To impart nutritional information to a larger audience Nikki was selected to create and present two popular anti-obesity TV series in 2005 and 2007 as well as being requested to regularly write and contribute to many consumer and corporate health publications.
She achieved her Human Nutrition & Post-graduate Degree in Dietetics at The University of Otago and then went on to achieve first class honours at Massey University for her Master’s Degree thesis in Nutritional Science and Hydration.
She then used that knowledge to consult to the food industry and be actively involved in product development, including a 3-tiered beverage system, ‘FlyHidrate’ to counteract the physiological stresses that occur during airline travel. It was her nutritional research and her knowledge about the properties of certain ingredients that allowed the beverages to be formulated in such a way as to be truly effective; and her professional associations with the experts in the Food Science and Exercise Physiology departments of the University of Otago allowed the product to be scientifically tested and validated.
Nikki was also the NZ Nutritional Advisor to the Low Calorie Sweetener Advisory Board – Merisant, Australia. She presented the findings from the Critical Reviews in Toxicology on Aspartame. These messages were conveyed in the media in print/radio/TV/Public speaking/Podcasts.
An interest in Functional Gut Disorders and the relevance of certain short chain carbohydrates lead to Nikki completing the introductory and advanced FODMAP diet courses at Monash University 2010. This speciality has lead to a huge increase in GPs and Gastroenterologists referrals to Nikki for assessment and for her advising the food industry on product formulation to optimize digestive health.
In conjunction with the Food and Grocery Council of New Zealand Nikki also recently created and delivered nutrition videos based on the Ministry of Health’s Food and Nutrition Guidelines. With the rise in social media anyone can claim to be an expert, so the information provided was to create greater food literacy and to dispel nutritional confusion and myths.
Nikki uses critical thinking and understanding of nutrition and food trends to not only help individuals achieve optimal health outcomes but also to the food industry to help design and create products that are valid and robust.