Hi! I'm Nikola! I am a certified nutritionist with a master's degree in Global Public Health Nutrition from The University of Westminster. I am passionate about applying evidence-based nutrition to prevent and reverse disease, and I am wholeheartedly convinced in the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.
Before pursuing a career in nutrition, I studied psychology and worked for several nonprofit organizations, providing one-on-one and group therapy. This unique training serves as the backbone to my nutritional counseling.
I recognize the importance of individually-tailored approaches and respect that everyone strives for a slightly different level of health, from the desire to shed a few pounds to the avoidance of all animal products. I also believe that change occurs gradually, but through support and education, we all have the capability to modify our diets and improve our health!
I would love to be a part of your journey!
Walk into any bookstore and you could linger in front of the nutrition aisle for hours, browsing through miracle weight-loss books that target almost any food imaginable - from coconut oil to apple cider vinegar or even prime rib - all guaranteeing to instantly melt away your excess pounds and create a happier, healthier you. You'll sift through hundreds of specialists, soliciting their unique juice cleanses or blood-type specific diets, guaranteeing longevity by either avoiding or gorging on carbohydrates, depending on which book is the bestseller of the week.
So with all this contradictory information, what can you believe?
The diet industry in the United States brings in $20 billion dollar annually1, yet rates of adulthood obesity have risen from 15% to 37.7% since 19907. Alongside the increasing obesity epidemic, the incidence of diet and lifestyle related diseases (noncommunicable diseases) is also growing, reducing US life expectancy for the first time in over a decade6! Clearly the money poured into diet books and weight-loss schemes is not working. With the rise of nutrition related illnesses, this is irresponsible and increasingly dangerous.
To address this systemic issue, I strive to uncover the evidence behind nutritional advice, siphoning out scientifically-justified claims from those lacking substantial evidence. The recommendations you'll find on are all based on the best available evidence from the field and the sources are all cited for your reference, to help you feel less confused about dietary choices and empowered to improve your own health. By following these simple yet effective dietary modifications you can avoid disease, improve your mental health, lose weight, and achieve beatitude!
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Why whole foods, plant-based?
Whole foods, plant-based diets are better for your health, the environment, global food security and animal welfare.
Vegan diets are not only the only dietary pattern associated with a healthy weight in The United States, but they're also strongly associated with a reduced risk of premature death. Furthermore, following a plant-based diet significantly reduces your environmental impact, saves 21,000 animal lives throughout the course of your lifetime (United Poultry Concerns, 2009), and improves global food security in developing nations.
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What about U.S. dietary guidelines?
Current research suggests that U.S. food based dietary guidelines do not promote optimal health.
Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that the levels of meat3 and dairy4 recommended by U.S. food dietary guidelines actually increase your chance of developing noncommunicable diseases. Additionally, fruit2 and vegetable2 recommendations are dangerously low.
ABC News (2012). 100 Million Dieters, $20 Billion: The Weight Loss Industry By The Numbers. ABC News, 8 May. Available from: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/100-million-dieters-20-billion-weight-loss-industry/story?id=16297197 [Accessed 15 September, 2017].
Aune, D., Giovannucci, E., Boffetta, P., Fadnes, L.T., Keum, N., Norat, T., Greenwood, D.C., Riboli, E., Vatten, L.J. and Tonstad, S. (2016). Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality–a systematic review and dose-response meta- analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology.
Roberts, W.C. (2008). The cause of atherosclerosis. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 23(5), 464-467.
Singh, P.N., Batech, M., Faed, P., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Martins, M. and Fraser, G.E. (2014). Reliability of meat, fish, dairy, and egg intake over a 33-year interval in adventist health study 2. Nutrition and cancer, 66(8), 1315-1321.
World Health Organization (2017). Data and Statistics: Obesity. Geneva: World Health Organization. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity/data-and-statistics [Accessed 15 September, 2017].
Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Arias E. (2016). Mortality in the United States, 2015. NCHS data brief, no 267. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2017) Obesity Prevention Source: Adulthood Obesity. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-trends/obesity-rates-worldwide/ [Accessed 14 September, 2017].