.......................Today on 2 Cents Worth Down Under we have Adam Reynolds form The Healthy Boy - a blog devoted to nutrition and good health and one of my new must reads. Adam's site http://www.thehealthyboy.com/ is a fantastic site that has excellent information, tips and advice regarding nutrition, weight loss, working out, and general health and well-being.
And he's Australian - which is always nice on this blog :)
So please welcome Adam to the blog and surf on over and check out his site with all it's sensible, timely and healthy advice.
(2CW) Welcome to 2 Cents Worth Down Under Adam and thanks for agreeing to do the profile.
Thank you Damien. So happy you are enjoying reading my blog.
(2CW) So how did you get interested in nutrition/good health, and how did an Aussie lad like yourself end up in the USofA working in Nutrition?
I wasn’t always interested in health and nutrition. I used to have no muscle tone, ate terribly, and had a spare tire around my waist. One day I read a book which changed the way I eat and look at food, and joined a gym and never looked back.
I moved from Sydney to New York three years ago to study and pursue my career in acting. When I completed my studies at acting school a year ago, I headed over to Los Angeles where I signed with an agent and started doing what so many other young Aussie actors do, audition, audition, audition.
(2CW) How did The Healthy Boy get started?
Well after about 6 months of auditioning and spending my days submitting for casting after casting, I quickly realized that I needed do something outside of acting to keep myself occupied and not go insane, so I decided to do something with my next big passion – nutrition and fitness.
I started working as a research assistant for a celebrity nutritionist and started writing a blog. Mainly for my own personal use at first, but it quickly grew into something much larger than that.
I started blogging about things I found interesting and wrote articles about topics I thought the general public weren’t aware of, whether it was the fact that those “healthy” pinkberrys my friends were eating actually had more sugar than two cans of coca cola, or mistakes that people seemed to be making in the gym.
Now I’m not a personal trainer, nor am I a nutritionist, but I research topics I find interesting and ones I believe my readers will benefit from.
(2CW) Has it been well received? Do you have contributors to the blog that you work with?
It has been very well received. First my friends and family started reading it and found my articles eye opening and recommended it to their friends, Queerty heard about it and picked up my articles for a regular column on their site, and other blogs and websites have started recommending it to their readers. I’ve been voted a Best health Blogger from Wellsphere, my site has been voted as a Best Health Blog, and I have numerous companies and organizations contacting me daily to advertise and promote their products to my readers.
I’m not a personal trainer, so I do reply on some article contributions from two of my “gurus” – Tom Venuto and Mike Geary. Both are authors of best selling fitness books (Tom’s was the one that changed my life al those years ago back in Sydney), both are certified personal trainers, and they both write articles that my readers find beneficial.
(2CW) What are some of the mistakes people make with their nutrition? &, What are some of the simple, easy to adopt tactics for healthy living? Or is that too loaded a question :) ?
LOL no it’s not too loaded. You know, I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said “mistake”. You see I’m not necessarily writing for people who are extremely obese, or people who want to get really big at the gym. A lot of my readers are the average person who maybe has a little bit of weight they would like to lose, or a would like to gain a little more muscle. A lot of these people think they are eating healthy or performing the right routines at the gym, but actually aren’t and therefore aren’t seeing the results they want to see.
I recently wrote an article about Vitamin Water for example. Healthy individuals are drinking these believing they are doing themselves good, but if you drink one of these a day, it’s the equivalent sugar wise of eating 10 krispy kremes in a week! Not to mention it could cause you 13 pounds of weight gain over a year. Most people just don’t know this. These are the types of articles I write because I too find them interesting and eye opening and my readers love them.
Knowledge is power, and it’s the best tactic for healthy living. Do your research, turn over and read the nutritional labels, and you are well on your way to a better life. Avoid fried foods, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and only eat whole foods.
(2CW) I lived in Orlando, Florida from 2002 - 2004 and traveled throughout the USA and one thing I was stunned by was the saturation of fast food outlets EVERYWHERE and how almost ridiculously cheap the food was. In contrast, the fresh food in many of the food markets were of poor quality, expensive, and certainly not what I was used to in Australia. It almost seems American culture is geared AWAY from good health.
Urgh, don’t even get me started on this. My blood starts to boil when I think about it. The fact is that so things are very backward in the world at the moment, whether we are talking about America or any other country for that matter. One of the things that is backward, and one of the reasons why obesity is an epidemic, and why children have a lesser life expectancy and higher risk of diabetes, is because fast food is so cheap and healthy food isn’t.
Fast food is so accessible and marketed so effectively that many people don’t know any better. People and families literally grow up eating the stuff and pass on these bad eating habits to their children who don’t stand a chance.
Time are also tough, and people need to stretch their hard earned money as far as possible. I mean if you have a family to feed and only $5 to do it, would you go to a fast food place where you can get a whole heap of food off these $1 menus, or would you head to Wholefoods and pay $5 for one head of broccoli?
I think things are slowly changing though. There are so many shows on TV these days aimed at educating people about health and fitness, losing weight and eating right, and even the First Lady Michelle Obama is pushing education for children to combat childhood obesity. There is still a long way to go though.
How do we change it? Well we as consumers have an incredible amount of power when to comes to choice. If we stop eating at fast food restaurants, and start buying more clean wholesome produce from our local grocery stores, then the prices for these items will start to reflect that and we will see those foods becoming more affordable.
(2CW) Did you find the fast food culture of the USA tempting when you moved there?
Not really. I used to allow myself a “cheat meal” once a week a couple of years ago where I would eat healthy all week and then once a week, normally on a Sunday, I would allow myself to “cheat” by eating junk food. I would normally head to McDonalds for some chicken nuggets and French Fries – a childhood favorite of mine.
But my focus has changed in recent years. For me it’s no longer about fat loss and muscle building, but about what I put into my body. I don’t eat packaged foods, bad fats or a lot of sugar. I avoid any foods that have any artificial chemicals or additives (fast foods are loaded with these), so I don’t eat them at all anymore, cheat day or not. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I walked into a fast food restaurant.
I also watched a movie “Food Inc” recently, which changed the way I look at, buy, and consume meat products. Now I’m a huge carnivore, I eat chicken like its going out of fashion and If someone told me I had to go vegetarian tomorrow I would probably have a heart attack, but this movie taught me how to look for and buy animal products that have been raised ethically and without hormones or antibiotics. Unfortunately most fast food restaurants use meat products that are heavily contaminated.
(2CW) The thing that many people comment on, and something I certainly know is true, is that fast food can taste SO damn good. It isn't always easy to give up the good taste.
You know what? It actually doesn’t taste better than healthy food. It’s just that people’s taste buds have become accustomed to eating large amounts of salt, sugar and fat which make up the majority of fast food. Once you start eating healthy, nutritious food and cooking things for yourself from fresh ingredients, you will never go back to fast food again.
But our taste buds and bodies are literally addicted to salt, sugar and fat. They are like drugs. Sure they make you feel good, but they are incredibly bad for you. It takes a lot to stop eating them.
Another thing to consider is how do you REALLY feel after you eat these foods. People say they taste good, but how do you feel 10 minutes or half an hour after eating them? You feel bloated, you feel lethargic, and feel guilty for eating it. Is it really worth it?
(2CW) In contrast many people say that good food doesn't always taste good. What piece of the puzzle are we missing when it comes to replacing the good taste of bad food with a healthy but tasty alternative? Do we just not know how to cook anymore???
I think people who say this simply don’t know how to buy or prepare healthy food For example when most people make soup they add a ton of salt and cream thinking they need it to taste good. I have an incredible butternut squash soup recipe that is made only from fresh vegetables and has no salt, fat, sugar or cream added to it that would knock your socks off.
(2CW) You identify as an ex-chocoholic. Does that mean you NEVER have a piece? If not, what did you replace it with?
LOL yes I am an ex-chocoholic. More so than that I am just an ex-junk food guy. I had a huge sugar addiction. I would eat a dozen candy bars in one sitting, half a cake in a matter of minutes, and a whole tub of ice cream in one night. Once I started I couldn’t stop. But yeah, chocolate in particular was my weakness.
It took a lot for me to stop bingeing on these foods but I did it. When I got to the weekend where I would normally pig out, I said to myself “Ok, you can eat as much food as you want, it just needs to be healthy”. So I didn’t diet, or deprive myself, I stuffed myself with healthy food (ones that I enjoyed eating of course like healthy sandwiches) until I was full and satisfied. I ended up losing a ton of weight and didn’t even think about chocolate.
I don’t really eat it all that much anymore. I will have the occasional treat or some cake at a birthday party for example or desert at a group dinner, but I just make sure it’s a small portion. I’m not one of those people who can a little bit per day and be ok, once I start, I can’t stop. So I’ve found only eating it occasionally works best for me.
You also need to enjoy what you eat, otherwise you wont stick to it or you will just be miserable. So it’s a matter of each person deciding what healthy foods and meals they really enjoy, and making them often so to reward themselves.
(2CW) Many people know the benefits from healthy eating but would argue that healthy eating is time consuming and they are simply too busy. People are working longer hours and find it harder to balance a career, friends and fitness.
You know what? It is time consuming and it is hard. But getting diabetes is harder. Taking medication every day for the rest of your life is harder. Spending money on expensive health bills is harder. Not seeing your children grow up is harder. Being unhappy with yourself and your life is harder…you get the point.
But like anything you can find tricks to making your healthy eating life easier. Buy read made salad mixes from the supermarket. Have a stash of almonds in your draw at work for snacks. Prepare you meals on the weekends in advance and refrigerate them or freeze them. If you live life on the go, it’s no excuse not to eat healthy, most to go cafes, food stands, and even fast food restaurants, do have healthier options such as wholewheat sandwiches, salads and lean protein options.
(2CW) Here are some 2 Cents quickies.............
Favourite Food............... eggs…any which way. Love em.
Favourite Drink ........... Green tea. Obessed with it. Drink it 5 times a day and get excited when I find a new version I haven’t tried (I know, I need a life)
Favourite Guilty Pleasure............Just one? Definitely Chocolate.
Where would you go for dinner with someone on a first date?................ Somewhere quiet and romantic with low lighting and a clear exit for a quick getaway.
What is a fast food that you used to LOVE to eat?.............................Chicken McNuggets with Sweet and Sour Sauce.
What is a healthy food that you absolutely can not bring yourself to eat? .............. I HATE tart yogurt. I just can’t stand the sour taste. Blah.
Would you date someone who doesn't share your attitude towards health?............. LOL it would depend on how much they didn’t share it. It would depend on the person, but I think a good attitude toward health is important whether I’m dating them or not.
(2CW) Adam, thanks so much for joining us here on the blog, and I hope you will be open to come back for a Part 2.
Thanks for having me. Would love to come back.
Now, you've read the profile - head over to The Health Boy and appreciate the quality and quantity of great information that is over there.