Nicole Sankey is a Nutritional Therapist and runs her own practice, Choose Nutrition, to help people reconnect with their bodies and help them find the link between what they eat and their health. Nicola works with a range of clients including the general population, corporates and restaurants, all who are actively trying to change their diets and environment.
Tell us how you came to be in the role you are today…
Like most people, I found that I no longer had a work-life balance. I was driven and ambitious and in a completely different career! I noticed the impact on my health that stress was having; I was run down, had low energy, living on adrenalin and subsequently struggling to conceive. I took a step back and reassessed what was important to me. I focused some of my attention back onto me and started to retrain in an area I had always loved: food! The following years saw my health improve, my energy come back and the birth of two healthy boys. I now have the balance I needed and the drive to work alongside my family.
What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?
Enjoy the journey and don’t get stressed by deadlines and essay writing. They are just a small part of how you learn. Ask questions and never stop. Do your own research and don’t be afraid to challenge ideas.
How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?
I relax with my husband and boys. We hang out, mess around on the beach, create interesting smoothies together, play and laugh.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
That not everybody is ready to hear what his or her body is saying. People work at their own pace and that can be hard – it requires patience. Also, nutritional therapy is regarded as a luxury and not available to everyone (though this is getting better!).
In five words, tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…
Listening, connecting, open, inquisitive, empathetic.
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
That we are on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how our bodies work. Nutrition science is moving so fast and there is a real thirst for the knowledge. The food industry is being challenged and that is hugely exciting, people are learning and are more interested in their bodies and their health.
What’s next on your horizon?
My children are young so I plan to continue growing my practice. I am also collating a range of recipes for a cookbook.
If you weren’t a Nutritional Therapist, you would have been a…
A food critic.
Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?
I love that IQS aims to cater for everyone and uses simplicity as its key. Gone are pointless calorie counting and fads; it sticks to using whole foods and teaches people how to cook again. This is really the basis for a healthy life and it is not about dropping a dress size or other false promises. Instead it reconnects people with foods they might not have tried, flavours that will surprise them and educating people that they don’t need sugar, that it is simply a craving which can be managed.
The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?
I’d cook a Greek-inspired banquet with roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto, grilled haloumi with mint and chilli dip, roasted aubergine chunks and tabbouleh. For main, I’d grill some fresh salmon and watercress fishcakes and serve with a warm salad and sweet potato wedges. To finish off, I’d make some refined sugar-free banana pancakes with some homemade matcha ice-cream.
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