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Meet Geneviève Blanchet, RHN

We are excited to introduce you to our friend Geneviève, a very knowledgeable and passionate Registered Holistic Nutritionist who will be a new contributor to the Jovial blog. When I learned that we had the same passion for foraging wild foods and similar beliefs in the healing power of what we eat, I knew we were a perfect match. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to harvest wild dandelion greens with my mother and father in the spring. We would make a fresh salad with the greens, topped with a dressing made with olive oil, garlic, lemon and anchovies. Our neighbors thought we were strange but when my father made a homemade flat bread called piadina, stuffed with prosciutto and dandelions, it was so delicious we didn’t care. If my brothers are reading this, I am sure their mouths are watering! When I moved to Italy later in my twenties, I frequently saw older people in fields collecting greens in the spring- I finally felt at home. My husband’s family taught me how to collect stinging nettles in the countryside.They are delicious cooked like spinach. Each year we look forward to a spring treat when my mother-in-law makes lasagna with fresh nettle pasta.

Now let us introduce you to Geneviève!

I grew up in the Eastern Township countryside of Quebec. We lived in a house built on my grandfather’s land, surrounded by a forest of maple trees. At an early age, I was captivated by the countryside where I was raised and the people around me who lived in harmony with nature. Our neighbors had an immense garden, raised chickens and were practically self-sufficient because of their efforts. With their guidance, I was introduced to herbs and taught to forage for wild plants. Through this experience, my passion for the healing properties of the natural world was born.

Many hours of my youth were spent in the kitchen with my mother – watching, learning, and helping in the transformation of vegetables and fruits gathered around my house into delicious and nourishing dishes. At age 12, I read Health Secrets of Plants and Herbs by Maurice Mességué and it set the direction for my life.

In different capacities, much of my life has been spent around food: I worked as a cook in several kitchens and was a server in fine dining, gourmet and traditional restaurants. I traveled Europe extensively and lived in Spain for two years, further expanding my knowledge of traditional cuisine.

The medicinal properties of produce, plants and herbs was especially interesting to me and I was fascinated by varying cultural approaches to these healing foods. Following my interests and natural curiosity, I studied the principles of Asian medicine at the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Vancouver. I also trained in herbal medicine at l’Herbothèque Quebec, Institute of Research and Education in Herbology and Natural Health,www.hebotheque.com and hold a Traditional Herbalist Diploma. I went on to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.), graduating from The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. www.csnn.ca

My continuing studies include the philosophy of Phytobiophysics Flower Formulas www.phytob.com with Professor Diana Mossop, Healing with Whole Foods: an Integrative Approach with Paul Pitchford, www.healingwithwholefoods.com and traditional food ways based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price www.westonaprice.org. I am also developing a thorough understanding of the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food, and cooking by Rudolf Steiner, plus learning Facial Diagnosis with Lillian Bridges, professor of TCM www.lotusinstitute.com. I am currently training with Samantha Jennings, Dr. TCM, R.A.c. Practitioner and Educator of Oriental medicine www.samanthajennings.com

I am passionate about eating fresh, seasonal and nutrient-rich food. I combine western whole foods with an eastern philosophy and I would like to share what I’ve learned with you.’

To learn more about Geneviève, visit her website http://www.lepetitchou.ca/.

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