About Tom

Tom NikkolaHi. I’m Tom.

Since I was in my teens, I have been fascinated with health and fitness.

Whether it was a result of chemotherapy from leukemia at age 5, or just subpar genetics, I’ve always had to stay pretty strict with my diet and exercise habits.

The benefit is that it’s motivated me to keep learning about the best strategies for optimizing health, fitness and body composition.

I’ve read thousands of research papers and articles, and dozens of books on exercise, nutrition, supplementation and metabolism.

My first real focus on nutrition began when I was 16. I remember my ski jumping coach telling me that I weighed too much.  If wanted to be serious about ski jumping I had to lose weight.

At 5’10” and 17 years old, I dropped from a weight of 160 pounds to a very skinny 137 pounds. I would never recommend what I did to anyone else, but it was a learning experience.

As a freshman in college, I wasn’t so concerned about maintaining a body weight in the 130s. I had hung up my skis to focus on my studies.

It was then, that I started lifting weights. As a ski jumper my training consisted of a lot of running and plyometric work, but never much weight training. In two months time, I built muscle, got leaner and felt better than ever. I was hooked.

I was fascinated by the effects of strength training, paired with good nutrition, had on the body. That fascination has never gone away.

Education and Professional Background

I graduated from The College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, MN with a pre-Med biology degree with a focus on Exercise Physiology.

After selling Cutco Cutlery through college, I started my fitness career as a Personal Trainer for Life Time Fitness in 2001.

From personal training, I worked in a number of club and regional personal training management roles.

After about 6 years in the field, I moved into a corporate role, responsible for developing and managing nutritional products, lab and metabolic testing, and nutrition and weight loss programs.

In 2013, I left Life Time to pursue a position with Thorne Research, where I formulated and launched a supplement line of products for fitness professionals, called ThorneFX. The brand recently transitioned to EXOS Sports Nutrition.

I returned to Life Time after a year with Thorne, as the Senior Director of Fitness Strategy and Business Development.

And this brings us to where I am today. I left Life Time Fitness in February 2015 and made the decision to join Vanessa here at Healthy Living How To.

What I’m Doing Today

Today, Vanessa and I use Healthy Living How To and Healthy Living With Essential Oils as platforms to help people in their pursuit of better physical, emotional, and even financial health.

On any given day, we’re blogging, teaching classes, supporting our essential oil members and leaders or brainstorming our next idea to help reach and teach more people about living a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re ever in Minneapolis, let us know. We live above Whole Foods and we’d love to meet you there for a coffee or a healthy snack.

Check in regularly. We’ll have something fresh and inspiring to help you on your path toward health and happiness.