About the Author

Nikole Goncalves

Books by this Author
The HealthNut Cookbook

The HealthNut Cookbook

Energize Your Day with Over 100 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Meals
edition:Paperback
More Info
Excerpt

I wasn’t always the green-smoothie-junkie, kalechomping girl I am today. I did grow up in a pretty healthy-eating Portuguese household. My mom always bought whole wheat bread and 1% milk, and we always had a big salad at the dinner table. But as I got older and started working part-time jobs, partying on the weekends, and staying up all night—like most teenagers—I fell into a health rut.
    I would often skip breakfast and run off a large coffee till noon. I was addicted to sugar and sweets, and although I was skinny, I had barely worked out a day in my life. Believe it or not, at one point I was even a smoker! The most unhealthy habit of all, though, was working 24/7. Even while going to college, I was working three part-time jobs and saying yes to everything because I just didn’t know how to say no to a good opportunity. Running off adrenaline, and not checking in with myself, quickly ran me right into a brick wall of exhaustion. I realized a change was necessary.
    It was a slow process, but I steadily started adopting healthier habits, such as eating breakfast, drinking more water than coffee, joining a running club with my boyfriend, Matt, and of course I quit smoking. I didn’t know it at the time, but Matt played a huge role in influencing me to start working out, eating healthy, and enjoying life outside of work. Although I initially started eating better and exercising in order to reduce my stress and heal my anxiety, it had an overwhelmingly positive ripple effect. My brittle nails became stronger, my skin became smoother and brighter, and I just felt happier overall. You could say the proof was in the pudding (healthy Lemon Pie Chia Pudding, that is) because when I started to live a healthier lifestyle, all of the positive changes immediately hooked me onto a new way of life.
    Throughout my journey I have experimented with just about every diet there is, from vegetarian, Raw Till 4, gluten-free . . . the list goes on. It took a lot of trial and error for me to find a balance that worked for me and my unique body. I quickly began to realize that the food I ate was largely connected to my emotions, stress levels, and mood. For me, food is a proactive approach to keeping my body running at its best. It’s medicine without the scary long list of side effects! And if the saying “you are what you eat” is true, then I would rather be a colourful bowl of salad than a sad plate of greasy fries.
    I started my blog HealthNut Nutrition to share recipes and cooking tips as I was getting more comfortable in the kitchen. In the beginning, my audience numbered about ten people (a.k.a. my family). It wasn’t until Matt—or as he’s known on the internet, Mr. Matt— and I moved temporarily to Australia that my YouTube career was born. After a year of binge-watching YouTube videos, I finally got up the courage to hit the record button, talk to a camera, and publish my first video. Since then my audience of ten has grown to hundreds of thousands (and counting!) of “HealthNuts” all over the world. Now when I hit that record button I picture all the amazing, beautiful people I hope to inspire and connect with every week through my videos.

My Food Philosophy

People often assume that in order to be healthy and fit, their diet needs to be restricting. I personally don’t believe in counting calories, living behind labels, or feeling guilty about treating myself to a slice of cheesecake. There’s a misconception out there that because I drink green smoothies and love my veggies, (a) I must be vegan, and (b) I’ve probably never eaten a cheeseburger in my life. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’m going to share all my not-so-secret secrets to creating a healthy and balanced relationship with food.
    HealthNut Nutrition is all about eating intuitively and consuming primarily unprocessed foods. You won’t find any calorie counting here because food doesn’t have to be your enemy! Real food is food that provides your body with the nutrients it needs to improve and sustain both your mental and your physical health.
    Nowadays, regardless of how busy I am, I always make time for good food and self-care. I love discovering and playing with new foods and flavours to create my own delicious twists on everyone’s classic favourites. But to me, delicious is only part of the equation. The HealthNut in me loves to make sure that every dish I make is balanced in a way that proves healthy eating doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring. I live by the 80/20 approach; that means eating healthy 80 percent of the time, while leaving 20 percent for sweets and wine. So if you’re looking for recipes that are easy, healthy, and always tasty, you’ve found the cookbook for you.

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