Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you so much for visiting and supporting my blog, Nutrition in the Kitch. I am a certified nutrition professional with a passion for…you guessed it, nutrition! I love to create nourishing dishes that make me feel good from the inside out, and I love even more to share these delicious dishes with others! That’s where you come in – the reader. This blog just wouldn’t be the same without you! I’ve had many Nutrition in the Kitch readers contact me over the years with questions, and I wanted to create a place on the blog with answers to those questions – so here you will find out a little more about me, my job, the blog, and life as the Nutrition in the Kitch.

Frequently Asked Questions:


I’ve had many Nutrition in the Kitch readers contact me over the years with questions, and I wanted to create a place on the blog with answers to those questions – so here you will find out a little more about me, my job, the blog, and life as the Nutrition in the Kitch.

Why did you start Nutrition in the Kitch? I’ve had the habit of snapping pictures of whatever I’m eating for quite some time, and I used to just post these pictures to Facebook. After plenty of different people suggested I just start a blog, I decided to go ahead and do it! It was the perfect way to share healthy meal ideas with others who wanted to know “what a Nutrition Expert eats”! This was the beginning of NITK – It’s so interesting to see how my blog has evolved since the beginning!

What is your mission for Nutrition in the Kitch? As a nutrition expert I understand how confusing the whole world of nutrition can seem to most. All these different diet fads – eat this, not that, never that, but wait.. actually eat this, no, not that anymore, now this! It’s always changing and it can seem overwhelming. My goal is to simplify it as much as possible by sharing recipes that are healthy with an explanation as to why they are healthy, and what benefits they provide! My mission is also to inspire people to get into their kitchens and cook! The idea of cooking can be daunting but I do my best to publish simple recipes (I love dishes that have minimal ingredients) that will get even the most novice of cooks excited to be in the best room of the house! I’ve had a lot of clients, friends, and acquaintances tell me about how one of my recipes began their love for cooking and sparked an excitement to be in the kitchen, and that alone is unbelievably rewarding!

What is the Nutrition in the Kitch food philosophy? Hmmm…If I could sum this up into just a few words: simple, whole, and balanced. It’s been quite the journey for me over the years – I’ve come from eating crappy foods almost all the time (in my teen years and early 20’s) to becoming a lot more aware of what fueled me (when I started in the nutrition field), to getting a little obsessive about healthy eating, in a not so great way … to now, finding a place of balance and openness. I’ve learnt that, well, I will always be learning, there is always new research, new discoveries, and new perspectives on nutrition, so I try to look at every eating philosophy with an open mind then through my own research and personal experience, decide if it’s something that fits my own philosophy. I believe in keeping food simple, and fresh, with minimal ingredients – whole and unrefined, resembling the way it came out of the earth … plant or animal, and I believe in balance – for me, this means once a week I go out with my hubby for a delicious and indulgent dinner, and a few glasses of wine. Or, once in a while I buy a tub of Coconut Bliss ice cream and eat it right out of the container with a spoon! Simple, whole, and balanced is the NITK philosophy.

Do you follow any one diet? 
Nope! As long as I practice my philosophy of simple, whole, and balanced, I’m happy. One thing, I do stick to however, is a dairy free diet, as I discovered a few years ago that I have a dairy allergy – dairy and me don’t go well together, so I just stay away from it – always.

Do you actually eat the dishes you create for the bog? I sure do! The recipes on my blog are always made right in my kitchen and end up right in my belly… and my hubby’s!

What foods should I be eating? This is a loaded question! I truly believe that everyone is biochemically unique, and no one diet fits all, therefore, it’s important to pay attention to how different foods affect you personally. I suggest people pay particular attention to how their body reacts dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, and eggs, as these are the most common offenders. Generally I recommend consuming plenty of fresh vegetables throughout the day, a variety of fruits (in season if possible!), raw nuts and seeds (allergies aside), a moderate amount of healthy fat sources like avocado, nuts/seeds, natural nut butters, coconut in all shapes and forms, and olive oil, as well as moderate amounts of organic meats (local if possible), wild fish, and free-range organic eggs (again, allergies aside), and small amounts of natural, unrefined sugars like dates, raw honey, pure maple syrup, and coconut palm sugar. When it comes to complex carbohydrates I recommend staying away from wheat products as they are generally over processed, and instead stick with unrefined grains like quinoa, brown rice, spelt (if your body tolerates gluten), millet, buckwheat, and oats!

What foods do you consider “bad”? Honestly, I don’t like to call foods “good” or “bad” as “bad” has negativity around it, and is often associated with deprivation. Rather, I believe certain foods should be moderated and respected for the effect they can have on the body, preferably eaten on rare occasions, without guilt or self-judgment. The foods that fall into this category are those containing refined sugars or grains, hydrogenated oils, additives, colorants, artificial flavors, MSG, and boxed or packaged products that tout “health claims” (an apple never had to defend that it was healthy, I find it fishy when packages are loaded with slogans and sayings about how healthy they are…). Again, this comes back to my philosophy of simple, whole, and balanced.

I want to change my eating for the better… where do I start? 
Doing a total diet overhaul can be overwhelming and challenging to say the least, it’s always best to start slow, and gradually change your habits. The all-or-nothing attitude typically doesn’t end well, change takes time, and so does your body to adjust. My recommendation is to start by reducing the intake of processed foods. Look in your fridge and pantry, and slowly start to phase out the use of processed and boxed products – when you prepare your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, aim to make your meal 80% whole foods – that means the components resemble how they came out of the earth – i.e. whole vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, rice, steel cut oats, whole chicken breast (not pre-cooked 20% meat protein chicken, the real thing!), eggs, fish, lemon, lime, dried herbs, sea salt, peppercorn etc. The less you consume food that has been processed, the less you will consume the additives, preservatives, refined sugars, and chemicals that come along with them! Once you feel you’ve got the hang of this, look at what you are drinking … cut out juices (unless freshly squeezed), soda, coffee, and black tea, and replace it with pure, fresh, simple water! 2-3 liters a day is ideal. Once you get here, give yourself a huge pat on the back because you’ve made a big change for the better, and you should definitely notice it in the way you feel! If you want more help with this, check out the e-books, guides, and programs I have in my shop!

What are your favorite food brands or kitchen products? 
Oh my, I have a lot! If you read through my posts you’ll see I work with many food and product brands. These are all brands I love and approve of! If you want to know specifics, just reach out to me!

What is your guilty food pleasure? … I love traditional French fries – I always steal some of the hubby’s at a restaurant when he orders them, or on occasion order a serving for myself! I also love dark chocolate – really dark 75% Chocolate – so delicious. Oh, and did I mention Coconut Bliss Ice Cream?!

I see you use protein powders, aren’t those bad for you? 
I get this one a lot. Here’s a biggie – Not all protein powders are created equal! They vary greatly in quality. It’s like comparing a fast food burger joint to Whole Foods with what you can get out there in terms of protein powders. My suggestion is to go plant-based by choosing a protein powder that has sprouted, organic proteins coming from plants like hemp, rice, quinoa, and pea. These powders should also be free of artificial flavors and refined sugars. One note on protein powders – they should be a supplement in your diet, that you have when you need an extra bit of easy protein, they shouldn’t become a daily staple to replace whole foods. I learnt this lesson the hard way by falling into the habit of consuming protein powder on a daily basis for a period of time, and it didn’t take my body long to develop an intolerance (leaving me with an unhappy tummy), so my suggestion is to vary your proteins and use the powders intermittently!

How can I really stick to eating healthy, I always try but it never seems to last? 
Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. Remember that if you want to make a change, it’s going to be a slow, steady process. Show yourself love – remember that nobody became an all-star athlete overnight; it takes practice, dedication, and mistakes along the way. When you fall of the wagon, dust yourself off, and get right back on, without making it an excuse to stay sitting in the ditch. We all have tough days (myself included), if you keep an open and positive mindset, fueled with self-love, the journey will be much easier, and much more enjoyable!

How do you stay accountable to eating healthy?

I don’t punish myself for my food choices and instead encourage myself to fuel my body well. Doing this helps me to maintain a healthy and happy relationship with food that keeps me accountable to about 75% healthy choices, and 25% a little more indulgent. This balance works really well for me, and I always pay attention to my self-talk to ensure that my internal conversations around food are positive and uplifting! It’s a journey and takes time and effort to develop this, but is very possible, for everyone, including you!

What is your day to day job like? It’s awesome! Really, I love my work, it’s almost not even like a job (most days! ;)). Over the years my work has evolved and includes a whole variety of tasks! I used to work with clients one-on-one to help them reach their health goals, but after I had my daughter I stepped back from consulting myself and now manage a team of nutrition professionals for my local consulting business, Pure & Simple Nutrition. My time is now dedicated to being a mama and the blog. I write posts and create recipes and photography for the blog. I’ve actually published two cookbooks over the years (see them in my shop!), and I work as a freelancer for many health and wellness brands, also as an ambassador! All of this keeps me busy, but not too busy, as I do my best to maintain a positive life/work balance.

How do I become a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant or get involved in the same field? It all depends on where you live! There are plenty of Universities, Colleges, and Accredited Vocational Schools that offer programs in Dietetics and Nutrition. The best advice I can give is to shop around and learn more about each program offered in your area. It would also be a good idea to contact a local Dietician or Nutritionist and ask them if you might be able to job shadow them for a day or two to get a more intimate look into the profession. Get involved in associations, clubs, or groups that revolve around nutrition to meet more like-minded people and other professionals already in the field! The world is your oyster!

What is the difference between a Dietician and a Nutritional Consultant, and which are you?  Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultants (C.H.N.C.’s) are granted their designation after completing a course of study in nutrition, varied in depth and length. I completed a demanding course of study along with case studies, subject-specific, board and oral examinations, and practicum hours, with a cumulative minimum average of 80% to graduate. C.H.N.C.’s must also abide by strict codes of ethics. This particular profession in Canada is currently not regulated so it is recommended to ask your potential Nutritional Consultant about their education, experience, and philosophy before deciding whether or not you would like to work with them.

Dieticians play an important role in the community, educating large groups of people, often working in hospitals and other health care institutions. They have completed their bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and an internship program to gain clinical experience in their chosen field of employment. Most Dieticians work in clinics, industry or institutions. Dieticians are regulated under the Regulated Health Practitioners Act. Although some Nutritionists are employed in clinics and by the food industry, most work in private practice. Dieticians follow general recommendations for food selection set out by the Canada Food Guide. While Nutritionists recognize and appreciate the Canada Food Guide, they typically use it as a reference tool for persons that are generally healthy and active without any health conditions or symptoms of ill health. Nutritional Practitioners, myself included, respect the education, training and expertise of Registered Dieticians. Because of the differences in their training, a Nutritional Practitioner will typically take a different approach (as compared with a Dietician) to nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. Nutritional Practitioners help their clients choose appropriate foods specific to their needs and sensitivities and provide other services with respect to this selection process. Dieticians have many other specific skills, especially in the areas of psychology and education. Some RD’s have even obtained a C.H.N. designation. I personally, as a Nutritional Practitioner, I welcome the opportunity of working with Dieticians (I have one on my team in fact!) and other Health Professionals for the good of my clients, and am not here to validate one profession over the other – we are all in it to help others discover optimal health through nutrition!

What do you do for exercise? I love the gym and working out outside! I love to run outdoors in the river valley and biking. When I’m at the gym I’m usually following the latest program that has peaked my interest, which always combines resistance training (weigh lifting) with different types of cardiovascular activity to get my heart rate up! 

What do you do in your spare time? I love to travel, exercise, watch movies, wine and dine with my hubby and friends, host friends/family at our home, curl up on the couch, and work on the blog of course! Also, very important to me is spending a little time each day with God, my heavenly Father, my strength, my peace… this would be the main, and most important time to me, my time with God which truly centres me and helps me to be a better, more compassionate person, friend, wife, and mama.

How can I work with you? I’m currently not taking clients for consulting as I focus on the blog and have a little one at home, but I do have a great team of nutrition professionals I work with who are taking clients. Check us out at Pure and Simple

How can I make sure I don’t miss any Nutrition in the Kitch posts? 
You can make sure you get every single new post in your email inbox by signing up for my Newsletter in the right hand sidebar! You can also unsubscribe anytime, no pressure!

Are you on any other social media? 
I sure am! At the top of the sidebar to your right you can find the links to all of my social media channels!

Have more questions? Reach out to me via the contact page to send your question! 



Disclaimer: This blog is intended as a personal place for me to share my own opinions, knowledge, ideas, and philosophy on health and nutrition! If you plan to make any changes to your diet or lifestyle according to what you’ve read on my site, please remember to take a common sense approach and use your judgment as well as getting the advice of your doctor if necessary! What works for me, may not work for you.

All rights reserved © 2012 Nutrition in the Kitch. Please do not share or post any of my recipes or content as your own or onto any other website without permission as well as direct links, shares, and credit to the source – Christal Sczebel from Nutrition in the Kitch.


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  • I’m looking at trying some of your Energy Ball recipes. One thing, a lot of them have shredded coconut in them. I’m not a fan of the texture or flavor. Is there a good replacement? Thanks!

    • Hi David, is there a particular recipe you are looking at making? If I know which one I can offer a suitable substitution suggestion!

      • Cocoa Crispy Rice is the one I think I was on when I went searching for an alternative to shredded coconut.

        And after skimming through all of them, I think that’s the only one with shredded coconut as a main ingredient I wanted to try.

        That said, if I find the coconut palm sugar, coconut oil, or coconut flour adds to much coconut flavor in other recipes, what could I switch with? For example, Cinnamon-Raisin or Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

        You do say you can switch with agave nectar for the coconut nectar.


        • Hi David, to be honest I don’t find the coconut flavour overpowering in the squares! You can use the agave nectar and use earth-balance or vegan butter as a coconut oil alternative as well, although they will firm up better with coconut oil!

  • I have been on a major avocado, egg, and sweet potato kick like no other. I’ve been eating avocado and sweet potato every day for weeks. Cant get enough!

    Anyhow, I searched “I eat avocado and sweet potato every day” and a few hits down was you. It really made me feel great about my nutritional choices when I saw my choices validated by your experience.

  • Hi Cristal,
    I discovered this site, FoodSniffr had posted a recipe and photo of mine without credit, or permission from me to do so. At the bottom of the post, a plain link was posted that said ‘Full Recipe Here’ that led to my site. But no credit was given on the FoodSniffr site itself.

    FoodSniffr also has extensive Pinterest boards with dozens of photos and links to their site without due credit to the bloggers who own that content. In searching through some of the boards, I came across this recipe from your site.

    I don’t know if this bothers you, but it bothered me. I asked them to remove my content and they did, but I got no response from them about it, nor an apology.

    Just thought you might like to know.

    Kate Selner
    Kate in the Kitchen, a blog of food and life

    • Hmmmph!! I can’t stand that! I don’t mind if sites share, but it’s the lack of permission that gets to me, and no credit too! THanks for letting me know!!