Being preoccupied with losing weight can be a stressful thing, but life becomes even more stressful when that preoccupation turns into an obsession. Disordered eating is unfortunately a big problem in the U.S, and many people have been affected by it in some way.
Nikki Ostrower knows that struggle first hand. When she was nine years old, Ostrower began to battle with food, and for 17 years, she continued to struggle; through high school, college, and at a Fortune 500 company. It wasn’t until she decided for herself that she couldn’t continue the way she had been going that Nikki was able to get help, and since then her entire outlook on nourishment has changed.
The owner of NAO Nutrition, Ostrower has a newfound love of food that she wants to share with the world. After going back to school at the Academy of Healing Nutrition, Ostrower became a holistic nutritionist, and offers a variety of services at NAO, including food allergy testing, corporate wellness workshops, family nutrition, and even VIP Days that give focused nutritional attention in a client’s own home.
We’re happy to welcome Nikki to the GreenBlender family where she’ll be occasionally blogging about the healing power of food! Read an interview with her below, and stay tuned for her writing in the coming months.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Empathetic, Nurturing, Authentic
Tell us a little bit about your health journey and business. How did it come to be, and what is it all about today?
My story and struggle with an eating disorder began at a young age and by nine years old, I developed an acute preoccupation with my body. Throughout high school and college this progressed into multiple eating disorders and negatively impacted my daily life until I decided to seek treatment and transform my relationship to food and my body. After this terrifyingly beautiful rollercoaster ride, I decided to go back to school to study nutrition and turned my passion into my purpose. I started NAO nutrition 8 years ago, with a clear mission to help others live a healthy lifestyle.
Green Blender is all about finding enjoyable ways to be healthy, and empowering you to indulge in your health. How do you indulge in your health, and why do you think it’s important?
It’s crucial to indulge in the pursuit of your health in fun ways that fit into your busy lifestyle. Each morning, my husband and I meditate when the baby goes down for her first nap. This sets a clear intention for the day and makes it possible to achieve daily health goals while having a positive mindset. This daily ritual is important and allows me to be a more loving mom, wife, friend, and nutritionist.
What is your favorite way to stay fit, and what’s your advice to others who are looking to get active?
The key is to find an activity that you enjoy so it’s easier to stay motivated each day. For me, I’m a mama and a business owner, therefore, I try to get in at least 30 minutes of fitness each day.
Morning workouts are perfect and I love being in touch with nature, so when the weather cooperates, I put the baby in the stroller and go for a run along the Hudson. I’m lucky enough to have a gym in the building so you can also find me blaring my favorite inspirational playlist and sweating it. I will also put baby Emma in the Ergo Carrier, do some squats and have a fun dance party with her.
Fitness to me is more about having fun and taking a mental break. It’s food for the body & soul.
What has been your biggest challenge when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, and how have you overcome it?
Being a new mom and business owner, the biggest challenge is finding spare time that I can carve out just for me. I overcome it by literally scheduling breaks into my calendar and treating them as important as sessions with my clients or business strategy meetings.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is paramount so it’s important to overcome this challenge every day. If you can’t show up for yourself first, it’s impossible to be there for others.
How have you witnessed the healing power of food first hand?
Personally, I’ve seen the impact of a ravenous eating disorder for 17 years and thankfully witnessed all the benefits after being in recovery for the last 11 years. I have used a unique combination of clean food, herbs, and spices to heal my mind and body.
Early in my recovery I was told that I would never be able to get pregnant due to the devastating effects of the eating disorder, but thanks to all the healing foods I had a very healthy pregnancy and beautiful little baby girl. As Hippocrates said “Food is Thy Medicine.”
And finally…what is your favorite Green Blender smoothie recipe?
Want to fill your days with health, wellness, and delicious fruits and vegetables? Join GreenBlender today!