Desire To Know

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Extreme Nutrition

“Nutrition Extreme” or “Aggressive Nutrition”

by Dr. L. Lee Coyne

Dr. L. Lee CoyneTo become an exceptional achiever you must try, do and practice exceptional things. Average, standard, typical, and “normal” practices produce average, standard, typical, and “normal” results.

This column is dedicated to three  individuals that engage in “exceptional” (some might call them “extreme or radical”) nutritional practices as an integral part of their success. These nutritional practices include food selection habits, lifestyle  and selective use of supplements.

Although these three successful individuals pursue very different challenges and have very different goals, they have some significant commonality in their respective approaches to health, performance and living life.

All three expressed a desire for optimal health, to be their best each day and to live life to the fullest. Their food choices, supplement selections and intensity of supplementation carry a common thread designed to ensure they live life with urgency, in harmony with nature and with a sense of “why take a chance” at not protecting oneself.

They all supplement extensively to optimize health and have the understanding that it is not an option in today’s world of depleted nutrients, high stress and toxic environments.

Ellie Archer is a 41 year young Personal Trainer, Martial Arts competitor and teacher, Yoga instructor and competitive “Markswomen” in small bore “cowboy action” and shotgun classes. Ellie talks of “over-training” for 14 years but in the last few years has taken a more responsible approach to maintaining health, muscular strength, flexibility and optimal body weight.

A program of weight training 3 days per week, instructing Martial Arts to music (some would call it Tae-Bo) 2 days per week, twenty minute cardio work-outs 3 days per week and enjoying “Weekend Warrior” (that means whatever comes up) constitutes her exercise plan.

Ellie’s approach to nutrition is one of eating as close to nature as possible and trying to maintain gluten free, sugar free and toxin free choices. She is very pollution and conservation conscious and fussy about her food choices. Meals from scratch are common and her favorite grains are Amaranth and Quinoa because they are gluten free and high in protein. Liberal use of egg whites, fresh fish, particularly the smaller fish, Sushi and Escalar are among her favorites, as are colorful vegetable and fruit. Low starch is the order of the day.

Her supplement program combines proteins supplements, vitamins and minerals, herbs and whole foods. She uses a conventional a high quality multiple vitamin and minerals product along with B complex, the anti oxidants like vitamin C, grape seed extract, alpha lipoid acid, and Coenzyme Q 10. The essential fatty acids from fish and flax seed oil (2 Tbsp/day), are combined with the more exotic items, Reishi mushrooms for liver detox, Shiitake mushrooms (a tonic for energy), kelp, seaweed and pine bark.

Jamie Clarke is a 34 year young former National Cross Country Ski team member and is well known as a Mt. Everest Summiteer. Today he calls himself an Adventure Coach or leader and has successfully crossed the “Empty Quarter” – an extensive Arabian desert expedition. Jamie leads adventure expeditions on water, glaciers and mountains.

Jamie and his wife Barb are firm believers in eating close to nature and in using responsible supplementation to support the physical demands of their lifestyle. They believe in colourful vegetables and fruit, eating clean and following a detox program twice per year. Jamie used the phrase “a crisis can be a great teacher” and his adventure experiences, particularly the 3 attempts on Mt. Everest posed numerous crises that he survived because he was prepared physically and mentally due to his exercise training and nutrition habits. He regarded his supplement program as the “insurance policy for survival” but his priority is health and fitness.

Weight training 2 days per week and various cardiovascular work-outs 6 days per week describe his training program. He tailors his cardio program to the next expedition and that means various combinations of interval work or longer slower (75% of aerobic capacity) 60 to 90 minute runs. Barb helps him with a Yoga program to help maintain his flexibility.

Jamie and Barb’s supplement program makes extensive use of a high quality multivitamin/mineral that is high in calcium & magnesium, several B complex (the energy vitamin) tablets each day, the antioxidants in mixed carotenoids, vitamin C and Vitamin E with selenium and grape seed extract. They use extra Calcium–Magnesium, the essential fatty acids lecithin and GLA from borage seed oil along with soy protein supplement several times per day and a whey protein isolate recovery drink.

Shauna Whyte is 34 years young and a former Canadian Junior Biathlon Champion in 1990/91. The Summer of ’91 she experienced a horseback riding accident that put her in wheelchair. However, Shauna’s competitive attitude, tenacity and enthusiasm for life had her competing in wheel chair events by the Summer of ’92. She has broken many Alberta Cup race records and in the 100th running of the Boston Marathon she was the top Canadian. In 1997 she started “Sit-skiing”, the par-Olympic version of cross-country skiing, and competing in her first love – Biathlon. She represented Canada in the ’98 Paralympics in Japan and placed 8th in Biathlon. Four years later in Salt Lake she placed 4th – a dramatic improvement. In ’99 she won 5 World cup cross country ski races and was the overall world cup winner. Last year she was 2nd overall in the world for both cross country and biathlon.

Shauna lives in Hinton and trains 15 to 25 hours per week in a wheel chair, using a hand cycle, roller skis under her wheel chair, swimming, sit-skiing and weight trailing (3 times per week). She is fussy about the quality of food she eats, believes that natural is better and that her nutritional supplement program is essential and her “life-line” to optimal health. Many would consider her program to be “aggressive” but who can argue with her success and progress.

With limited lower body activity, eating a large number of calories and bulk is difficult, so she has taken a responsible supplement approach. Shauna told me that she knows the difference when she doesn’t take her supplements.

The foundation of her program is a minimum of 2 serving of a soy protein supplement each day along with a high quality multivitamin/mineral that is high in calcium and magnesium. This is supported with a mixed carotenoids supplement, essential fatty acids like lecithin, flax seed oil and GLA from borage seed.  She also uses 1500 mg of sustained release vitamin C, several B complex tablets, Vitamin E with selenium and grape seed extract, Alfalfa tablets for inflammation, digestion and water retention, iron, fibre and a whey protein isolate recovery drink.

A special thanks to these three outstanding individuals.


Lee Coyne, Ph.D. is a nutritional consultant, lecturer and author of Fat Won't Make You Fat and the Lean Seekers coaching program. He may be reached at 1-800-668-4042 or by e-mail