Alumni Team

Our mission is to establish CSNNAA as the starting point for CSNN graduates. Through community, information and partnership we endeavor to support, encourage and guide all Holistic Nutritional Consultants to achieving success in their chosen path within the industry.
Michelle Weir
Michelle Weir

Acting President and Vice President & Secretary, Board of Director

Michelle Weir, Registered Holistic Nutritionist™, graduated with Honours from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) and was the recipient of the “Award of Excellence”. Michelle has also earned her certification in Nutritional Live Blood Cell Microscopy. In addition, Michelle has a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree with a major in Human Nutrition (Administrative Dietetics) from the University of Guelph.

It was her own health issues that led Michelle back, full circle, to her early schooling in nutrition education, but this time embracing the Holistic arena. Michelle has successfully grown her clinical practice with a primary focus on digestive issues (i.e. Candida, parasites, allergies, skin issues), detoxification protocols, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Nutritional live blood cell microscopy is a tool she uses to help motivate clients, identify nutritional imbalances and assist in monitoring their progress. Michelle practises in midtown Toronto and also teaches for CSNN. For more information on Michelle visit her website at

Pat Farouk
Pat Farouk

Treasurer, Board of Director

Pat enjoyed a successful 25 year career at one of Canada’s top five chartered banks where she held several roles in the banking industry including general branch management with specialization in small to medium sized businesses and private banking management. She also earned the designation as a Certified Financial Planner. Patricia decided that it was time to leave the corporate world to focus on hers and her family’s health

Pat graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2007. Since then, she has helped many clients and family members with various health issues. She incorporates health and lifestyle education as the cornerstone in consultations with clients.

Pat is the Treasurer and a Board member of the CSNN Alumni Association. Her transferable skills, which include, leadership, problem solving, sales and marketing, negotiation, dealing with difficult situations, client satisfaction, risk management and interpersonal skills plays well to her dual role at the Alumni.

Pat is a lifelong learner. She is dedicated to her family and is most proud of her role as a mother to her only son, as well as taking in several nieces, nephews and International students through the International Rotary exchange program to assist in their higher education.

She loves reading, music and dancing, prefers rebounding to belonging to a gym, and enjoys contemplating nature, from the comfort of her family room Pat’s personal motto is “To live, to love, to learn and to leave a ‘legacy’”.

Mirna Sharafeddine
Karen Gilman

Digital Marketing & Events Manager

Karen’s interest in plant-based eating began in her 20s with her decision to stop eating meat. This lifestyle change and the subsequent birth of her daughters inspired her to complete the Diploma in Natural Nutrition in 2011. Karen brings to the Alumni team two decades of experience in brand marketing.

When not working on Alumni projects, you can find Karen writing about vegetarian living at, running workshops, developing recipes and blogging for some of her favourite brands.

Mirna Sharafeddine
Kelsey Reidl

Social Media Manager

With 10+ years working in the Sales & Marketing Industry, Kelsey has been part of the massive evolution of the online world. She has seen & experienced first handedly the positive impact that Social Media has had on her business, and that of her clients… while also recognizing that creating a memorable experience offline is irreplaceable. For this reason, Kelsey’s work always ties in time-honoured principles of building relationships alongside innovative online strategies.

Kelsey lives in Toronto with her husband and rescue pup, Abby. She loves to explore the world in search of the best coffee shops, the most stunning nature, and the wildest experiences (sleeping in the Sahara desert, back country snowboarding & jumping through canyons are some of her favourite adventures, to date).


Elena Pintilie
Elena Pintilie

Administrative Assistant

Elena Pintilie, R.H.N., graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) in the fall of 2013. She is passionate about healthy living, using foods\herbs to re-claim and maintain health, as well as restoring harmony in body, mind and soul. To complement her holistic nutrition diploma​, she is currently studying Clinical Herbalism, and is also a Board Director and student member of the Ontario Herbalists Association.

Advisory Committee


Kate McLaughlin

Vancouver, British Columbia

Kate McLaughlin has over 10 years’ experience in the communications and marketing sectors, working for large scale companies in the UK and Canada. Her fascination with the workings of the human body and the idea that food has a direct correlation with how our bodies can function and thrive (or decline in some cases) brought her to CSNN where she graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in 2011. Kate has since become a mother to two small children and is passionate about pediatric and family nutrition.

Currently, Kate is the Communications Manager at the CSNN Vancouver branch. Some of her many roles include organizing the monthly networking events, writing the monthly newsletters and manning the social media accounts. Kate also owns her own handmade products business and volunteers with local organizations such as Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks.

In Kate’s spare moments you will find her playing games with her kids, on a long run with the dog, or at the local farmer’s market with her family.


Lisa Tsakos

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Even with almost 20 years experience in the field of holistic nutrition, Lisa Tsakos has never had a dull career moment. Having had various roles within the industry, most of her work has focused on education, corporate nutrition and writing. Lisa has taught and written courses for CSNN, Centennial College, and the Transformational Arts College among others. Her business, Nu-Vitality Health & Wellness, has launched successful careers for many RHNs across Canada. She authored The Weight Battlefield and a cookbook, and co-authored Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks, along with a series of e-books.

Today, Lisa organizes and presents nutrition seminars at companies across Canada and writes web-based educational programs. Her most important role, however, is incorporating nutrition principles she has learned and taught over the years to raise her two toddlers.

Lisa is thrilled to represent the CSNNAA in the Maritimes. She looks forward to connecting, supporting and mentoring Alumni to build our reputation and to generate work opportunities throughout the East Coast.


Shonda Holt

Edmonton, Alberta

Shonda Holt graduated in 1991 from Selkirk College with a diploma in nursing. She practiced as an RN in the United States for 12 years with experience in cardiac, emergency room, recovery room, wound care. She moved back Canada and continued her career, as a nursing instructor at Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and most recently was the Program Manager for Clinical Accreditation at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.

She began her own healing journey approximately 4 years ago; using nutrition to lose weight, improve energy, decrease brain fog, balance blood sugars and balance hormones. It was so life changing that she decided to change the focus of her career. She graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2014 and is excited to open her private practice as a Holistic Nutritionist. She is passionate about lifelong learning and continues her studies through the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology. Her passion is to walk alongside her clients and provide support and education that will empower them to have an abundant life.

She was once told that her name means “helper of mankind” and she truly feels that is her purpose.

Melody Byblow

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Melody Byblow’s former career was in marketing, communications, product development and strategic initiatives, working for advertising agencies and a finance company in Toronto for nearly 20 years. It was her own chronic pain issues becoming debilitating over 10+ years that led her to pursue education at CSNN (graduated 2010). The healing benefits and progress she found with her fibromyalgia were so remarkable, she decided to leave the corporate world and pursue entrepreneurial life as a holistic nutritionist.

In her private practice, Melody coaches individuals to detoxify their daily routines, environment and food to support improvements in autoimmune issues, adrenal fatigue and other health challenges. She also is a Certified Master Workplace Wellness Ambassador and a Stressmaster International Associate. Melody enjoys public speaking and looks for opportunities to educate and empower people to take control of their health.

She has recently relocated to Saskatoon to be closer to family and to launch her businesses there. Melody is very much looking forward to connecting with CSNN grads in Saskatchewan.

Melody also has a caregiver support role with her parents’ health challenges now. She has become a member of the Parkinson’s Support Group in Saskatoon, and has offered nutrition education opportunities for members. She will also continue to work with NHPPA (Natural Health Product Protection Association and its mission to have the Charter of Health Freedom become Canadian law.

Stephanie Long

Victoria, British Columbia

Stephanie is a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and expanded her studies to receive culinary certification from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition in 2015.  With a passion for community building, Stephanie became a course instructor at CSNN Edmonton in 2015 and co-founded a local networking group for Holistic Nutrition professionals that grew to over 200 members. Her practice maintains a balance between supporting one-on-one nutrition clients and supporting nutrition graduates in their businesses. As an outlet to foster community and growth for practitioners, she co-founded The Health Collective YEG which is a wellness-based workshop space in Edmonton.

A newcomer to Vancouver Island, Stephanie hopes to continue to grow her business supporting nutrition clients and nutritionists in her community. With a special focus on intuitive eating, mindset shifts, and success coaching for wellness entrepreneurs, she hopes to provide a holistic approach to all of her clients that encompasses mind, body and spirit.


Leslie Dickie

Calgary, Alberta

Leslie Dickie is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant™; earned her designation from CSNN Calgary in 2016. She brings a unique combination of academic knowledge to this industry with a B.A. in Leisure, Tourism & Society, as well as Marketing Management from the University of Calgary. In addition, Leslie has her Personal Fitness Trainer diploma from Mount Royal University, and has held additional certifications as a Fitness Professional with AFLCA and CAN-FIT-PRO. Leslie has worked in the hospitality and tourism industry in sales & marketing, event planning, customer service training and management.

On a personal level, she has managed Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and various food sensitivities through most of her life. Leslie conducts ongoing research on food and supplement products, leading-edge technologies, and management protocols to uncover the best solutions for herself and others, while making connections with sources in the community, and accumulating a collection of reliable, science-based resources that she is passionate about sharing. Leslie is the proud mom of two accomplished young adults. Leslie enjoys traveling, outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, cycling, golf, dog walking), cooking, recipe makeovers, and reading.