Hi there! You probably want to know how to pronounce my name.. It’s “AHH-run-kah”. Technically you’re supposed to roll the “R” but if you can’t, don’t worry; I answer to a number of variations and won’t be offended if you botch the pronunciation. I also answer to Dr. Jones if you’d like to be more formal.
I grew up in Blue Mountain and Collingwood, Ontario, where I spent most of my childhood skiing, visiting beaches, climbing trees and exploring the great outdoors. I left this paradise to study Biological Science at the University of Guelph where I became fascinated with nutrition, botanical medicine and the effect of the environment on health. It was a natural fit for me to enter the Doctor of Naturopathy program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where I graduated in 2008. I’ve been practicing naturopathic medicine in Collingwood since 2009 where I’m lucky enough to balance work and play in Southern Georgian Bay. When I’m not in the office you’ll find me on the ski hill, on my paddle board, biking to the farmers’ market or cooking something delicious with my husband.
With over 12 years of experience in naturopathic medicine practice I’ve refined my approach to focus on gut health and gastrointestinal conditions including SIBO, IBS, GERD, and inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. I have a special interest in the connection between gut health, autoimmune disease and mental health. My patients enjoy an approach that is insightful, individualized and integrative while also compassionate, practical and down-to-earth.
I empower you to understand why your digestive health is failing you; only then can we treat the root cause of your symptoms, correct underlying dysfunction and restore your health from the inside out.
Q: Will you make me give up coffee, gluten, dairy, sugar, wine, and everything else I love to eat?!
A: I want you to eat well and enjoy delicious food that supports your health goals and reduces your risk of chronic disease. I promise I won’t ask you to give up any food, food group, or beverage unless there is a very compelling reason (i.e. if it is literally killing you).
For example, if you’re in an inflammatory bowel disease flare I will ask you to avoid sugar, alcohol and inflammatory fats until things are under control. If you have celiac disease or a severe non-celiac gluten sensitivity I will hold your hand and blot your tears while you break up with gluten for good. If you’re battling a difficult case of SIBO I may ask you to follow a Low FODMAP diet or maybe an elemental diet for a couple weeks so you can get some much needed relief from gas and bloating while your antimicrobials and pro kinetics take effect. If you’re diabetic, pre-diabetic or insulin resistant we will have the sugar-is-not-your-friend talk and learn all about healthy carbohydrate sources and why you need to eat more fat and protein.
I aim to inspire my patients to model their nutrition and food culture after the diet that has the most scientific evidence to support good health and prevent disease (that also happens to be super delish and my fav) – the Mediterranean diet – full of plants, healthy fats, antioxidants, higher welfare and grass fed meat, wild game, sustainable seafood, quality fermented dairy if tolerated, and moderate amounts of coffee and red wine if appropriate for the individual. I won’t make you neurotic about food. I will inspire you to make healthy choices and enjoy delicious foods without guilt.
Q: How long will it take to feel better?
A: Depending on your condition and how long you’ve been unwell I may have insight regarding the anticipated duration of treatment based on my clinical experience and the medical literature I refer to in order to inform my decision making.
For example, people with milder cases of SIBO (many people with IBS actually have SIBO) often feel significantly better in 3 months; however, more severe cases may take the better part of 6 months to enjoy significant improvements. Other factors include your ability to engage in a thorough assessment to lay a solid foundation for care, and your willingness to follow my treatment recommendations which may include taking herbal medicine or nutritional supplements, making changes to the way you eat, drink, sleep, rest, and manage stress.
Q: Can you actually help me? Have you treated [insert condition] before?
A: I welcome you to contact us with this question. You can also schedule a Discovery Visit with me which allows us to have a face to face chat about what you’re dealing with before you start the process of working with me. In a Discovery Visit I can tell you if your concerns fall within my scope of practice, or if another colleague may be better suited to help you.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: I recommend you budget for three visits with me over the course of the first 3-6 months.
- Your initial visit is the longest and typically lasts 90 to 120 minutes. This allows me to gather the information I need in order to thoroughly assess your condition. I order any necessary lab tests and explain a preliminary strategy for treatment and projected timeline.
- Your second visit will last 75-90 minutes. This typically takes place within 4-6 weeks of your initial visit. In your second visit I explain the results of lab work ordered in your initial visit, solidify a strategy for treatment and gain more clarity on the projected timeline.
- Your third visit takes place within the following 6-12 weeks depending on your condition and best practices. We make adjustments to your treatment and discuss the need for future lab testing to monitor your response to treatment. At this point we may shift from a treatment phase to a maintenance phase or dive deeper into other health goals if desired.