Everyone wants energy and strength, but if you’re a busy tradesperson on a construction site, you need it perhaps more than most.

Tom Felts, Site Supervisor at Lagois Design-Build-Renovate, knows this firsthand. His wife, Nickie Felts, is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

Recently Nickie created One Whole Life (OWL) in order to guide and coach people about the profound effect of nutrition on lifestyle and mental health.

Nickie has always been interested in holistic living, but a family crisis propelled her to make nutrition a major focus of her life and, she hopes, the lives of others.

Nickie and Tom’s son, a highly active, athletic teenager who loves sports, suffered an acquired brain injury four years ago that debilitated him at age 16. 

“He went from 150% to dead stop pretty much overnight,” Nickie recalls. A year of isolation from the injury followed by the isolation of the pandemic was incredibly hard on him. And the drastic change in his ability to participate in sports, hang out with friends, or even be with the family for dinner, had a deep impact on his mental and physical health. 

It brought the entire family into the unfamiliar territory of navigating through the current medical system. His parents worked diligently within the system for the first 13 months. They saw all the best specialists. But they got nowhere.

“It was not a great adventure,” Nickie says. “The injury changed everything for all of us.” 

One day Nickie decided to try visiting a naturopath. She followed the naturopath’s advice and began changing her son’s nutritional routine.

Within two weeks of their son eating differently and focusing on rebuilding physical health through exercise and activities, she and her husband began to see a difference. They were elated, but Nickie says she was also deeply disappointed and frustrated that their boy had had to suffer so much for so long ‒ when all it took were some simple life changes, so easy to implement, that would make such a difference in his recovery.

Now, with careful nutrition and regular physical activity, he’s improving significantly.

“He’s not completely better, and he still struggles,” Nickie says. “But he’s able to go back to school and hang out with his friends.” (She adds he has an amazing support group of peers.) He still suffers from chronic headaches, digestive issues, and disrupted sleep.

“His friends understand that he sometimes gets overwhelmed and needs to be left alone,” she says, “and they respect that.”

The visit to the naturopath set Nickie on a whole new course. She knew what she had to do.

She took unpaid leave from her job with the federal government and went back to school full time to study natural nutrition. She eventually resigned and began One Whole Life.

Although a big interest of her work is mental health, her clients tend to come to her with seemingly ordinary problems at first. They want to stop feeling so tired or they want to lose weight, for instance. With some investigation and discussion, they often realize the underlying problem is actually an issue related to their mental health.

“Nutrition is directly linked to our brains,” Nickie explains.

She goes to people’s homes for assessments, advice and coaching, or they go to her home office. She has an office at a local clinic where people can see her, and she conducts virtual meetings, too.

She hopes to start going into schools to talk to kids, to tell them how they can protect themselves with food choices ‒ not just when an injury happens but for their entire lives. She will tell them how they can bounce back better from illness and injury when their bodies are well and properly nourished.

“We all start with food,” she says. “Every time you put something in your mouth or on your skin you’re making a choice.”

She’s concerned about the bad information that bombards people of all ages daily ‒ primarily through advertisements and social media.

“We’re a trusting species,” she says. “We believe what we read and what we hear.”

She believes education and empowerment are the keys to health and well-being. She hopes to create awareness about nutrition so people can make informed decisions about how food impacts us all ‒ “what happens, for instance, when those cheeseburger molecules break down in your body.” 

She adds having a cheeseburger now and then isn’t the end of the world, but you should at least know what it’s doing to you: “Good information gives you the power to take care of yourself.”

Following a full assessment of clients’ health and concerns, One Whole Life works individually with people in small steps ‒ for example, having a trained practitioner accompany them on a regular trip to the grocery store, or showing them how to overhaul the contents of their kitchen pantry, or creating a custom meal plan for specific needs and tastes, or doing a home assessment for possible pathogens or toxins. OWL also does customizable corporate sessions.

And those hard-working people on construction sites? Nickie says they especially require nutritional support to maintain the great energy and strength their bodies need.

“You wouldn’t expect your tools to work well without a fully charged battery,” she says, “so why would you expect anything different from your own body? French fries and several cups of coffee won’t do that for you.”

Visit Nickie’s Website Here!