how i created my dream job: mikaela reuben

130523_mikaela01_bFor the final installment in our "how i created my dream job" series, please meet Mikaela Reuben.

Midway through her physiotherapy degree three and a half years ago, Mikaela realized it was the overall holistic nutrition of the physical body she was most passionate about. Since then, Mikaela has traveled the world as a chef, conducted health clinics and acted as a nutrition coach to clients all over North America. Her greatest gift is making healthy food taste so good that even the most dedicated junk food addict wants a second helping (*Editor's Note: that junk food addict would be me. Ahem).

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Mikaela Reuben and I am a Nutrition specialist, focusing on health coaching and nutritional cooking.

How did you come up with the idea for your business? Why did you decide to be your own boss?

I had always been obsessed with cooking, nutrition, human physiology, travel, health, and food. But most of all, the effects of food on health and the adventure behind each meal.

I found myself taking my Masters in Physiotherapy, half way through the masters program, one day when I was driving to school. I snapped. Realized I was unhappy and decided to jump off the safe path I was on. I packed up my stuff in the next few days, withdrew from school and bought a one way ticket to Europe, carrying 10 yrs of University debt with me, where I went to explore more of the food world and myself. During this next chapter I was trained as a nutritional chef and began working privately for celebrities, and yet again found myself wanting more.


Both of the jobs allowed me to only deal with just one of the things I loved but not all.

In my business I am able to passionately design healthy recipes and life strategies for my clients, using food as a tool to affect overall health, healing, and happiness.

I decided to be my own boss because I was able to create a job that I was passionate about that didn’t really exist with the expansiveness and freedom that I desired. And in some ways I needed to create something that encompassed who I was because I didn’t seem to fit in the molds that I was told to work in.  What I put in, I get back, a cause and effect for my science nerd brain which keeps me inspired.

Why is nutrition and health important to you?

I have seen people’s lives change because of alterations to their nutrition and health and I think it is important to honour the health we have before we lose it. I first became aware of it as I watched my father heal himself after a heart attack when he educated himself and took responsibility for how he was choosing to treat his body.

It inspired me and I started focusing more on how food is our fuel and can really alter all aspects of life, from mood, to immunity, to weight, to beauty, to inflammation, to clarity, and overall quality of living. He is now the healthiest person I know.

If you had only five (or fine, six) ingredients in your kitchen, what would they be and why?

This might be the hardest question, ever. I am going to assume that I have a good quality olive oil, sea salt and pepper in this sad, bare kitchen, and maybe some quinoa, smoked paprika powder, and turmeric...

130523_blog_seaweedSeaweeds – I love seaweed. All types. I always keep dehydrated Wakame on me to throw into salads and soups. I consume spirulina everyday and Kelp noodles are my new favorite! I couldn’t live without seaweed, they have unlimited positive affects on the body and are easy to use, prepare, and take with me.

130523_blog_avocadoAvocado – I could add avocado to almost anything. It has beneficial fats and protein and is diverse in its uses, adding creaminess to sauces, smoothies and salads.

130523_blog_appleApple Cider Vinegar – I use apple cider vinegar for dressings, to flavour vegetables, and to make morning tonics with. I make an amazing spicy garlic chili sauce with apple cider vinegar that I put on everything. Apple cider vinegar has been linked to better metabolism and fat breakdown.

130523_blog_lemonLemon – I like to put lemon in my water, in my smoothies, in my morning tonics, in my dressings, and on my vegetables. Full of vitamin C and has an alkalizing affect in the body.

130523_blog_kaleKale – Kale makes me feel satisfied. When I eat kale salads I stay noticeably full for a long period of time. I guess it is my favorite way to get fiber and essential minerals, along with chia.

130523_blog_sardinesCanned sardines (or wild salmon) – I crave fish. I don’t eat a ton of other meats but I do love fish. Must be a west coast thing but I like to know that I have access to a high quality, omega3 packed, protein. Sardines are a go to for me because they are full of vitamin D, and other major minerals.

What is your favorite way to sweat?

I like yoga for the stress relief component of it. I live in my head a lot so it is good to focus inwards whenever I can.

I also love running, preferably in the woods, hopping over logs and over rocks. And if there is a game to play, any sport, and type of ball chasing, ground wrestling game, I am in. I love most physical activity especially when it is in the form of a game, hide and seek, kick the can, soccer or baseball, doesn’t matter.

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absolutely love this article! this is my dream job to a tee, youve inspired me to stop being afraid of going after it, thank you !

Comment by dani — June 13, 2013 @ 5:42 am

Love the series and hope to see more posts about people passionately pursuing their dreams and making the rules up as they go!

Comment by erin @WELLinLA — June 13, 2013 @ 10:47 am

Love your top 5 foods… might add some seeds in there too. Re: creating your dream job… it always starts with a burning desire which comes from within and guides you to your dream, sometimes in ways which you never could have imagined.

Comment by Andrew — June 15, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

Great article, you are truly an inspiration. It takes a lot of courage to break the mould and follow your dreams. Way to go!!!

Comment by Howard — June 15, 2013 @ 9:07 pm


This is exactly the direction I want to take my life. I am very interested to know where did you do your training? Both nutritional and chef?

Thank You!

Comment by Chelsea — June 18, 2013 @ 10:43 am

I really want to eat more kale. might even sign up for a delivery service so someone just drops it off at my house once a week. probably worth it.

Comment by liz smith — June 18, 2013 @ 10:51 am

Always great when someone follows their dream and it is something that will help other people lead a healthier life. But why is fish a “West Coast thing”? Odd statement – especially since she is talking about a can of sardines – not exactly a hard to find exotic fish. (…please buy Pacific caught sardines for sustainability)

Comment by Lee — June 18, 2013 @ 10:54 am

“Nutrition specialist”? What are this woman’s credentials? I’t seems anyone these days can call themselves an expert in food and nutrition without having the proper education to back it up. How about some articles from registered dietitians or even holistic nutritionists?

Comment by Laurie — June 18, 2013 @ 10:54 am

Fantastic article! I am in the process of qualifying to be a nutritionist and I never thought there would be the opportunities to be a nutritional chef. Sounds like my perfect job as I LOVE cooking too!

Comment by Erika — June 18, 2013 @ 11:09 am

What a refreshing article – information-rich, inspiring and succinct! Thank you for sharing this with us.

Could I please ask what is in your morning tonic/s?

Also, I am hanging for some great reading material to kick-start my quest into wholistic nutrition. I guess I essential want to educate myself in gaining a deeper understanding into ways of properly nourishing myself and my body. Could you perhaps offer any books – online or in print form?

Thank you kindly!

Comment by ML Ripes — June 18, 2013 @ 11:26 am

Ignoring the fact that lemon is much more acidic than your blood (I realize the internet blogosphere is riddled with ‘alkalizing’ with lemon), I’ve yet to understand why ‘alkalizing’ would be considered a good thing? If you want to alkalize your blood, just breath faster. I won’t bog anybody down with science, nobody wants that, but trust me.

Comment by Jordan — June 18, 2013 @ 11:30 am

loved her article. Smart & pretty.

Comment by beth stephens — June 18, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

Inspiring post! Can you puleeeze post the recipe for the spicy garlic chili sauce? Thank-you!

Comment by barb — June 18, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

Mikaela, thanks for the inspiring article!

Quick question: I have been adding Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to my morning’s first glass of water…do you add anything else to make it a “tonic,” as you had mentioned?


Comment by Megan — June 18, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

LOVE this series and this article! So inspiring to read about other women, who are taking a chance to follow their dreams, passions, and making a difference in peoples lives through health and fitness. Even though it is scary and stressful, it is so rewarding!

Comment by She Rocks Fitness — June 18, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

great post… follow your heart!

Comment by arlet — June 18, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

Hey Chelsea and Laurie
I did some digging for you and found all of her training and education on her about page. She has study everything from raw food to sports nutrition. Check it out here:

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — June 18, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

fantastic series! I’m heading back to read some of the others as I am figuring out my own path right now, it’s exciting and scary thanks for the additional push!

Comment by Amanda @runtothefinish — June 22, 2013 @ 5:04 am

Thanks for all of the questions!

I switch what I drink in my water in the mornings. I love starting though with a mixture of lemon and warm water, oil of oregano and water, or apple cider vinegar and water. I do this before I eat on an empty stomach. Oil of oregano has many antioxidants in it, lemon is great for digestion, alkalinity, and vitamin C, and the apple cider vinegar has a number of benefits one that has been linked to metabolism and better digestion of fat.

Now. Recommending books. The more I have read the more knowledgeable I have become with nutrition. There are sooo many different diets, and theories and beliefs out there that it is really hard to figure out what is true to you. Tell me where you are already and I will do my best to recommend a few websites and books.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — June 24, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

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