Wellness Influencer Interview: Meghan Telpner
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Wellness Influencer Interview: Meghan Telpner

Meghan Telpner is a Toronto-based nutritionista and her humorous, engaging and real approach to healthy living has garnered her a world-wide following and extensive media attention. What a pleasure to get to know Meghan and learn more about her life in the wellness world & approach to healthy living...

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NAME: Meghan Telpner

OCCUPATION: Director of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, best-selling author of Undiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health and nutritionista

Please tell us a little about your business, yourself and how you got to where you are now in the wellness industry…

I wasn’t always riding this healthy living train. My undergraduate degree is in fashion and after finishing university, and spending time travelling in Africa, I returned home and began a career in advertising. My health was quickly deteriorating. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and after many doctors told me I’d be relegated to a life of medication and surgery, I decided to prove them wrong. I quit my job, or retired as I liked to call it, and started the process of healing through eating real food, going for  daily acupuncture treatments, doing yoga and resting. Within one month, I was symptom-free.

I was inspired. I wanted to help others understand that they have options. I wanted to help people feel empowered that they could own their health. I went back to school to become a nutritionist and started teaching healthy cooking classes. Today, my larger purpose is to teach the teachers so this healthy living wisdom can be spread even further around the whole wide world. I recently launched the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, which offers a 14-week online Culinary Nutrition Expert program, teaching students how to combine nutritional know-how with hands-on culinary skills. We have students and graduates in more than 21 countries and are so excited to welcome new students to join us for the Fall 2014 CNE Program.

What does ‘living naturally’ mean to you?

To me, living naturally means tuning in to our environment, living a low impact life and means knowing where your food comes from and what’s in it. And that’s just one part of the equation. Equally important is knowing what’s lurking in your beauty care products (and choosing chemical-free alternatives or, better yet, making your own) – same with cleaning products. Our environment has become so toxic through our own consumption habits, that it’s up to us to stay informed and make choices everyday to protect our health, the health of our loved ones, and the health of the planet.

What does a typical day in the wellness world look like for you?

The best part of my job is that there is no typical day. Sometimes I’ll be working 12-hour days, but I try to always make sure that I’m eating well, getting enough sleep, going for walks, doing yoga and meditating. My husband and I love to travel, so we always make time to take extended working holidays. We split this past winter between California and Bali, getting up early to work and heading out to play in the afternoons. As an entrepreneur, I have the freedom and ability to build my work life in a way that supports the rest of my life, which I love.

What are your top 3 tips for staying fit and healthy?

Eat real food. Ride bicycles covered in flowers. UnDiet for abundant health. (Actually, I have lots more – check out my creed here.)

In a nutshell, what’s your food philosophy?

I wrote a whole book about it, UnDiet! Essentially, the UnDiet philosophy is all about breaking the rules and making decisions (food-related or otherwise) that are best for your body. Labels are for tin cans. I don’t believe there is one diet regimen that is best for every lifestyle, or every body. As long as you’re eating food that was made in a kitchen instead of a factory or chemistry lab, and you’re feeling good, that is good with me. For more on how I break it down, I have this.

What do you do to ‘reset’ the balance button when life gets a bit hectic?

Meditation is key, and heading to yoga after a long day at work is so helpful. My husband and I also have an infrared sauna in our apartment that we love – such a lifesaver in the winter! If none of those are an option, even taking 5 minutes to blast some music and shake a tail feather will do the trick.

We’re all about balance around here…What’s your biggest indulgence?

I have to admit that I am not big on the whole moderation thing- some things are really meant for never ever. I can’t ignore what I know and for me, an indulgence is about doing something that makes me feel awesome. Having someone come to my home and give me a massage is an indulgence.  A day of reading in the sunshine is sweet.  I think every bite we put in our mouths should benefit our lives (not to mention the fact that after years of clean eating, the taste of junk food in any form just doesn’t agree with me.) But I am a sucker for non-GMO, organic popcorn, a good glass of organic/biodynamic red and some amazing fair trade chocolate- boom!

What healthy snacks might we find on your desk or in your handbag?

My ultimate fast food is a smoothie, so if you were to sneak up on me around snack or lunchtime, that is most likely what you’d find me whipping up! I love coming up with amazing healthy recipes, but the foods I eat on a day-to-day basis (especially when I’m working long hours) are really simple. A smoothie with a glass straw in it is always nearby.

Can you share with us your top two pieces of advice for people wanting to start a career in the wellness industry?

First, be yourself. Authenticity is key when you get out there and start promoting yourself – people can spot a fakey-faker from a mile away. Second, know your stuff. Get as much education as you can and never stop learning – but know when it’s time to actually start putting that knowledge into practice, too! Teaching (or coaching, or consulting) at the edge of your knowledge is the best way to learn.

Do you have a favourite affirmation or quote you remind yourself of when life throws you a few challenges?

Today is the day. Make it ridiculously awesometown. My full affirmation is my creed. I could recite it inside out and backwards at this point.

Thank you so much Meghan - you are such an inspiration to all of us in the wellness world! Renéex

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