I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition which I received from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1990.
I will work with any athlete(amateur or professional) on a personal one to one basis to help improve their diet.
Currently, my workouts include swimming quarter a mile 2-3x/wk, upper body band workout 2x/wk, bicycling 1x/wk for 2 hrs, running one mile 2-3x/wk, and heavybag workout 1x/wk for 1 hr with the last 30 minutes in five 5 minute intense intervals with 1 minute rest periods in between. I usually do a light weight lifting workout once a month.
UPDATED 9/24/2012 After reading from a couple sources on the benefits of not over training, especially concerning workouts with heart rates above the 130 range for long periods of time. I am now only doing a workout with a heart rate above 130(in the form of interval training) once a week. Normally, this higher heart rate training involves bicycle riding, with a heart rate in the 145-155 range for a total of 25-30 minutes completed through 3-4 interval periods. Some weeks I will do this through my heavy bag workout as described above instead of on the bicycle. I have actually been doing this for 2 months now and as of yesterday, I set new personal time records on hill climbs. So it seems to be working and it surely makes working out more enjoyable where you are not absolutely killing yourself every time you workout.
I am a 44 yr old male. 5'7" tall 165lbs. with around 12% bodyfat. In the past as an adult I have competed in amateur mountain bicycle racing and weightlifting. I wrestled and played football when I was younger.
Below is my personal story of how I came to the way I am eating today. I credit my diet with changing my life and very possibly saving my life. I will call my story "To Hell and Back" because that is what it felt like.
To Hell and Back
My mother had a heart attack when she was 43 years old, at one point her heart actually stopped beating and she received electric shocks to restart her heart. I was 19 yrs old at the time in my third semester of college. This had such a profound effect on me I decided to change my major to nutrition.
After graduating I spent a couple years working in the nutrition field in a health department. But I was young and in the reason of chasing money I went into other fields of work. And during this time my interest in nutrition waned and I didn't eat as healthy as I should have. Even though I knew I had high cholesterol since it was first checked around 17 yrs old. I was told by doctors my high cholesterol was genetic and and my diet would have little effect on it. That the only way to control it was with medications. So I started on the meds available at the time and started taking the statin meds when they first came available in the mid 90's.
I had been involved in a variety of sports when I was young and wrestled in high school. Although I was always slim and in very good shape I never felt my cardio was as good as it should have been for the amount of exercising I was doing. Now looking back I believe I had some amount of plaque buildup in my arteries even in high school, especially after reading the research on killed US soldiers I reference on the home page of this site.
As an adult I stayed fairly active except for a couple years of my life. At one time I ran a lot then later competed in amateur mountain bike races and weight lifting. I especially noticed in the mid 90's while racing mountain bikes and wearing a heart rate monitor that my heart rate would get higher than it should for what I was doing and would not recover as fast as it should have during a rest time. I also couldn't seem to improve my cardio past a certain level no matter how hard I trained.
In January of 2003, after experiencing an elevated heart rate while hiking that wouldn't recover even after sitting down for nearly 10 minutes, I knew something was wrong. I decided to undergo a heart cath where they place dye into your arteries and are able to see any plaque blockages you may have in the arteries around your heart. They found an artery that was 90% blocked, couple 50% blockages and all the rest were 10% blocked. A stent was placed in the 90% blockage which opens it up. They will only place a stent in an artery that is atleast 70% blocked so I still had all the other blockages. I was told by my cardiologist that there was nothing I could do to reverse these blockages.
Even though the meds hadn't prevented these blockages I was advised by my doctor to increase the meds to the maximum allowed amounts in hopes of preventing any further plaque buildup. I reluctantly agreed because I knew of no other options at the time. This continued for 4 1/2 more years.
But in July 2007 the side effects of the meds which included constant muscle pain(these meds can actually cause a muscle wasting disease that can kill you), low energy level and basically feeling terrible all the time had become more than I could stand.
Then I heard about a doctor who said you could reduce your cholesterol with diet alone. He even said the plaque buildup could be reversed with the proper diet. I had never heard such claims from anyone and actually thought he might be a quack doctor. But I was at the end of my rope with my med side effects and knew I could not continue them and was willing to give it a try.
So I started eating the way I now recommend to others. I felt better pretty quickly. I noticed moderate improvements in my cardio during the first couple years.(I believe it took longer with me than it would with most people due to my extensive plaque buildup) But in the past year I have begun to notice big changes in my cardio. I am now 44 yrs old and I would dare to say I am in the best cardio shape of my adult life! Possibly even better than my wrestling days in high school. I can not say for sure only because I did not wear a heart rate monitor back then nor checked my heart rate recovery times with a clock.
But I can say that I can now get my heart rate up to the 160-170 range which is almost a max heart rate for my age and within one minute of seated rest my heart rate will drop back to 100. I think this is pretty good for a 44 yr. old who is not a professional athlete and who had 50% blockages just 4 years ago.(I don't believe my blockages improved any from 03--07). I actually think sometimes during exercise, so this is how it feels not to have plaque in your arteries, something I can't remember experiencing in my life before.
So I now believe without a doubt that with proper eating a person can stay in great cardiovascular shape throughout their life. Age is truly just a number concerning your cardio if you are eating properly.
This is now a personal passion of mine to spread this knowledge and help others to increase their overall health, longevity, energy levels and especially their cardio output. I believe from my own personal experience that this will give any athlete involved in a cardiovascular intense sport a definite cardio edge over their competition.