Mom Crush: Jennifer Abdulezer

Jennifer Abdulezer is a healthy mummy who has her hands full (to say the least!). With a daughter aged 16, and three sons aged 14, 13 and 9, Jennifer is a dietitian in private practice, and also works with a multi-disciplinary team at Brain Friendly Learning and Wellness Centre in Westmount, where their focus includes nutrition, emotional and mental health, education and exercise.

After graduating McGill University and practicing for several years, Jennifer put her career on hold as she and her husband started their family.  After 16 years of being a stay at home mom, she decided to focus on her career again.  Here’s how this mompreneur balances it all.

Why did you decide to go back to work now?

Being a stay at home mom is wonderful, but as my children became older, I had much more time to myself again.  I always loved my field of nutrition and health, so I decided I was ready to devote that time to going back to work and helping others.  I also felt it was important for my daughter and my sons to see that a woman can have that balance of home and work life.

How have your children helped to inspire your work?

I love feeding my family, and teaching them about nutrition and their bodies. I’ve done it since they were little. I encourage them to eat well and try new things, and I teach them what the foods they eat are doing for their bodies.  Because of it, today, they enjoy good food, they like cooking and baking, and overall promoting their own health.

Who is a female role model you admire and greatly respect?

I would say a fellow colleague dietitian who was my dietitian when I was 16. As a teenager, I struggled with my weight.  When I decided to do something about it, my mom said “you’re doing it the right way from the beginning” and it was a wonderful process. The lessons I learned back then on what to eat, and how to eat well, stuck with me my whole life.

As moms the day can escape us, so what is your best time-saving trick?

The more you can do in advance the better, like setting the breakfast table the night before, cutting up fruits and veggies ahead of time, planning your weekly menu and making a grocery list so you’re more efficient during the week.  I know it sounds like a lot of work but trust me… it’s a lifesaver!

What is your favorite part of your job?

People come to see me for all different reasons and I love the challenge of being faced with different issues each time.  When someone comes to see me with an issue, and we can find that key thing in their diet or lifestyle that we can tweak to set them on the right path, it’s very rewarding.

What do you do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?

It’s more like time off, not a whole day!  I’ll usually take the time to go to a spin or barre class.  The best time off is when I get a moment home alone, and I just sit and enjoy the quiet.

Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?

Support from your family is very important, whether it be help with pick ups and drop offs or taking on more responsibilities at home while your out.  It’s also important to have your kids respect the time that you are working and not as available to them. It amazed me how my kids picked up on that on their own.  On a regular day, they could be texting or calling all day long, but the day I’m in the office, it’s radio silence – they understand and support what I’m doing. Go out there and try. It’s scary but it’s exciting to do something for yourself, something that’s solely yours. That’s a nice feeling.

What is something you do with your children?

Since we are a big family, we are usually scattered all over the place.  When we do have time to be all together, we really like trying new restaurants, or just sitting at home around the fire and chatting.

What is your favorite date night? 

We have our favorite go to restaurant. We order the same food and drinks each time, and it’s nice to have uninterrupted conversation. Then we come home to open up Netflix.

What have you been marathoning?

We just finished Ozark. It’s a brilliantly written show.

What is your go-to dinner?

Homemade creamy mac-n-cheese is a favorite, as are Greek-style pitas.

What was the last book you read?

Big Little Lies. I watched the series first and then the book.

Which was better?

The book.

What is your favorite family vacation?

We traveled to the Middle East last year and we could all agree it was the most incredible vacation we ever took; the cities we visited, the beaches, the food, it was just beautiful.

What is your go-to drink?

Most definitely Italian Pinot Grigio.