Hello everyone! I'm Justine Dowd. I have a PhD in health psychology, and I specialize in self-compassion, health behaviour change and digestive disorders. I have been designing, evaluating, researching and delivering health behaviour change programs for over 14 years. Through coping with my own health issues for years - daily headaches, digestive pain, celiac disease, IBS, infertility and insomnia, I have become very passionate about helping people take a wholistic approach to optimize their own health. When I'm not reading, writing or talking about all things wholistic health, I am the mom to two young boys and my furbaby, and wife to my husband of over 7 years. We live in Calgary, AB and love running, yoga, biking, throwing rocks in the river and spending as much time as possible by the water.
I started health coaching because I believe that there is a huge gap that is missing in health care - support, coping resources and accountability to make and sustain healthy changes in ones' life. I specialize in helping people struggling with digestive disorders - including celiac disease, IBS, IBD, non-celiac wheat sensitivity, and undiagnosed tummy troubles - I'm here for you!
After completing my PhD in health psychology, I then completed two postdoctoral fellowships at UBC at Okanagan with the Behaviour Change Lab and then at the University of Calgary with the Health and Wellness Lab, during which I focused my research on wholistic approaches to managing celiac disease. I’ve run a variety of research studies looking at the effects of using self-compassion and physical activity to help people to effectively cope with celiac disease. Not surprisingly, I found that the more people practice self-compassion, the better they are able to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet and report better quality of life. I also found that a high intensity interval training (HIIT) + wholistic health program led to beneficial changes in gut microbiota, quality of life, gastrointestinal pain and self-compassion. Stay tuned for more info on these studies coming soon!
I believe that everyone deserves to look and feel their best! This usually comes from finding the right pieces of the puzzle to come together to help YOU be the best you can be. A combination of self-care, mindset, nutrition, movement, quality sleep, and clean personal care products will help you get there.
I’m excited to connect with you and hear about your journey to wellness. I am always keen to hear tips and strategies that help you feel your best.
I'd love to hear from you! What is/are your go-to strategies to help you manage digestive pain? Leave a comment below!