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In Pursuit of a Side Hustle

After my sudden lay off, I was hit with a sudden bout of very intense depression (I'll dive deep into this topic on a different post). As I hit the bottom I had a moment of clarity and realized that I never want to be put into this position again. I need a way to make money should the next capitalist decide to play games with my livelihood. I need a self sustaining business. It's 2023, I need a side hustle! Friends, colleagues and family come to me for advice on healthy eating because I'm active and I'm vegan. There's still a lot of confusion and mysticism around the diet and people get oddly confused when they compare my level of activity (it's a decent amount) to a hokey pokey vegan diet. Everyone assumes I just eat raw carrots and alfalfa sprouts. As I have the desire to help people open up their minds to carrots and alfalfa, I looked into becoming certified as a nutritionist. Turns out there are no internationally or nationally recognized accreditations for nutritionist and the internet is filled with "institutions" offering certificates in nutrition. At least two colleges in BC offer 18 month programs that tie in counselling, but I cannot commit M-F 9pm-2pm for the next two years. No matter how many student loans I'm approved for, no potential job will be cool with me attending online classes during my workday. Paying $5,000 CAD for an online certificate to learn questionable science, just doesn't feel like the best financial decision and the lack of accreditation in the industry will not add confidence for me or my future clients. If I wanted to go the science backed way, I would need to go to a serious school and spend 5 years becoming a dietician. A noble profession, but it is absolutely not a side hustle route. So there lies the problem with our society. Dietician's services are not covered by BC's provincial health plan and a typical one hour visit will cost you around $200 CAD. Many people do not go to Dieticians because there's an assumption that you have to be severely ill to utilize their services. There's avoidance of Nutritionists because of the Gwyneth Paltrow glow of pseudoscience. I don't really want to make meal plans, I don't believe that regimented meal planning is for everyone. It's not how I eat. This isn't a community that I want to be associated with either. There's no need for supplements or superfoods, plus everyone has different tastes and backgrounds. This aimless search resulted in no clear conclusion of what I should do for a side hustle, but it wasn't all in vain. I realize now that we have a gap within our society. People who want to eat healthier have to drop $200 per hour for a dietician, risk being sold a supplement, demoralize themselves with a diet service or gather enough courage to hire a personal trainer (ouch!). Having been through this journey myself, I realize that the power to shift to healthy eating habits is within us. It's really all a mindset and related to your own intrinsic values and your goals. I only became vegan, because I wanted to be a vegan. Nobody told me to be one. In a world that is so aggressively meaty with extra cheese, it's an alienating experience. You're not only dealing with your own choices but you have to justify and explain them. You need resilience and really believe that this is what you want to achieve. Veganism in 2023 is not for everyone.

Therefore I don't believe that I should be just a nutritionist. In the end, I want to make people be happy with who they are and unleash their potential whether it involves their physical body, their mind or their diet. Alfalfa sprouts or not...

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