Liliana Tosic, RHN, RNCP – Natural Nutritional Counselor
What is a holistic practitioner/nutritionist?
Holistic, or wholistic, medicine is a type of medical practice in which the practitioner attempts to treat the whole individual. Holistic practitioners place a great emphasis on the patient’s environment, emotions, lifestyle, and nutrition, as well as on his/her physical symptoms.
Some examples of holistic practitioners would include naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, herbalists, and nutritionists. Holistic practitioners help people use natural means like exercise, diet, and healthy living to increase their own capacity for self-healing.
The philosophy of holistic nutrition is that we need a certain balance of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients to help our bodies reach maximum energy levels to achieve overall physical and emotional balance/health. Holistic nutrition focuses on the individual, understanding that each person is biochemically, environmentally, and behaviourally different and requires a different approach or amounts of these proteins, vitamins, and nutrients to make that particular individual healthy. Holistic nutritionists create diets that match each individual’s unique health and nutritional needs.
It is well documented that making the right food choices can help to prevent many health problems including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. But what is less well known is the impact diet has on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The idea that food affects the mind is a foreign concept to many people. As the brain is perhaps the most delicate organ of the body, using sometimes as much as 30 percent of the energy we derive from food, this concept should come as no surprise. Food sensitivities often appear in a masked form, in which an individual actually feels better after ingesting a favourite (offending) food or drink. However, in a variable number of hours, a severe letdown occurs, and the client experiences symptoms that may be diffuse and non specific, and often include headache, depression, nasal stuffiness, nervousness, and many more.
A diet that is healthy will provide enough organic vitamins, minerals, amino acids, good fats, and other essential nutrients to replace those that are used during the course of the day. During times of stress our need for these nutrients increases as we expend more energy. To support the recovery efforts, it is essential to provided the body with balance of nutrients and relieve it from the burden of toxins and excess of negatively stimulating food.
Changing a diet for the benefit of health is always a challenging endeavour. In my nutritional approach, it is accepted that we are human and that we will make mistakes and will experience some setbacks. I will help and guide you through this process. I will show you how to enjoy the process of adopting positive health changes through experimenting with different healthy foods. This experience can be motivating and fun, with the rewards being a truly healthy and tasty way of eating.
What can I expect from my nutrition counselling session?
If you are a new client, we will go through an in depth intake form and nutritional testing questionnaire called WISE. This takes approximately two one-hour sessions. Since everyone is biochemically unique, I use a process that is unique to each person. So when I learn more about you and your medical background, and evaluate your WISE score, I will set up a nutritional program specifically for you.
As a natural nutritionist, I like to educate my clients to use food as their source of all essential nutrients and as building blocks for healthy cell regeneration and to balance hormones and neurotransmitters. If I find that there is a particular need to use a specific supplement or combination of such, I would suggest it as a temporary aid and not as a substitute to a healthy diet and lifestyle. The nutritional supplementation can be, and often is, with many practitioners, used in a pharmaceutical paradigm model referred to as Nutrasuticals. And as an associate of anxietycentre.com, I stand for and want to portray a healthy use of such ‘natural’ substances. Having had experience working with clients with elevated levels of anxiety, it is important to emphasize that searching for a ‘miracle’ cure in a bottle will not be the way you will find good health and success. Long-term success is building nutrition into the lifestyle in a natural way accessible through a wholesome, balanced diet.
Your experience with me will be educational and empowering. You will have an opportunity to learn the nutritional intelligence that will equip you for the rest of your life, improving and supporting not only your recovery efforts but also overall quality of life. The quality of the food we eat directly affects the degree of well-being we experience. Good health starts in the grocery cart.
I have a special interest and extensive experience in the following areas:
- Digestive Problems (IBS, IBD, Gastritis, Chronis Disease, Celiac Disease etc.)
- Optimal Nutrition for anxiety and depression
- Menopause and Andropause
- Thyroid, Adrenal and other Endocrine System imbalances
- Chronic High Blood pressure and Cholesterol Problems
- Sleep Problems
- Severe Mood Swings that are related to food and bodies biochemistry
- Impaired Immune System
- Cancer Support
Liliana was born and grew up in Sarajevo, Bosna and Hercegovina. She moved to Canada in 1994 with a science background in Mechanical Engineering. Once in Canada she completed Electrical Engineering and worked as a software engineer for MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., with a promising career in the Space Missions Department.
Unforeseen circumstances took her life in a completely different direction when a very close family member was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was then that Liliana discovered her unquenchable thirst for knowledge in natural medicine and a love for helping people. After two years of self-directed studies, Liliana formally changed careers, entering into the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where she graduated with honours in the Natural Nutrition Program.
While working as a nutritionist, Liliana had a period of very high stress with life circumstances culminating to a point of high anxiety. In this state, Liliana utilized her knowledge in natural nutrition to prevent the digestive disturbances and eating disorders that often are associated with high stress. Using a natural approach in nutrition during this period, Liliana was able to maintain her balanced health and physical strength. This in combination with anxietycentre.com counselling helped her rebalance her wellbeing, while gaining a new appreciation for life in all facets of health and life. The definition of natural nutrition in a nutshell is a balance of sound (healthy) mind, body, and spirit.
Liliana operates a nutritional consulting practice at Total Therapy in Burnaby, B.C. and feels privileged to work with talented, compassionate, and dedicated team of practitioners at anxietycentre.com.
Liliana lives in Burnaby B.C. with her husband Todd and two beautiful, smart and healthy daughters. Liliana and her girls love to cook and experiment with new recipes. Their passion is to make and distribute healthy food to the homeless and those recovering from substance abuse at the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. Liliana and her family often engage in fun activities such as swimming, dancing, drawing, music etc. Liliana loves to read a lot.
Liliana Tosic... What can I write about this amazing woman!!!
I am not very good at writing reviews or never written one so far. But I am very happy to take this opportunity to express my sincere heartfelt thanks to her for all the knowledge she has been sharing with me.
I first came to know about Liliana through anxietycentre.com when I was going through a very rough time due stressful events in my life. I was at a point that I had been experiencing all sorts of physical and emotional symptoms. Visited many doctors, specialists multiple times but they were unable to find any clue about my symptoms. This made me develop a learned behavior of being very sensitive to health concerns. I would imagine the worst even for the slightest pain or ache and it was a real hell on the earth (I don't believe there is any other hell worse than fearing for your health). Then I decided I should put a permanent fix to this as I don't want to live my entire life in fear and uncertainty. So I decided to first start with a healthy lifestyle and contacted Liliana.
I don't know why Liliana, but at that time, I was convinced that it was the right thing to do. Liliana never let down my hope at any single moment. From the first session she understood my situation very well and put me on the action plan which is very simple. By nature I am very analytical, critical and do not get convinced easily but Liliana gave me very meaningful and scientific explanations about all of my symptoms and why they occur, which helped a lot to keep my cool when I go through rough patches. Even my doctors agreed with all the explanations given by Liliana, which helped to gain my confidence.
I loved Liliana's approach because she doesn't overwhelm you with list of rules you must follow. She gives you step-by-step plan, which you can easily incorporate in day-to-day life without much difficulty. All you need from your end is a little bit of determination to follow the healthy lifestyle without suffocating yourself too much. Of course, the first step should start within yourself to reach any of your goals because it is your journey. After following Liliana's suggestion, I started feeling much, much better. I am not completely there yet but I am gaining my confidence bit by bit and convinced that I am on the right path.
The most beautiful thing about this is, now I know that I treat my body with respect by putting right foods into my system. This gives me an amazing confidence that I am taking care of myself well, which means I am improving my health day by day. I am very happy now and it is noticeable by my friends and colleagues. I truly agree with Liliana's quote, "What you eat is what you are!" :-)
I am very thankful to Liliana for putting me on a right track of healthy living which I will follow forever. I have no doubts about it. One of the best investments in my life is taking health counseling sessions from Liliana.
THANK YOU, LILIANA. YOU ARE THE BEST.
Dear Anxiety Centre,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the incredible work that you are doing to help those of us who have been affected by anxiety. I also wanted to thank Liliana Tosic for, quite literally, changing my life. I will never be able to express my gratitude to her for all the expert guidance, support, and encouragement she has given me as I endeavored to reclaim and take charge of my life.
At the time when anxiety struck me (2 years ago), I was overweight, tired all the time, not sleeping well, and feeling very afraid about my health. I had developed extreme health fears, and I felt like I was a sitting duck for every sinister disease I could imagine. One sleepless night, after my first anxiety episode, I stumbled across your website and read everything I could. I was so encouraged. I already had a therapist at the time, so I became interested in your nutritional coach, Liliana. I thought maybe she could help me to feel better physically, so that I could possibly feel better about my overall health. I was initially afraid to contact her, or anyone at your website, but I finally made the appointment with Liliana. I worked closely with her for five straight months, as she evaluated my health issues and set me on the right path to take control of my health. She has such a warm, friendly way about her that I really felt like she cared about me, and even though we are in two different countries, I felt like she was always close by to help.
I can honestly say that working with her made me feel so empowered! After every phone conversation, I felt like I could conquer the world! Little by little, I started feeling better, looking better, and sleeping better. I received so many compliments at work about how my skin looked, and the weight I had lost. You always hear that you should eat a healthy diet to feel better, but how many of us really take that seriously? As soon as I started seeing results, I knew there was no going back to my old diet, which incidentally, consisted of fast food, and boxed convenience foods. I started to believe that I was no longer that sitting duck just waiting to be diagnosed with some terrible illness. For the first time I felt like I was in control. It is a tremendously comforting feeling.
Liliana has opened my eyes to this whole new world of nutrition that I never knew existed. I am fascinated, and never stop reading and looking for new information. The best part of learning from her is the impact it has had on my family! My husband and sister have seen the changes in me and have adopted many changes in their own lives. Our whole family has become aware of what is actually in our food. I feel like I was blind before. Knowing that my son will grow up with these healthy foundations about food is a wonderful feeling for me. It is one of the greatest gifts I could give him.
I still check in with Liliana every few months to let her know how I am doing. She has helped me tremendously both with my physical health and my anxiety, as well. In a crazy way, being struck with anxiety was the best thing that could have happened to me. It forced me to get help and to change myself for the better. I am currently working with Nancy Saggio, and I am feeling better every day. Currently, I have no more anxiety symptoms or sensations. I will continue my hard work until I am free from anxiety forever.
Thank you Liliana, Nancy, and everyone at Anxiety Centre from the bottom of my heart.
With sincere gratitude,
Linda H, USA
I would like to give a BIG thank you to Lilliana for helping me overcome anxiety. I have just a few symptoms now, but no biggie!!!! I am so grateful for her and this web site.
People absolutely can overcome this.
I've suffered from digestive disorders for most of my life, and, as a result, have severely limited a lot of the kinds of foods I eat. I've seen a host of health professionals about these concerns but I just couldn't get anywhere because they only superficially understood what I go through. No one has ever explained to me, the nuances of digestion and what the body needs the way Liliana has.
While other health professionals have barely scratched the surface and given me blanket statements that are vague and one-size-fits-all solutions like "eat more fruits and vegetables," Liliana breaks down everything that is going on with my body and my stress levels and gives me a wealth of information on how everything works and why my particular system does what it does. Then she gives me step-by-step ways to change my diet that don't shock my body and that fit the routine of my work and life. Because of that, I've now been able to introduce different foods into my diet that I never would have before. She gives me knowledge and confidence to try new things, and even though I'm a bit nervous about doing so at first, I find myself wanting to.
Liliana is such a pleasure to work with. Extremely knowledgeable, very compassionate, and she has a great sense of humour, too. I've always wanted to find someone like Liliana but years ago, I gave up hope. Thank God I finally found her. In just over a month, I've made small, incremental changes that have already helped so much with my digestion and my fatigue. I can truly feel the difference.
Thank you, Liliana, for all your guidance and support. I'm so glad I found you. You are indeed, a truly holistic nutritionist.
Kathy S, Australia
Liliana Tosic has been advising me on nutrition for only four months. Her ability to focus on your individual needs is fantastic! She is very knowledgeable about nutrition and shares her understanding in a way that is easy to understand. She is exceedingly thorough and professional with her patients.
In just a short time, I have seen dramatic improvements in my health. Before I started speaking with Liliana, my cholesterol and blood pressure were out of range. Through the suggested dietary changes, I have lowered my LDL by 19 points and was able to cut my blood pressure medications in half. My doctor was impressed by my lab results and she congratulated me on a job well done. She was surprised I was able to lower my cholesterol with out medication.
Liliana has taught me to live a healthy life, I am forever grateful. If you are looking to make a positive change in you life, I highly recommend Liliana Tosic.
I have been working with Liliana for about 5 months to assist with a minor blood condition. I have learnt many things about nutrition and the essentials I need to keep me healthy…things that I had just never even thought about before.
I found Liliana's way of introducing me slowly to more and more healthy super foods, and gradually phasing out the bad things, made it a stress free experience. The knowledge I have now, I will continue to use throughout my life. It was a lifestyle change, not a diet.
I recommend that everyone should spend some time and have sessions with Liliana!
Thank you so much for all your help!
Katie B, Australia
When I came to Liliana, I was having migraines at least twice a week on top of daily headaches. I had been through MRI’s, blood tests, and tried a multitude of preventative medications. Nothing helped. I was skeptical when I spoke with Liliana, thinking that how could something so simple work.
Within six weeks of following Liliana’s suggestions, I was headache free. My concentration is better and I have much better days than I use to.
Thanks to Liliana for her kind approach, beneficial experience, knowledge, and encouragement to work through the pain of detoxing. It has been a life change for me!
Since working with Liliana to make changes to my diet, I have been completely taken off of the high blood pressure medicine I had been taking for years. I feel so free now that I don't have to remember to take medication every single day, twice a day. Not to mention, I no longer have to suffer from the side effects of the medicine. I have confidence that if I continue with the diet changes, I will also have a healthy pregnancy. It's amazing how changing my diet has increased my confidence in my health and my ability to deal with my anxiety.
Jessica N, Chicago, IL, USA
I do not believe I can clearly express right now the extent to which you helped me, but I can give you an update. This past summer I believed would have been a time of revelation and growth because of the progress I made with your help. As it turned out, the summer was a time of working on those things I had learned and finding out that there were more things to learn, all of which I do not think were possible without the progress I made with your help.
Currently I am in the middle of a very intense semester of school and now want to take a little time to step back and reflect a little on the past year.
First, let me remind you of our time together as I remember it. Actually, let me start with some background on what led me to you.
In January of 2008, my marriage of over 20 years came to an end. This was devastating to me in every possible way, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Though the civil end came that January, the previous several years were full of devastating endings. The only things that kept me alive during this time were my faith in God and His real presence in my life, a few close friends and family members, and the opportunity to chase after a childhood dream, finishing college...oh, and the time and ability to excel at something I enjoyed doing, mountain biking.
In April of 2008, I experienced a burn-out. A real burn out where my body began to shut down in ways I had never experienced. It started with my digestive system. Tried as I did, nothing seemed to help. After a month and a half, I saw my family physician, explained my situation, and he recommended having an ultrasound of my gall bladder. When the results came back with bile sludge, his only advice was to take a Ursodiol to keep gall stones from forming. That's it! I am still blown away every time I think of this advice and how misplaced and harmful it actually was to me.
From there I sought out doctor after doctor without any real relief from the miserable way I was feeling. I found a nutritionist who had the most beneficial advice at this time. She focused on my mineral and vitamin deficiencies and recommended some helpful nutritional steps. I experienced some minor relief but still believed there was more to learn and so I continued my search seeing more doctors. One in particular believed that possibly the gall bladder function could be of real concern and recommended I see a surgeon. The surgeon believed the gall bladder should come out. So, September 2008 it came out. Soon after I realized this did not help me feel any better. Distraught, I sought out other doctors. I found an MD specializing in GI disorders and he listened to all that I had been through and recommended more drug therapies and diagnosed me with IBS, saying I met all the criteria of ROME III IBS. I continued seeing him on and off for over one and a half years basically settling into the idea that I would have to learn how to live feeling the way I did.
Then, in August 2010, I saw this same doctor again in an on-going attempt to try and learn as much as I could about my condition with a hope for possible improvements, and he suggested something that no one had said to me before. He recommended that I go to my family physician (not the one from the beginning) and discuss possible therapies for anxiety. I left there thinking this was another suggestion for lack of any other alternative. That evening I went home and began searching the Internet for information about anxiety.
As I read, I began to think this was something very helpful to my situation so I made an appointment with my family physician as the doctor had recommended. I saw him and he recommended a drug therapy and referred me to a team of counselors that included a psychiatrist and psychologists. Before seeing the counselors, I continued my Internet search and found AnxietyCentre.com. It was here that I received much encouragement and gained a belief that I could get better. When I met with the psychiatrist, she recommended drugs for depression and anxiety and made an appointment with an in-house psychologist. After several months I felt I was not making much progress so I called AnxietyCentre.com and spoke with Marilyn Folk about my situation and asked if she believed IBS could be cured. She said yes, and that I should make an appointment with you. In December 2010, we met.
When we finally spoke I was encouraged by your positive spirit and your systematic ways. Quickly you went to work determining my current state of nutritional wellness as well as listening intently to my situation. Your first recommendation for me was to find a way to eliminate the dependence on the drugs. I did this surprisingly quickly according to you but it was easier than expected as I knew from reading AnxietyCentre this is what would need to be done.
Soon after you had me on a nutritional regimen unlike anything I had ever tried, learning to meditate, and finding many more things to be encouraged about. After a month of coaching and following through on your recommendations, I had the sense that something was different. Things were improving.
We continued our sessions and by March 2, I had experienced something I had not felt in almost three years. For a few days in a row, I had complete relief from the GI pain and discomfort. If I could have this for a few days, then, with enough practice and work, I could be completely healed.
We continued our sessions through the beginning of May at which time I believed I had all the tools necessary to completely succeed. I have since received some help realizing that negative thoughts can sabotage any good thing in life. This too I will overcome. You helped me deal with this during the time of coaching through your encouragement and dispelling the lies of negative thoughts each time I brought them up to you. Clearly, my issues were complex, not only nutritional, but psychological. I believe my situation shows the importance of a holistic approach. In fact, there seems no other way for healing except holistically. You certainly did this for me.
So, here we are, a summer passed and now in the middle of an intense semester of school. I am beginning to believe that soon I will go back to work. Soon meaning next semester or next summer. I have plans formulating in my mind. It's exciting.
IBS. I laugh. I smile. I believe I can do anything. I have overcome IBS. I'm sure you know. Read Wikipedia. There is no cure!! But I am cured!
I still practice the things you taught me. They are part of my new life. I want to know more though. I want to know more of what you know about how to help people. First, I must finish my degree in electrical engineering. Then possibly a masters. Who knows? Whatever it is, it's going to be good!
I would like to have another session with you sometime in the future. Maybe during my winter break that begins December 15 so that I can focus more on what you have to teach me. If I can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
God bless you.
I wanted to let you know what a wonderful addition Liliana Tosic is to the anxietycentre. I have worked with her for 6 months, and she has helped me so much with making sure I was getting the right nutrition for my body with an anxiety disorder. She is a wealth of knowledge, and has been so supportive in my recovery.
Her kindness and patience while I kept working on this, has been wonderful. I have some health phobias, and working with her has really helped me. I now am more calm knowing I am doing the right thing for my body and helping it to heal. She really helped calm some of my fears with conditions I was afraid I might have. Thank you for bringing her on the team and for all your helpful information.
I want to thank Liliana for the nutritional knowledge and support she gave me to help overcome many of my stress symptoms. I had seen other healthcare professionals who put me on many supplements to help me with my digestion and adrenal issues (which was unbalanced due to stress). However, Liliana's approach to my problem taught me how to use food rather than just supplements alone for my healing. Her calming manner with which she approached my issues helped remove fear and gave me hope.
She has not only shown me how to fix my hyperglycemia and digestion problems but has also saved me money doing it. I never thought nutrition had much to do with my stress, but it did. Liliana’s straight forward, no nonsense instruction gave me back a normal life. I am very grateful to her for all her help. After just a few weeks, I'm getting my life back and I feel like a new person.
Julia E., USA
I thank God for the AnxietyCenter and for Liliana Tosic:
In August of 2010, I found the anxietycenter.com web site at a time when I needed help dealing with the early warning signs of bipolar mania. I had not been sleeping well, and was experiencing mood swings. I needed to avoid hospitalization at all costs. I wanted to try to deal with my situation without increasing the low dose of Abilify (2 mg daily) that I had been taking. I made an appointment with Liliana Tosic, anxietycentre.com's nutritional counselor. As a result of my initial consultation, she identified sources of dietary stress, including the large amounts of decaffeinated coffee I had been drinking. She recommended I give up the decaf and some other simple dietary changes. It felt good to begin to take an active role in my own health and I was confident that by following her suggestions I would be on the path to wellness. I began to notice that I was less irritable within days of beginning my new regime. Although it took until the middle of October for my sleep pattern to normalize, I am happy to report that I am finally getting nearly eight hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly. I have not slept this well since before my last hospitalization three years ago.
Thank you, Liliana, for your insight, your cheerful guidance and your prayers on my behalf. You have a real gift for your vocation. May God continue to bless you and others through you.
James S., USA
You can learn more about Anxiety Symptoms, our Anxiety Coaching/Therapy option, and our Recovery Support area by clicking on the appropriate button below:
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 2015.