From the moment I met Jordana Hart, a Toronto-based holistic nutritionist, blogger and Instagram wellness expert, I was automatically mesmerized by her passion for nutrition. Her love for health is a consistent excitement that beams from every single word that runs from her lips, so naturally, it was no surprise to me that health and wellness have always been a central interest in her life (even though law school was always the plan after university).
But it was the struggle she faced with her skin throughout her high school and university years that really kick-started her journey into the world of nutrition. “I always had acne prone skin,” says Hart. “I was always trying different products, and then I started learning about foods and trying to change my diet to help support my skin health.”
Then, after university, Southeast Asia was where she found herself. And being the huge foodie she is, she lived for the food and gained some unexpected weight. “Normally everyone who goes to Asia loses weight — but I gained it.” And while she may have had the trip of a lifetime, when she returned back to Toronto she decided it was time to see a nutritionist to get her health back on track.
What she found was something so much more than just a consultation, she had found her path. “I fell in love with the process and I decided: ‘I’m going to take a year off and I’m going to become a nutritionist.'”
For Hart, being healthy is truly a lifestyle; one where she has come to realize that she feels so much better when she eats well (think: leafy greens, whole foods and nutrient-packed superfoods). “I notice that when I eat well I’m way less anxious, more calm, and I just really feel excited every single day.” And when she doesn’t eat as well, her body reacts. “I’ll break out on my skin, feel bloated, and my mood will change a bit,” she says. “To me, those are aha moments that reinforce that I should be doing what I’m doing for my body.” (Learn what it really takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.)
These daily reminders are her #BHmoment.
Everything in moderation is the key to living a healthy lifestyle
Hart believes one of the number of issues in our society is that people (especially women) have so much guilt with food. “I think that we end up focusing so much time on what we shouldn’t be eating rather than feeling positive and feeling good.”
And as a nutritionist and a foodie, she doesn’t feel it’s necessary to have to choose between the two. “As much as I love my green smoothies, I also love a glass of rosé and slice of pizza when I feel like it,” she says.
Whether out at an event or a lunch date with friends, she never wants food to be a restriction. “If I want to, I want to be able to indulge without even calling it indulging — I just call it living,” she says. “I think that it’s important to be moderate for your own personal enjoyment, to be able to maintain a healthy social life, and also, just to create a healthy relationship with food because you don’t always get to choose what you’re going to eat, so it’s really important to not be scared of anything.” Don’t miss these 7 healthy eating tips for super busy people.
What she loves most about nutrition
For one, “nutrition has nothing to do with maintaining a certain weight,” she says. “It’s about living a nourished life and giving your body the foods it needs to be optimal.”
But as a nutritionist, by far her favourite thing is showing people that eating well isn’t limiting. “Healthy food should make you feel great. Don’t think you need to be buying the most expensive products out there to live a healthy lifestyle — healthy looks different for everyone.”
How to make your health journey a successful one
Hart sees being healthy as a journey, not an all-or-nothing thing. “I think that you should start slow, be very patient, and try not to compare yourself to anyone else because it’s your own personal journey.”
Best health tip she tells friends
“Drink more water,” she says. “It’s my best health tip because I think most people are dehydrated. Even if you’re getting the right foods and supplements in your diet, as long as you’re dehydrated, you are not absorbing the nutrients.”
One of her fave healthy eating spots: The Simple Kitchen
As for what she loves most about this place? The fact that she feels like she’s in her own kitchen. “I love that I don’t need to ask questions about the ingredients, I just kind of trust it — and I respect the restaurant and how everything is made,” she says. “It’s basic but delicious at the same time, and I love that the meals are very well balanced.”