For the month of May, we're highlighting a new Chompian of the Month, Nicolette McCary. Nicole inspired us when we met her this past March at a Shoptalk conference back in March and heard about her story. Back in 2021, Nicole experienced a brain injury that resulted in her having to eat a specific high protein diet which is how she came to find Chomps. Read below to learn more about this inspiring Chompian!
Can you tell us about yourself - what you do, a bit about your story, etc.?
I am one of those rare Seattleites, born and raised! I grew up with the Puget Sound as my backyard, which unsurprisingly led me into oceanographic research science at the University of Washington. I quickly found that my extroverted soul had a hard time sitting at a lab bench 90% of the time, regardless of how cool the research was. I made a 180 turn after my research was published, and spun my natural talents into marketing - building up a small marketing agency over the course of 7 years. I had a great time helping solo professionals, scaling tech companies, and real estate agents stand out with their brands.
Then I sustained a mild brain injury in February 2021. I found myself suddenly unable to work for months, sleeping most the day and struggling with basic daily habits like cooking meals. As I recovered, my doctors recommended a very clean, high fat and high protein diet. This was hard to accomplish, when even the soft sounds of cooking felt too stimulating!
Enter: Chomps. I was so grateful to have an easy snack to reach for that gave me adequate protein and fat, without the sugar. That is so hard to find! I'm two years into my recovery, and I still reach for one as an easy snack between meetings. It's relieving to know that I'm eating quality meat, without having to read the label for added ingredients.
Overall I am grateful for the brain injury, as it allowed me to slow down and reconsider how my husband & I were running our lives. After a few months of rest, I made my second large career pivot and took one of my favorite clients up on a full time position. I now run Growth and Partnerships at Future Commerce, a retail media startup famous for our flagship podcast. I was grateful to meet some lovely members of the Chomps marketing team at the last retail industry trade show! I told them this story, and here we are.
What's your best tip on how to stay positive during hard times?
Self talk. Address the hard events and feelings you are experiencing, and then let them sit back so you can focus on your day to day needs. Your difficult times are not who you are. They do not define you. Continue on with your normal routines, give yourself healthy food, stay hydrated, and do things that normally bring you joy even if you don't feel like it.
What's your workout routine or favorite way to move your body?
I'll be honest, I really hate working out! So hands down anything to do with the beach or water helps get me motivated. This can look like swimming, kayaking, paddle board yoga, or simply taking a walk by the shore. I'm a water soul, and being out in nature adds something particularly powerful to moving my body.
How do you consider yourself a "game changer"?
I aim to bring positive energy to every situation. I do NOT always succeed! But I've found if I aim to bring energy and light to a conversation, work event, etc...it can change the experience for all involved. Regardless of your knowledge of a topic, you can bring positivity.
What is your favorite thing to do every day for your mental/physical health?
Taking even a short walk outside, and doing a few stretches in the fresh air. Sometimes I'll listen to a podcast or call a friend to catchup, but more often I just enjoy a chance to rest my mind and not consume content.
Because I have a brain injury, mental health is particularly important to me. I highly recommend staying overly hydrated by adding electrolytes to your water! Such a simple thing, but done consistently you'd be shocked how it impacts your brain. I often drink 2-3 Nuun or LMNT drinks a day!
What does a usual day in your life look like?
I live the "East Coast hours, West Coast life" schedule. So my initial morning routine tends to be quick in favor of early meetings. I take time in the late morning to eat a good breakfast and take a walk. I am definitely still healing, so I tend to work 2-3 hours and then take a break. Which spreads my day out, but works well for me. Every schedule is different, and you have to do what works for you!
What is one goal on your bucket list that you're trying to achieve this year?
I'd love to say sky diving - but I'll be a bit more boring. My husband & I bought a sustainably focused landscaping company in October 2022. He works in it full time, while I serve as our Head of Marketing on nights and weekends. Our goal is to double the company this year, and we are on track! My bucket list item is to see that come to fruition for not only us, but the larger team that has run with us on this crazy journey since day one!
What's your favorite way to eat Chomps (solo, with an apple, on-the-go, on a pizza, etc.)?
My FAVORITE way to eat Chomps has to be straight from the package when on an adventure: hiking, biking, kayaking, long drives to a new place!
What's your favorite flavor Chomps and if you could have ANY flavor exist, what would it be?
Jalapeño Beef & Original Turkey! Not too spicy, but adds delicious flavor.
Would it be gross to have a salt & vinegar flavor? Probably. But I'd try it!