• Jessica Pecush

My Venture Into Nutrition ~ Ashley Letendre

Hi ladies!

My name is Ashley Letendre - I am 34 years old and have been married for 4 years this month! I have a blended family. Together, my husband and I have 4 beautiful children. My husband and I were both born and raised in the small town of High Prairie, Alberta.

I am sharing a little bit of my journey and how I got to where I am today! For a few years now, in struggling to find what my passion is, I had been looking at so many different schools and different professions. As I looked at my family, I thought to myself, what can I do to help my family and I and what would benefit us the most? I was currently working full time at ICT Solutions/Bell Mobility. I had been working there for 4 years and was a busy mom at home with our kids.

My life was super busy and we were eating out quite often, between my husband and I working and the extra-curricular activities our kids were in, like hockey and Taekwondo. My husband and I both struggle with gut health issues - his are definitely more severe than mine. Also, a lot of my other relatives and friends/family have either gut issues or other health issues, like Diabetes. So I really started to think about our diets and how we were eating. I, myself, struggle with emotional eating. At times, I wouldn't eat because I was afraid to gain weight . After I got married I gained the most weight, other than when I was pregnant. My weight fluctuated a lot and I felt my gut issues got worse as time passed...I kept thinking about what I was consuming as my diet.

Then, the world experienced a scary time when COVID-19 arrived...my work got shut down and I had to stay home. My kids' school also got shut down. This has been a very stressful time for everyone. I don't think anyone was prepared for a time like this! So with that being said, I had some time to really think about what kind of schooling I could take. I evaluated my life once again and did my normal Internet surfing, looking at different schools. I came across a nutrition school called the Elevated Learning Academy, and thought to myself this looks interesting...the Applied Nutrition Science Diploma! I didn't know much about nutrition at all, besides the fact that fruit and vegetables are good for you. Fast forward to a few months, to when things started to re-open. I contacted the Elevated Learning Academy and was accepted, and I was able to do everything online. I was so excited to start this new venture!

I thought WOW! I can do this - become educated in nutrition AND be able to stay home with my children. The program was 3 days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (10am-2pm). It was perfect, since I wasn't able to return to work and needed to be at home. I couldn't afford childcare and was ready for a lifestyle change! I was tired of the bloating and sore tummy, my energy level being low and feeling groggy all the time! I just couldn't do it anymore. I could also see the frustration in my husband, with his energy levels and gut issues too. I really wanted to be able to help him in the best way possible.

This sparked in me an even bigger interest in nutrition and gut health! Since I am now the stay-at-home wife and mom, I am both in control of the kitchen and do most of the cooking. If I wanted change, I knew the change would have to start with me! With how the world is right now, Covid changed a lot of the ways things are being done. I wanted to become educated about both eating better and keeping my family as healthy as can be.

I started school back in June and it ended this past October. It was the best decision I made for myself. I must say it was hard at times, but I was motivated and it was a commitment I made.

One of my main areas of focus is my husband's gut health, as his job is very physically demanding and he is our family's main provider. So me, being the loving wife I am, want to make sure he's being taken care of...I love him very much. He struggles with bloating, irregular bowel movements and severe heartburn. It's so hard to see your loved one struggling. Seeing how hard he works, with little energy left and always feeling so tired, makes it harder to enjoy the small things in life with our family.

This is where I came in...in getting the education. I was so eager to learn! This past September, we had virtual practicum presentations. This is where I saw Jessica for the first time...she was our first presentation! She was willing to take on a few students to mentor. I really liked her. She was amazing and I thought WOW, would I like to be one of the students she chose! My friend/classmate and I sent in our resumes right away, and she chose 3 of us to mentor.

That brought me here! We've had the chance to choose some content that we would like to share on her platforms, so I chose to write a blog. I must say it's a lot harder than I thought! I have never written one before, so it's been a little nerve wracking for me! I tend to procrastinate because I am shy and I'm always worried what people might think, so I stressed about it.

So, I'm here writing for the first time, sharing a little about myself and my life! I thank Jessica for being such a great mentor! I love how she runs her business. She's very inspiring and truly cares so much for her clients' needs.

Thank you Jessica, for all your support and time in helping us to finish up our practicums. Deciding to take this schooling has been one of the most rewarding decisions I've made for my family and I. I'm gaining the confidence I need to be successful in this industry and helping my family's needs, too!

Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit of my story and how I got to where I am today!

Blessings to you all!


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