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You feel what you eat, says local neurological nutritionist

Don't discount the importance of a well-balanced diet with lots of good food, explains local neurological nutritionist Katrina Breau.


From Shadows to Light: A Whole Human Approach to Mental Health

Compiled by Olivia Kachman

138 pages

Published by Heather Andrews of

$6.97 for the Kindle version


'Eat well, be well' might be the simplified version of Katrina Breau's message.

The local author, speaker and neurological nutritionist explained at length that the best aid to combat the numerous negative circumstances of her life – what she calls a "layering of adverse childhood traumas" that put her into a "swirling drain of depression" – was taking a good long look at what she was eating. Good food is indeed good medicine, she averred.

"When I went into nutrition, I didn't want to become a dietitian. I wasn't thinking about any type of job at all. I was looking for answers for healing my own health journey at the time," Breau said, noting mental health doesn't have to be a journey we walk alone.

With Saturday being World Mental Health Day, the brain health and life coach behind came forward to explain the importance of good nutrition to combating stress, depression, anxiety and a variety of other recognized disorders and diseases. You can help yourself by taking care of yourself.

Understanding the best way to get good nutrients through the blood-brain barrier was a powerful addition to her toolbox, she noted.

"Over my lifetime, as the family finances changed, so did the quality of food," she said, pointing out the inverse relationship between the quality of food and mental health. "Those nutrients that were needed by the brain for emotional stability and also really controlling the moods ... it's really hard to have quality mental health when you're living on Ichiban noodles and Kraft Dinner.

"Many people don't realize that there are amazing programs available for them to get good quality nutrient food on pennies on the dollar, and it's not just the food bank."

She also suggested community gardens or other collaborative potluck efforts where people share cooking responsibilities.  

Getting good nutrition is also one of the best ways to empower yourself, she added.

Breau is one of the featured contributors to a new book called From Shadows to Light: A Whole Human Approach to Mental Health. The book, compiled by Olivia Kachman, includes a group of authors who share the stories of their journeys of rising up out of despair, adversity and painful circumstances by using the supports and resources that they discovered along the way for others to place in their own toolbox.

The funds generated from the sales of the book will be donated to the Alberta Mental Health Association.

"As the contributing author from St. Albert I would love for those in need of a mental lift to reach out knowing we are here for them and that they are not alone on this journey," she added.

Copies of the book can be ordered from her website.

Breau is also one of the 30-plus contributors to Business, Life and the Universe, a book filled with people's personal stories of overcoming adversity. The paperback version is available on for $20.

Read more from

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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