CSNN Vancouver Island


Our staff at Canadian School of Natural Nutrition are active in all areas of nutritional development and organizational research. Click on a faculty member below to jump to their bio: 

Madison has shown an interest in self-care since she was a child. This led her to explore many ancient wisdom practices, including mindfulness, yoga and holistic nutrition. She enjoys weaving the teachings from each of these avenues together, encouraging her students and clients to turn toward the wisdom of their own body and attend with kindness. She believes that caring for ourselves can be simple, should be sustainable and celebratory!

Madison graduated from the Nanaimo branch of CSNN in 2015 and has completed over 300 hours in yoga teacher training. She has also received training in mindfulness and birth work. She currently teaches the Body, Mind, Spirit course at CSNN and has a private nutrition and yoga practice within Nanaimo. As well as leading weekly yoga classes, Madison also works with children and youth in the community, delivering lessons that focus on healthy relationship to food, body image, nutrition and positive lifestyle practices.

Vancouver Island Branch Manager

Dona has been assisting people to make wise food and supplement choices for over 30 years through her  natural foods market, whole foods restaurant, through her consulting practice on Gabriola Island, as a holistic nutritionist at Inspire Health, and now as owner/manager of Canadian School of Natural Nutrition Vancouver Island (in Nanaimo and Victoria). She passionately believes in the power of whole foods to help heal and balance the body and help prevent disease. Dona loves the opportunity to educate her students and clients about the healing power of foods and how to prepare them simply for optimum flavour and nutrition. She co-owned an organic farm in Delta, where she lived with her husband and 2 daughters for 20 years, and now resides on Gabriola Island. Dona was an instructor at CSNN Vancouver for 8 years, and taught Fundamentals of Nutrition, Symptomatology, Lifecycles Nutrition and Eco-nutrition in Nanaimo. She currently concentrates fully on the position of Manager of the Vancouver Island branch of CSNN.

Dr. Decker is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Victoria, BC. Born and raised in Victoria and having lived her entire life in southern British Columbia, Dr. Michelle Decker understands the balance of nature and modern life offered here. Whether camping in the rain with her family, identifying native plants with her mother or planting a garden with her grandparents, nature always had been an integral part of life.

With the intention of going to scientific research, Dr. Decker obtained an Associate degree of Science (Biology) from Camosun College in Victoria and then completed a Bachelor of Science in 2005 at the University of British Columbia, specializing in Microbiology and Immunology. She continued her education at UBC and in 2011 completed a Master of Science in Medical Genetics. During the course of the research into a premature aging disease and through her own health journey, Dr. Decker realized her primary passion was working with patients. Dr. Decker graduated from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in 2015 and opened Horizons Holistic Health Clinic, Victoria, in 2016. Naturopathic medicine has allowed her love of learning to be combined with her passion for patient care.

Growing up on Vancouver Island, Krista has always enjoyed fitness, the outdoors and healthy living.  She has a genuine love and passion for the lifestyle she chooses to live.  That passion evolved into becoming a BCRPA certified Personal Trainer in 1994 and then completing her Natural Nutrition Diploma at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, Vancouver Island in 2014.  She is the owner of Athletica Food and Fitness and has a home studio dedicated to fitness and wellness. She runs indoor and outdoor boot camps every season with amazing people in beautiful locations throughout the Shawnigan Lake community.  She is also a fitness coach at Shawnigan Lake Private School, a pre- and post- natal fitness specialist and the mother of 2 teenage boys. She is enthusiastic about educating individuals on the importance of balance between healthy eating and exercise to establish an optimum lifestyle. 

Through Athletica Food and Fitness, Krista strives to help people discover their best selves through fitness, nutrition and healthy living.  She is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and to realize the long term benefits of eating well and taking care of their bodies from the inside out.  She loves what she does – from the training itself to working with amazing people to witnessing the transformation that comes about naturally when they start to take care of their bodies. Krista teaches Sports Nutrition in both locations, Pediatric Nutrition and disordered eating workshops in Victoria.

Kelli Etheridge graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2013, with honours.  Since that time she and a partner have created Stir Cooking School, offering regular cooking classes based on whole, nutritious food.  Kelli believes that educating and inspiring people to get back into the kitchen one of the simplest and effective ways to improve overall wellness. 

Kelli has also been the holistic nutritionist at Tillicum Lelum, a first nations health centre.  Most of her work there has been with the Building Better Babies program facilitating workshops and groups on healthy eating and cooking during pregnancy and beyond.

In 2015, Kelli began teaching at CSNN Nanaimo. At present she teaches Symptomatology 2, Preventive Nutrition and the Culinary workshop, which focuses on fermentation, in the Nanaimo location.

In May 2016, Kelli was pleased to win the Trailblazer Awards from the CSNN Alumni Association.

She is currently studying for her Advanced Holistic Nutrition certification.

If there is one word that would be a core theme in Dr. Olena Gill’s life, it would be Education.  Since the age of 8, Dr. Olena had wanted to be a doctor, but combined with her love of nature and farming family background, the road became a curvy one instead of a straight line.  Over the last 30 years, Dr. Olena achieved bachelor  degrees in both Music and Psychology from Queens University and Vancouver Island University.  She decided that natural medicine was far more interesting  so dipped her toe in the water and started to learn anything that interested her. Between 1994 and 2008, Dr. Olena amassed certifications, skills and training in well over 20 different holistic modalities – Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Aromatherapy, Certified Herbalist, and Colon Hydrotherapy, just to name a few.  You name it, it just might be on her wall!  In 2001, Dr. Olena took her education to another level, and received her Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) license and has honed her skills in acupuncture, TCM Herbalism, tongue and pulse diagnosis.

Alongside all that learning, Dr. Olena opened up the first ever holistic multi-disciplinary clinic in Nanaimo – The Mind-Body Connection Centre – in 1994, practicing numerous modalities, as well as conducting workshops on natural health and personal development, herbal cooking classes, and botanical medicine making.  She finally had the opportunity to pursue her desire of being a doctor, and in 2014, successfully matriculated at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, BC. 

As of 2015, Dr. Olena is a licensed naturopathic doctor and is a member in good standing with BCNA, CAND, CNPBC, and CTCMA.  She has two naturopathic and holistic health clinics in Parksille, BC and on Gabriola Island, BC.  She currently integrates many different modalities such homeopathy, botanical medicine, energy work, nutritional and physical medicines, to best service her patients’ individualized needs.

Dr. Olena has wide-ranging experience treating many health conditions, and has a special interest in endocrine disorders, including thyroid health, diabetes and chronic autoimmune disorders.  She also enjoys working in the arena of palliative and end-life care.

When she’s not practicing in the clinic or teaching, you will most certainly find Dr. Olena working in her organic food and herb farm on Gabriola Island, growing and producing medicinal herbs, as well as continuously evolving her herbal body care product line called Sea-to-Sky Apothecary. Rounding out her life are her husband, 2 children, 3 cats and 3 dogs. Dr. Olena teaches Nutritional Literature Research and Anatomy and Physiology at the Nanaimo location of CSNN.

From a young age, Dr. Hadikin has been fascinated by health and medicine.  While working as a pharmacy technician she saw the frustration patients had with their health and started to learn more about nutrition, preventative health and natural wellness. She attended the University of Lethbridge for pre-med studies in Neuroscience and was a research assistant at the Canadian Centre of Behavioural Neuroscience. After completing her degree and honors thesis, Dr. Hadikin moved to Toronto to attend the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and graduated in 2011. She moved back to her home province of BC to start practice and worked at a clinic focusing on allergies and hormones. While on maternity leave she experienced many challenges in the post-partum period and now her practice focuses on providing breastfeeding support and helping new mothers thrive. 

Dr. Hadikin teaches PathologyPerspectives in Aging and Allergies at CSNN Victoria. 

Dr. Hartwick has always had a passion for health and wellness and a fascination for the human body. Following her passion, she pursued post-secondary studies in the field of Kinesiology and Physical Education, as well as Psychology, at Wilfrid Laurier University. During her 3rd year of education, she was at a crossroads. Unsure of what path to take next for her career, she was serendipitously gifted with an opportunity to see a Naturopathic Doctor in her hometown of Peterborough, Ontario. She stumbled upon a career whose philosophy was in line with what she always thought medicine should be: treat the person, not the symptom, with safe and effective therapies and, most importantly, figure out why the person is unwell and address the underlying causes of disease. After her hour-long first visit, she found her path and purpose.

She then matriculated to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, in Toronto, Ontario, where she completed her four years of training as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. During her formative education, she completed an externship in Beijing, China at a hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where she honed pulse and tongue diagnostic skills. 

Upon successful completion of the diploma as Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, she moved westward, toward the mountains and ocean, to start her practice with a focus on serving smaller communities that are often devoid of beneficial healthcare services. Dr. Hartwick’s four years of practice have unfolded in such a way that she fully addresses the whole person: mind, body and spirit where she integrates dietetics, herbal remedies, homeopathy, bach flowers and phytoembryotherapy to address, on an individual basis, the core imbalances for her patients.

In her spare time, she can be found at Robert Ostler park, practising yoga, in Strathcona Park conquering another hike, cycling down the roads of Quadra Island, climbing the crags at Crest Creek or Comox Lake or tending to her garden or in the kitchen, experimenting with her latest creation.

Dr. Hartwick presently teaches Pathology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Cellular Biology at CSNN Nanaimo.

Carolyn is a local food activist and farmer, an author and lecturer, inspiring others to grow food and save seeds. For 25 years she developed The Garden Path Centre in Victoria as a plant nursery and teaching garden, and for the production of ‘Seeds of Victoria’. She is author of ‘The Zero Mile Diet – A Year-Round Guide to Growing Organic Food ’ and ‘The Zero-Mile Diet Cookbook – Seasonal Recipes for Delicious Homegrown Food’ (Harbour Publishing).  She completed the CSNN Natural Nutrition Course on Vancouver Island and is teaching Eco-Nutrition in Nanaimo.

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 Nutritionists 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.  

As 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 personal coaching, she hopes to provide a holistic approach to her clients that encompasses mind, body and spirit.

Stephanie is a course instructor for Fundamentals of Business, Mind/Body/Spirit II and Preventative Nutrition.

Rhona is a food-loving, poem-writing gardener, food writer, life-long learner and holistic nutritionist, a proud graduate of CSNN Nanaimo. She also has a master’s degree in Food Culture and Communication from Unisg (the University of Gastronomic Sciences) in Italy, a certificate in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Victoria, a Permaculture Design Certificate and other degrees (communications planning, library & information science and English) from the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Alberta.

She has been active in Victoria’s urban agriculture and food security network since 2008, particularly with Lifecycles’ Fruit Tree Project, the Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers and Haliburton Community Organic Farm. She reads, researches and writes about nutrition on her Go Local Nutrition blog and social media accounts. She teaches Eco-Nutrition and Nutritional Literature Research and her book Digging the City: An Urban Agriculture Manifesto is on the recommended reading list for CSNN.

Dr. Kyle Maynard was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. After completing his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Biology at Thompson Rivers University, he moved to Vancouver to attend the University of British Columbia where he obtained a Master of Science in Neuroscience. His interest and exposure to how the brain works, encouraged him to pursue naturopathic medicine at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine.

 As of 2016, Dr. Kyle is a licensed naturopathic doctor and is a member of the BCNA and CAND. He practices at Horizons Holistic Health Clinic in Victoria. Dr. Kyle has experience treating numerous conditions and has a special interest in mental illness, neurological conditions and physical medicine.

Cheryl earned her Licensed Practical Nursing designation in 2006, worked at Nanaimo Regional Hospital for 8 years, and realized that she wanted to learn more about natural health care and nutrition. Since graduating from CSNN in 2013, she has taken various healing workshops, is a Reiki Practitioner, owns and operates an organic farm, and works with clients living with acquired brain injury, mental illness, depression, ADD, anxiety and postpartum depression.

Audrey, our Academic Advisor, hails for New Zealand, but has called Vancouver Island home for 14 years. She trained and qualified as a New Zealand Registered Nurse before joining Air New Zealand to travel the world. Leaving behind a long career in aviation and Flight Attendant Management to move to Canada, Audrey now enjoys helping prospective students follow their holistic nutrition career dreams. She also plans and hosts promotional events for CSNN Vancouver Island helping to inspire a new generation of holistic health practitioners. Audrey is joint Co-Ordinator of CSNNAA for Vancouver Island helping to support local Registered Holistic Nutritionist’s in their practices.

Audrey graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ professional with Honours in 2015. She believes in a balanced approach to wellness incorporating real foods, exercise, and restorative self love practices.  She is continually upgrading her skill set in order to better help her clients in her private Holistic Travel practice, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge of holistic nutrition and healthy travel with her on line community.

To create a balanced life, Audrey enjoys spending her spare time getting into the dirt in her large garden, exploring Vancouver Island and ticking off her bucket list world travel destinations.

Catherine Steinback obtained her Honours Bachelors Degree of Science with Specialization in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo.  She worked in Quality Control for the food and the pharmaceutical industries prior to being at home to raise her two children.  During that time she was active in her community by serving as a leader for Girl Guides of Canada and volunteering in her children’s schools. 

After experiencing some health challenges, she decided to embrace healthy lifestyle changes and focus on her passion for health and nutrition.  Completion of Certification as a Nutritional Practitioner led to a career change for her.  She operated her private practice, Nutritional Insights for over 8 years, and was a course instructor for 3 years in Toronto.  Catherine has spoken on various nutrition related topics to seniors’ groups, women’s groups, fitness and sports teams as well as teaching a popular series of “Kids Can Cook” classes.  She is currently a staff Nutritionist at a vibrant health food store in Nanaimo, BC.

Catherine teaches her clients how their food and lifestyle choices impact their emotional and physical wellbeing.  She clarifies and recommends action steps so that they are empowered to achieve their goals.

Shortly after completing the Natural Nutrition Program in Vancouver in 2011, Tanya moved back to Nanaimo where she began facilitating workshops on soaking, sprouting and whole foods. She is passionate about helping people develop a mindful, peaceful relationship with food. This approach to nutrition informs the way she leads classes and workshops at CSNN and in the community. Tanya enjoys being in a learning environment – as the teacher or the student – and continues to learn about health and wellness. She appreciates the ‘body, mind and spirit’ approach to wellness. She has recently completed yoga teacher training and enjoys gardening with her family.

Eric has been intimately involved in the workings of the organic produce industry through having the first certified organic farm in Delta BC (1986), managing the produce section of a busy natural food market and continuing to be active in promoting sustainable food practices in his home community of Gabriola Island, BC. Prior to becoming immersed in sustainable growing, he grew up on a market garden in Gibsons BC, managed a vineyard in the Niagara peninsula and worked on the wholesale produce floor for United Farms at Ontario Food Terminal. Through this Eric developed a solid foundation in the workings of the conventional as well as the organic produce industry.

In 1986 he created BC’s first organic nursery specializing in heirloom fruit trees, bedding plants, as well as culinary and medicinal herbs. The farm also grew seasonal produce for farm gate sales, farmers’ markets. an award-winning restaurant and his natural foods market in South Delta (co-owned with partner Dona).

Past chair of British Columbia Association of Regenerative Agriculture, founding director of Farmfolk/Cityfolk, Valley Organic Farms co-operative, Earth’s Good Harvest, and Commonsense Organics.

Eric’s ongoing involvement in food security issues includes the Agricultural Advisory Commission for the Islands Trust, collaborating with GE Free BC, Cdn. Biotechnology Action Network, as well as operating Supply Line Organic Foods, and Gabriola Organization for Agricultural Liberty. Eric brings a wealth of experience and a well-grounded passion to teaching Eco-nutrition