About Jen Weare
I’m Jen and I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the founder of Hol:Life Hub. And I’m on a mission to inspire others to live their Hol:Life by leading a more plant-based lifestyle that’s focused on everyday wellness and natural nutrition.
As a wife and busy mom of 2, I understand how difficult it can be to get great tasting, nutrient dense meals on the table without having to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. I also know how isolating it can be when you decide you want to make a change to better your health, but no one else in your family is on board.
I’ve been there...done that, and I continue to focus on helping my clients reclaim their self-confidence, health and compassion through plant-based living.
So here’s my story…
Must love plants & animals
Let’s start back at the beginning where I really started my own health journey. About 10 years ago (in the days before kids), I was eating, drinking, smoking and from all accounts having a great time doing it. But what most people didn’t see is that I was miserable, sick and tired. I had asthma, a whole bunch of weird stomach and digestive problems and got sick all the time. Plus, I was about 30 lbs heavier than I am now. So I did what anyone would do...I went to the doctor. I was put through all those unpleasant tests they give you when you have digestive problems and they couldn’t find anything. Nothing. They said it was Irritable Bowel and that I could take steroids to help ease the symptoms.
Steroids...in my late 20’s? Eff that!
And that’s when the light bulb went off. I was seeing my doctor for an answer and instead got a ‘everything looks normal’ speech and a prescription. So I decided right then, that if anything was going to change, I was going to have to have to take matters into my own hands. So I quit smoking, dropped a few lbs and tried cleaning up my diet.
And then we had kids. And holy...once you start realizing you’re responsible for growing and raising a tiny human you immediately become hyper-aware to everything you are putting in or on your body. And that is what spurred my insatiable need for knowledge! While on maternity leave, I started a blog (Suburban Hippie Homestead) to share what I had learned with other like minded people. Can you believe I was (and still am) the black sheep in my family?! My constant questioning, researching and looking for alternatives doesn’t always sit well with my family. Hence, why I started the blog.
After the birth of our second child, I decided I wanted to be taken more seriously with my blog and the information I was providing so I went back to school and got my diploma in Natural Nutrition and started the Hol:Life Hub. But even after making huge changes to my diet and lifestyle, I still didn’t feel quite right.
I know I have kids and and that’s exhausting, but should I really be THIS tired?
Add to that, in between the birth of my kids I also learned that I have PKD, a genetic kidney disease. So I finished school and thought I was doing all the right things but instead:
- My skin wasn’t great
- My pants were too tight.
- Dear lord, please don’t make me put on a bathing suit!
- Coffee, wine….repeat
From all my reading, researching, schooling and working with other alternative healthcare providers (naturopaths, massage therapists, chiropractors) I decided the next step was to ditch the animal products to see what would happen.
I had never been a huge meat eater, but cheese...now that was my jam. Wine and cheese, cheese and crackers, cheese on everything, just cheese. I struggled with eating meat, and also calling myself an animal lover. And of course then there’s health implications...I have a family history of cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease and since having kids, I wanted to ensure that I would be around to see them grow up.
So I devoted a lot of time and energy researching how to lead a plant-based life without becoming deficient in various nutrients. I also spent endless hours looking for recipes and testing them out. There were many winners, but also lots of flops. It wasn’t easy, and yes I had slip ups, but it was completely worth it!
Not only do I feel better, I’ve dropped a few more lbs and found my waist again! My energy levels are awesome, and I don’t feel old anymore. Plus, my digestion has done a complete 180! Who would have guessed I feel better now (in my 40’s) than I did throughout most of my 20’s and 30’s?
But what about your family? Did they make the switch?
At first...NO. To say they were less than excited would be an understatement. So I found myself making two different meals, one for my husband and kids, and one for me. And yeah, it wasn’t fun. But, eventually, they started to switch to a more plant-based lifestyle, just by watching me eat differently. By constantly feeding them delicious, home-cooked, plant-powered meals they began to realize that they could feel full and satisfied on nothing but plants. I also worked hard to convert some of their favorite dishes to plant-powered meals so that they didn’t feel like they were missing out. I'll never forget the day my husband said "I'll just eat what you're eating".
I firmly believe that people need to have their own reasons for switching to a plant-powered lifestyle in order to be successful. Your reasons may be very different than mine, but the message is still the same...eat more plants.
Let’s talk about your reasons!
A few thing you may not know about me:
- I love the beach and being outdoors. When the weather is nice you can find me enjoying some sun and sand or camping with my family. A little fresh air does wonders for the spirit.
- I’m a runner. I’ve done 2 half marathons, a bunch of 10k races and too many 5k’s to keep track. Part of me does it for the exercise, but most times I run to burn off the crazy! It’s such an amazing stress reliever and sometimes I get my best thinking done while on a run.
- I love food! Not only making food, but I love to eat. I enjoy eating really good food and trying new and different tastes. If there’s food involved (plant-based of course) count me in! I honestly can’t think of something I don’t like.
- I enjoy gardening. I grew up helping my mom in the garden and now I have a pretty sweet veggie garden in my own yard. I love to grow my own food and it’s always fun to dig in the dirt with my kids.
- I’m a sucker for cute animals. We have 2 dogs and a cat and if it were up to me, I would have ALL the animals! A goal of mine is to move to a hobby farm and rescue animals (but still gotta work on the hubby).
Now it’s your turn!
Hol:Life Hub - what is that anyways?
Well, it’s a place for people to find inspiration and motivation to get more out of their life. ‘Hol’ is short for Holistic, but it also represents ‘whole’. Living your best life isn’t just about one thing. It’s not just about diet or exercise or loving yourself. Leading your Hol:Life is about identifying and embracing your differences and learning to nourish not only your body, but also your spirit and your soul. The whole (Hol) enchilada! So yes, the focus is on nourishing plant-powered foods, but it’s also about cultivating confidence, joy and compassion so that you can lead your best life!
Jen Weare is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist just west of London, ON and the owner of Hol:Life Hub, a plant-based website with a mission to inspire, motivate and educate people on natural nutrition and everyday wellness. Jen graduated with merit from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and received her diploma in Natural Nutrition. Her honest, down-to-earth, personal approach to food & health is all about keeping things simple, easy and realistic. She loves to cook and test out recipes on her very patient husband and kids. She has contributed to several online publications as a Nutrition Expert including Health.com and PopSugar , and has worked with numerous companies on partnerships and collaborations.