Possessing a keen sense of aroma and flavor and having made multiple adventure travels to Greenland, Nepal and New Zealand, Christine Chenard creates and develops Happy Yak’s delicious meals. President and co-founder of the company, she shares her two passions: the great outdoors and nutrition.
Where does your passion for the outdoors come from and how important is nature in your life?
The outdoors, for me, is a matter of balance, where I can get fresh ideas and ground myself. Camping or just sitting and looking at the trees makes me feel good. For me, there are two aspects to the outdoors: contemplation and self-achievement.
My niece made me discover the zen part of the outdoors during a trip to Oka Park when she was only 4-5 years old. It was towards the end of the summer, we stopped in front of blooming milkweeds to admire their beauty! We took a picture of her contemplating the flowers. That, to me, was the ultimate connection to nature. Beautiful outings with children, swimming naked in a lake: this is the real outdoors, freedom, exploration, discoveries!
Moreover, as one who has a lot of fears and doubts, the outdoors to me is a great healer and allows me to surpass myself. My thought are always along the lines of: Wow! My body is able to do that! I’m amazed! It’s fantastic! I am always impressed what my body can accomplish; it is motivating.
The great outdoors came into my life little by little. It was only in the late twenties that I started making trips and group excursions. I did long-distance cycling and sea kayaking even before these sports became trendy! I like challenges. I did several expeditions, climbing, ski treks, etc. I went to Europe, Asia, and South America.
The self-improvement aspect allows you to discover yourself, but also to discover your fellow travelers. We are never so much ourselves as when we are caught in a situation and very tired. During my travels, I learned that every person has strengths and weaknesses, but not at the same time. By that I mean that when one is tired, the other can take over.
What led you to study nutrition?
There are four reasons that led me to my study nutrition. First, I wanted to study medicine, but I did not have the grades! I also always felt that nutrition had an impact on the emotional aspect of people. I did tests on myself! I thought it was really important to eat well to be emotionally stable and happy. The whole chemical aspect of food, that is the chemical links between them, also interested me a lot. Finally, like many girls, I always had the impression of having a weight problem, so I chose nutrition to try to solve my problem. I wanted to know why it was difficult to follow the concepts of healthy eating. We all wish to eat well, but we do not follow through. I was really interested in the psychology surrounding these choices.
The combination of Christine’s two passions is one of the factors that undoubtedly assures the balance between nutrition, good taste and the pleasure of eating in the great outdoors that Happy Yak meals provide!
Learn more about the freeze-drying process that characterizes our meals right here!