When she was 20, Rachelle Wintzen left university to attend performing arts school in New York City. When the Torontonian’s dance career was cut short by injuries, she went to work in the Big Apple’s nightclub scene. Over the years, Wintzen worked her way up from bartender to club manager. But the late nights, free-flowing alcohol and chain-smoking caught up to her: She was sick all the time and battled chronic fatigue. ‘It was superficial, and toxic on every level. So I pulled the plug.’
Wintzen spent one year rehabilitating herself: She adopted a mainly vegan diet, got into homemade juices’and became a yoga instructor. In 2009, she completed her teacher training in New York. ‘Holistic living resonated so deeply with me. I’ve never looked back.’
In 2012, Wintzen returned to Canada to be closer to family. And last year, she got formal training to become a holistic nutritionist. The 30-year-old now has her own holistic wellness and yoga studio in Toronto called Chi Junky. Wintzen feels her past experiences help clients relate to her. ‘I wasn’t born drinking green juice! Nobody’s perfect.’ Here are her wellness tips.
Listen to your body ‘I try to do my own yoga practice two to three times a week. But I also teach yoga six days a week and run my own business. It’s so rewarding, but can be draining, too. If I have to decide between doing yoga and sleeping, I’ll choose sleep.’
Don’t deprive yourself ‘I’m vegan about 95 percent of the time, with the exception of organic butter and goat cheese. I like to say that I ‘cheat right.’ So if I want pizza, I’ll have it on a whole-grain crust with tomato sauce and veggies. It’s about balance.’
Keep beauty simple ‘I use certified organic beauty products. I used to have a multitude of skincare products, but pared that down and just use really good ones.’
Change your focus ‘My year of detoxing was a drastic departure from my nightclub life. I realized I have an addictive personality. The concept of Chi Junky comes from that: It’s about being addicted to something positive’in this case ‘chi,’ or energy, in Chinese medicine. I help people get hooked on good things.’