Food has always played a huge role in my life. Like many people, from a young age, I figured out that if I didn’t eat enough, I’d die. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the memo that eating too much would probably do me in too, just slower. In other words, I was a chubby kid, livin’ largely on pizza, Big Gulps, Cap’n Crunch, and grilled cheese.
Then after graduating from college, I moved to Australia and had an epiphany. The ad agency I worked for was situated next to a massive farmer’s market, so I suddenly had access to an almost infinite variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Thanks to Oz’s barbecue culture, I also quickly learned how to prepare all that seasonal produce. Everything else fell into place. I started commuting to work on my bike. I learned to surf, scuba, and rock climb. I lost 50 pounds. I quit my advertising job but still rode my bike everywhere. I became a vegetarian. I grew my hair out. I made my living freelance writing for publications like Wired, Outside, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Surfer and The New York Times. I posed nude for artists when writing work was thin. In other words, within two years of arriving Down Under, I’d become a dirty, skinny, vaguely exhibitionistic hippy/writer.
But I kept getting colds all the time, which struck me as odd, given how clean I ate and how much I exercised. Then I had another epiphany. I was on a surf trip in Baja, Mexico when I found myself standing on the beach after three hours out in the waves with access to nothing but fish tacos and cabbage. As much as I loved the self-righteous elitism that being a five-year vegetarian allowed me, I was sharing a tent with a couple other guys, so an all-cabbage meal was out of the question. I got my pescado on. Instantly, I felt like Popeye when he ate spinach. Maybe it was the omega-3 fatty acids. Maybe the vitamin B12. Whatever it was, I knew my diet needed work.
At that moment, I embraced the concept I would eventually come to know as Biochemical Individuality, the theory that every body is different and we all have different nutritional needs. Since that fateful day (fateful for the thousands of fish I’ve since consumed, at least), I’ve found that pescitarianism (or fishitarianism as Steve Martin calls it) works perfectly for me. You, however, might thrive as a vegan, vegetarian, meatitarian, or paleotarian. (But not a twinkitarian. You probably won’t thrive if you do that.)
Shortly after my revelation, I returned to California, where I was hired by Beachbody. As their Director of Nutrition Content, I oversee nutrition content (duh!), which includes writing and editing for their blogs; answering customer fitness and nutrition questions; and co-creating their nutrition guides, including P90, P90X2, P90X3, Body Beast, 21 Day Fix, PiYo, and T25.
Meanwhile, I realized that I needed more than arrogance, experience, common sense, and an odd charisma that some people find infuriating if I wanted to be taken seriously as nutrition “expert.” So I went back to school and earned my Masters in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University, where I graduated summa cum laude.
And that brings us to today. There’s a lot of noise out there when it comes to nutrition and wellness. One-size-fits-all diets. Conflicting studies. Books offering advice based on logic thinner than the paper they’re printed on. Trying to sort through it all can be incredibly stressful.
And that’s why I’m here to help.