“Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from White Kennedy LLP Chartered Accountants”
Raina Dawn Lutz is dedicated to changing the way people in the Okanagan Valley eat. As one of the valley’s two Registered Holistic Nutritionists, Raina’s goal is to bring traditional food back to the homes of Okanagan residents. She achieves this by running frequent lectures and workshops and in some instances “refrigerator raiding” interventions to highlight the health benefits of eating traditional food, by getting people to “see their food differently, be more aware of processed foods, encouraging more local foods and connect them with local food.”
Raina see challenges in particular with how young girls struggle with their emotional eating habits, often tying in their food choices to body image and/or self-esteem issues. Helping them overcome these challenges is another goal dear to Raina’s heart. As a result, Raina is currently involved in the Get Bent Active Arts Society programs dedicated to providing youth with positive body image and self-esteem, as part of the 2013/2014 Esteem Team, Raina works with secondary students on creating anti-bullying and self-esteem building workshops across the Okanagan and Kootenays. Raina also volunteers teaching nutrition at the Get Bent Arts and Recreation Annual Advanced Dance camps where she is able to reach young girls and help them foster healthy relationships with food and body image.
Inspired by everybody around her, Raina has a very deep sense of community, which to her includes “strangers on the street, everyone beside you in your fitness classes, the other folks in the grocery store, your close knot friends and your family.” By drawing inspiration essentially from everyone she interacts with, Raina is very well attuned to current trends in nutrition and eating. Raina is also inspired by tradition, from learning from our elders about traditional foods and traditional food preservation practices. “There’s something very special about shredding cabbage like great grandmothers in the early 1900’s, or fermenting tea like some of our ancestors. It’s slightly magical.”
As a vocal proponent of the health benefits of incorporating traditional foods into your diet, Raina can be heard co-hosting Mondays with Dennis Walker on SoCountry.ca, Penticton’s very own Internet radio promoting local events, where Raina shares tips on yoga, health, music, recipes and nutrition. Prior to getting involved with Holistic Nutrition, Raina was inspired to become a broadcast journalist. Co-hosting the program on So Country happens to happily marry her past career dream with her present career by “speaking about nutrition and my life-with a few good laughs thrown in”.
Despite being nominated for Top Nutritionist in the Okanagan by Natural Health Care’s Best of Canada 2013, Raina’s proudest achievements is from the positive word of mouth from happy and healthy clients.
Having taken the risk of building her business from the ground up after returning to the Okanagan after leaving to Vancouver for schooling, Raina understands challenges facing new business start-ups and burgeoning entrepreneurs but has the following words or encouragement:
“Do you believe in it? Dos it serve others? It will work if you put the time and resources in motion. It’s terrifying to take certain steps and risk, but it’ll be worth it. As clichéd as it sounds – build it and they will come! We are moving to a period where so many people want to go into business for themselves. Be open to bartering – entrepreneurs need to feed off each other and support each other, luckily that’s one thing Penticton really has going for it. There’s little competition and much community. Offer your help and always be grateful for advice from others.”
For more information on the Penticton Top 40 Under 40, including how to nominate someone click here.