Keynotes & Workshops

“If you have a chance to see Liz – DO IT!  If she came back tomorrow I’d see her again in a heartbeat.”                          

Simcoe Board of Education

Nutrition Keynotes & Workshops

 

Liz Pearson is an award-winning, professional speaker who presents regularly to corporations, associations, health professionals, educators, parents, and students across North America.  Her audience size varies from very large conventions to small, intimate groups.  Keynote presentations, half-day presentations, and full-day workshops are all options.  Clients refer to Liz’s talks as “engaging, informative, insightful, practical, inspiring, and fun”.  Full references can be provided upon request.

Click here for a list of past clients.

Click here for testimonials from past clients.

 

Below are outlines of Liz’s most requested presentations.  All presentations are customized to best meet client needs.

Eating For Optimal Health:  The Power of Food

Hundreds of years ago, Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  Today, researchers report that “a poor diet generates a bigger disease burden than tobacco, alcohol, and physical inactivity combined”.  What we eat impacts everything – our productivity and energy levels, the strength of our immune system, our ability to maintain a healthy body weight, how fast we age, how long we live, and even how soundly we sleep at night.  Food choice determines our risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.  It affects our mental health, including our ability to think and learn, and whether we feel anxious or depressed.  Every single aspect of our well-being, along with our overall quality of life, is influenced by food intake.  Choosing wisely, however, isn’t easy.   Lifestyles are busy, and our food environment is toxic.  Highly processed foods, which bombard us at every turn, are lacking in nutrition, and loaded with sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.  These foods cause disease and increase waistlines.  Ever-changing and contradicting, nutrition headlines, make it equally challenging to make sense of what you should or shouldn’t eat.  Getting to the truth really matters.

Bottom line:  This entertaining, science-based, and inspiring presentation is about choosing nutritious, disease-fighting, all-star foods and minimizing your intake of dietary villains so that you can live the happiest, healthiest life possible.  It’s about “letting food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Information included in this presentation:

  • Identify which foods provide all-star health protection, including specific cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, berries, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and whole grains, along with recommended intakes
  • Appreciate how your food intake affects your microbiome, which affects every aspect of your health and well-being
  • Recognize how much is too much when it comes to sugar, salt, red meat, and highly processed foods
  • Learn how highly palatable, ultra-processed foods light up reward pathways in the brain, cause over-consumption, and harm health
  • Get clarification on common food myths and misconceptions, including: gluten, vitamin supplements, red wine, juice cleanses, probiotics, sugar alternatives, coffee, vegan diets, coconut oil, and more
  • Understand how powerfully the food environment influences food intake, including advertising, availability, processing, and portion sizes
  • Realize how significantly lack of sleep affects appetite and body weight
  • Receive great advice on healthy eating (and snacking!) on the run, whether at home or at work
  • Discover what the science says not just about losing weight, but more importantly, keeping it off
  • Get great tips on feeding your family well

Eating For Optimal Mental Health & Happiness

The two most common psychological disorders in the world are depression and anxiety.  Their impact on happiness and well-being is tremendous.  The World Health Organization ranks depression, as the single largest contributor to disability worldwide (ahead of other widely publicized candidates, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes).  Anxiety follows not far behind.  Although all mental health disorders are extremely complex in their causation, a compelling and growing body of research says diet plays a significant role in their prevention and treatment.  Certain nutrients and dietary patterns promote a healthy brain, as well as a healthy gut microbiome – both of which are critical to mental well-being.  In contrast, a lack of specific nutrients and an excess of unhealthy, processed foods compromise mental health.

Bottom line:  This research-based, informative, and life-enhancing presentation is about eating for optimal happiness, while reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.

Information included in this presentation:

  • Understand how food choice impacts brain health, including cell growth, cell damage, connectivity, plasticity (the ability of the brain to change), free radical production, and inflammation
  • Learn how specific nutrients affect the production of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the body, like serotonin, that influence mood
  • Understand how a high-fibre diet promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which is critical for good mental health
  • Appreciate the importance of specific nutrients for optimal well-being, including omega-3 fats, polyphenols, zinc, folate, vitamin B12, and more
  • Learn why the Mediterranean diet – rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, and whole grains – may be your best defense against depression
  • Realize why certain antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, such as curcumin, are considered natural anti-depressants
  • Learn how beverage choice affects your mental health, including water, coffee, tea, sugary drinks, and alcohol
  • Understand why ultra-processed foods, especially those high in sugar, are particularly harmful to brain health, gut health, and happiness

Food, Body Image & Mental Health

“Perhaps the most intimate relationship each of us will ever have is not with any fellow member of our own human species. Instead, it is between our bodies and our food.”

Mariette DiChristina, Editor, Scientific American

One of the greatest factors influencing our relationship with food, is the relationship we have with our bodies and ourselves. In our current media environment, including the ever-increasing presence of social media, the vast majority of females and an increasing number of males, suffer from significant body dissatisfaction.  Family and friends, often unknowingly, contribute to the problem.  More importantly, the psychological distress caused by body dissatisfaction is often overlooked and underestimated.  This includes low self-esteem, profound shame, deep depression, and severed relationships.  Body dissatisfaction is also the strongest predictor of disordered eating and eating disorder development and maintenance.  Our current food landscape – characterized by easily accessible, highly palatable, ultra-processed foods – only exacerbates the problem.

Bottom line:  This informative, highly relevant, and thought-provoking presentation is about helping individuals and society develop healthier relationships with their bodies, with themselves, and with food.

Information included in this presentation:    

  • Recognize the direct and harsh impact of media consumption on body image – the more media we consume, the more we hate our bodies
  • Appreciate how the digital retouching of photos vastly changes the standard we measure our bodies against – absolute flawlessness
  • Learn how mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends promote body dissatisfaction, and what can and should be done differently
  • Realize that weight-based criticism, teasing, and bullying, leads to severe self-criticism and self-hate
  • Recognize that adolescence is an especially fragile time when it comes to body image and “fitting in”
  • Learn how “fat talk” and “body checking” reinforce body dissatisfaction, including internalization of the “thin ideal” for females
  • Understand that male body-image problems, which are on the rise, often come disguised as health and fitness goals, frequently involving the excessive use of body-building supplements
  • Recognize that social media encourages an obsession with physical appearance and a constant comparison to others, and may triple the risk of disordered eating
  • Learn why parents should focus on their child’s habits and health, but not their body weight
  • Appreciate that stable families with strong relationships are critical to the well-being of children (safe emotional attachments provide insulation in a wounding world)
  • Understand that children never outgrow their need for validation and the need to be seen and accepted in all their vulnerable places
  • Learn how family meals create healthier, happier relationships with food and each other, and why they deserve to be a top priority in every home
  • Appreciate that kids who can successfully regulate and manage their emotions are at a significantly lower risk of disordered eating
  • Learn how lack of sleep influences food intake and doubles the risk of becoming overweight or obese
  • Recognize how strongly dieting and meal skipping are linked to weight gain and disordered eating, and why they should not be tolerated
  • Discover how mindfulness, silencing the inner critic, and practicing self-compassion, are critical to healing unhealthy relationships with food, our bodies, and ourselves

Please note:  In addition to my nutrition degree, I’ve recently completed training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (University of Toronto) and Emotion Focused Therapy (York University), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (The Centre for Mindfulness Studies) and Self-Compassion (with Kristen Neff, PhD).

Dental Expert

Liz is well known and highly respected in the dental field.  She regularly presents customized programs to dental health professionals.

Health & Wellness Programs

More and more companies are developing Health and Wellness programs. I can assist with both the development and delivery of the program. Healthier employees are good for the bottom line. They’re happier, more productive, miss work less often, and result in lower health care costs. A good wellness program also significantly increases employee satisfaction and lowers employee turnover.

Weekend Retreats

Retreats are the ultimate environment for lasting and meaningful change.  Clients can hire me for one or two day weekend (or weekday) retreats. Large or small groups can be accommodated. Clients choose the location (I can help). It should be surrounded by nature and have access to plenty of hiking trails and other outdoor activities. The retreat includes nutrition lectures, cooking demos, great food, meditation, hiking, dancing, fit breaks, life lessons, and more.

 

I have been a long-term member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, the Global Speakers Federation and Toastmasters International.

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