Have you ever really thought about how you are living your life? Are you truly being the best you can be? Are you willing to put in the work required to be better? Those are just a few of the questions Joanne Fearns asks her clients as she steers them toward living their best life. “We work together to acknowledge and break down your systemic toxic belief systems and trauma,” Joanne says. “We explore how it has impacted your relationship with food, exercise, yourself and those around you and provide space for you to reclaim your life with healthy habits and coping mechanisms. All of this combined leads to creating a life that you love, not just live.”

Joanne has been working in the holistic field for almost 20 years. Her career started out at Lyn-Dys Health Food Store in London. When she moved to Sarnia she began working for a locally owned health food store, before branching out on her own four years ago with ISH Nutrition and Wellness. “It definitely wasn’t something I anticipated being able to do, not because it wasn’t in my thought process, but I had to go through my own healing journey and acknowledge what imposter syndrome was and what it looks like,” Joanne says. “Gaining that confidence in myself to be able to step out of my own trauma and embrace who I was and what I could offer others was required. Once I saw I could do that, it just catapulted.”

Joanne sees an average of 12 clients per week Wednesday through Saturday at her office on 112 Russell Street North. She also does 1-on-1 online coaching and has clients in British Columbia and Quebec. Joanne says the first thing she does upon meeting a new client is let them tell their story. “I think the most beautiful thing about that practice is to give you my knowledge and support, but not my opinion,” Joanne says. “It’s your body and your healing journey…I am very big on accountability. Trauma or circumstance may not be your fault, but healing is your responsibility.”

Joanne likes to say we all must go through our own trauma to be able to create the strength required to help others. She certainly did, having grown up in foster care, bouncing from home to home. “You’ve got to feel the bad stuff to be able to appreciate what can come from it,” Joanne insists. “With my history, I am uniquely capable of connecting with individuals in ways that promote healing as opposed to ways that perpetuate trauma.” With that in mind, Joanne has started the 15 Houses Foundation, an educational bursary foundation for youth in foster care. “We are in the final stages of getting it authorized as an official not-for-profit foundation,” Joanne says. “A percentage of my merchandise sales and percentages of my appointments goes toward the foundation. If there are no youth applying for it, then the money goes back to our community. We also make up about 20 kindness packages per month and give them away to individuals in need of a little extra support. Whether through 15 Houses, or ISH Nutrition, I am grateful to serve this community.”