During her career in banking, Jessica Mitton loved helping people get a handle on one of the most crucial aspects of their lives.
When the Cow Head native’s health became an issue, it quickly became apparent what topped her own priority list and it wasn’t her or anyone else’s finances.
A series of digestive issues, which in turn led to stress and anxiety about what was wrong, eventually resulted in the removal of a massive uterine fibroid tumour — and her uterus along with it.
Before long, she was hell-bent on making some sweeping life changes, including a change in eating habits and a new career focus. What started out as a quest to find a way to eat better led Mitton to pursuing certification as a holistic nutritional consultant and a culinary nutrition expert.
The key, she said, is finding what foods are best for each particular person.
“Once you find something that works, or the right foods for your body, and you notice a huge shift, you feel 100 per cent better and you want to do more of it,” she said.
For some people, that may simply mean drinking more water, she noted. For others, it might include cutting out gluten or dairy products from their diet.
Sugar, which is found in more products that most people realize, is another culprit that causes people health problems when consumed in excessive quantities.
Since turning her own life around, Mitton has developed a program aimed at helping others find out how they can treat their bodies better with the food they eat. Besides her website and blog, she has been featured in a number of publications focused on health and nutrition and has been a guest presenter and demonstrator at nutrition events.
She is now preparing for the release of her own cookbook. Titled “Some Good Cookbook” and to be published by Breakwater Books this June, the cookbook will feature recipes for traditional Newfoundland and Labrador dishes prepared in a healthier fashion.
For instance, there is her favorite, a dairy-free creamy chowder, as well as a healthy battered codfish recipe.
“They are all made using healthy ingredients prepared in a way that doesn’t cause many issues in the body,” she said.
The book also chronicles Mitton’s own personal story and explores Newfoundland and Labrador’s historical relationship with food.
She first thought about the idea of the cook book around five years ago and kept picking away at the recipes until she was ready to approach a publisher.
The online presence and the book, not to mention her own health, aren’t the only signs Mitton is on the right track. She was recently named one of the eight nominees for the 2018 Danielle Perreault Trailblazer Award by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
The award is given to a recent graduate of the holistic nutrition consultant program who has demonstrated overwhelming enthusiasm, involvement and commitment to the holistic nutrition industry. The award winner will be named during the 11th annual Canadian Holistic Nutrition Conference.
The conference will be simultaneously held in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver and will also be streamed online in an interactive feed. Mitton will be participating in the conference online from St. John’s.
“This is a really great opportunity and I’m super excited and honoured to be nominated with some amazing holistic nutrition consultants,” she said.
Recipe from the “Some Good Cookbook”
By Jessica Mitton
Battered Baked Cod
When you think of the most common Newfoundland dishes, battered codfish with fries will never be far from the top of the list. This time-tested pairing is as popular with locals as it is with visiting tourists, and undoubtedly delicious. What does one do when faced with the task of reimagining such an engrained staple? I wanted to maintain the taste and texture as much as possible, while getting away from the traditional deep-frying methods, which unfortunately soak the fish with rancid fats that are no good for our health. I’m so pleased with the result, which is pure and delicious. This battered baked cod still has that trademark crispy batter, with none of those nasty fats, and added doses of fibre and flavour!
Yields: 2 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 24 minutes
2 cod fillets
¼ cup brown rice flour
½ cup almond flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pat dry fish with paper towel.
Sprinkle brown rice flour on a small plate, whisk egg in a bowl and sprinkle almond flour on another plate.
Thoroughly combine salt and pepper in with almond flour.
Roll fish in brown rice flour, dip into egg and then into almond flour.
Place fish in baking dish and drizzle with oil.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, broil the fish for 4 minutes or until golden brown.
Source: “Some Good Cookbook” by Jessica Mitton