IZ People: Joanne Smith

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Finding a time to catch up with Joanne Smith is almost impossible. In fact, just keeping track of her busy schedule is exhausting, but finally getting to spend time with her – it’s easy to see why this lady is in such high demand.
Instantly warm and gracious, her beautiful home in The Beaches reflects her style and sophistication.
“I really love this area. Strolling along the beach, biking, there’s always a lot going on and a lot to do.” She mentions as her gorgeous Poodle Pierre makes himself comfortable on the couch nearby. “There’s a lot of great restaurants too.”
A Certified Nutritionist, Joanne’s national nutrition company Fruitful Elements specializes in providing services to individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries, chronic pain, digestive dysfunction, as well as weight loss/gain. 
She’s an accomplished writer, having co-authored ‘Eat Well Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury & Other Neurological Conditions’, and is also a regular nutrition columnist for New Mobility, PN, Sports n’ Spokes and Outspoken magazines.

While nutrition keeps her busy enough- presenting at conferences and sharing her incredible knowledge, in addition to this, Joanne has hosted and produced two national television programs focused on telling in-depth stories about Canadians with disabilities, the award winning CBC show Moving On, and Accessibility in Action. 

Somehow, amongst all those commitments, she volunteers and mentors for numerous disability focus organizations including SCI Ontario, Lyndhurst Rehabilitation Center, Canadian Spinal Research Organization and the Easter Seals.

For someone who’s personality is so bright, Joanne admits that her style is pretty conservative. “I’m really a Jeans and Tee Shirt every day kind of person. I like simplicity.” 

Her style highlights are well curated and much like her: classy and elegant.

1. Peep Toe Heels
“I always wear heels. I get laughed at a lot for it because people think it’s funny since I’m always sitting down, but there’s actually important functionality to them! Early on when I broke my back, my legs would move too much while I was wheeling my chair and I found that hooking heels onto my foot rests kept them in place. Now I have customized foot rests just for the heels!”

2. Wide Brim Hat
“I love hats - from baseball caps to wide brims to little fascinators. They’re great for bad hair days and very easily completely change an outfit, so they’re a big part of my style. I tend to buy them wherever I travel. I got this one in Savannah, Georgia and it’s fantastic.”

3. Silver Necklace
“I’m tetraplegic and because of this, I don’t change my jewelry often. This necklace is simple and elegant and goes with everything. It also has special memories attached. It came from my Cousin from England who is like a sister to me. She gave it to me 20 or 25 years ago. It was her that helped me through when I had my accident. This necklace is a great reminder of her support and a source of strength for me.”

4. IZ Dress Pants
“I do a lot of MC-ing and I host a lot of events. I do love dresses but they’re a pain for me, so my IZ Dress Pants are the perfect outfit solution for those occasions. These don’t just look great, they’re comfortable so it’s perfect.”

5. Patterned Scarf
“I find that being in a chair, putting on layers is difficult. Especially when I’m super busy.. which is always. I like to keep my clothing choices as simple as possible: tees and jeans are my staple, so a scarf is a great and quick way to dress up anything. I throw on a nice scarf and I’m ready for a meeting or whatever the day brings… You could say I have a scarf addiction.”

6. Eat Well, Live Well - Book.
“I co-authored this book and it’s really my Bible. It was the first nutrition book written specifically for people with spinal cord injuries or other neurological conditions.  Most of my clients have traumatic brain injuries or spinal injuries and so I always have this with me.”

7. Heeled Boots.
“This is another pair that are some favorites of mine. One thing about being a chair user – Your shoes go out of style before they wear out!”