Hey! My name is Adam and I LOVE helping people, in fact I may go as far as to say that’s why I was put on this Earth. I’m thrilled that you’ve stopped by to check things.

I am a certified holistic nutritionist and personal trainer and aim to provide practical solutions to help people be happier and healthier. On this site I  will be sharing recipes I’ve created and curated, my favourite things (food, kitchen gadgets, fitness equipment) and any piece of information I believe will help you get happier and healthier.

Want to learn more about me? I had a bit of Barbara Walters moment and decided to interview myself with questions you may or may not have for me. Feel free to read as much or as little of this interview as you so please. I hope it answers your questions and if not, head over to the connect page and shoot me a message!

 

Why are you a nutritionist and personal trainer?

I am a nutritionist and personal trainer, first and foremost because I love helping people! There is nothing that gives me a greater sense of satisfaction than having the privilege of assisting someone in achieving greater health and happiness. In addition to this, I’m a huge nerd. I am so fascinated by the human body and the incredible changes and improvements that can be made to them through diet and exercise. I LOVE learning about the latest research in the health and fitness world and helping my clients apply this information for the betterment of their lives. I believe it’s my mission in life to help as many people as possible lead happy, healthy lives.

What is your favourite snack?

CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate is my first love and remains my steadfast companion in life, through good times and

But isn’t chocolate loaded with sugar and bad for you?

Not the chocolate I eat! Since I follow a Low Carb High Fat diet I eat chocolate that falls in line with this. There are a growing number of stevia-sweetened chocolate options that taste great and don’t compromise my health values. And full disclosure, I indulge in the sugary options every once in a while! It wouldn’t be Christmas without my Mom’s chocolatey baked goods!

What is your biggest challenge as it relates to your health and well-being?

I apologize in advance for the mini-novella 😉

 

I have always struggled with maintaining my ideal body weight. Inherently I struggle with portion control, particularly when carbs and sugar are involved. I have been on a weight loss/gain roller coaster for my entire life, but have gotten off the ride once and for all. This has been something I have been exceptionally self conscious of for as long as I can remember and even more so once I became a nutritionist and personal trainer in 2011. Since I was 10/11 years old I have been trying to rid myself of this problem, thinking there was something wrong with me. I’ve tried every diet known to man-kind and all of them worked by sheer fact that I was eating less, but none of them truly got to the root of the issue. The issue is simple. My body is not meant to eat refined/added sugars and excessive amounts of carbs. In general, most bodies aren’t. But, alas our brains are very tricky/smart creatures. They love the dopamine (feel-good brain chemical) spike that comes from a nice hit of sugar. In some people this response is greater than others. Mine is very strong. I feel AMAZING when I eat a lot of sugar. But this leads to dependency and crazy cravings to continue getting this feeling. For years I cycled through periods of fighting my cravings with all my might and losing weight, then giving up because it was always so damn hard and gaining weight back.

 

Sounds pretty exhausting eh? It was. I had to do 2 major things to finally exit this funhouse of horrors.

 

  1. I had to break up with sugar and carbs once and for all

 

This is not to say that I’ll never touch sugar and carbs ever again. They will just never be a part of my day-to-day ever again. By adopting a low carb, high fat, ketogenic diet I have finally been able to feel happy and free. I am sitting at a healthy body weight, my cravings have vanished and my energy is far more stable and clear. My natural appetite cues have been restored and I know when I’ve eaten enough without having to count calories or macronutrients. It is damn refreshing and that’s why I’m so excited about a low carb, high fat eating approach.

 

*Quick disclaimer: I don’t advocate that this is the best diet or that everyone should eat this way. We’re all different. This is simply what works for me. What works for you may be entirely different.

 

  1. I had to show myself the same compassion and empathy I give to my clients. I find it funny how humans have the capacity to show so much compassion for others, but we can be so mean and rude to ourselves. I decided to change the self-talk in my head and I became my own health coach and cheerleader. When I finally forgave myself for myself for my so-called shortcomings it was so much easier to let-go of old habits and let them die. The reality is, the cards are stacked against us in modern day society. The food industry is profit-driven so naturally they’ll want to manufacture food products that are cheap and that people will want to eat over and over again in excessive quantities (I’m talking about you sugar-filled snackies) . When you grow up believing that grains should constitute the majority of your diet and that refined sugar is part of a healthy diet, it’s very easy to get on board this roller coaster ride from hell.

 

If any of this resonates with you, just know you’re not alone. The above scenario is so common. Need help? Hit me up!

What’s your favourite diet/eating style?

As an individual my favourite diet/eating style is the keto or low carb, high fat diet. This is the diet that makes me feel the best, but also allows me the freedom to enjoy some red wine and chocolate (sugar-free) WITHOUT intense sugar cravings manifesting and unwanted pounds creeping on. 

As a nutritionist my favourite diet/eating style is whichever one works best for my clients individual needs. The best diet for an individual is one that makes them feel great, allows them the flexibility to enjoy the foods they love, helps them stay lean/healthy and aligns with their values.

What is your approach when working with clients?

 

I take a results-oriented approach to all of my work. I first find out what goals my clients have while simultaneously collecting extensive information about their health history. Together we define the milestones they would like to achieve over the course of our work together and I create an action plan to help my clients achieve what they want! As with all my work I meet my clients where they are and seek to provide practical solutions that are not overwhelming and will get them the results they seek.

Where do you work out of?

I am located in Toronto, Ontario, however my clients are all over North America. Here’s a breakdown of where I work, pertaining to the different services I offer:

 

Nutrition Consulting: 

I offer some mobile, in-person nutrition consulting services in the GTA, but I mainly operate using video conferencing technology (skype) or over the phone. 

Fitness:

I provide in-home personal training in the core of Toronto and online coaching using video conferencing technology, coupled with my personalized training app.

Curious about using my services, but not sure what will work best for you? Shoot me a message here!

I offer free 15 minute consultations so we can determine how I can help you best.

What is your educational background?

University: I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from McMaster University

 

Nutrition: I am a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and obtained this designation by attending the Applied Holistic Nutrition Program at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I also hold the following additional credentials related to Nutrition:

 

  • Edison Institute Cancer Coach
  • Institute of Holistic Nutrition Therapeutic Supplementation

 

Fitness: I am CanFitPro Certified as a Personal Training Specialist and have completed the following additional courses:

 

  • WellSpring Cancer Smart Exercise Specialist
  • Canfitpro Active Ageing Coach

 

Want to learn more about my background and experience? Check out my Linked In Page Here!

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue, and its many shades!

What are some of your go-to meals to cook?

Some of my fav go-to’s are smoothies (I know this is technically not cooking), Egg scrambles loaded with tons of veggies and salsa and Roasted Broccoli with Chicken Wings cooked in my T-Fal Actifry.

What is your favourite health habit?

I’m going to give two answers for this question. One that is very simple, which you too can implement immediately and another, slightly more involved habit that is probably the healthiest thing on earth you can do!

 

Easy one: First thing in the morning a pour myself a tall glass of room temperature water and put 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV). I chug this back and find that it’s a great way to get the ol’ digestive system up and att’er. ACV is also an antioxidant, helps regulate blood sugar and much more. If the taste of ACV is too intense for your liking, you can also squeeze half a lemon into water and chug that back.

 

Hard one: 5-6 days of the week I have a tall glass of blended broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts contain a wonder chemical called sulforaphane. If you look it up, you’ll find that its potently anti-cancer, detoxifying, blood sugar regulating and SO much more. It’s probably one of the healthiest things on earth you can consume. The hard part about this is the fact that I grow them myself since buying the already grown sprouts is so costly. I grow 6 mason jars full of broccoli sprouts weekly for my partner and I.

 

Want to learn more about broccoli sprouts? Watch THIS video from my fav Doctor Rhonda Patrick:

If you could recommend one health change to people what would it be?

Eliminate refined and added sugar from your diet! Especially if you’re a sugar addict like me. In my humble opinion, sugar is the original gateway drug and hardwires childrens brains to seek out dopamine spikes constantly. Of all changes one can make cutting out refined and added sugar from your diet is the best one you can make. If you’re rolling your eyes, its okay! I’m not here to be the sugar police, you can still enjoy a piece of cake. What I’m really trying to say is that refined and added sugar should not be a part of your daily diet. It’s no problem to enjoy a treat occasionally, but if you find that you’re constantly seeking out sugar and all of the places it hides this is a good sign you should wipe it from your diet.

 

Who are your mentors/inspirations?

Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Is an amazing doctor, who specializes in nutritional science. She has a brilliant gift of making complex science fun and engaging! She’s the one who got me onto broccoli sprouts. Check her out here: www.foundmyfitness.com Instagram: @foundmyfitness

 

Mel Robbins: She is the author of the 5-Second Rule (One of the best life-enhancing books I’ve read) and a personal growth speaker/coach. She has a great no-nonsense approach to helping people move their lives forward and take ACTION. Check her out here: www.melrobbins.com Instagram: @melrobbinslive

 

Tim Ferriss: Tim has written a number of my fav books like the 4 hour work week, Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors. He’s the original proponent of building a “lifestyle business” and has a fantastic podcast where he interviews top performers and distills some of their habits of success. Check him out at https://tim.blog/ instagram: @timferriss

 

Paul Stamets: Is an incredible mycologist (mushroom scientist). I first stumbled upon his work by listening to the Joe Rogan podcast. Paul was interviewed for over two hours and it was absolutely mind-blowing. (Find the episode HERE) He is doing incredible work with mushrooms to help heal the planet and provide incredible food and health supplements to the masses. He has a great TED talk HERE. Check him out at www.fungi.com instagram: @paulstamets

What is your eating style?

I follow a low carb high fat diet, more commonly known as the keto diet. I’ve found that this way of eating has given me the most stable energy I’ve ever had, makes It effortless to maintain my ideal body weight and has helped me banish my sugar cravings once and for all!

I should also note that I believe in an 80/20 approach to almost everything in life. 80% following the rules, 20% breaking the rules and having fun. This applies to my eating too. 80% of the time I’m a good keto boy, 20% of the time I eat things I want! I typically will have one treat or meal per week that would make the keto police cringe, but this helps me stay with it for the long term!

What kind of workouts do you do?

The majority of my workouts are resistance training based. I like to keep my body guessing so I switch up my programs every 4-6 weeks and typically alternate between body composition (losing fat) and hyptertrophy (gaining muscle) style programs. I’m not a big fan of cardio, but I do love me some high intenstiy interval style cardio sprinkled in with my resistance training.

What are some of your areas of expertise?

Assisting adults with diffabilities and complex needs: I have a background in working with adults and children described as having intellectual disabilities, complex medical needs and/or concurrent mental health issues. This is a field I love working in and it is highly underserved in the health and well-being department. I have made it my mission to help people of all different ability levels get stronger, lose weight or simply eat better.

Keto coaching: I am an expert in living the keto lifestyle. I do it myself and have helped a number of clients with this. I have helped people lose dramatic amounts of weight and regain control of their health. 

Meal planning: This is the single most challenging skill I have developed as a nutritionist. I have spent the last 5 years refining this craft. I have meal planned for individuals with highly complex needs of all different skill levels. I’ve even created my own hybrid online + paper meal planning system, The Vacon Nutrition System. I have been developing this system for 3 years now. In 2017 I received a grant in partnership with Lawson Ministries (Social Service Agency) to pilot this program and roll it out in their agency. I have spent the last year testing, refining, testing, refining, testing and completely overhauling this system. It is near completion (and excellent if I do say so myself) and will be ready for the masses later this year!

 

Older Adult Fitness: I work with a number of adults over the age of 70, up to age 85. I love helping people surprise themselves with how strong they can get later in life, even when they have never picked up a weight prior to working with me. I find this area of fitness very rewarding, because strength/balance improvements have an immediate carryover effect to daily life. Getting up out of chairs gets easier, posture is improved, joints stop aching and much more.

 

 

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

There are SO many its hard to choose. Here are a couple things that grind my gears:

 

  • Health professionals who are adamant that their diet or approach to health is the only way. Steer clear of these people. Everyone is different and thus thrive with different approaches to their health.
  • Extreme dieting for the average person. Sure, extreme diets can be utilized in certain temporary situations like making weight for an athletic event or looking great on a magazine cover, but this doesn’t work in the long-term for the average person. The weight loss and gain yo-yo from extreme dieting wreaks havoc on metabolism, hormones, mental health and our relationship with food. The best diet is the one you can maintain for life, feel great doing and that supports your health!

How do you define healthy?

This is a big concept. I’m going to break it down into a few different branches.

Physiological: Healthy body weight, physically strong and vital, optimal blood markers, stable energy, feeling great most of the time! An important note here is that these things are different for everybody. Some people are born with/develop health challenges that are non-reversible. All we can do is the best with what we have. Let’s be the healthiest version of ourselves!

 

Emotionally: having strong, supportive relationships, balanced mood, positive outlook on one’s own life situation (as much as possible). There will always be ups and downs in life, but we can put in the work to improve all of these things.

 

Spiritually: A purpose driven life that is full of meaning! Having a connection to a purpose/mission that is bigger than ourselves, combined with the action to further it is one of the fundamentals of a great life!

What is your favourite purchase under $100

Just ONE?! I can’t. Here are my top 5:

  1. Broccoli Sprouting Seeds
  2. My wireless mouse. I don’t know why, but it’s just so satisfying to use a mouse, rather than the trackpad on my computer.
  3. LL Bean tote bags. I’m such a bag lady. I like to bring all of my things with me everywhere I go. These tote bags are durable and fit so much stuff in them!
  4. All of my “The Ordinary” skin care products. Pure, pharmaceutical grade skin care products at a fraction of the price of literally every other brand. They own my heart.
  5. My gym membership, because I’m worth it 😉

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What have been some noteworthy successes in your career?

  • Assisting a gentleman with Prader Willy lose 50lbs and significantly improve his health and quality of life.
  • Training an 84 year old man (for over 2 years) who can now do 10 full chin-ups in a workout. I’ll mention that he had never worked out in a gym prior to this. He started from scratch at 82. It’s never too late to start working out!
  • Providing personal training and keto coaching to a teen who has now lost over 80lbs.
  • Providing personal training for a woman who has an intellectual disability and is blind. She has gained incredible amounts of strength and control over her body and does not let her challenges stop her from achieving her goals. Fitness is for everybody.