Nicole Orisich — “Keep it Cute Kitchen” on YouTube — is a Black woman living with Hashimoto’s disease. A nurse practitioner and certified personal trainer, Orisich posts videos on her Keep it Cute Kitchen (KICK) YouTube channel to teach others about autoimmune health.
“I help Black women who live with autoimmunity [issues] reclaim their energy so that they can feel like themselves again through diet and lifestyle changes,” Orisich writes on her website.
Orisich, who has been living with hypothyroidism since 2012 and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2021, has been producing videos featuring recipes and advice for about two years.
View this post on Instagram
The symptoms of autoimmune diseases can be isolating, which is why Orisich wants to help people. Though symptoms vary, she experienced hair loss, stomach issues and fatigue, among others.
“It can feel like I’m out on an island by myself,” Orisich says in the above YouTube video.
Orisich switched to an anti-inflammatory diet and a healthier lifestyle in order to feel like herself despite the disease. Having learned from her mistakes, she decided to help other Black women with autoimmune issues so they don’t feel as alone as she once did.
She also shows her followers different ways to communicate with their loved ones about their diagnosis—particularly because autoimmune issues can lead to decreased energy, which, in turn, can make it difficult to pursue once-loved activities with family and friends.
“Educating the people around us will help take the mystery out of ‘I’m not feeling well today,’” Orisich says.
Orisich recommends that her followers use certain specific phrases to better communicate when asked to socialize.
“Energy is a commodity in my life, and sometimes it is not easy for me to forecast when I’m going to have it all day versus when it’s just going to, you know, dwindle away,” is one such example.
Even when she does go out, Orisich says there can be struggles, such as making healthy choices when out at a restaurant with friends. However, she says it’s worth it.
“Avoiding eating processed foods is [going] to benefit your body…. I now have a very different set of culinary guidelines that I follow, and I need to let my friends know because…I’m not able to order the same way that I used to,” Orisich said.
Orisich says finding restaurants with more nutritious menus that appeal to everyone at a gathering is one way to adjust to the new lifestyle and maintain relationships and a good overall quality of life.
“I’m not into laying up and laying out just because I had some gluten,” she explains.
Orisich doesn’t just help people with her YouTube videos and blog—she also offers consultations (the first one is complimentary) and a quiz for clients who want to learn more about their particular health journey.