real life nutrition: tonya papanikolov

20 August 2015

I had the pleasure of meeting Tonya this summer while working in Muskoka.  We instantly clicked over our mutual love for natural products and healthy food.  Later in the summer, when Tonya kindly invited me to a supper club she was hosting, we had the pleasure of sharing an intimate dinner cooked by a local chef on a boat overlooking lake Rosseau.  Definitely a highlight of my season.   I have really loved getting to know Tonya, and I know you will too.

1. Name: Tonya Papanikolov

2. Occupation: Shop Director at Kit and Ace in Muskoka and soon to be Holistic Nutritionist

3. Breakfast is usually: In the summertime it’s usually a smoothie with Sun Warrior protein and whole bunch of other good foods that give me magic powers

4. Coffee, tea or green juice:  My favourite morning ritual is a matcha tea latte with almond milk. However, i sometimes give into the temptation of a coffee (usually with regrets after the fact, see question 9). And i’ll never pass up liquid greens! Green juice is in addition to my morning tea, not a substitution.

5. Favourite time + place to grocery shop:  My favourite time to grocery shop is early in the morning when no one else is at the market, getting to stroll and pick my fruits and veggies without the hustle bustle is like therapy. Plus who doesn’t want first dibs. My favourite place to grocery shop in Muskoka are the farmer’s markets – there is one every day of the week up here, it’s glorious. In Toronto, my go-to is Essence of Life in Kensington, the Trinity Bellwoods Market and Brickworks Farmers Market.

6. Always in your cart: Kale, always kale. Also, almond butter (sorry California), lemons, butternut squash and dark berries.

7. Exercise routine: I wouldn’t quite call it an “exercise routine” but i teach or practice yoga almost every day of the week. Aside from that my day-to-day is full-contact and that keeps me very active.

8. Favourite way to wind down and relax:  yoga, nature, a home cooked meal with friends and loved ones, reading, writing, photography, a glass of good wine, oceans and lakes

9. Biggest health obstacle: my digestive issues. i have IBS – which has effected my adrenals and thyroid and i also get anxiety, it’s all related and i’m in the process of healing it. i’m naturally a very stimulated person (read: why i try to avoid coffee, it makes me feel crazy).

10. How you make time for health in your life: being healthy and having a holistic lifestyle have always been a priority. from studying nutrition in university to the food i choose to put in my body. health is ultimately what i believe in, choose to stand for and what i’m redirecting my career to.

11. One thing you will never give up:  french fries, if i’m being honest.

12. Always in your fridge: kale, almond milk, probiotics, maple syrup… i could keep going, i like to have a fully stocked fridge.

13. Your cooking inspiration comes from:  Cannelle et Vanille, My New Roots, Local Milk – but i try to connect to my own imagination and intuition, i follow a lot of food blogs and foodies on Instagram and it can be visual overload sometimes so i find it important to connect to my own creativity with food in addition to outside inspiration

14. Go-to meal + recipe: My fall-winter (who am i kidding, i eat this every season) favourite breakfast is butternut squash pancakes. They are too good.

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Butternut Squash Pancakes

  • 3 heaping tbsp scoops of roasted butternut squash (i roast one squash per week and keep it in the fridge)
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour (or any nut flour of your choice, it’s also good with almond flour)
  1. Whisk everything together, it can be a bit tricky getting the consistency right but the trick is to use less flour than you think you need, otherwise it will fall apart in the pan
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium with coconut oil
  3. Pour your pancake mix and cook until golden on either side
  4. Top with coconut oil, salt and almond butter (it is not complete without those three elements!)
  5. Enjoy :)


For more about Tonya, her amazing recipes + gorgeous photography, follow her journal, food by t 

cover photo: amber ellis 


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