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My Story

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Thank you so much for dropping by! My name is Nikki Virag, and I'm a certified Nutrition & Health Coach living in Ireland, currently completing my Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics (IINH).  

We all have a somewhat intimate relationship with food and eating habits in general.  Improving lifestyle and nutrition, therefore, is not a decision one is taking lightly, so I wanted to tell you more about my story and how I got here, to provide you with a clearer idea of my mission. 

I started studying nutrition after a lifelong battle with depression, anxiety, and a family history of various diseases including cancer, that took both my parents and other close family members. 

It wasn't a straightforward journey - like most, my eating habits have always been quite hectic, changing rapidly over the years. I was an overweight, underactive child, and as a teenager that resulted in many, many years of dieting mostly in a form of heavily restricting food, undereating, trying out all sorts of diets (just name one - been there, done that), and hating my body all the way. Meanwhile, I began feeling extremely depressed around the age of 13, which turned out to be the beginning of a lifelong, painful battle with depression. Various doctors prescribed drugs for my symptoms, which helped on the physical side, but nothing made a real difference in my mental wellbeing. I spent my teenage years and early adulthood feeling numb, lost, empty, and sometimes I felt as I could not feel anything anymore. None of my doctors have ever asked me what I was eating - which could range from processed foods to eating nothing to lose weight -, or if there is anything else that contributes to my condition, such as the lack of physical activity or emotional support. 

Depression swept me away in waves, and during the next decade, I spent a lot of time in self-hatred, hating myself for being abnormal and weird, different than others, hating my body, and trying to survive. I was in a very fortunate position, as my depression didn't prevent me from being functional in a work environment. I built a career in the technology industry, which gave me invaluable experience, but the career did not in any way help in my mental health battle. Therefore, a few years ago, I decided to approach my mental health issues in a different way, with everything that was "left in the tank" to try making a difference, this time for real. I started studying nutrition as part of my journey to beat my mental health issues.

 

Through my studies and research, I realized that there is an overwhelming amount of studies pointing to the crucial role of nutrition for brain health, that I wasn't aware of at all! As an experiment, I changed my diet to 80% wholefood and plant-based, and started working out regularly at home (as my social anxiety didn't really favor the gyms). It took quite a few trials and errors, persistence and patience, but soon enough I started seeing and feeling changes I have never experienced before. I was able to stabilize my mood swings and felt in control of my emotions more efficiently.  My mood has improved, I found a long-lost motivation with increased focus and concentration. And at last, through exercise, I began finally accepting myself and appreciating what my body can do for me. Most importantly, my depression symptoms improved radically, which encouraged me to pursue Nutrition & Health Coaching as a profession, so I can help others discover the life-changing effects of proper nutrition, a heavily overlooked aspect in our life that in many cases, can resolve issues without the need of drugs or long-term discomfort and pain. 

 

My journey is always ongoing, however, through my experience, education and knowledge, I'm extremely passionate about helping others transform their lives with nutrition and lifestyle choices that are sustainable, manageable and make them feel empowered and fulfilled. I firmly believe that balance is key, and creating sustainable, small changes go the longest way.

What you can expect from me:
  • A sustainable, balanced approach that is built on opportunities, not restrictions

  • I will always listen and provide you with practical skills to create healthier habits around food, eating, and lifestyle

  • NO dieting, no specific diet to follow - we are each individual with unique needs and strategies that work - personalization is key

  • Always evidence-based, research-backed methods that are proven to work

  • Healthy, wholefood-based and nutrient-dense recipes to support your journey

  • I can support you in various areas such as weight management, digestive health issues, food intolerances, stress, anxiety and depression symptoms

Let me help you!

Have a look at the FAQ here or get in touch below and I'm happy to answer any questions. 

Thanks for submitting!
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