fully in her mission to educate and inspire others in alternative health, including teaching full-time at the CSNN Moncton branch), Hollie has remained the glue that’s kept the project together while I was preoccupied with diapers, lullabys and homemade baby food. She’s a ROCKSTAR in the true sense of the word.
Enough about the past. Fast forward to today: spring 2012, and it’s time to reinvent our project. Because we love it, and we want to see it become a reality in this century. So, the Educated Eater has now become a fresh and fluid web resource; something that has no end date, and therefore no limits to the number of contributors and their awesome recipes.
Keeping our purpose in mind (to help people with nutrition, not simply to publish a book), we felt that this would be the best vehicle to help expand our vision and stay connected as professionals in the field. And as our recipe collection continues to grow, there is a definite possibility of publishing a printed version down the road as well.
This is, and will continue to be, a work in progress, as we continue to post recipes contributed by nutritionists on an on-going basis. If you have already made a contribution, you can look forward to it being one of the first lot to be posted here (that is, if it’s met all our criteria –see How You Can Help page). And please feel free to submit as many recipes as you like, or re-visit us any time to make new contributions.
Don’t forget to “follow” our blog so that we can keep new and fresh recipe ideas coming your way!
We’re just going to enjoy the ride, and hope that you do too!