Nikki Valentini: Feasting for the Holidays – Embracing a Healthy Diet | Doing Well #42

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Nikki Valentini, a Clinical Nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner

The holiday season is traditionally associated with indulgence in food and activity, which can be challenging for people on a diet. This episode offers insights into maintaining one’s health without compromising one’s celebrations.

Meet Nikki Valentini

Nikki Valentini, BHSc. Clinical Nutrition, Dip. Comm Dev, ANTA, is a clinical nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner specializing in hormone and thyroid health and developmental disorders. She is passionate about ensuring healthy nutrition and has catered wellness retreats for ten years. In her professional life, she draws inspiration from her own experiences of a health crisis and the insights about nutrition she learned to overcome it.

About the episode

The conversation began with Nikki sharing her professional journey, starting from her Italian background, where food played a central role, through personal health crises in her 20s, which led her to natural healing and a profound change in diet.

This heavily influenced her career choices, which revolved around food advocacy and working in the not-for-profit sector before returning to clinical nutrition studies.

The conversation then explored the societal and cultural pressures of eating during holidays, the phenomenon of “feasting,” and the common pitfalls many encounter, such as overeating and neglecting exercise.

Nikki provided insights into how to approach holiday eating. She suggested mindfulness about food choices, the importance of portion control, and being aware of diet’s nutritional and psychological impacts. To adopt a balanced approach to holiday meals, focus on enjoyment and health rather than indulgence.

They then delved into the technical aspects of digestion and metabolism, offering practical tips on enjoying festive foods without compromising health. Strategies such as prioritizing gut health, understanding the body’s cues for fullness, and selecting nutrient-dense foods will help you navigate the holiday season healthily.

As her parting advice, Nikki established the importance of eating a hearty breakfast. Listen to your body’s hunger cues, which naturally occur 1 to 2 hours after waking, and eat a healthy, satiating meal. Also, avoid snacking in between meals.

This primes your body for the day and frees your mind to do all the other food practices discussed in the episode.

In conclusion

Festive seasons don’t have to derail your dietary habits. With mindfulness and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays without excessive indulgence. Awareness of your body’s signals and eating responsibly can help balance celebrating and staying healthy.

Follow us on Social Media to stay updated:





You can also subscribe and listen to the show on your preferred podcasting platforms:

Apple Podcasts 



iHeart Radio 




Google Podcast 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.