Updated: Mar 29, 2019
In high school I went through a phase where I ate instant noodles twice a day for a whole year; once for lunch and once for supper. Delicious, cheap, and super fast. As a financially challenged teenager looking from an economic standpoint, what more could I ask for?
By the time I graduated, I had successfully slept through every single class I had ever attended. I always made sure I sat in front of one of my best friends, who would kick my seat every time I started to do the "head bob" (you know that thing you do when you rest your eyes for just ONE second, but you suddenly enter a deep and drowsy abyss of no return? Yea, that's the head bob).
Although I have always been on the athletic side, it wasn't until about 2010 when I started taking my nutrition seriously. My big sister (and co-founder of our business) dove deep into the world of bodybuilding. After watching her compete from the sidelines for a year, I decided to join in on all the fun.
I competed in my first competition at the age of 17, placing 4th among 12 competitors in my class. Addicted by the thrill and competition of the industry, I became obsessed with exercise and nutrition. I read Oxygen Magazine like the bible, designed training programs and meal plans for every moment of my life, become addicted to the Food Network, and read nutrition labels for leisure reading.
I enrolled in Kinesiology at Dalhousie University where I spent 4 years in a love-hate relationship to my degree (it was mostly love). In my first year I had to take physics: the inescapable undoing of my sanity, evil agent of my downfall, and source of many tears. I also had to take Exercise Physiology: the redeemer of my sanity and love of my life.
I remember sitting in class and experiencing an "aha" moment. As a bodybuilding competitor (this is not totally accurate but for the sake of simplicity I use the term "bodybuilding". When it comes down to the technicalities, I was a "figure" competitor), I did a lot of things that many amateur bodybuilders do without really understanding why.
My professor dropped the term "carbohydrate-sparring": a metabolic shift to conserve carbohydrates for vital organs in the environmental condition of carbohydrate scarcity.
It was at that moment I understood that the food we eat dictates how our bodies function, what metabolic pathways are turned on by certain nutrients, and how this impacts how we feel and how we perform. By cutting dietary carbohydrates from the diet, I was forcing my body to tap into an alternate source of energy to derive fuel from: Fat.
I started reading, listening, and learning everything I could about human metabolism and started experimenting with diets, from vegan diets to paleo diets, from low-fat to high-fat, from eating every 3-hours to intermittent fasting.
By the time I was in my final year, my Advanced Cardiovascular Dynamics professor accused me of presenting my final project on metabolic processes; a topic unrelated to the course content (which, to be fair, is totally true). This professor was also the teacher who introduced me to Exercise Physiology 3 years prior. I have a feeling he understood that I was much better at following my curiosity than I was at following instructions. I still managed to pass with flying colours (bless his soul).
What we eat has an enormous impact on how we feel and how we perform on a daily basis.I am not here to tell you what is right and what is wrong, nor am I here to preach a dogmatic dietary identity (vegetarian, vegan, paleo, ketogenic, and so on). I am here to shed light and intrigue interest on topics related to metabolism and nutrition.
I encourage individuals to engage in discussion and learn more if they stumble across an entry that resonates with them or even opposes their beliefs or experience. The fact is, the world of nutrition is out-dated, dogmatic, and dangerously based on bad science that hasn't been questioned for far too long. We don't have all of the answers, but every individual has the power and the right to take control of their own physiology and feel good.
Please remember that this is a blog. Don't listen to everything I say. Form your own beliefs but don't believe them too heavily. Change your opinions based on your own experience and don't be scared to challenge old ideas if they aren't working of you. One thing I can tell you is that instant noodles may be cheap, delicious, and super fast... but they don't fuel my brain, control my cravings, balance my hormones, or help my feel good about my body and how it performs.
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