Last week I was asked to be featured on The Vibe Tribe Wellness Podcast (episode 45). I could not be more grateful toward the two formidable women who run it, Rachael of @glutenfreedomrach and Becka of @goinggrainless. In episode 45, we talk about a variety of topics that are popular among the health and wellness community here in Toronto, and abroad. We discuss our own relationships with wellness, our personal health journeys, body positivity as well as how we remain motivated as a full time content creators. Below, in bold, are the questions Rachael and Becka posed, accompanied by the responses I tried (key word) to prepare. Naturally the conversation had many twists and turns, went rogue a couple times, but the (excuse my lack of a better term) “meat” of the conversation is here for all of you. Of course Rachael and Becka’s responses weren’t captured in the prep, either, so for those interested in listening to the full podcast episode, which of course, I highly recommend, the links are copied here for you, too.
I hope you enjoy.
Vibe Tribe Wellness Podcast on:
Q: We are definitely Inspired by today’s guest (cheesy?), we welcome Nick of the growing platform @inspiredbynick. Thank you for being with us today. Can you introduce yourself a little to our listeners?
Hey guys, thanks so much for having me today! I’m Nick, of Inspired by Nick. I like long walks on the beach, small dogs… hahahah just kidding. A bit about me? I don’t know, I find I’m always a little awkward when talking about myself, especially when I’m being introduced to people for the first time. I overthink things, and I know the words I choose to use almost become labels that shape the first impression people have of me. Soooo, I’m Nick, short for Nicolas, I recently left my full time job on the pursuit of health and wellness, I try my very best to live a holistic, healthy lifestyle, and I’m always looking for inspiration to share with my readers, friends, family, followers, you name it.
What is the foundation of your platform?
The foundation of Inspired by Nick would really come back to my blog’s motto: #begoodtoyourbody. All things health and wellness, and learning or conditioning ourselves to be better to ourselves. Food, lifestyle, exercise, environments, relationships, rest, meditation, spiritual connection. etc.
Q: From a content creators’ perspective, how do you organize your calendar across all platforms? What does a typical day look like now that you have transitioned to full-time?
Agh, the question I’ve been dreading! I like to THINK I’m an organized person! Though if I’m answering honestly, I haven’t FULLY adapted to being a full-time content creator yet. I still don’t know how to best divide my time, SINCE no day looks the same. And striking that balance of when to allocate what hours to what… It’s still going to take me some time to find my groove, I think. But that’s okay! Rome wasn’t built in a day – I keep telling myself that. I need to stop expecting results immediately, and actually put in the work to get the results I want.
Q: Also, can we touch base on how you made this possible in such a short time frame? Any key pieces of advice? Any insights? How do you stay self-motivated?
Great questions. I can really only speak from my personal experience, but one thing I was very diligent about before leaving my full time corporate career was ensuring I the finances I needed, and an adequate amount of blog deals planned for the upcoming year ahead. I kept reading that others had saved three months salary and that they would leverage that to get their business off the ground, but I’m in it for the long haul lol, three months was still too uncertain for me so I aimed for 24, LOL!
My advice is to make sure you’re doing what’s right for YOU. What FEELS right in your gut. You have to listen to your body, mind and soul, and if the three are all working together to point you in a certain direction, it’s worth listening.
I try to stay self-motivated by immersing myself in what I do. The more I create, the more I become creative. It’s not something you can use up! Not to me anyway.
This may be cliche, but what inspires you? Let’s talk about each of your categories: food, wellness, lifestyle.
It’s funny you say cliche, for the longest time I contemplates if the name Inspired by Nick was too self serving. Like I lead such an inspirational life, but no, it’s not about that. It’s about sharing the things that inspire me, and the things I’m most passionate about; food, health, wellness, holistic living, yoga & meditation. Once you find your passion you cannot lose sight of it, because it can be the source of immense joy.
Q: Let’s talk about diet labelling, you abide to a plant-based diet so do you identify with vegan? What is your take on labelling?
Ouf. This is a tough one. Labels in general can be tough, because once you’ve labelled something, you’ve confined it to parameters. And there’s no breaking them. Not without regret, shame, or other self-discouraging emotions. If you’re going to label something, be 100% certain about it.
I like to say that yes, I am vegan. I TRY my very hardest to follow a vegan diet, each and every day. It took me a while to get here. In the beginning I liked the label “vegan-ish” when I was first experimenting, then I progressed to “plant-based”, and now “vegan”, but again – I’m not perfect. And I TRY – that’s the most important. I made mistakes when I was first transitioning to vegan, but I learned from them, and didn’t make those same mistakes again. That’s the learning process, that’s all any of us can do.
Q: We sense that you are beginning to identify with your audience on a more spiritual level. How does it play a role in your life? I.e., crystals, meditation, self-care practices, etc.
It’s so funny – for the longest time, I liked saying that I wasn’t religious, I was more “spiritual”. For a long time I rejected traditional religions because I didn’t feel welcome, given my sexual orientation as gay. But religions are just a set of beliefs, like a label. It’s all based on beliefs. And then I made the connection, that spirituality and religion are one in the same. They go hand in hand, it just depends on what your set of beliefs are.
I like to keep things light, happy and positive, always. But this example speaks well your question, so I’d love to share it if possible. A close friend of mine lost his mom recently, she was close to me. And this was a great, great loss, for everyone who knew her. And while I’ve lost other people in my life; friends, grandparents, a parent… this most recent passing is what reminded me of my faith and my spirituality. I sat in the pews at that funeral and was expecting to see the deceased later when I visited the house. I was expecting her to be home, and to be there in the living room when I opened the door. Of course I knew she wouldn’t be, but I couldn’t help but wonder where her soul would be. Where was it now? I couldn’t help wonder about what the afterlife would look like for her.
I think there’s been research to prove that the human soul exists. So what happens to it after we die? Does it live on?
There are still so many unanswered questions, and I think as long those questions remain unanswered, there will always be faith, religion, and spirituality. A set of beliefs, since we don’t have answers.
Q: You are a body positive advocate, what has your personal experience been with body image?
Struggle. I think we all struggle. Almost ten years ago I lost 100 lbs, and that really changed my life. Everything I thought, the way I looked at food and exercise, everything.
Q: What does this look like from a male’s perspective?
The pressures are all definitely there, and very much pervasive, just as much as for women I would argue. The pressures are just different. Abs, shoulders, triceps, quads. The pressure to be muscular, masculine. We’re all being pressured to have “perfect bodies” as shaped by the media.
It’s a vicious cycle. The “ideal image” is created by the media, and we buy into and support it. They know that magazines and movies and even stories sell better with physically attractive people being featured. They know we all want what we don’t have, so they put “aspirational” beauty (or #goals for today’s generation) on the covers. And again, we feed it, we buy into it, we support it.
Q: Do you think men experience this just as much as women?
I do. We’re just targeted in different ways. Campaigns targeted toward women may just be more successful in that they can more easily convert impressions into sales compared to men. This is all just speculation though, based on general knowledge that the women’s beauty market is larger than men’s. Though I do think we as men equally experience the pressure to conform.
Q: How do you promote a positive body image on a personal & professional level?
I like to think I promote body positivity via self care, self actualisation, and self affirmation. We all can do a better job at taking care of ourselves, at listening to our bodies instead of pushing them too hard or spreading ourselves too thin. Know your limits, and know the difference between loving yourself, and loving your UNHEALTHY self.
Let’s talk a bit about your self-care routine.
We love that you share the same interest in personal care as we do. What does your typical routine look like?
YES! Believe it or not, not long ago I could be considered to be the conventional “old school” male, with no morning or evening routine at all. I would wake up, shower, soap and water, that’s it.
Though, the more I worked in the corporate lifestyle, was exposed to toxic relationships, job and life stress, lack of sleep, and maybe just general aging… I definitely began to see effects. So my self care routine evolved to incorporate some of the following:
- Yoga/meditation for half an hour per day,
- One litre of water first thing every morning,
- Taking baths regularly,
- Wheatgrass powder – my latest obsession. The health benefits are endless.
- A long-distance run at least once per week,
- And a variety of products I truly love, believe in, and trust.
Q: Do you think it’s more challenging to open about about this as a male?
Ummm, I hadn’t thought about that really. I don’t find it challenging to open up about it, but perhaps circumstances are different for me? I can only really speak for myself here.
Q: Do you think more men are embracing this movement?
I do, I see it, I hear it, I believe it. More and more, the men I know are embracing a healthier lifestyle, a regular self care routine, and looking for ways to enhance their lives via self-care, regularly.
Q: We’re not trying to single you out, we just like hearing from an opposing standpoint since so many of our guests are females but many have significant others who could use a bit of self-care integration in their life!
No not at all! Totally on the same page. Take my heartmate for example. He used to be the same, but the more I discovered, the more I learned about the health benefits, and more I tried, the more we tried together. I think we were both in a place of needing some better self-care help, and now we’re getting the help we need! LOL!
What is your morning routine?
Mornings are my favourite, because they feature breakfast!! But first, water. NOT coffee.
First, water. 1 litre, every morning, before anything else. Always.
This is my golden rule of life. Hydration is so, so, SO vital to overall good health. It’s like having a well oiled machine. When you’re hydrated, everything else in your body can work well. Your organs will thank you!
Then a slow breakfast, showering, moisturizing, getting dressed, and THEN getting to my emails and going over what work needs to be done for the day.
Q: What are your favourite wellness hacks & products?
Can I say water? LOL!
Wellness hack – coconut oil. It’s so versatile, can be used from cooking, to oil pulling, teeth whitening, skin moisturizing, personal lubricant… you name it. I have four jars at home!
Q: Favourite products?
- Exfoliating instant facial mask by Goop.
- Restorative eye cream by Tata Harper.
- Repairative Moisturizer by Tata Harper.
Q: Go-to recipe?
Cilantro hummus. My two favourite things combined into one, need I say more?
Q: What is one thing you are grateful for today?
Seeing both of you! We don’t see each other often enough, and it’s nice to surround yourself with positive people who bring out the happiness in you!
Q: Where can our listeners find you?
In Toronto and online:
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick