Things have been pretty wild over here lately… lots of beautiful and amazing things are happening! One of the wonderful additions to the Countertop is a beautiful new assistant and holistic nutritionist who is SO excited to connect with you and share all of her amazing ideas. When I thought about having her contribute to the blog and help create recipes and blog posts, it didn’t feel right to just have her write on behalf of me. So, I decided it was important for her to introduce herself to the community and create a beautiful connection. And here we are!
I am so excited to introduce you to AK (aka, Ann-Kathrin). I’ll let her tell you the rest…
Hi, I’m AK !
I grew up in North Vancouver and have been studying at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition for the past 2 years.
I’ve been working in the beauty Industry as a hairstylist and makeup artist for the past 5 years in North and West Vancouver.
I currently work at The Dye Lot on Lonsdale in North Van doing hair and offering my services as a freelance makeup artist.
How did you meet Chloe?
I was lucky to meet Chloe at IHN, where she also completed her studies to become a holistic nutritionist. She, by chance was asked to step into a teaching role for one of my classes- and she taught the Professional Practice course. I was instantly drawn to her energy and made sure to keep in touch after meeting her.
Why did you want to work with Chloe?
From the moment I met Chloe, her loving energy, story and passion for the industry stood out to me. I then started getting to know her work better through social media and her rawness displayed on all of her platforms and in person. I then knew she would be the perfect mentor and person to reach out to.
You don’t even have to meet Chloe to feel impacted by her energy, she is a true healer in all aspects.
What inspired you to become a Holistic Nutritionist?
Anxiety is the root of all my struggles in my life from the moment I was born. This anxiety took on many forms as I developed in my childhood, teens and young adult life. Food had always been a source of comfort for me and it eventually caught up to me through health issues, specifically anxiety, depression, and significant weight gain in my late teens.
I then decided to shift my life through diet and fitness. Noticing a profound difference in my mental health and overall happiness. Needless to say, my interest for nutrition sparked from this particular life event.
What is your relationship with food like?
For most of my life, the relationship was very unhealthy to say the least.
I struggled with binge eating and body shaming throughout my entire journey, which made food seem like the enemy. When I looked at food all I saw was a source calories which were either “bad” for me or “healthy”.
Since my time in nutrition school and continuous self care/development, I slowly learned (with slip ups) that food is what we feed our bodies as nourishment and love.
What excites you about working in the holistic wellness industry?
Holistic health to me is the connection of the mind, body and spirit within us. In comparasion, it is vastly different from the beauty industry where outer beauty is empathized and the rest is somewhat masked. This isn’t to say that external appearance is bad but that rawness that was missing in my life continuously appears stronger since I started exposing myself in this field of healing.
What are some of your fears?
Failure. I think this is a pretty common one. Athough it is one of my fears, I try to work with it rather than against it. Facing your fears is one of the best ways to open up vulnerability.
What are you excited about creating with Chloe’s Countertop?
Although this journey has just begun, Chloe is always surprising me with fun ideas and projects!
I see her as my Mentor, and as a guide into this incredible and ever growing industry.
As for Chloe’s countertop, I strive to help make this brand as strong and blooming as I can.
That means new unique recipes, community connection, overall inspiration for body love/ self love work, and authenticity in my role with the team.
What does intuitive eating mean to you?
I used to be the queen of disconnection in terms of food!
I had zero hunger signals, would always over eat and snack mindlessly.
Intuitive eating to me is the connection with your body and mind as you eat. Recognizing the texture, smell, taste, and most importantly how your feeling while your have meals. Being present with what nourishes your body is key!
What is your relationship with your body and how has that journey evolved (connection/disconnection)?
Growing up in a German household, it was very heavy in terms of menu. I found myself constantly binging on sugar and heavily processed meals which made me absolutely hate my exterior.
My weight always fluctuated and I was constantly on the diet train, even as a young girl. I always connected my weight and appearance with my self worth. It wasn’t until I went through my depression that these deep rooted feelings really came out bite me.
As humans we are naturally judgemrnal and the pressures of perfectionism constantly poke at our egos.
I won’t say that my journey with self love is over by any means. You can NEVER have too much self love, as it is always evolving.
Now, I recognize my self criticisms now and see if I can uncover why those feelings may be appearing in my body and mind.
How has anxiety impacted your life?
This is a big one for me.
As I mentioned before, I have over the years uncovered that most of my fears and struggles steam from anxiety.
It has always come and gone, sometimes it’s there and other times it’s no where to be found.
The first memories of anxiety that I can recall were from when I was a small baby. I would cry for my mom because I was afraid of being alone at night before bed.
Then as an 8 year old, with racing thoughts and physical symptoms like shortness of breath and panic attacks. These either sent me to the hospital (which happened on a regular basis) or later on to anti anxiety medications.
While I was in high school, I was faced with certain life events that I wasn’t mental able to digest. Here comes anxiety. Completely dependent on these drugs to the point where I couldn’t imagine not taking them.
As I said before, it would come and go. This time not until I was in a very unhealthy relationship, had been partying every weekend and had gained a SLAB of weight.
I recall looking in the mirror in the midst of a panic attack and I screamed at myself.
“This isn’t who I am! I’m not in my body or mind any longer”. That is when I decided to slowly wean myself off my medications (supervised by my doctor), clean up my diet and start exercise. Thus beginning my journey into where I am now.
Anxiety is a part of me. It is my vulnerability. I no longer see it as a curse but a blessing.
Now that may sound ridiculous, judging from what I’ve written. Without anxiety, I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today.
What is one message you would share with younger AK?
You will be faced with lightness and darkness in your life. Love both. If you feel fear, turn to love within yourself. Every signal from your body is a sign that something needs connection. Everything happens for a reason.
Favourite Quote right now?
Disconnection is the root of all struggle. Samantha Skelly
What is one thing that you don’t want people to know about you?
Well, I’m a singer and my mum has always said that she knows I’m happy when I’m singing. The funny thing is, it’s the one thing that I am deathly afraid of, and it is also the one thing that connects me to my soul. I have a tattoo on my forearm that says,
Musik ist die Sprache meines Schutzengels
which translates in English: “music is the communication/language of my guardian angel”. This was my first tattoo. I got it for my Grandmother- she was an opera singer and I sang with her as a child when I lived in Germany and whenever I visited her throughout my life.
Thanks for sharing so openly AK! Already stepping up to the vulnerability stage! So, now that you guys know a bit more about beautiful AK- I’m excited to share all of the amazing creations that we have been whipping up for you! Get ready for some amazing recipes, restaurant reviews and more…coming soon to the Countertop! If you would like to get in touch with AK for any Chloe’s Countertop inquiries (restaurant reviews, product reviews, sponsorships, collaborations, events), questions or just want to send her a love message (connecting to her beautiful story)- email her at email@example.com
Ps. The recipes below are coming up next! Get excited!