Happy, healthy and at home.
That’s what Okotoks nutrition consultant Amy Jervis-Taylor hopes to foster for her clientele amid the COVID-19 pandemic as she launches her business Feed Your Hunger in September.
“My focus is on seniors and I want them thinking happy, healthy and at home – keep them at home as long as possible so they can be independent,” said Jervis-Taylor. “How do you do that? Through nutrition and exercise.”
Jervis-Taylor said she wants to partner with community groups, with the Okotoks Rec Centre as well as create more opportunities for high school students to help out seniors with volunteer initiatives.
“I like to see people come together, bond together,” she said. “What has this crisis taught us? That we need one another. To support and encourage one another to be the best we can be.”
For her part, Jervis-Taylor has overcome a plethora of obstacles with her health, including a total of 51 surgeries as part of rehabilitation from a near fatal car accident some 37 years ago while she lived in Ontario.
“I was pronounced dead, comatose for months,” she said. “And I was originally going into medicine at the time, I was trying to become a neurosurgeon and as fate would have it my life was in the hands of one.
“I’ve always wanted to focus on helping people. Obviously when my left side was paralyzed I couldn’t do any of the medicine stuff.
After 20 years in Ottawa, Jervis-Taylor and her husband settled in the Chestermere before moving to Okotoks three years ago.
Her time in southwestern Ontario working with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats and their legendary owner Harold Ballard is what she credits for getting her back to life.
“I want to help people in the community, I’m really a big community person,” she said. “Because it was the community and Harold Ballard and the Hamilton Ticats that save my life after I was killed.”
After her accident, Jervis-Taylor, a star ringette player at the time in the community, had a benefit match with the Ticats arranged for her to help with her medical expenses.
“That game I attended in a wheelchair, I was never supposed to walk again, never supposed to talk,” she said. “I managed to mumble into a mic ‘thanks, guys.’ They gave me a cheque for 515 dollars and that team changed my life.”
From there, she was able to form a bond with the CFL team who encouraged her back to health and to start slowly but surely walking again while she spent time on the field with the players. Jervis-Taylor said she helped out the Ticats defensive coaches from 1984-91.
“A lot of the guys became like big bothers to me, like family,” she said. “It gave me a purpose, a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging and a sense of being needed.”
Now she hopes to pay it forward and give that back to the community.
Jervis-Taylor, who has an applied nutrition service diploma, will offer services dealing will education pieces such as grocery store tours, instructions on how to properly understand food labels, how to understand what nutrients are needed, how to build up metabolism with vitamins.
“I want to get people to realize you have a purpose, don’t give up, there’s a reason for your life,” she said. “Sure things get hard, but you can get through them with God.”
For more information find Feed Your Hunger on Facebook at Amy Eats Intuitively or contact firstname.lastname@example.org