Holistic Chef Niki in Conversation with Women Fitness
Niki Connor is a certified professional chef, certified Health & Nutrition Counselor, Nutrition Consultant, model, internationally-certified water judge, co-host of ‘Around The World TV’, and former professional athlete. Parlaying her formal health, nutrition, and culinary education, athletic background, International upbringing, extensive travels, and passion for improving the lives of others, she has created a viable socially responsible enterprise.
Connor is based in Los Angeles and continues to follow her passion for helping heal others and the culinary arts.
Catch Chef Niki Connor in a candid interview with Women Fitness President, Namita Nayyar as she shares her input on “Health is a state of mind”
You are a certified professional chef, health & nutrition Counselor, and former professional athlete. Share insight into your journey as an athlete & a chef.
I’m a certified Health & Nutrition Counselor and Professional Chef using my brand to help educate others on living a healthy and attainable lifestyle. I work as a personal chef in Los Angeles where I do small events such as dinner parties and cocktail parties and prepare meals in my client’s homes for them to enjoy with their families or bring to work. I also create video content because I enjoy educating others on cooking basics and living a healthy lifestyle. Instead of showing my audience how to prepare the more complicated dishes that I make at work or use expensive ingredients, I show them how to prepare quick and easy meals that are also affordable.
I was a private chef for a while but was unhappy with my job because I didn’t have the time to build my own business and visualized a different life for myself in spite of being good at my job. I took a risk by quitting my full-time private chef job to work as a personal chef for multiple clients instead and was hired by an Oscar-winning actress within a few days, so it was clear that I’d made the right choice. As a personal chef, I work in my client’s homes preparing dinners, catering small events, and also preparing meals for people with specific health conditions who need customized meals. This enables me to continue working as a chef while building my business.
With my formal health, nutrition, and culinary education, background as a professional athlete (showjumping and American football), International upbringing, extensive travels, and passion for improving the lives of others, I believe in the marriage of Eastern and Western medicine and use my knowledge and passion to help others live a healthy, preventative lifestyle. I also host and produce the first podcast/cooking show called ‘Laurel Canyon Kitchen’ which can be found on podcast platforms as well as my Holistic Chef Niki YouTube channel. I currently have so much going on that I’m not shooting new episodes at the moment, but I enjoy it and will continue the show as soon as I’m able to do so.
As a Health & Nutrition Counselor, your role expands from cooking to prevent and fight diseases to working with Oscar-winning actors, Grammy-winning musicians, professional athletes, models, families, Fortune 500 executives, and royalty.
5 tips on how one should go about planning a meal while cooking at home to stay fit & disease-free.
- Make time to prepare ingredients that go with different meals throughout the week when you’re short on time such as sauces, dressings, vegetables, fruits, rice, legumes, etc.
- Use organic, seasonal ingredients whenever possible.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods.
- Avoid any form of frying.
- Make my dressings and sauces, they’re shared in several of my cooking videos on Instagram and TikTok and a few are on my YouTube.
“Health is a state of mind; wellness is a state of being.” Please share input on your daily diet routine? The kind of diet you follow, 5 recipes you look forward to, 5 foods you try to keep to a minimum.
I practice intermittent fasting because it works well for me, I’m rarely hungry in the morning, and exercising on an empty stomach, fasting until the afternoon, and having a couple of larger meals in a shorter amount of time is easy for me to manage. I don’t recommend intermittent fasting for people who wake up hungry, you ought to listen to your body and feed yourself properly when you’re hungry. Snacking throughout the day works for some people, but often leads to mindless eating where you’re taking in an excessive amount of calories that you don’t need as fuel. I prefer to have meals that include the essential nutrients I need and add a snack before dinner if desired. If I’m skiing, I eat breakfast because I need the extra fuel, but I typically have my first meal in the early afternoon and don’t eat past 7 pm. When dining out, socially, or traveling, this can change of course, but not often enough for it to throw me off my routine.
I’ve been vegan for nearly 10 years and prefer to lead by example sharing delicious plant-based meals and tips rather than preach my beliefs, to each their own. Vegan is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and we could all use more plants in our diets for health and longevity! Whether someone works with me to have more delicious and healthy plant-based options added to their diet, they want to use food as medicine to heal from or prevent disease, they’re interested in adopting a plant-based lifestyle, or simply want to see how delicious and beneficial even one plant-based meal can be, I’ll meet their needs.
5 Recipes I Use Regularly:
- Vegetable-based smoothies post-workout
- Lentil and mushroom bolognese with zucchini pasta or gluten-free pasta.
- Hummus with crudite’
- Dates stuffed with nut butter, dark chocolate chips, and sea salt.
5 Foods To Keep To A Minimum:
- American Gluten
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
- Soy (this is not the case for everyone, but it is for me)
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