In this series we highlight members of the Swanson community — customers, readers, employees — and what health means to them. This issue highlights longtime employee Crystal Nicklay, manager of Swanson Health’s local Fargo store, and her mantra—“listen to your body with love.”
Listen to Your Body with Love
In this series we highlight members of the Swanson community—customers, readers, employees—and what health means to them. This issue highlights longtime employee Crystal Nicklay, manager of Swanson Health’s local Fargo store, and her mantra—“listen to your body with love.”
As the manager of Swanson’s long-standing local Fargo, North Dakota store, Crystal Nicklay is a self-proclaimed health nerd. At the moment she’s engrossed in the topic of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which plays a critical role in neuron survival and growth. She’s not only curious about how BDNF supports her own cognitive health, but she also thrives sharing this new knowledge with friends, family and Swanson customers.
A HISTORY OF HEALTH
In a serious turn of serendipity, Crystal started working at Swanson Health Products when she was just 22 years old when she walked into their downtown Fargo store one day. Little did she know this would start her on a lifelong health journey. “I thought, ‘This is a really cool store,’ and grabbed an application.” Through the years her passion for health has grown, as has her role with Swanson to now store manager, and her role in the community as a knowledgeable expert.
Crystal’s passion for health has driven her to dive deeper into nutrition through the years, completing her certification in herbal medicine from the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and obtaining her certification as a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In her spare time, she also forages for wild foods and herbs, drawn to the unique variety of nutrients this can add to her diet. “Plants are truly magical— when we eat them we actually absorb some of their amazing defense systems and mechanisms.”
GROWING HEALTHIER TOGETHER
Swanson Health Products has evolved right alongside Crystal. As the global business has grown, so has the Fargo store, upgrading space and locations, meaning more opportunities for Crystal and her team to share health knowledge with the community. “We’re helping so many people every day—it’s amazing!”
With all that growth, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to unwind and prioritize health. “Slow down and connect with yourself—am I eating enough nourishing foods? Am I taking care of my mental energy?”
Amidst the hustle, she focuses on good nutrition to keep her fueled. “I love coffee fruit extract to keep me focused, and I love drinks with cacao, reishi, bee pollen and coconut milk to stay powered.” She knows that in order to keep up with her busy life, self-care needs to be a top priority. “You have to take care of yourself first in order to tackle it all.”
FINDING BALANCE THROUGH NATURE
Crystal’s self-care routine also means prioritizing time outdoors. “I go out there and roll around in the dirt,” she laughs. “When I’m hiking and foraging for plants I literally take my fingers and scrape them in the dirt and smell it in my hands. It’s good for your immune system.”
Taking the time to stay grounded through nature is a key tenet to “lifestyle medicine,” which means making positive lifestyle choices like being deliberate about what you choose to put in your body, healthy supplementation, restorative sleep and getting plenty of exercise, in order to live a healthier life.
“We have a nature deficiency in our lives,” says Crystal. “Go outside and feel good!”
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.