Robert Wilson-Smith, R.H.N.

Fundamentals I, Fundamentals II, Nutritional Symptomatology, Eco-Nutrition

My name is Robert and I teach Fundamentals of Nutrition I and Fundamentals of Nutrition II, as well as a special series of cooking classes. I have been a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ since 2011 as well as being a professional chef, having graduated from New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute in 2007. I have worked in some of Vancouver’s best known vegetarian, vegan, and raw food restaurants as well as at yoga retreats in Mexico and India. I am also a certified yoga teacher and have been fueled by a plant-based diet since 2000, so I believe that my love for the outdoors and concerns about the environment cannot be separated from my own health & wellness journey.

Taylor Gradinjan-Knapp


Hi! My name is Taylor Gradinjan-Knapp. I am the instructor for Anatomy and Physiology. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s Degree in Health Science from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. At this school I was also a part of the FGCU women’s basketball team and interned with the division 1 strength and conditioning coaches. Since graduating, I have worked for two major hospital systems in Southwest Florida: Naples Community Hospital and Lee Health. I have also been involved in private practice as an office manager for a functional medicine provider and chiropractor. Currently, I work as a health coach, a personal trainer, a group exercise instructor, and as a supervisor to a health club. My passion is learning and implementing all avenues of health and wellness including stress management, mindfulness, sleep, ancestral nutrition, and of course exercise.

Julie Nelson

Lead Student Advisor & Instructor, Nutritional Symptomatology

Hello, my name is Julie Nelson and I joined the CSNN Distance Education team in 2013 as an Academic Advisor. My introduction to holistic health came with my first job at a Chiropractic Clinic in Toronto. Researching for my monthly lectures, my passion for nutrition and natural health grew and eventually inspired me to seek out a higher education in the field. My husband and I moved to Florida, and after I had my two children, I was even more motivated to learn about alternative health care. I enrolled at Clayton College of Natural Health (Distance Education), and four years later (2005) I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition and a Family Herbalist Certificate. I got a job as a Holistic Nutritionist at a local health food store and discovered that my greatest joy was counselling individual clients on how to achieve optimal health through natural nutrition. When I returned to Canada, I was thrilled to be hired by CSNN’s Distance Education office which allows me to pursue my passion, educating students about Natural Nutrition.

Keyrsten McEwan, R.H.N.

Nutritional Symptomatology, Motivational Interviewing, Hormone Health, Pediatric, Introduction to Herbs

Keyrsten graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) in 2009. After over a decade of clinical experience at one of Vancouver’s first integrated medical clinics, established in 1984 – she’s developed a breadth of traditional and innovative skills in a professional and ground-breaking setting. As a senior instructor at CSNN, she now teaches several courses, including Nutritional Symptomatology, Allergies, Hormone Health, and Nutritional Literature Research. A former dancer and avid runner, Keyrsten prides herself on her healthy relationship with good food – and excellent wine – and on her involvement in local communities across the greater Vancouver area, where she often facilitates both public and corporate workshops on various nutrition and wellness focused topics.

Vida Shahriar, R.H.N.  J.D.

Fundamentals of Business & Nutritional Symptomatology

Vida is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist specializing in the gut-brain axis, with a dedicated focus on digestive and mental health. Driven by her passion for holistic wellness, she founded Simply Vida to support clients in identifying and addressing their unique health imbalances. Through customized, evidence-based nutrition 

and lifestyle protocols, Vida helps rebalance body systems, fostering overall well-being.

As an advocate for education and empowerment, Vida is deeply committed to educating clients and the community about the interconnectivity of their body systems. In addition to her expertise in nutrition, Vida is also a lawyer, encouraging her clients to become strong advocates for their own health. She firmly believes in the transformative power of lifestyle and dietary habits and understands their critical role in achieving optimal health.

Susan Scannell, R.H.N.

Nutritional Symptomatology. Body-Mind-Spirit I, Allergies

Hello, my name is Susan Scannell.

I joined the CSNN Distance Education team in 2011 as an Academic Advisor. I am the same as many of our students and always had a love for Holistic Health. I found myself seeking information to nourish my thirst for knowledge, which brought me to the Canadian School of Nutrition. My original background was 30 years in the Tech Industry, with a career at IBM. I retired in a Senior management role with a National Project Team. My career had also included development of training materials and coaching of staff, over the years, which I found very satisfying. While working at IBM, I registered at CSNN Toronto Branch (evening classes) and graduated in 2006 and became a Holistic Nutritionist. I started a part-time business called Wellness Intentions and worked with clients. I wanted to further educate myself on coaching and took other courses, including the Teachers Course at CSNN. This has brought me to the Distance Education Platform, and I enjoy working with students to ensure they can successfully complete their Program and become Designated, as a Holistic Nutritionist.

Lawrence (Larry) Mróz, PhD

Biochemistry & Epigenetics

I currently work in health research for the British Columbia Academic Health Science Network, where I bring patients and members of the public and health researchers together to work on patient-oriented research projects. I began my science career by earning a BSc in biology in 1985 and then an MSc in molecular biology in 1990, and worked in biomedical research for a decade afterwards. My career with CSNN began in 1996 when I first taught science classes at CSNN, and managed the Vancouver Branch from 1996-1999. After that I went on to complete a PhD in Human Nutrition at UBC in 2010, specializing in men’s diets and prostate cancer. I have taught several courses on nutrition and food choice behaviour in the UBC Human Nutrition program. I’ve held 3 post-doctoral fellowships in Canada and the UK and have published research in several academic journals including Social Science and Medicine, Appetite and Qualitative Health Research. I’m very excited to be back teaching science with CSNN as the Chemistry & Biochemistry – now called Biochemistry & Epigenetics – and Cellular Biology advisor. You can find me on Twitter: @DrMroz

Alla Makarova

Body-Mind-Spirit II, Pathology

Alla is a medical school graduate from Europe. She continued her postgraduate studies with the department of Immunology and worked as an attending physician, specializing in the treatment of allergies. The limitations of modern medicine (in its approaches especially to chronic conditions) led her to explore alternative methods of healing. Nutrition became one of the primary healing approaches not only for allergies but also for inflammatory and connective tissue diseases. Alla is also trained in TCM (Su Jok Acupuncture, Chronopuncture and Onnuri therapy) , Reiki, CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, Homeopathy and dietary approaches for severe chronic conditions. She has received medicine rites from the Algonquin and Peruvian shamans and travelled and taught internationally. Alla has more than 25 years of experience in the field of alternative medicine. At CSNN, Alla teaches Basic Sciences (Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cellular Biology), Pharmacology, Immunology and the Mind-Body-Spirit courses. Her passion is the Mind-Body-Spirit connection, and her goal is to bridge the gap between ancient healing techniques and modern science. Alla has a private healing practice in Ottawa.

Andrea Durst, R.H.N.

Nutritional Symptomatology, Aging, Research

Hello! My name is Andrea Durst.

I have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees in applied human nutrition from the University of Guelph in Ontario and Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia. I am fortunate to have had these education opportunities, however I lacked a holistic perspective towards nutrition and was finding it necessary to better understand the basics of natural, alive and good quality food. Therefore, I enrolled and completed the Natural Nutrition program in 2016. While I did come to CSNN with previous nutrition education, I was blown-away by how the simplicity of natural nutrition could so positively impact health and just how much more is ‘out there’ to know about food! Currently, I consult as a nutritionist and work at health food store in Vancouver. I also teach the Supplements co-requisite, Symptomatology, Nutritional Literature Research and the Sports and Perspectives on Aging components of the Lifecycles course at CSNN.

Naomi Sachs, R.H.N.

Sports Nutrition

Hello, my name is Naomi Sachs, owner and operator of Naomi Sachs Nutrition and Fitness Consulting in Edmonton, Alberta. I am a graduate of CSNN’s Natural Nutrition Diploma and Advanced Nutrition program. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

I look forward to supporting the students of CSNN by sharing my experiences and knowledge as a nutrition and fitness coach.