Nikki Heyder not only has an amazing soul but she is a nutritionist and wellness coach. Nikki is the founder of NOOD were she re-educating people about what we are putting into our bodies and the importance of leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle. We had the opportunity to catch up with Nikki and find out about her journey, her views on fad dieting and her best health & wellness tips for you. We hope you enjoy. S & T xx
Tell us a little about your journey and who you are?
Well, my name is Nikki Heyder. I am an Aries, I have a 9 year old dog named Bella, I live in Perth and I own a health and wellness business called NOOD. I am a Nutritional Counsellor and Wellness Coach and I am currently finishing my Bachelor in Nutritional Medicine. Prior to NOOD I worked as an outsourced Human Resource Consultant and I also hold a Bachelor of Business majoring in HR and Business Management. NOOD has been operating as business since November 2013 and it came about simply from a passion and a love for good, wholesome food and from a genuine interest and belief that natural, clean, unprocessed food can do wonders for our health if we can only learn to get back in touch with it. I have a very multi-cultural background (my mother is Italian and my father Indonesian/Arabic), I grew up in Indonesia and moved to Australia in my early teens. Food has always been a part of my life and has always been a source of ‘togetherness’ in my family – sharing a meal is a way to connect with the people you love and is one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. I went through my own health issues growing up – candida infections, meningitis, chronic fatigue, re-occurring tonsillitis, and I was a migraine sufferer for many years. All of these issues fixed themselves after seeing natural health professionals and through fixing my diet. So I guess after working in the corporate world for a few years, I decided that I wanted to pursue my passion in food and health and I left my role in HR and started working in a busy kitchen as a Cook whilst I completed my studies and then opened NOOD. Now, NOOD offers healthy, wholefood catering options for events, it provides healthy ‘grab n go’ meal options for different suppliers through Perth and we run cooking classes, workshops, talks, and collaborate with other people in the industry as much as possible to spread the word of health and wellness.
What is the NOOD health and wellness philosophy?
Our philosophy is very simple. It’s all about educating others (whether that be through the physical cooking and eating of food, or whether it be through presentations, blog posts and community involvement) and how to properly nourish our bodies and mind from the inside out. So this means listening to what our bodies are telling us (physically, emotionally and spiritually) and then having the courage and ability to act on that in order to ensure that we are living our lives to their fullest potential. Eating well is such a big part of a healthy life and I guess I just wanted people to be aware that it doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult or tasteless. So here at NOOD we try to get people excited about looking after themselves – we provide healthy function/event catering, run interactive cooking classes, wholesale beautiful whole food lunch boxes and ‘gran n go’ meals to different venues around Perth, we have our online hub with recipes and blog posts, and I personally do a lot of public speaking and workshops in order to get as many people inspired as possible.
What does the term ‘nourish your bodies from the inside out’ mean to you?
Inside out means physically, emotionally, spiritually – looking after yourself from the inside. This includes what you eat and ingest, what your values are, what you stand for, and the words you use when you speak to yourself on a daily basis. Nourishing from the inside is all about the stuff that people can’t see but it’s the stuff who makes you who you truly and that’s why it’s of utmost importance in the journey of health and wellness. There’s a saying that says “when you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place” and I think that’s probably the best way to define it. When you feel good inside, life is better, you make better decisions, you are confident, you are physically stronger, you are happier.
Why do you think there are so many ‘fad’ diets out there atm, and how does NOOD help conquer this?
I think that there are so many fad diets purely because everyone wants a quick fix solution to life and that’s where fad diets appeal. We all want the magic bullet, the 2 week cure, the elixir that will all of a sudden transform us from years of damage or neglect into some super kind of super human. From a marketing and business perspective, fad diets are pretty smart because they capture people’s attention and to be very frank, they make a hell of a lot of money doing it. So I guess that’s why there are so many of them. People would see it as a great business opportunity. I guess I personally don’t like fad diets because I find them very cult-like and it freaks me out… During my nutrition studies the biggest thing that stuck with me is that all of us are very different and therefore what works for one person, may not necessarily work for the other. Some of us have auto-immune conditions, some of us have a build-up of bad gut bacteria, some of us have allergies and some of us need to eat a certain way due to hormone imbalances. There is no magic bullet – it’s all about listening to your own body and then working from there to find what suits you best. Of course there are the general non-negotiables when it comes to healthy eating – no refined sugars, no soft drinks, junk food, white processed flours, low fat yogurts etc. But when it comes to specifics, I think that you need to work with a professional and figure that out for yourself. I don’t know if NOOD really helps to ‘conquer’ the influx of fad diets… I think we just try to ensure that we provide something for everyone, regardless of what type of ‘diet’ you are on. We focus more on the promotion of whole foods and about finding a balance rather than enforcing one particular way of eating over another.
What is your best foodie tip for someone wanting to start looking after their body?
To have fun with it… eating healthy doesn’t need to be bland or boring. The great thing about the health boom that is going on at the moment is that there has been an abundance of some incredible blogs and websites with access to thousands of free and delicious recipes. So I would suggest firstly, getting rid of some of the inflammatory stuff in your diet – think processed meats, bottled sauces and salad dressings, wheat, dairy and most importantly, refined sugars! Then spend some time online looking up recipes that appeal to you. Start simple and create a little folder of things you’d like to try out. Once you get started, you will soon see how easy and rewarding it is to cook yourself a beautiful meal that is also doing your body wonders at the same time! NOOD has created some amazing recipes, what would be your favourite go to meal? Where would you suggest a new comer to the Wellness world start, who is wanting to find balance in their life?
How do you spend the first 80 minutes of your day?
I wake up pretty early most days and always start the morning with a quick (but necessary) 10 minute meditation – I feel that it keeps me grounded and allows me to set my intention for the day. After that its breakfast (some of our grain-free granola with coconut kefir and fruit or a yummy omelette of some description) followed by a quick check of my e-mails so that I can reply to anything urgent and not have to check it again until later in the afternoon. I’ll usually walk down the road and grab a coffee and then head to personal training, yoga or the kitchen (depending on what’s going on that day).
What is the single best thing you believe someone should do to get their health and wellness journey started?
Seek the help and guidance of a few different people in the industry. From my experience, people get the most frustrated and thus have a higher chance of giving up when they try to tackle it all on their own, or when they try to tackle too much at one time. Do the basics – go and get a blood test and seek the advice of a naturopath or nutritionist to help you get any issues sorted and create a tailored meal plan for you. Once you’ve got the eating down packed and into a solid routine (diet can often be the hardest part to get used to), then look at exercise, meditation, work/life balance, career etc. I really think it’s important when you’re starting out not to get overwhelmed or to try and do everything at once. You don’t HAVE to wake up tomorrow practicing yoga for 2 hours a day and drinking green smoothies for breakfast lunch and dinner. Starting your health journey should be about setting short term, realistic goals that will get you closer and closer to your overall vision of wellness, not about fad dieting or quick bursts of fanatical health crazes followed by binge weekends. At the end of the day it’s about finding the balance that suits you and your lifestyle, whatever that may look like.
What would be the best advice anyone has ever given you?
That you can’t control what happens to you in life, but that you can always control how you react to it. Life is full of ups and downs and that’s what makes it life, and that’s what makes it exciting. So it’s what we choose to do with those times that makes us who we are and enables us to progress as human beings. We will all make mistakes and face complications and challenges but if we can learn from each and every one and move forward then that’s all we can ever hope for and that’s what makes the journey all worthwhile I think.
Where can we find you?
Website: www.nood.net.au Instagram: @nood_eatnourishinspire Facebook: www.facebook.com/NOODGroup If you are in Perth and want to grab one of our meals or test out our delicious grain free granola, you can visit one of our suppliers: Uncle Joe’s – 74 King Street, Perth CBD Fresh Provisions – 77 Wallcott Street, Mount Lawley My Health Market – Cottesloe Central Shopping Centre
- Southlands Shopping Centre
- Midland Gate Shopping Centre
Captain Stirling IGA – Cnr Florence Road & Stirling Highway, Nedlands
We hope you have enjoyed this inspiring interview. See you back here next week for another inspirational story.