Stephanie’s passion for her career and nutrition is amazing.
I was instantly drawn to it and have been following her religiously. I love her recipes (I am a vegetarian) she makes food tasty and fun.
She’s so positive all the time and that makes people want to be around her instantly. She is trusting, kind and I am happy to be able to share this about her with my readers.
Stephanie, you love people as much as your passion to share your knowledge to help others stay healthy and happy.
Thank you for that.
Ciao for now.
Stephanie Di Grazia, RHN
Nutritional Consulting | Lifestyle and Weight Loss Coach
Website: Stephanie Di Grazia Nutrition
You have an Honours Degree in Psychology. How did you get into the health and nutrition field?
I have always had an affinity for helping others from a young age. I had first decided to pursue a post-secondary education in psychology since it always interested me and would allow me to help others to achieve wellness in some way. It still does play a major role in what I do and has given me many tools to support my clients through their emotional issues with food and in coping with stress and illness. After graduating I had a placement in a clinical psychology setting and I knew it was not for me. A family friend suggested I combine my interest in wellness, food and holistic health and led me to the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Since the first day I stepped into that classroom I never looked back. I knew this was not just going to be my career, this was my life’s path.
You’ve been a vegan for over a year now. Why did you make the change and how has it changed your life?
Initially, it was an experiment for one of my courses on the effects of drastic dietary changes on mood. I decided to try veganism for a week to see how my body would respond. I had already eliminated dairy from my diet due to an intolerance, but was apprehensive about veganism since I relied so heavily on animal meat as my dietary source of protein. I was stunned at how amazing I felt at the end of that week. I also began to educate myself more on plant based diets and watched several documentaries. It was those documentaries that really triggered my decision to go vegan. Since then I’ve never been in better physical and mental shape. Over the past year I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my skin, digestion, energy and mood.
You post a lot of pictures of things you’ve cooked. How do you come up with your recipes?
I have always loved to cook. At 4 years old I was at my grandmother’s side helping her roll out fresh pasta dough and making tomato sauce. She was extremely gifted in the kitchen and I learned much of what I know through her. When I developed a gluten allergy and went vegan it limited me from eating many of the foods I was accustomed to eating growing up. I decided to get creative and experiment with foods, and find healthy alternatives that fit my new lifestyle. I always try to find ways to make unhealthy foods healthier. I think about food from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed. Sometimes I find recipes and put my own twist on it, or ideas come to me in the grocery store, when I open my fridge, and even in my sleep. I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere.
In order to maintain the health of your hair, you need to use the right products but you also need to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. What are some foods that will promote healthy hair?
Dark leafy greens and orange coloured fruits and vegetables are particularly good for promoting hair health as they contain vitamin A, iron, B vitamins and vitamin C to nourish your scalp, keep your hair moisturized and protect against dull, dry hair. There are also a few key nutrients and foods that are needed to help to promote healthy, shiny locks.
Since hair is composed mostly of protein, your hair needs protein to grow. Lean sources of protein like salmon, poultry, beans, tofu, and hemp hearts prevent hair loss, improve texture and strengthen hair. Omega-3 fatty acids keep hair hydrated for shiny and silky strands. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great sources. Nuts and seeds, ground flax, and cold pressed oils are also packed with essential fats.
Coconut oil is particularly beneficial to promote healthy hair because it is extremely high in healthy fats and high in vitamin E and K to boost growth and shine, hydrate hair follicles, and moisturize the scalp.
Iron and zinc rich foods like artichokes, lean meats, leafy greens (i.e. spinach and kale), sunflower seeds, lentils, and beans are also important to prevent hair loss, improve growth, and boost circulation to the scalp. They also help to keep healthy oil glands around the hair follicles to prevent dandruff.
How often do you change your hairstyle?
I try to change it at least every 2-3 months. I think hair is such amazing tool to express creativity and individualism. I get bored of my hair very quickly and love to play around with new colors and styles. I’ve probably tried every hair style from bangs to layered bobs, and every hair colour from blonde to red, to silver, ombre, rose gold, and black.
Do you have any hair styles or colors you’ve regretted?
I haven’t experienced any traumatic hair crises in the past few years thankfully. I think everyone goes through a few awkward haircuts and hair phases especially in their youth. I look back at pictures of myself with crimped hair and some very dorky cuts with bangs and wondered what I was thinking or how I left the house like that. It’s funny now looking back but I definitely wouldn’t walk into a salon and ask them to replicate those styles ever again.
What is your favorite part of a salon visit?
One of the best parts is definitely the scalp massage during a shampoo. But I think my ultimate favorite part is that moment when the stylist takes off your cape and you look in the mirror at your reflection feeling like a million bucks. I think everyone deserves to feel great and to feel beautiful. Allowing yourself to get pampered every once in a while can give you a little boost of confidence and set a positive tone for your entire day.
Do you have any favorite hair products?
I’m a huge fan of Moroccan and Argan Oil. It always leaves my hair feeling smooth and shiny. Heat protection spray is also a must for me since I often use a flat iron and other heated tools to style my hair. I actually turn to the kitchen for a lot of my hair care. I find coconut oil and apple cider vinegar are both packed with vitamins and nutrients that give my hair that much needed boost between salon visits. I try to use as many organic and vegan friendly products as possible.
I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up.
You posted this quote on your Instagram page. I love to inspire people – and eventually I would love to get into motivational speaking. It is something I am really passionate about. You recently were a speaker at Canfit Pro World Fitness Expo and gave a presentation about how to thrive on a vegan diet. Tell us about that experience.
One of the only things I was always uncomfortable with is public speaking. The thought of standing in front of a crowd always terrified me. However, I knew I needed to start to step outside of my comfort zone to not only grow as a person, but to really make a social impact and make strides towards a global health movement. Speaking at CanFit was one of the best experiences of my life. I shared how to prepare delicious vegan meals and how to transition to a vegan diet that contains all the nutrients necessary to maintain strength and health. I was also able to demo one of my own recipes and show people how to make my favorite raw vegan protein bites.
Having the opportunity to stand in front of a crowd and speak to them about something I’m so passionate about was an indescribable feeling. I met so many amazing people and received such incredible feedback. To know that I inspired someone, and to hear that I actually made an impact in their life makes every moment of what I do worthwhile. I hope to continuously inspire and educate people towards better health and happiness. Now I can’t wait for my next presentation!
When I say the phrase beauty from the inside out, what does that mean to you?
For me that holds two meanings. One being from a health perspective that our physical or outer appearance is often a reflection of what is happening internally. Our skin, hair, nails and other physical attributes are often an indication of what is going on inside our bodies.
Secondly, I think that a huge part of beauty comes from within. I’ll be the first to admit that I love to wear makeup and to look put together. I think it’s amazing that we have the ability to enhance our features and express our creativity and individualism. But working on your inner beauty is even more important than just your outward appearance.
Over the years I’ve realized that our physical appearance definitely plays a role in what initially attracts us to people, but it’s just a part of what defines us as ‘beautiful’. Our passion, confidence, sincerity, empathy, intelligence – this is what defines us. You can’t cover up a bad personality or negative attitude with makeup, clothes, and shiny hair. None of that changes who you are inside. When you have inner beauty it radiates outward and the energy you give off makes you more attractive. Inner and outer beauty are undoubtedly interrelated – a person’s character works wonders on their appearance
I like asking this question – because I think it says a lot about a person. Describe yourself in five words or less.
Passionate, ambitious, perfectionist, creative, grounded.