I had visited Matt Mahowald of New Performance Nutrition several times before, but never as a client. Getting to see him in action gave me a whole new appreciation for what he does. On the first visit, he starts by taking a bunch of measurements--weight, body fat and of course a blood test. He quickly develops a baseline so we have a starting point for the program. My cholesterol looks a little high and my weight...well, don't ask. But I have 3 months to whip myself into shape. A key part of Matt's program is the nutrition journal, where I'll be writing down every single thing that I eat. Matt gives me some rough guidelines to follow, and then he'll get into the specifics of my program as we move forward.
There's a lot to learn, but a key point is to keep one's blood sugar consistent throughout the day. When I ask what the ideal late-morning snack is, he replies, "12 almonds and a piece of fruit." OK, I'm learning things already. Sounds easy enough. The journaling process is interesting, because it forces you to consider everything you eat. Everything. If you have to write down something like "plate of fries" you feel like a complete chump. "Burger and a beer"...ouch. It's like a daily affirmation. So I'm now thinking more before ordering, and trying to keep the almonds and fruit nearby at all times. More learnings in the weeks and months ahead.