Welcome and thanks for taking the time to get to know me! I’m Leslie Herman, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and I help people of all ages discover how to be the best version of themselves, by balancing their body systems and adopting life-long lifestyle habits to achieve optimal health. I focus on educating and empowering people so that living a healthy lifestyle becomes “normal” and I believe in nourishing your body from the inside out so that you look and feel incredible every single day! Restrictive diets, counting and weighing foods are a thing of the past. I will teach you how to eat balanced so that cravings diminish, your skin glows and you have loads of energy, while enjoying all life has to offer! We will get to the root of your health issues so that you feel amazing in a body you love and respect. As a holistic nutritionist, I offer a natural and self-empowering approach to healthcare that combines traditional healing modalities with modern evidence-based science working with the body’s natural systems to promote optimal function and healing.
I have many backgrounds, and each has taught me something different about life, health and general well being. After high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do (like many others), but loved science and the human body so I enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ON (my hometown). I graduated in 2003 with a major in Biology and minors in Math and Chemistry. From here, I still didn’t have a clue, so I took a year off and “discovered who I was”. It didn’t take long until I needed more, so I took the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-A) program in St. Albert, AB. Once graduated I worked as an EMT-A for about 6 years until my husband and I moved to his hometown in Saskatchewan and started a family. With 2 young kids and a busy organic grain farm, 24 hour shifts on the ambulance were tough. It was then I decided to start my own interior painting business as I loved painting and was good at it! I did this for about 6 years, which is when I developed allergic reactions to paint and drywall dust and carpel tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. I knew I had to quit or my health would continue to suffer. It only took a few months off from work to discover that nutrition was my ultimate passion and that I wanted to pursue a career in it. I enrolled in the Natural Nutrition Diploma program through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I then wrote a nationally recognized exam to get my designation as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N).
How it all began
I haven’t always understood the power of food but when I reached my late-20’s, I realized HOW powerful it actually is! As a kid, I was the pickiest kid around. I hated most meat and cooked vegetables, only to survive on raw veggies and ranch, toast and Kraft peanut butter, chicken breasts and noodles! I was sent to bed many nights hungry as my parent’s motto was “eat what you were given or starve”, in hopes that this would change my eating habits. Unfortunately, it went from bad to worse and as a teen I tried to go vegetarian. More than 20 years ago, the information about nutrition that’s available to us now, was not around. So instead of eating beans with rice or lentils with corn to create full protein meals or incorporating healthy fats, I just ate rice or veggies, very little protein at all, maybe an egg or 2. The word “fat” scared me and I would ask mom to buy everything “low-fat”, “non-fat” and “fat-free”. I became anemic many times as a teen and young adult and lived off complex carbohydrates, fruit and veggies. I was always active, ate very little junk food and was lean, but I was NOT healthy! I was tired and pale most of the time and my menstrual cycle was completely messed up. I had terrible acne and went on prescription meds (including Accutane and antibiotics) for this many times, only to end up right back where I began.
When I became pregnant with my first child I started to eat much better. I was eating more protein then ever before, more healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocados. I cut down on the bread, noodles and refined cereals as I wanted to have a healthy baby. Why I didn’t do this for myself years ago, was beyond me! It felt great feeding myself a variety of foods that were nourishing and satisfying. For the first time in years, I felt great! I continued this lifestyle after pregnancy and have since taught my 2 children (now 6 and 9) how to eat well-balanced, nutrient-dense meals so that they have unlimited energy, great health and balanced body systems. For the past 10 years, my friends have called me a “health-nut” and rely on me for information about exercise routines and healthy recipes. I love learning all there is to know about the human body and how food can positively or negatively affect it.
Oh no, not again!
About halfway through my nutrition program I started feeling terrible again. No one really knew how terrible I felt because I refused to admit it and therefore told no one. I have always had digestive issues, even as a kid. And although this program has helped me fix most of my problems, what I began to experience was like nothing before. I began losing chunks of hair, my eyebrows started to thin, I was freezing all the time, was exhausted but wired, falling asleep while reading to my kids at 7pm. My patience was non-existent, I could barely wake up to an alarm clock (I normally pop wide awake at 5:45am EVERYDAY!), my period was out of whack and I developed food sensitivities. I made up every excuse in the book to NOT admit what was happening to me. My whole body was out of sorts and was crying for attention-namely my thyroid and adrenals. I’m a health nut, this could not and should not be happening to me and I made up every excuse in the book! The truth is, that if a client came to me with these symptoms, I would immediately know it was a thyroid and adrenal issue. When it’s yourself, it’s much more difficult to see and admit to. It took another couple months until I really acted on this! I followed my protocol that I learned in school and have successfully re-balanced my body systems. I have loads of energy, my brows are back, my periods are regular, I’m warm again and I wake up at 5:45am EVERYDAY whether I want to or not! If I hadn’t started to take care of my thyroid and adrenal glands, I’m 100% sure I would have developed some sort of autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia or one of the many others. Autoimmune disease occurs when all 4 weaknesses (low stomach acid, leaky gut, food sensitivities and hypothyroidism) are present. I HAD ALL 4! Listening to your body is so important as it can only speak to you through signs and symptoms.
I hope that by reading my story, it encourages you to seek help if need be. My passion is to encourage people to act on their health! Long before any disease presents itself, there are symptoms, things may not be working as well as they should. These are usually little discomforts or inconveniences-things that we take for granted, not realizing nutrition is involved. Every person is different and reacts differently to imbalances in the body. I love the diversity each client brings to my practice and would love to work with you! Please, explore my page to find out more about health, nutrition, well-being and living the life of your dreams!