Please give us a rundown of who you are and what you do?
My name is Nicole Smith and I am a qualified nutritionist, a cabinetry designer, a hockey player and a CrossFit athlete. I have a bachelor of sport and recreation and a postgraduate diploma in science majoring in human nutrition. My main background sport is hockey which I’ve played throughout the age groups at both School, club and National level since the age of 6. More recently, I picked up the sport of CrossFit which I have competed in over the past four years and is a hobby I have grown to love.
I started Strength’n Nutrients after graduating from university and early in 2021 I have joined a team of knowledgeable nutritionists at Key Nutrition.
At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with the chronic illness of Crohn’s disease which I battled against for many years. After returning from camp America in 2012 I decided I no longer wanted to work against my illness but to work with it, so from there I learnt to build a life where I have been in remission and enjoying the life I live.
Picture by Kurt Hay
What does a typical (in season) day look like for you?
When preparing for a CrossFit competition at 6 weeks out I try to ramp up my training and get double sessions in each day whilst maintaining a work life balance.
I would usually get up at 5:15am and aim to train from anything between 6 - 7:30am. I head to work, as a designer, from 8:30 till 4:30pm and Aim to be back at the gym for a second session from 5pm - 6.30pm. I head home to eat and shower before settling into some nutrition work. Aim to be in bed by 10pm.
Usually due to personal preference. My first training session will be based around conditioning and gymnastics and the second, strength, metcon and bodybuilding.
How do you keep your health a priority in your day-to-day life?
After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease I make sure I can fill my diet up with as many wholesome foods as possible. Consuming snacks pre and post workout has shown to have a massive affect on my personal recovery and performance.
My sleep patterns and stress load are currently a work on for me as I do have a very packed day to day schedule. But ensuring I get to the gym each day to see my friends and to complete the work that I’ve set up for myself is essential for my health.
You recently competed in the Torian Pro CrossFit competition in Brisbane. What got you into CrossFit, then into competing?
After competing in bodybuilding for 5 years I decided I wanted to move forward from that sport and find something which combines both weightlifting and conditioning. I saw some friends on Instagram doing a CrossFit class and decided I wanted to trial it out.
I started to love the sport and having a competitive nature I naturally fell into competing.
What was something that you learnt about yourself through training and/or competing in the Torian Pro?
I learnt that once you look past other peoples opinions and focus on your own journey, you become limitless and you’d be amazed at how far you can get yourself.
The mind is a powerful tool and when you can control your thought patterns you can achieve anything you set yourself out to achieve.
And finally, nobody is going to do the work for you, you have to be willing to do it yourself.
What’s your proudest CrossFit moment so far and what are you striving for?
Definitely competing at the Torrian pro as a duo this year is my proudest moment. Particularly the lead up with the qualifying workouts, where I completely shocked myself.
I’d love to go back in 2023 with a team of 4 and possibly further down the track compete as an individual.
What about your hardest moment, and how you dealt with it?
Early this year I was at my peak (at the time) but ended up hospitalised due to a narrowing of my small intestines relating to Crohn’s disease. After three weeks off the gym and any physical activity the inflammation within my intestine decreased and I slowly made my way back to training again.
Battling a chronic condition is a challenge as nobody can physically see it and no matter what you do, flares ups are inevitable.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received that has helped shape who you are today?
I wasn’t exactly told this advice but heard it somewhere and it’s something that has stayed with me and I tend to now live by…
“You don’t know unless you try”
How would you spend a day to yourself with no demands? In other words, what do you love doing and what brings you joy?
I absolutely love sunsets and sunrises, road trips and brunch outings.
If I had a day to myself I would start with a sunrise beach walk and coffee followed by a training session, brunch and a chilled afternoon in the sun with a bbq to finish the day.
What’s your favourite way to have any of our Mitchells Nutrition Products?
Bone Broth Protein – I love having this as my post workout shake and in my morning oats.
Bone Broth – I add this into my mince dishes. I also drink it throughout the colder months particularly in the afternoons when I’m looking for something warming.
Collagen Peptides – I have this in the morning with water.
Finally, what’s your favourite adventure spot in New Zealand!
Traveling down to the Coromandel with a solid playlist is definitely a vibe for me. I used to head down there with my family when we were children for summer so it has some special memories for me.
Keep up to date with Nicole on IG @nicole.h.smith