This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Nikole Goncalves.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Nikole and I run the healthy food and lifestyle YouTube Channel, HealthNut Nutrition. I started making YouTube videos as a way to help other people looking to learn more about healthy eating and how what you eat can really affect the body and how you feel.
I am all about a non-restrictive, balanced “diet” and lifestyle. I drink a green smoothie almost daily but I also love a good wings and beer night once in a blue moon if I’m being honest. As I learn and experiment more with foods and flavours I love being about to share my recipes and findings with my online friends all over the world.
Where does your motivation come from?
Being a huge foodie at heart I live for food and get my inspiration from anywhere and anything. It could be at a trendy restaurant trying new flavour combinations, scrolling through Pinterest or daydreaming about what would happen if I mixed chocolate and chai together in a recipe. I’m constantly recipe creating in my head and jotting down ideas on my phone for future videos.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
Starting your own business whether online or not comes with the challenge of balancing it all. I quickly came to realize that I just couldn’t do it all myself if I wanted to grow and sustain my business while keeping my sanity and social life. I eventually hired on my younger sister Cloe as extra stagehands and who is now my fulltime video editor and going to school for film and production.
I also have outsourced for things like web design and copyediting. As your busy grows and you have less and less time to do the day to day stuff it’s a great idea to start bringing people onto your team and freeing up your time for the bigger picture things so you can constantly be moving forward.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
I tend to always take on way more than I can handle. These past 6 months I’ve really been starting to realize that in order for me to continue doing the things I’m doing without burning out is to take some me time. I remember hearing a quote from Marie Forleo where she said something along the lines of “for those who think they don’t have time to meditate she says you can’t afford not to.” Which basically for me means if you don’t take time for yourself you’ll be useless in the long run.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
As someone who is a big fan of using free hand weights I’d have to say that lifting more weights whether light or heavy does not mean you’ll look like a bodybuilder. I always tell people that you don’t accidentally look like a bodybuilder. People that are super muscular work really REALLY hard and are on very strict diets and exercise routines to look that way. Besides, lifting weights is so good for increasing your metabolism, burning fat and toning those arms!
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
Funny enough I actually find that if you ask around, more often than not people who are thinner eat more often and those who are overweight eat less. Now this obviously isn’t the case all the time and some people overeat due to emotional issues or find it hard to lose weight from hormonal disorders.
I always recommend eating real food, snacking in between meals and chewing your food well so your body can actually digest and absorb what is it your eating and you’ll know when you're full.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
That health is not just what you put in your body but the thoughts you think and the people you surround yourself with. It truly is a holistic approach and no amount of green smoothies will solve all your problems. Health is both physically and mentally.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
I keep balance in my life by having certain habits that I try to do everyday/week and it can be something as simple as starting my day with a large glass of lemon water to sweating it out at the gym 4 times a week. I also always try to make it a habit to make time for both work and play by scheduling in dates with Mr. Matt (my boyfriend), girlfriends and family when I can.
How do you stay productive?
I’m all about the bullet journals/list making. Every morning I start off by making a quick bullet to do list of everything I need to get done that day. Even simple things like getting the mail, I add on there so I can get the satisfaction of crossing it off as I complete them.
For some reason being able to physically see what I’ve done that day when everything is electronic is super helpful. I love planning things out online with my Google calendar but putting pen to paper is still one of my favourite ways to brainstorm.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
To work and stress less! I have always taken on way more than I can chew since I find it hard to say no to opportunities. It must be that whole FOMO thing (fear of missing out). At times I wished I hadn’t worked 3 jobs while in school studying Marketing. I feel like I’ve worked really hard to pave the way for me now but sometimes I’d rather have more time for enjoying moments instead of more money for enjoying things.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
Currently I work out around 4-5 times a week ranging anything from yoga and walking to cardio and weight training. For food, I usually eat about 80% veggies, fruit, grains, nuts and seeds and 20% meat, eggs, fish and seafood.
To be honest I find my body and mind does best on a high fat low sugar diet but by fat I mean the good kind like nut butters, cashews, avocado, olive oil, salmon, etc.
For supplements I really love spirulina powder, hemp oil, magnesium, liquid iron, B complex, and a good multivitamin.
Going into 2017, what are your biggest life goals?
As someone who deals with anxiety I really want to focus my energy on creating rituals to remove stress and add happiness into my life. Things like positive affirmations; meditation, girl’s nights, nature hikes/walks and journaling are all things I want more time for. I always want to push myself out of my comfort zone and start planning more trips and letting go of control in certain situations.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?