Up Close with Felicia Newell
Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Here is Felicia’s incredible story!
As some of you may know, I’m your Official NEM Nutritionist-Dietitian. I am also a Mom of 4 boys under 5 (5, 3 and 18 month old twins), wife, have a full time career…and also wear many other hats (as I’m sure many of you know the feeling).
I love the no excuse movement and what it stands for and inspires. Sure I’ve been studying nutrition in university for 8 years, but I struggle no less than other moms when it comes to food. I love chocolate, salty snacks, and wine, in no particular order. After having my second child I was 60 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. I was a young mom/student, still learning how to be a parent (not like that ever stops), and I looked to food to take my mind off my stresses (a little too much). I felt tired, sluggish, and none of my clothes fit; so I decided to start putting my learnings into practice, take my own advice, and make healthier decisions. It was a roller coaster, and still is. What many people don’t realize and/or don’t want to hear is that there truly is no one-size-fits-all magic answer to losing weight and/or being healthier. The two main reasons being 1) we are all such unique individuals (on the inside as well as the outside), and what may work for one person’s body and life may not work for another; and two life gets in the way sometimes. I truly feel that food is addictive and our environments are conducive to overeating. We must work together (not against each other) to change the environment, at the same time understanding that what methods work for one person may not work for everyone.
So, after ups and downs, and figuring out what worked best for me (in a very basic nutshell eating less unhealthy foods, more healthy foods, and exercising more), I am the happiest I have ever been. Not just because of the loss of 60 pounds, but also because of the journey and finding myself/growing along the way (and I can thank this group for being a part of that!).