Healthy Weight Loss Conversation with Tom Bushkie, CEO of hellowater® and Nicole Flier

Video Blog - Tom Bushkie

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Tom:

All right. hellowater® nation. It’s hellowater® Tom here, you’re president and co-founder. And I’d like to introduce you to a very special fan of hellowater®, introducing you to Nicole Flier. Welcome Nicole, thank you for being with us today.

Nicole:

Hi, how are you?

Tom:

I’m doing great. How are you doing?

Nicole:

Very well.

Tom:

Everything’s good in sunny, Florida?

Nicole:

Not so sunny, but it’s good.

Tom:

Well, I hear you’ve got a very interesting story of how hellowater® helped you accomplish some goals. So in the next 10 or 15 minutes, I’d just love to sit down with you and just have a casual conversation and figure out what happened, and how hellowater® helped you achieve some of these things. So if you would start, what happened? What was your goal, and were you able to achieve it?

Nicole:

Well, I was going to be turning 50 this past February, so I gave myself one year and one month to lose, I thought I was going to lose 10 pounds. I really just wanted a change, revamp my whole workout, and revamped my eating and get in the best shape I possibly could get in, in that amount of duration of time before I turned 50. And I well exceeded the goal that I originally set.

Tom:

And what was the number that you actually accomplished?

Nicole:

I’m five feet two, and any little bit of poundage shows. So I thought [inaudible 00:01:25] maybe 10, 12 pounds before my big birthday, and yeah, 44 pounds and five sizes later, here I am!

Tom:

Wow, 44 pounds. Congratulations! How are you feeling?

Nicole:

Thank you.

Tom:

You must be feeling amazing.

Nicole:

Yeah, I mean, listen, I didn’t think I could lose that, or needed to lose that, but I apparently I really took it next level. So yeah, it’s wonderful.

Tom:

I love it. And what was the timeframe on that?

Nicole:

I started in January 2020. Ironically right before COVID hit. So I think that definitely helped that we were in lockdown for quite a few months. Had a lot of time to drink hellowater®.

Tom:

You can just focus on it. That’s great. Well, I’d love to learn a little bit more about your background before we talk about hellowater® played a role in this. So if you could just give us a little bit of background about yourself, that’d be great.

Nicole:

Sure. Well, let’s see, I’m born and raised in sunny, Southern California. And I’ve been in Florida this October, 19 years. My parents retired and moved here, and I followed, I needed to change. Change is good, obviously, with bodyweight and lifestyle changes. I’ve always been an athlete, grew up being very much a girly girl, but a tomboy. So I played competitive tennis since I was five years old, basically all my life. I played softball. So for me, my body type was always small, tiny, but I would say muscular, and a thicker body. So I’ve always worked out. I’ve always tried to watch what I eat, but as you get older, gravity, things happen, no matter what. So that’s kind of my background, like I’ve always, always tried to stay physically fit.

Tom:

Okay. So January 2020 comes and you got a year before you turn 50. So what is your game plan going into that? You want to lose about 10 pounds. Did you actually write out a nutrition plan? Did you write out a workout plan? What was your mind frame behind that?

Nicole:

Well, I’ll tell you about my inspiration initially was, I went to the J-Lo concert and I saw her and I said, okay, she’s like my spirit animal. So if she can look that amazing at 50, I’m going to try. So actually I did the research and just going back a step, I’ve done every workout known to man. From CrossFit to HIIT, to everything under the sun. And the same thing, I’ve gone to a nutritionist just because you want to lose five, 10 pounds over time with your hormones and fluctuation, and whatnot, and life changes. So I really researched, I think I was probably the only person that ever did Weight Watchers that did not lose weight because I wasn’t eating enough. So every time I’d go for a weigh-in, they’d be like, “Nicole, you didn’t lose anything this week.” So that didn’t work.

Nicole:

So I did the research and I found a program called F-Factor, which is basically an eating program. You don’t have to buy their food. You just read the book and you understand basically the metabolics of high fiber, low carb, and fiber cancels carbs. So I completely changed my entire eating to follow this program. And I was eating extremely high fiber, and very, very low carb. So that’s the food plan I followed.

Tom:

What was the name of the book?

Nicole:

It’s called F-Factor by Tanya Zuckerbrot.

Tom:

Okay. F-Factor. Great. And what kind of fiber were you consuming then?

Nicole:

Well, the goal of this plan is want to eat 35 grams or more of fiber a day, and 35 grams or less of carbs a day. And because they cancel it out, that’s kind of where you kind of get the metabolic weight loss and the jumpstart on the weight. So that’s kind of the plan.

Tom:

You’ve got net zero carbs, and how much protein and fat did they recommend?

Nicole:

Protein at every meal. Two ounces to four, and be based on men versus women. So, my meals, I was eating protein and then of course having a tremendous amount of fiber, and then that was lowering carb intake obviously, and I wasn’t eating unhealthily. I was very fulfilled, eating three full meals a day and then two snacks.

Tom:

Sure. Because of the high fiber and the protein, I’m sure you were very satiated.

Nicole:

Oh absolutely. The fiber, my goodness, I mean, there was a point where like, and we’ll talk about that later with hellowater®. I drink a water and I’m like not even hungry. So yeah.

Tom:

No, that’s great. And so, what were the foods before you discovered hellowater®. What were the food sources you were getting your fiber from?

Nicole:

Well, on the program, she offers powder to make smoothies, and to cook with. So I use that a little bit. There’s a thing called GG crackers, which is high fiber crackers, because I’m really omitted any bread, pasta, rice, anything like that out of my diet, and to this day I still don’t need it. So I was gaining my fiber from green vegetables. So all in all it started to add up, and I was more than exceeding my 35 grams of fiber a day prior to discovering hellowater®.

Tom:

Okay, and your protein sources mainly?

Nicole:

I don’t eat any red meat at all. I gave it up after college. So I haven’t eaten any red meat since I was probably 22-years-old. I eat chicken, I eat fish, I eat turkey, and I eat every bit of seafood. I love seafood and being in Florida, there’s no lack of that.

Tom:

Oh, that’s great.

Tom:

Perfect. So that’s the nutrition plan. And I think our viewers will really appreciate that because there are so many programs out there that contradict themselves. And to your point, you’ve tried it, you’ve tried them all. And you found one that actually works, and it’s easy for you. It’s tasty. You’re not limiting calories. So I think our consumers will really appreciate that. What about from a workout standpoint, did you have to work out six days a week, seven days a week? Did you have to work out an hour, two hours a day? Or what was that like?

Nicole:

Well, I will tell you that I came off of working out a lot. I mean, prior to January 20th, I worked out five, six days a week. Unfortunately, and fortunately, now I’ve come to realize that not every workout is for everybody, and for every metabolism. And so I realized doing cardio in the gym, lifting heavy weights, doing machines in the gym, equipment in the gym, going to like a pseudo-CrossFit type of cardio class, or a HIIT class, or a bar class, or a Pilates, wasn’t working for me. So I completely, and let me go back and tell you that this program really doesn’t push working out. It’s almost like take that down a notch. So I think I might’ve been doing too much before, and then COVID hit. I started in January, and so by March, Florida, as with everybody, was under shut down. So I had no more gym to go to.

Nicole:

So I really took to the road and now I walk every day, and I was walking before, but not like this. Like I’d flip out if I miss a day of walking. I speed, no I power walk, and I’m walking two and a half to three miles a day. So I think the cardio there definitely was a game-changer because I changed that up. And then I was limited, and I still am, doing weights in my house. So I invested in free weights, hand weights, and I’d do a class from watching on TV. And I really lowered the amount of weight I’m using, and I’ve upped my reps to get more of a sculpted, toned thing because I was just so bulky. That was the problem, I looked bulky before.

Tom:

So you can put on muscle easily. Or your body likes to put on muscle.

Nicole:

Oh, a hundred percent. A hundred percent. I mean, I might have muscle, which you can’t see, even now. I mean, from playing tennis all those years. Definitely. So I’m more muscular. And now I’m more leaned out, but I was more muscular than I was anything.

Tom:

And to finish up the fitness conversation, so how many days a week were you working out with actual weights? And roughly how long?

Nicole:

You mean prior to doing this-

Tom:

No, during the transformation phase this last year.

Nicole:

During the transformation, well, I walked every day. So seven days a week I walk, and I actually just invested in a spin bike. So now I’m changing it up and some days I’ll do my own spin, if you will, at home. And like yesterday I walked and I rode the bike for 20 minutes. So I’m trying to change it up between the two things. And then as far as free weights go and like mat work, like for abs and core, I’m doing that probably four days a week.

Tom:

Four days a week. Okay. So you’re working out four days a week. You’re walking every day, you’ve got this diet, I’m not even going to say diet, you got this nutrition dialed it in. And did you start seeing results that you wanted pretty quick?

Nicole:

Yes. They say on the program when you start, you probably, like within the first seven days, eight days, two weeks, you’re going to lose six pounds. That’s what they guesstimate in the book, and it was right on the money. And then from then, it just started shedding and shedding. So like a month in, I was already down 10 pounds. I’m like, well, that was my goal. This is easy. Let me go to 12 pounds, and let me go to 15 pounds. And by I’d say July of last summer, I probably was down a good, just about, let’s see, it started January, about 30 pounds. I have to go back and look, but I think I traced it, I tracked it, about 30 pounds.

Tom:

Now, that’s fantastic. Congrats. Congrats. So let’s talk about when you discovered hellowater®. What month did you discover hellowater® in this transformation period?

Nicole:

I have to think, I really don’t remember what month, but it was definitely within the first four or five months of really going on this weight loss journey and this lifestyle fitness journey. And I discovered it, I’m pretty sure on Instagram because when I started, you know, when you’re in it, you start following influencers and you start following brands that are keto or fiber-filled or whatnot. And I discovered hellowater®, and it just seemed really interesting to me. And so I reached out to the company, and I first bought some because, and let me tell you in Florida, it’s not so easy to find, but I found it, and I really liked it. And then I reached out to your company, and just kind of told them my story and what my process was and what I wanted to do, and if I could somehow partner up and help, and raise awareness for you all and enjoy the water. And it works for me, it was kind of like a win-win partnership.

Tom:

Yeah. So now how are you incorporating it into your everyday routine?

Nicole:

Here, let me [inaudible 00:11:25] turn the bottle. This is actually new for me because I have not tried this, and this was a more recent acquisition. Okay, so every morning I walk, and every morning on my walk, I either take a bottle of hellowater® or I drink one when I’m back.

Tom:

[Crosstalk 00:11:40] The prebiotic water, or the alkaline water?

Nicole:

Prebiotic. The prebiotic. And then this, I was fortunate enough to be able to try. And now I just keep these in my refrigerator and this is just kind of my hydration during the day. But I depend in the morning on the hellowater® prebiotic water, because not only does it hydrate me and quench my thirst after I’ve now done two and a half miles in Florida humidity, but I get my fiber intake. I’m getting like extra fiber.

Tom:

Yeah. And so how do you feel after you consume it? What’s the feeling? What’s the benefit you’re seeing or feeling?

Nicole:

Okay. Well, obviously hydration is key and I think flushing your system out, not only for weight loss but just for your skin quality, for everything physiologically, I think is so important. So I think that there’s a tremendous benefit, obviously from hellowater® because of that. Then you put the component of the prebiotic and before I started this, not to be too much information, but I had a lot of stomach issues over the last several years, for whatever reason. Not when I was younger, but more recently, I’d say between the ages of 45 and 50. So the prebiotic element is obviously a game-changer for your internal gut and your stomach. So there was a benefit from that. And then of course, with the fiber.

Nicole:

So I think after drinking when I drink one, I’m so, I don’t want to say I’m full, but I feel that feeling of satiation like I’m not only hydrated, but now I feel like I’ve filled my tummy, and many times, and this is the God awful truth. And I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing to say, I’ll have the water when I come home, and I usually don’t eat before I work out. And sometimes I don’t want to eat breakfast because I’m actually full from a bottle of the probiotic water, and I do eat, because I know I need to, but there’s a definite filling feel from drinking a bottle of that water.

Tom:

Now, that’s great. I was going to ask if you did fasted cardio, because I agree, I think fasted cardio is the way to go. Get out of bed, get moving, get the blood flowing, the endorphins going.

Nicole:

Yup.

Tom:

You have that, and so if you had skipped breakfast, and it doesn’t sound like you do it very often, but if you would, every once in a while, how late in the afternoon would this would drinking a bottle of hellowater® take you until you just felt, all right, I have to eat now?

Nicole:

Probably one o’clock, and I get up early because I go walk my dog and then I have a cup of coffee. And by the way, I do have a cup of coffee in the morning to get me going before I do my cardio, but then the water comes in right after that. I mean, I hate to say it, man, but I can go until 12, one o’clock and feel full. And I don’t pound the water. I mean, I drink it healthily. I don’t slam it down. I mean, I’m drinking it, but it doesn’t make me two hours. Like I don’t nurse. Like I’ll have this on my desk, but I’ll drink this during the day, and I’ll do, how many? This is what, 24 ounces? So I’ll drink this in the course of the day, but those are much smaller bottles. So I drink them much quicker.

Tom:

Yeah, that makes sense. So, for those people who intermittent fasting is a huge thing right now, it’s a big trend. So for those viewers out there that are doing intermittent fasting, this would be a great option for them then. If they can’t eat until one o’clock anyway, this would be something that wouldn’t break their fast, that would keep them full, keep them hydrated, and get to that one o’clock, eliminating those hunger pains and making, I guess, intermittent fasting a little bit easier to do, correct?

Nicole:

Oh, a hundred percent. I mean, like I said, I guess I sometimes kind of do intermittent fast and I don’t do it on purpose, but I think so, absolutely. Because there’s just something about filling your stomach with this, that it just tends to make you feel complete. You feel full. There’s no, I don’t have the desire a lot of times to eat.

Tom:

Yeah. And we hear that a lot, and that’s actually one of the main reasons we actually created it was to, we just thought Americans could use some help, whether it’s between meals and trying to drink this and not snack, or in the morning. So, you can intermittent fast, and skip breakfast, or passively having it with a meal and just eating less of that meal.

Nicole:

One hundred percent.

Tom:

Have you ever used it besides right away in the morning?

Nicole:

I mean, I drink it in the afternoon. If I work out in the afternoon or being like it’s hot here if I’m just thirsty and I’m craving it, I’ll have one in the afternoon, but I will tell you that I try not to have more than two a day.

Tom:

Okay. Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough. No, that’s great advice for everybody who’s watching here. What’s your favorite flavor?

Nicole:

Okay. So I have to tell you a funny story. So some of the flavors are my, I used to go to summer camp as a kid. I didn’t go to sleepover, but I went to day camp, and every day in the afternoon, they would give, do not laugh, they would give us, we’d have Popsicle time. And I swear to you the orange mango, or the orange flavor, like the first time I tasted it. If you’ve ever have like a deja vu where like, I was like eight years, nine years old, back in summer camp in San Fernando Valley in Southern California. And I’m like, this tastes exactly like the Popsicles I used to get. And it just was such a cute, nostalgic feeling. So I liked that.

Nicole:

I love the pineapple.

Tom:

Pineapple coconut. Yup.

Nicole:

Oh my God, pineapple coconut, delish. Now I tried the new black cherry and I tried the grape. The grape also reminds me of like a grape Popsicle, or like a Jolly Rancher. I will tell you my least favorite, and I know it’s a popular one, and I tend to like that normally, but the lemon, for some reason, it’s not my favorite. I don’t know why, but I love all the flavors, but I’m really partial to the, I think, is it Live? The one with the coconut-pineapple?

Tom:

Pineapple coconut, yup, is Live.

Nicole:

And then the cucumber one is like, you’re at a spa.

Tom:

Yeah. That was the original intention. That was the first formula that we ever built. And it was based on that spa. So if you look at our packaging and you see through the front and it looks like there’s fruit falling into the water, that was all based off of the idea at a spa.

Nicole:

And I love the names. I mean, you can’t get motivated by just the names alone, especially in the hard times we’re all living right now. I mean, they’re just such like uplifting names.

Nicole:

Yeah, [inaudible 00:18:00].

Tom:

All right. We’ll get back into it. So is there anything else that you would tell people? You’re obviously inspiring our viewers, regardless of age, but especially those who are turning 50, or who is going to turn 50, or in their forties or already in their fifties. Is there anything else with hellowater®, without hellowater® that you’d like to tell our viewers to help inspire them to go even farther like you did?

Nicole:

Goodness. I don’t know. I mean like, listen, life is short. If we’ve learned anything in the last 18 months, life is short, and life is precious, and health is paramount. And I mean, I think we all just need to, I always use this, it’s so cliche. Like, do you. But I mean, at this point, no matter what age you are, you have to take care of yourself. You only have one life. We’re very fortunate that we all are here breathing and hopefully healthy. And I just think that putting aside the weight loss, because I did it for several reasons. And by the way, my cholesterol is the lowest it’s ever been. I’ve never had high cholesterol, but now it’s like ridiculously low, like unbelievable. I think I dropped 25 points just by what I’ve done. I lost my stomach issues. As far as gut issues. I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe because I’m down five sizes. So like there are so many great things that came from this. But I just think that my advice to anybody is it’s never too late. Don’t say you can’t, because you can. I mean, I thought 10 pounds was going to be paramount and really hard, and 10 flew off, and then 12 flew off, and in 20 flew off.

Nicole:

So I don’t know. I just feel like taking care of yourself, because you got one chance in your life to take care of yourself, and you want to spend it as healthfully as you can, and products like these, they’re good for you. And they assist in that. So I mean, that’s really it. Like I said, I can’t believe I’m a bad inspiration, but maybe I am.

Tom:

I bet you’re going to be more inspirational than you think. No, it’s very well said. And you align with our mission completely, which is to inspire health, which is to allow people to live better and to do it very simply, right? We create these great drinks to provide a very convenient crutch to help you get through your day and live a little bit healthier. And you’re a beacon of it by just doing it every single day and not trying to lose 40 pounds in a week or two weeks and just enjoying the lifestyle. Making it part of your lifestyle, and next thing you know, you look up and you’re down 40 plus pounds.

Nicole:

Yeah. And keeping it off, because that’s another thing too. And I think maintenance is key for everybody. Listen, anybody can go and probably lose five pounds, 10 pounds. That’s not so, but keeping it off, but then losing the amount of weight that I lost, and then still I’m now August 2021, I started January 2020, by July I’d lost 30 pounds and I’ve lost even more since then, and I’ve kept it off. So I think that that’s the key too. And I think sustainability is key. In any workout program you do, and any food that you eat and ingest, and anything you do as far as your hydration and your water. And I think that hellowater® is sustainable and it’s affordable. And hopefully, it’s more available for people in other parts of the United States. I know in Florida, we’ve got limited places we can actually go in and physically purchase it, but you can order it online. I always put my code on my Instagram page to promote. Obviously sales for you all, but I think like I said, I feel like the availability of it is a really important component to make a lifestyle change for anybody. So I think hellowater® is a great partner in that effort for any individual that wants to do that.

Tom:

Well, we appreciate that. And I think one of the last questions that I’ll say, and maybe the viewers are wondering this, what do you do when you go out to dinner?

Nicole:

What do I do when I go out to dinner? Eat. Not what everybody else is eating, that’s for sure. My friends groan, my family groans when I order the [inaudible 00:21:58]. Obviously, I can’t walk into a restaurant with a bottle of water, but I’m very healthy. I mean, I’m extremely healthy. I don’t eat bread. I don’t eat rice. I don’t eat pasta. I mean, I’m very limited, and I have to tell you, since January of 2020, I haven’t cheated one day. I mean, I don’t veer from the path. I just can’t, because I’ve lost so much weight and I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt. And so, I’m not going to blow it. And I know one French fry would lead to two, would lead to three. So there is no French fries. I haven’t had French fries since the beginning of January 2020. Legitimately.

Tom:

Congratulations, you are definitely an inspiration. You’re doing it. I say, continue to do it. I don’t know how far you’re going to take it.

Nicole:

Oh, I’m done. I’m done. I just want to maintain. I can’t [crosstalk 00:22:43].

Tom:

Just maintain now, and just live. And maybe a French fry will come back in your future at some point in the near future, you never know.

Tom:

Well, we really appreciate your time, Nicole.

Nicole:

Thank you.

Tom:

It’s been great talking to you. I know our hellowater® nation viewers are appreciative of it and your story. I would never guess that you’re 50. So congratulations. You got that going for you. And I’m glad you made it to the big five O. So let’s continue on, let’s live healthily, and let’s do the work so that others can follow in your footsteps.

Nicole:

Cheers to another 50 more, and too much success with hellowater®.

Tom:

Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure.

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