We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Nicole Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Nicole, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work-life balance is something that is very important to me, and a topic I continually revisit. When I started working as a Naturopathic Doctor, I had a very young child. From the beginning of my career, I have had to balance building my practice, with spending time with my family and being present at home. Initially it was very important for me to put in effort and longer days because that is what I, along with most people, had been taught is necessary to be successful. As my family continues to grow, my mindset has shifted slightly. While I absolutely love my job and I love treating patients, I do not want to miss out on time with my children during their younger years. Also, as with many moms, I am on the journey of learning how to fill up my own cup so that I have more to give. This means that I am striving to prioritize “Me Time” and self-care. There are ebbs and flows, but overall the “balance” right now looks like working mainly during school hours, carving time for myself (I discovered that I NEED to exercise often to maintain my balance), and spending quality time with my loved ones.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After graduating from Naturopathic medical school, I had the opportunity to begin as an employee in an integrative mental health clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. This was a unique opportunity and allowed me to continue to learn while gaining experience. Through this position, I was able to conduct research, become a published author, and continue education in areas that interested me such as epigenetics. When I became pregnant with my second child, it revitalized my passion for pregnancy and prenatal care. I went on to become certified as a Naturopathic Doula. As a life-long soccer player and passionate athlete, I wanted to learn more about how to best exercise and train while pregnant. I took a course to become certified as a Pre and Postnatal Coach, and I enjoy passing on this information to patients in my practice. One of my goals is to be able to provide comprehensive prenatal support to include nutrition, supplements, and exercise recommendations. Many of my personal life experiences have contributed to my desire for continuing education and being able to provide for my patients. After giving birth to my second child, I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety, and was able to find a way to support myself naturally without the use of medications. Full disclosure: one of my best friends is a psychiatrist (Dr. Brooke Schneider) and she was in my back pocket for every step of the way. So, I continue to be passionate about women’s health and mental health, and I strive to provide education and many treatment options to my patients. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to identify root causes of disease and create individualized treatment plans. One of the things that sets me apart is incorporating all levels of healing including physical, emotional, and spiritual. I recognize the potential for thought patterns and beliefs to manifest as disease.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite places in Denver and Northern Colorado: Favorite hikes: – Grey Rock (Poudre Canyon) – Hewlett Gulch (Poudre Canyon) – Horsetooth Rock – Flatirons – Red Rocks Amphitheater Places to take the kids: – Denver Nature and Science Museum – Denver Zoo – 16th St Mall – Paco Sanchez Park – Sloan’s Lake – Any neighborhood park in Fort Collins Breweries: – Platt Park Brewery (Denver) – Black Bottle Brewery (Fort Collins) Places to Eat: – RISE! (Fort Collins) – Ginger and Baker (Fort Collins) – La Creperie & French Bakery (Fort Collins) – Choice City (Fort Collins) – City, O-City (Denver) – Dae Gee Korean BBQ (Arvada) – True Food Kitchen
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My success and where I am today has a lot to do with how I was raised. My mom has been an engineer for over 30 years. With her being a female in a male-dominated industry as well as being the first in her family to pursue higher education, I was raised to believe that I could do anything. For better or for worse, I was always pushed to do and be my best. I was raised with values of hard work, integrity, and discipline. Without these, I probably would not have pursued my doctorate degree. I could not have completed school and moved to a new state to start my career without the support of my family. My mentors during and after schooling have been invaluable to my career. Dr. Mary Rondeau, Dr. Elizabeth Rice, and Dr. Laura Rues are people I continue to reach out to and rely on for support. And lastly, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support both professionally and personally from Dr. Brooke Schneider.