Our first CF Crush of 2019 is the incredibly talented, Shantelle Bisson. Born and raised in Toronto, Shantelle took to the stage at age four. Her talents and creativity led her into all aspects of entertainment, and she divides her time between Toronto and LA to keep up with her projects. So how does this writer, producer and actress keep busy, you ask? By giving back to her community of course.
Shantelle chaired her first solo endeavour supporting Sheena’s Place in 2012. Since then she has co-chaired the Purple Party for Childhood Cancer Canada three times, helping them to raise over a million dollars. She also supports Camp Ooch, and in 2016, Shantelle and her husband, Yannick Bisson (who you might know from Murdoch Mysteries, he plays Murdoch!) MC’d their bi-annual gala, helping them raise over 1.2 million dollars. She is currently the Honorary Chair at Boost for Kids. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s also starting her own non-fiction series of “how-to” books. Keep an eye out for the first instalment, How to Raise Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for people starting out on their health and wellness journey?
In my opinion the biggest challenge for people starting out on their health and wellness journey is that there is almost too much information out there. The wellness landscape is super confusing to me — and I’ve been paying attention to it for twelve years — so I can’t imagine how overwhelming it is to somebody who’s just “getting on board”.
For me, when I began my wellness journey I did it in one fell swoop (because, hello! I have a super A-type personality). For other people it might be best to dip your toe in the pool. If you are that type of person, then might I suggest you start by removing the biggest offenders from your daily life: processed foods, sugar, and GMOs. Make the switch immediately to organic hormone, antibiotic free dairy and eggs. Also, be mindful that the skin is our largest organ, so switch out toxic soaps and shampoos also! Start small and then work your way up to an entirely ethically stocked fridge and household.
What are some of your favourite health and wellness products or rituals right now?
Some of my favourite health and wellness products that I’m currently using come from my holistic doctor in LA that comprise of Chinese herbs and homeopathic remedies that he has made specifically for busy people (like me) who tend toward adrenal fatigue. These have cleared my foggy brain and have put back the pep back in my step! I love Schinoussa Raw Superfood Sea Vegetables, and I am obsessed with the LivOn brand for their lypo-spheric products.
Some of my rituals include dry body brushing, and then baths with detoxifying soaks in water as hot as I can bear. I also end every evening with meditating on three things that I am grateful for, and I begin each day with mindful intention setting.
How do you like to stay active? Are you more of a gym or yoga person? Are you always on the look out for new, quirky workouts or are you more traditional?
I like to do workouts that stimulate my creative side, meaning they involve some choreography. SoulCycle is a personal favourite. I also like to train privately in my home with trainers who never put me through the same exercise program twice. I used to be a professional dancer, and I owned the only certified Tae Bo studio in Canada, so keeping my workouts interesting and fun is a must!
I find that I’m starting to listen to my soul more when it comes to working out, some days I feel like participating primarily in outdoor exercises so that finds me paddle boarding or wake boarding at my lake home, or hiking in the ravine with my dogs, or taking walks along the beach when in California. My exercise has become a much more mindful, full body endeavour these days, and a lot less about the number on the scale. That being said, I’m game to try almost anything once!
You mentioned in your Vitality article that you had an amazing experience at WeCare Spa in California. Have you been back since your first visit? What was so magical about your first time there?
I have been back to WeCare many, many times since my first visit. In fact, since that first visit in 2006, I have gone another six times. It’s not nearly enough. I would like to make going there a priority and go at least once a year.
The most magical part of the very first visit to WeCare was learning that aging poorly and disease are not a given. That we have a great deal of power as to how we live in our one body, and that food really is not simply a way to pass the time, but that it is actually fuel, and medicine for our body, mind and soul.
It was eye opening to me to learn just how negative an impact big farming is having on our planet, and how the pharmaceutical companies are making us sick through chemically altered foods so that they can make themselves rich off our illnesses. That blew me away.
You’ve raised three daughters and you’re still very close to them. What’s your parenting secret?
I am extremely close to all three of our girls. I’ve been known to say it on my blog, on my news segments — basically to anybody who will listen — that they are my three favourite humans, and I will pick them every day over anybody else. I’m obsessed with them, and so blessed to have the deep, fun and authentic relationship that I have with them.
I would say that the best way to achieve this with your kids (AKA my parenting secret) is to always treat them like their own person. They are not a mini you, they most likely won’t think the same way you do, they probably won’t have the same interests, or ideals. It’s not our jobs as parents to make our kids like us. It is our job as parents to give them the space and the safety net to discover who they authentically are.
How do your daughters feel about the health and wellness lifestyle?
Our girls feel quite passionately about health and wellness too. The greatest gift you can give your children, in my opinion is the gift of distinction. Teach them how to honour their bodies with food and lifestyle, and then when they go with the masses for a short time, they always come back to that healthy way of being on their own. It’s a beautiful thing.
What do you think is the most environmentally damaging human habit?
This is a tough one. I feel passionately about a lot of issues but if I have to pick only one, after being to Haiti, I have to say plastic. Plastic bottles. Plastic bags. Plastic packaging. Plastic.
How do you like to unwind after a stressful day?
My favourite way to unwind at the end of the day is with a lovely dinner out with my husband, Yannick, and – if luck has it – all three of our girls. Then coming home and cuddling in bed watching an hour of TV with our dogs.