Where to begin?
Hi, I'm Dawn Cameron, BSc.
I am a culinary trained Chef and Nutrition Therapy Consultant, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer that's into REAL FOOD and living in Savannah, Georgia.
I have established a health coaching business where I help people make diet and lifestyle choices to improve their overall quality of life, tapping into vitality and energy that they didn't think was possible. I am a Restart® Program Instructor (https://therestartprogram.com) and run sugar detox classes at a couple of gyms in the city, and also write a weekly blog called Foodie Friday where I share recipes and ideas pertaining to healthy foods that follow ancestral wisdom. I have taught several seminars about hydration, food and digestion; I also teach people how to make kombucha and hold small group cooking classes.
I was born in Canada to Guyanese and Scottish parents and we moved to the Middle East when I was young for my Dad's work. While living in Saudi Arabia, we traveled extensively and I was able to experience many different countries and cultures which made a lasting impression. All of the cooking in our home was done from scratch and our meals often encompassed the foods only available locally.
We moved back to Canada in the mid-1980's where I had a fairly typical suburban life attending high school and then completing a university degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph. My travels after graduation took me on an extended trip through South East Asia where I happily ate my way across several countries and worked as a PADI Dive Master on Koh Tao, Thailand for a year.
In my late 20's while working in the Cayman Islands I discovered the yachting industry. In 2004 I made the leap and got all the necessary qualifications and joined a yacht, leading to a 12 year yachting career, my going to culinary school at Dubrulle, in Vancouver, and working as a chef for some very discerning guests. I also met my (now) husband Tony, in 2007 while working on a yacht and we ran boats together from 2007 to 2016.
Throughout my life I would say my health has been okay, I never struggled with my weight, but did always seem to have the knack of picking up every cold and illness going around. When I was young I suffered with severe nosebleeds and I had periodic gastro-intestinal distress, but figured that this was normal. Our diet included homemade bran muffins, margarine, low fat milk, lots of fruit and vegetables, animal proteins but very little in the way of sweets and treats. We ate rice more than pasta, had homemade soups all winter made from home made stock, if we had pizza (rarely) the dough was made from scratch. I ate what could be described as "healthy foods" and very little in the way of processed foods, but still had numerous health issues, which were considered a normal part of life at the time.
Tony is from New Zealand, and in 2011 while we were researching gyms in his home town for an upcoming visit, I came across a gym that had a Paleo 12 week challenge for it’s members. I was astounded at the before and after photos of the participants, and even more so their stories of how some simple dietary changes had not only enhanced their performance at the gym, but their body composition, energy and general outlook. I went out, bought a few books and started doing my own research. The ideas presented about eating foods that are more in line with what our ancestors ate for optimal health resonated with me and as a couple, Tony and I decided to try eating that way, STRICT, for 6 weeks to see what happened.
After 6 weeks of following a strict paleo-style diet, (www.thepaleodiet.com) we were both more energetic, felt uplifted, had dropped a couple of inches of body fat around the middle that had slowly been creeping on despite hours at the gym each day…All of a sudden we were NOT congested and my mood swings surrounding eating times vanished! Over the next few months other things became apparent: my female cycle dropped in severity and started to regulate like clockwork, skin got better, hair seemed thicker and more full, my nails stopped peeling and splitting. Tony had been dealing with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) and we finally found him a functional endocrinologist who declared that our dietary changes (for both of us) were not only what we should be sustaining, but also that this is what would help prevent him developing a secondary autoimmune disease as we both displayed sensitivity to gliadin with a cross-sensitivity (in Tony) to casein. Go figure.
As time has gone on, I can attest that despite a crazy work schedule that used to leave us months on end without access to a gym, our dietary changes helped us to maintain body composition. I also do not suffer from frequent illness anymore, and am able to fight off infections quickly and easily. My allergies have significantly diminished. Tony’s Hashimoto’s has been in stasis for over three years, where he has found a working dose of Amour Thyroid that seems to be keeping things on an even keel.
I went back to school with the Nutrition Therapy Association and studied to become qualified as a Nutrition Therapy Consultant. At the end of 2016 I became a Restart® Program Instructor (www.therestartprogram.com) and a CF-L1 trainer, and am currently doing my Precision Nutrition (www.precisionnutrition.com) courses to get certified in Sports and Exercise Nutrition.
Tony and I have moved ashore to Savannah, Georgia where we have just bought a house and are getting settled into the local community. We love that we can buy good quality food from Saturday's Forsyth Farmer’s Market that is locally produced. I have been running Restart® Program classes at CrossFit SteadFast and I still do a bit of cooking on the side. Being settled in one place means that we can start our own garden, be part of a community and live the lives we always envisioned for ourselves.
I read extensively to keep up to date with the latest in ancestral health and nourishing one's body with real foods, and am constantly studying to better my knowledge. I enjoy teaching others and guiding them towards lifestyle choices to improve their overall health, vitality and athletic performance!!