Have you ever met someone at an event filled with a ton of people and actually stayed in touch? I know, it hardly happens, but it happened for me and our amazing #wingwoman of the week, Jennifer Ruel! I met Jen over 2 years ago, and it has been so wonderful getting to know her and learning how passionate she is about teaching and educating others through food. Jen is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant, and she specializes in plant-based cooking. In our interview, Jen shares how pushing herself out of her comfort zone brings her clarity about her purpose, how she believes it's important to remember to nurture your close friendships, and how she believes food is medicine. Continue reading to learn all about Jen!
1. What makes you happy?
Being with my family, friends, and boyfriend, exploring new places, having conversations that go deeper than surface level, oat milk lattes, cooking, and reading a good book.
2. What advice would you give your younger self?
Slow down, enjoy the moment, and stop trying to get to the next step so quickly. One day, you will miss where you are right now, so soak it in. (My current self could also benefit from this advice!)
Spend more time with your family, they won’t be around forever.
Take the time to really get to know yourself, and don’t sacrifice your truth in order to please others.
...And seriously stop spending so much money!! :) 3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?
These days? I would get rid of COVID-19! But in the best of times, I would completely overhaul our food system. There are so many levels of this system that are broken, and if I could, I would magically give every single person access to food that is actually high-quality and nutrient-dense. And in the process, I would take the power away from the large corporations who (spoiler alert!) don’t care about our health. Food is medicine!
4. How did you find your purpose?
I’m still searching for it! Part of my journey has been the realization that my purpose will continue to change as I learn and grow.
I have found that clarity usually comes from the hard times in life, and I am grateful for the times of struggle that showed me what was really important. I also think that pushing myself out of my comfort zone to meet new people and explore new interests has really helped me find what I am passionate about.
5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?
It’s always been hard for me to make the first move when meeting new people. I can be so shy sometimes, and that can definitely make me come across as standoffish (or so I’ve been told!).
When it comes to maintaining and building existing relationships, I struggle with keeping in touch as much as I would like to. I am consistently the person who takes on too much, and I end up getting way too wrapped up in my day-to-day tasks. This is definitely something that I am working on!
6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?
Friendships are not always meant to last a lifetime. With personal growth comes change in relationships… and that is ok! We can be grateful for the relationships that we had and know that they were exactly what we needed at that time in our lives AND no longer what we need now.
Also... quality over quantity! I spent far too long thinking that I needed to have a ton of people in my life in order to feel fulfilled, when in reality, it’s all about nurturing the really special ones.
7. Who are your SHEros (AKA female heroes)?
This is a very, very long list! But to point out a few…
-My mom, sister-in-law, and all of the strong women in my inner circle. I am so lucky to be surrounded by brilliant, interesting & caring women.
-Every woman in this city (and beyond) who is making a difference in our world by running a small business. It’s no joke to run a business, and I have so much respect for each person who continues day after day to share their passion with the world. Special shout-out to the amazing Meaghan, owner of Naturmend!
8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?
Mark Groves, Hello Seven, ACE Talks, Luscious Hustle, Off the Vine… to name a few!
I just finished Atomic Habits by James Clear and Bring the Joy by Jessica Janzen… and I HIGHLY recommend both!
9. Where can we find you?
Probably at Rosso Inglewood, or wandering around Bridgeland ;).
But if you’re looking online, head over to www.sondernutrition.ca or @sondernutritionco on Instagram!