Nutrition expert and author shares her life’s journey

More on her menu than modelling and a chiropractor’s certification

If her house caught on fire, Dr. Joey Shulman would make sure to grab her loved ones, her photo albums, and the portable computer containing the manuscripts of her three books.

Dr. Joey Shulman is one of Canada’s leading experts on nutrition and wellness, as well as the author of three books.

“A book is a baby. It’s a lot of work, and you become very attached to it. You care a lot about it,” Dr. Shulman says. “And the fact that The Last 15 has been the number one book in Canada for more than three months is very exciting for me.”

Dr. Shulman, 37, is the author of Winning the Food Fight: Every Parentís Guide to Raising a Healthy, Happy Child (2003), The Natural Makeover Diet: A 4-step Program to Looking and Feeling Your Best from the Inside and Out (2006), and The Last 15: A Weight Loss Breakthrough (2008).

Not only does she help many Canadians fight the tough battle against unhealthy fat through her dieting books, but she also offers a variety of programs at the Shulman Weight Loss Clinic (SWLC).

Margaret Ure, 50, of Toronto says that she thought “losing weight was impossible.”

“I’d been trying [to lose weight] for months with no luck. I went to one of Dr. Shulman’s seminars, and what she said made a lot of sense,” Ure says. “So I bought her book, and I’m happy to report I’m down 15 pounds after 30 days.”

It’s a challenge to shed those last 15 pounds because an individual’s metabolism has a “mind” of its own, according to Dr. Shulman. She explains the body usually gets used to whatever eating plan and exercise routine it’s involved in.

“You need to change your pattern and trick your metabolism into thinking it’s doing something different so you can lose those last few pounds,” Dr. Shulman says.

Robin Townsend, 42, of Toronto confesses she cannot count how many authors and diet companies have emptied her wallet over the past several years.

“I feel like I’m the person they named the term ‘yo-yo diet’ after. Since reading The Last 15, I’ve finally gotten the answers I’ve been looking for,” says Townsend, who has lost eight pounds in the past two weeks. “I have more energy than I’ve had in years, and for once, I feel like someone has told me the truth about food.”

Dr. Shulman’s second book,
The Natural Makeover (2006),
describes a safe, natural, and
easy-to-follow dieting program.

When Torontonian Carl Johnson, 45, bought Dr. Shulman’s second book The Natural Makeover for his wife Linda, he says he was pleasantly shocked by the results.

“Linda has tried every diet out there, and has always gotten the same failing results,” Johnson says. “But everything Dr. Shulman writes about in her book is clear and easy to understand.”

Johnson says that, after reading Dr. Shulman’s dieting book, his wife now understands a lot more about nutrition and about what she was doing wrong before.

“After three weeks, she has lost a lot of weight. I’m not allowed to say how much, she’d kill me,” Johnson says, jokingly. “She has more energy, feels better, and her skin looks like it did when we were dating.”

As one of the country’s leading health experts and nutritionists, Dr. Shulman says she really cares about her patients’ weight loss success.

“I really get invested in how people do in my practice, so I think they can feel that,” Dr. Shulman explains. “My dad taught me that if you take care of your practice, your practice takes care of itself.”

But she also admits that after doing a public talk, she feels as if she’s just returned from working out at the gym.

“My energy has to stay really high to keep [people] engaged and to make sure they’re having fun,” Dr. Shulman says. “If they’ve taken the time to show up and to hear what I have to say, I’m humbled by that. That’s unbelievable to me.”

Not only does Dr. Shulman try to ensure that her clients are satisfied, but she says she can personally relate to how they feel throughout their weight loss process.

“I gained 70 pounds when I was pregnant with my son. I didn’t love being pregnant at all because I gained all this weight and I was used to being thin,” Dr. Shulman recalls. “But it’s the best thing that ever happened to me because I know what it feels like to be on the other side. It’s important that I walk the walk.”

Dr. Shulman says she longed to have a career in nutrition from a young age.

“I was so passionate about nutrition that when the spotlight came along, I didn’t shy away,” says Dr. Shulman, who has a four-year-old son named Jonah with her husband Randy Taylor, a former CFRB host.

But even though nutrition was her first love, she attempted other professions before practising what she truly enjoyed.

Following a short-lived career with the Elmer Olsen modelling agency, Dr. Shulman enrolled in the psychology program at Concordia University. After graduating from post-secondary school, she also received her chiropractic degree from Toronto’s Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

Still, her passion for nutrition would not go away. At age 28, Dr. Shulman told her parents she no longer wanted to be a chiropractor.

“I didn’t have any money and I had to move back home, which is not a fun thing to do when you’re 28 years old. So I started climbing from there,” says Dr. Shulman, who is now a registered nutritionist.

After several years of climbing the ladder to success, some of Dr. Shulman’s clients include Nike, Cadbury and Nesbitt Burns. But these big names do not compare to her greatest challenge yet: feeding her son Jonah.

“God played a trick on me. He said, ‘You wrote a book on pediatric nutrition and how to feed your kids properly, and boom! I’m going to give you the pickiest eater ever.’ And I was given Jonah,” says Dr. Shulman, with more than a hint of frustration in her voice.

The SWLC had its grand opening at the beginning of April 2008 in Thornhill, Ontario. Dr. Shulman also boasts another clinic location in London, Ontario.

According to her, the SWLC focuses on hormonal balance and quality calories.

“There’s clear research proving that sustained weight loss results are based on more than a ‘calories in, calories out’ approach,” Dr. Shulman explains.

She says her clinic offers personalized programs, which call attention to long-term hormonal balance and health.

“People are very confused about how to lose weight, and they want to see people like myself, nutritionists, and medical doctors one-on-one. So that’s what the clinic is focused on.”

And where does Dr. Shulman see herself in the next five years?

“I see the Shulman Weight Loss Clinic being in one more location. I also see a couple of more books, and hopefully another baby. I’m just chugging along, and I love my life.”