August 26, 2021 4 min read

Mikki Willden is a PhD trained Registered Nutritionist and a Senior Lecturer at Unitec Institute of Technology. She attained her Masters in Science (Human Nutrition) with First Class Honours in 2003, focusing on the development of a childhood obesity prevention programme.

Mikki has been privately consulting with clients since 2006, working with a vast number of people with different health and performance goals. In 2011 she completed her doctorate studies in health and productivity in the New Zealand workforce. She runs an online nutrition coaching programme and is super passionate about health, longevity, nutrition and activity. Mikki's very active on social media (particularly Instagram and Facebook), sharing tips and tricks to help people live their best lives.

Working with some notable NZ'ers, Mikki's helped them achieve their nutrition-related goals, including Nigel Latta (on 'The Sugar' episode), Simon Gault (on the documentary series 'Why are we Fat?') and athletes such as Hamish Bond.

We're obsessed with hearing how people walk their health and wellness journey, and we know you love it too - so grab a cuppa and get ready to be inspired by our chat with Mikki.

Mikki Williden, PhD qualified nutritionist and ultra athlete.

What does health & wellbeing mean to you?

Having energy in everyday life, and doing the things that I love with the people I love.

How did you get started?

I was interested in nutrition and the gym in my teenage years (a dieting mother!) which evolved to wanting to study it when I left high school.

A small pivot in my interests led me to study psychology, English and economics in the first couple of years of university before coming back to studying phys ed and nutrition at Otago University, to then go on and do my masters in nutrition.

In my lecturing position at AUT University I was able to complete my PhD. In addition, I started a private practice in 2003 which I was able to do alongside.

And what keeps you motivated?

I’m a life long learner that loves applying science to practice and making information accessible to people.

Feeling good also keeps me motivated.

Being fit and able to do the things I love – I want to hold on to that as long as possible. Quality of life is everything and I choose to do things everyday that support that. It doesn’t mean being ‘perfect’ though.

Is there one thing you wish you’d known when you first started your health and wellness journey?

How important sleep was!

Mikki Williden shares just how important sleep is for our wellbeing.

What’s your biggest struggle on this journey so far?

It’s always trying to be a good influence on those closest to you (family etc) – they are the last people to really listen to your advice. Or act on it. Not all of them! And not all of the time.

I say that is the biggest ‘struggle’ but it’s more the thing that I think about most often.

How do you overcome setbacks?

Mindset is key and is everything – I try to accept how I feel (challenged, intimidated etc) and move forward.

Like my goal of completing a 100k run is a big goal that I’ve got for 2021, and to date it’s felt like too big a goal, but I’ve changed how I approach it thanks to consuming information from people such as Deena Kastor, Simon Marshall, Jill Coleman who talk mindset a lot in both sport and business.

What is the one thing you do that makes the biggest difference for you and your health?

Eat well.

Mikki Williden presenting of all things health and wellness.

Where do you go for wellness inspo? 

Jill Coleman
Jorry Fitt
Tess Garner
Julianne Taylor
Kaytee Boyd
Layne Norton
Robb Wolf

For someone looking to start their journey to a healthier lifestyle, what simple changes would you suggest?

Dial in your protein macros. Eat more protein, at least 1.6g/kg body weight daily, at least 30g at each meal. This stabilises blood sugar and therefore impacts energy, appetite, hormones.

What three things are a must for a healthy week?

Food preparation
Structured bed time and wake time
Time with friends and family

Where do you want to take your health and wellness journey in the next 5 years?

Somewhere overseas on an epic run/hike mission trip with hubby for 6 months.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Sleep more, and eat more protein.

Recipe for healthy Zoat bars from Mikki Williden.

What's your current favourite recipe?

Chocolate and Apple Zoat Bars, they're delicious and filling. They make for a quick and easy breakfast.

Ingredients for the Zoat Bars:

1 c Rolled oats (you can use almond flour or organic flour instead)
160 g Chocolate protein powder (5.5 oz)
2/3 c  Egg whites
360 g Apple, (I used Pacific Rose) (12.5 oz)
200 g Courgette (7 oz)
125 mls Almond milk, unsweetened (4 oz (U.S.))
1/2 c Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt, Himalayan
1/4 c Healtheries sugar free chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper or use a silicon baking tray.
Use a nutrabullet or blender to blend the oats into a flour (or use oat flour) to equal 1/2 cup.
Use a blender to blend the apple down into a puree, and a fine grater to grate the courgette (or do the same with the courgette as you did with the apple).
Add all ingredients together and mix until mixed through, adding more or less almond milk to get a thick batter (not too dry).
Pop in oven for around 30 minutes until done - a knife will come out clean, but it will be a dense cake.
Leave to cool and cut into four slices.
Serve with yoghurt and raspberries. 👌


If you'd like to hear more from Mikki, she has a podcast called, ‘Mikkipedia’ where she has conversations with experts in health and nutrition, and shares practical strategies to help people meet their health goals. She also co-hosts a weekly endurance sport podcast called 'Fitter Radio'.

If you're wanting to take your health and wellness journey to the next level - Mikki has a fabulous weekly newsletter and offers all types of nutrition coaching. We can't recommend Mikki enough, she's an epic encourager and she really knows her stuff! You can connect with Mikki here.


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