I often get the question “how did you become a Holistic Health Professional?.” My answer to this is “Simple, I take the practices of health that I know and share them with others. If what I feel to be true changes, then I let that be known.”
Okay, my background is a little more complex than that so let’s rewind a bit. Growing up my parents and grandparents always had a big garden. I never thought much of it at the time and just thought that was what everybody did and was part of being healthy. In the garden my grandfather grew his coveted garlic. This was something that could cure anybody, anytime, anywhere of anything. Certainly this is still true, but my picture of health has evolved over the years from just take garlic and you’ll be good or the often quoted “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
As I was growing up I was also very active playing football, basketball and soccer. It was soccer that got me into running. I did it a lot. Just long (slower) runs that I thought would be great for me and keep me in shape with a few sets of sit ups. This did okay for a while as I thought it was great for me and then came my set of weights that I got in middle school. I would spend hours in my parents’ basement with a T.V. that only had 3 channels and just pump iron endlessly.
This was also the time when most people started to get internet in their homes and I could read how to get huge from all of the articles that were out there and all the posts these other huge and strong guys put in forums. I realize now that most of them probably had pencil necks and couldn’t do a pull-up, but it worked for me at the time.
Around this same time I started to get Flex Magazine where I could see what all of the best bodybuilding programs, supplements and nutrition were. Of course I wanted it all and couldn’t wait to be the biggest, strongest, fastest and of course best looking body on the soccer field. None of those happened, but I still tried my hardest to be what I thought healthy was at the time.
Bring on high school next where I kept lifting and actually started to learn some things from people I lifted with, and also doing a ton of sprints with my best friend Mark. We were very well conditioned and still I thought extremely healthy as I continued to read and try new things that I learned.
Next came college where I attended Ithaca College to study physical therapy. While there I also punted for the football team. Being a student athlete I learned quickly that I would have to be very stingy with my time practicing, lifting, studying and socializing. Practice and lifting were always set times so that was no problem.
Studying was the biggie so that time had to be set around those and then socializing with whatever was left. Looking back on it now I feel that I was supposed to be learning about how to take care of the body, but we really only learned how to fix it after it was broken. Instead I learned how to survive on three hours of sleep a night, eat pizza on the weekends and still crush myself in the gym. I tended to get really sick around finals time too with the increased stress and even less sleep.
I also minored in nutrition and I could have just read the FDA food pyramid and passed the class. Yup, that was pretty much the extent of it and I took a bunch of classes in this. I was a little bothered by all of what we were being told, especially because it was around this time that I was introduced to some of Paul Chek’s articles. This is where my unlearning of classic dogmas began, but didn’t really take off until after graduation.
After graduation I began working at Robbins Rehabilitation as a physical therapist and was introduced to podcasting by my boss Travis. This was a new thing to me and he suggested Sean Croxton’s Underground Wellness. It was a great show and is also where my reigniting of Paul Chek began as he was a guest on one of his shows. I began to devour his book, articles and signed up for classes. I couldn’t get enough because most of the stuff was completely new to me, against what I had learned and ACTUALLY WORKED! It was fantastic and my future had changed dramatically.
A few years later in 2012 Evolution Health and Fitness was formed and I was on my way. It has been my passion ever since to show people that you can get healthy. I am living proof of it and this is how I feel we really can start to change the world together. I will continue to spread freedom to all who are ready to change.
My Biggest Struggles
I have had some struggles along the way when I was bulking doing strongman and often having the urge to vomit. I didn’t sleep much in college and always got sick and often a nasty sinus infection during finals week. I’ve also been through the crazy working out all of the time stage.
However, none of these come close to my biggest struggle of all…SUGAR. I grew up and ate healthy most of the time, but often had cookies and milk, donuts and milk, just pastries in general and milk for breakfast (the milk of course at the time was commercially produced and skimmed). Then in middle, high school and even college I had a big bowl of oatmeal with a ton of fruit in it. I think you can recognize the pattern of lots and lots of sugar at breakfast. It was a little more balanced throughout the day, but not much.
Over the years this has become much better and the amount of certain foods I eat certainly changes throughout the year. I do not believe that this sugar addiction will ever change in today’s society, but I do not know that it should change.
It seems that we have been hardwired from an evolutionary standpoint to eat a lot and eat a lot of sweets when they were available. Unfortunately they are now highly processed and available at any single moment. I share in struggles, but have learned that my passion for health and wellness for myself and my clients far outweighs the alternative.
My personal approach to incorporating what I have learned:
The Food I Eat
I tend to eat very seasonally and may not eat certain foods for months on end and then devour them when they come back around at the farmer’s market again. This way I can rotate my foods to not get tired of them and to give my body a rest. I loosely use the Foundation Eating Pattern that I developed which allows me to factor in my ancestry, stress levels, time of year, etc. to see what is working for me at the time.
My Favorite Food
Well I am a foodie and if I picked one thing it would be a raw marrow bone. I love to scoop out the marrow and sprinkle some Celtic Sea Salt on it. There is just nothing like it and I feel incredible energy after eating some. I’m also a huge fan of winter squash.
My Daily Exercise Routine
I have a very mixed exercise routine. First, I will always do at least 20 minutes of tai chi using my tai chi ruler every single day. I also make sure to spend 10-15 minutes on stretches and mobilizations every day. As for working out, this is cyclical and I will vary between corrective (if I am out of balance), hypertrophy, strength and power phases or even a mix of a few. Lifting heavy weights is still my favorite.
In addition to these I take the dogs to the park almost every day for 30-45 minutes and we walk through trails in the woods. This is when I get to do my rock stacking as well, which is an amazing energy booster.
My Favorite Exercise
The deadlift if we are talking classic gym lift. Put weight on a bar and pick it up. If we are going with unconventional then it would be the Atlas Stones or picking up heavy rocks.
Do I Ever Sleep?
Ahhh sleep… another love of mine. There is no doubt about it, this is a variable thing for me though, as I tend to sleep a little more in the winter than the summer and a little less on days that I workout. On average it ends up being around 8-9 hours each night depending on the season. I also need a little less sleep when I do more working in and tai chi sessions.
Recently I have taken up training in shamanism. This practice includes regular shamanic journeying which is common to all indigenous societies throughout history. By listening to a drumbeat or other rhythmic percussion, the shaman enters ‘non-ordinary’ reality; an ‘altered state of consciousness’ beyond time and space to access spiritual guidance and healing, this is for the shaman to be able to assist others and the planet, and reconnect with the cycles of nature. The knowledge gained during the journeying session is used to help heal oneself and others.
Today I am a qualified Holistic Health Specialist and owner of Evolution Health and Fitness. I have taken my knowledge of movement and combined it with my passion for health and freedom to educate people like you on how to heal your own body through various workshops, one-to-one coaching packages, weekly blog articles, podcasts, videos, presentations and my signature ’67 Stage Freedom Unleashed’ 3-Level Program.
Being a busy business professional himself he is inspired to help other busy professionals regain their health so they can have the freedom to do what it is they love.
Nick understands that it can certainly be difficult trying to decide how to implement the necessary health changes to better your life, and suggests that if you are having a difficult time deciding which package will be right for you then start here with a FREE 15 minute consultation. During your 15 minute consultation Nick will discuss a few of your current health challenges to help you decide which package best suits you.