Tue Jan 4th:

Your Nutrition – Lesson One

The world of nutrition can be overwhelming. As your coach over the next few weeks, there are various ways I can help you eat healthier and in way that aligns with your goals. .. however long term; I think the most empowering way to make any changes to diet, wellness or fitness is NOT to be too reliant on any one expert. So use me… listen to me…. but don’t depend on me.

Yes, as a nutritionist, I have knowledge, but I also have my biases. My advice is affected by my studies, experiences with clients and opinions I’ve been exposed to.

As many of you know, my background (for the first decade of my career) was mainly working with pro athletes. When you work as Strength & Conditioning Coach for elite athletes, you’re not exposed to dietary problems. By the time someone is a pro or at a national level, they usually have their diet dialled in and/or have a Performance Nutritionist looking after them.

However, in 2007 while living in Brazil, my career took a bit of turn, and I started training Fashion Models and Actresses. Ever since, a large percentage of my client base has been female models/actresses in their 20’s who need to look a certain way for their career. Being around this demographic means I’ve been exposed to more eating disorders and body image issues. My view of nutrition and how I help people has been affected by this profoundly.

Seeing how many of us have a poor relationship with food opened my eyes.. and it’s not just models; So many of us overeat, undernourish our bodies and make poor dietary choices. Many of us know what we should do but sabotage ourselves, and some of us don’t realise that we’re missing out because we’re not eating and enjoying food mindfully. I want you and fuel and feed your body in an optimal way, so you are the right weight for your lifestyle and sense of self. I also want you to have a high level of energy so your organs all function well, and most importantly, I also want you to enjoy eating as it’s one of life’s pleasures!

For many years now, a prevailing goal for all my clients has been to have a great relationship with food. This is my bias.. and it’s why I never ask clients to weigh out food, to obsessively track calories, do the 5:2 diet (too similar to binge-purge of bulimia for my liking) and why I’m careful who I recommend Interment fasting to. I always rather my clients train hard and eat more than train soft and staved.

I want you to love your body and that means… you have to show it love. Yes, exercise is vital and that’s why I’m treating your body to movement every day (how are the legs feeling today!)…  I will also be treating it to learning new skills (martial arts tonight) and hopefully inspiring you to see exercise as play and in time, you honestly see your body as a tool of expression and more of an instrument rather than an ornament. Showing your body love also means letting it recover optionally and feeding it with nutrient-dense food,  being hydrated and letting it function optimally. Showing your body (and by definition, that also means you) love means not letting it get unhealthily over/ under weight feeding yourself nutrient foods, staying hydrated, reducing toxins in your diet and I belive it also means having a tasty & varied diet.

NB: If you have ever seriously struggled with being overweight or underweight, food becomes this huge issue that becomes so overwhelming we either become constantly unhappy or we try and ignore it and pretend it doesn’t matter. Neither of these are great  solutions. Addressing things that need change is always the most sensible approach. All change is painful, but not changing is often way more painful in the long run.

Through the years society often changes what is deemed attractive or ‘right’/’good’. If you hang out on Instagram too much, for example, the #bodypositivity movement could empower you. But it can also harm you. If you are overweight and proud (or act proud) you will be celebrated and encouraged. is this a good thing.. well it depends.

Let’s look at what happened to Adele when she lost all that weight recently. She got a lot of stick on social media as so many women felt that she was betraying them. Another example.. many fashion models I know (prior to working with me) have starved themselves so much that their metabolism was shot, so they were nearly fainting from low blood sugar, lost their periods and hair was falling out. but at their worst when they locked up to their agency and their booker/agent would tell them how great they looked. Society and its many little bubbles are full of contradictions and problems. It’s messy, unfair and inconsistent out there! the way I see it we shouldn’t ever let someone else tell us how to look or feel. … You will be celebrated or vilified depending on the audience. External validation (for anything in life) only serves the Ego.. so is kinda meaningless and potentially pretty harmful.

I’m not here to tell you what size to be.. we are all different shapes.. and there is no right or wrong way to look… but I do want you to happy.. and that requires you to be honest with yourself.

You must decide what kind of body you want and what relationship you want with food and with your body.

My rather lengthy experience as a Personal Trainer has taught me a couple of things. Firstly, that most people don’t really spend enough time asking themselves the right questions and secondly, that most of us are not ambitious enough when it comes to our body/fitness.

For example, If you have been overweight for 10 years can you really get the body of your dreams in 12 months? 100% YES.. and I know this to be true because I’ve seen it .. hell I’ve been responsible for it many times over the years with people who had lost all hope and never thought they could change.

If you want something bad enough, then you can pretty much get it if you are willing to pay the price. If you are not willing to pay the price then choose a different goal. Sounds simple.. in many ways it is.. success in any given thing is about priorities. You have the power to focus on whatever you want to. 


So…back to eating.


There are a whole bunch of key nutritional principles I want to share with you over the next few weeks to help you have a great relationship with food, and ALSO eat in a way that serves your body and your goals. So where do we start?.. Do I give you a meal plan? No. If I was a dietician and actually studied your eating habits had a 3-hour private consultation with you, then yes.. but I’m not, so I won’t!

What I can do is help facilitate change by giving you some tips, by helping you ask the right questions and by helping you stay on track by making you accountable to me.. and to yourself (and potentially others if you wish to use Whatsapp group in that way).

On Friday, I shall talk to you about portion sizes, protein and carbs amongst other things. However, today is more practical. I find that most of the time we all know exactly what we SHOULD do with our nutrition, but we don’t do it.! Sometimes when I suggest things to my clients, after a week or so they rebel against me… however, I have found when THEY come up with a dietary suggestion (for which I usually approve), then they tend to stick it more and when we and add in a bit of accountability.. well.. that’s when change really happens!


Your task today

From your current level of knowledge about yourself and about food… I want you to commit to ONE dietary change for the next 6 days week that you know will make a difference. It can be to eliminate alcohol & soft drinks.. not buy takeouts, to cook from scratch every day, to reduce portion sizes by 1/3 every night, to eat breakfast, , to not eat breakfast, to give up meat.. to eat more protein.. go vegan,  not be vegan!… the list is endless. I don’t want to dictate… I want to facilitate..so you decide.. and tell me!. Your results over the next 4 weeks are important to me.. but the most important thing after this four week period is that you have better habits that truly serve you… so this task today is a vital part of the Bootcamp.

So, have good think please and answer the questions below before 9am tomorrow  (Wed 5th of Jan)