With the Human Nutrition Market expected to be valued at over $450 Billion by 2025, it’s safe to say that a difference of nutritional values and opinions exist. From Whole30 to Keto, ‘fad diets’ to various forms of fasting, an individual can become easily overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. After graduating from the University of Akron in 2016, Nicole Ryan Suppes realized that there was a lot of nutritional advice available to the public, but she struggled to find reliable sources that were using evidenced-based literature.
Our team recently spoke with Nicole, the founder and CEO of Good Soul Nutrition, about our company’s origin and what motivated her to launch the practice, her thoughts on fad diets, how much nutrition and mental health influence each other, and what advice she has for someone who desires a healthier lifestyle.
Q: When did you first become interested in nutrition and dietetics?
A: I always grew up around tasty food and was fascinated with cooking. But it wasn’t until I went to my orientation at the University of Akron that I could actually major in nutrition and dietetics. From that moment, there was no question what I wanted to go into. And the rest was history.
When did you start thinking to yourself, “I should start a nutrition private practice?”
There has always been a burning passion in me to help others. I thought I was joining to specialize in pediatric clinical nutrition and work at a children’s hospital, however God had different plans for me. I decided to become a school nutrition consultant instead, and through that experience I learned the ins and outs of business. However, I missed the personalized aspects of nutrition and working with individual people. In the beginning of 2019, I began receiving outside opportunities to work with individuals and knew in my bones that it could be the start of something. A few months later in June of 2019, I took a leap of faith and started Good Soul Nutrition.
Speaking of Good Soul Nutrition, is there any specific meaning or inspiration behind the name?
In life, there is nothing better than a good soul. Food not only impacts our physical body, but it also affects our mental health, spiritual health, and our very soul. One day I was meeting with my pastor at a local coffee shop and arrived there a little early to work beforehand. As I was waiting for her to arrive, I felt like God randomly dropped the words ‘Good Soul’ into my heart.
As you’re aware, there are countless diets and “programs” being promoted throughout platforms. What advice would you give to someone who is feeling overwhelmed with where to find credible advice and guidance?
I want them to first identify their ‘why’ and overall health goals. For some, it may be lowering their A1c, or how to make nutrient dense meals at home, or perhaps needing accountability and insight when dealing with a new diagnosis. I would research different dietitians who are accredited based on your speciality of need. And do not be nervous or hesitant to ask for a second opinion! If you don’t find the right practitioner on the first try, that’s okay! Sometimes it takes some time to find a professional that you can truly connect with.
"Every individual is unique and deserves a customized plan and approach based on their main issue and overall goals."
Have you seen any correlations between nutrition and mental health?
I constantly see a profound correlation between the two throughout my experiences working with individuals of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. We have one body, and the brain is apart of that body. We know that thoughts begin before behaviors, so while I do attempt to try and work through the thinking processes, I would rather refer out to a specialist who can work directly with the mental health component while I work directly with the physical health component.
What is a practical first step for someone to begin their health journey?
I would begin reaching out and having a discovery call with a provider. I always recommend an individualized approach, and am often leery of cookie-cutter programs or a “one size fits all” approach. Every individual is unique and deserves a customized plan and approach based on their main issue and overall goals.
We saved the hardest question for last. What’s next for Good Soul Nutrition?
I would love to expand… expand the team, resources for clients, and our geographical reach.