Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shoutout Sunday: Kyle Byron Nutrition

Most of my shoutouts are going to tout online places that anyone in the world can check out, but sometimes I just gotta praise someone local: in this case my nutritionist, Kyle Byron.

Whether you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, or just have more stable energy levels throughout the day, eating right is important.  In my particular case, I was feeling really draggy all the time and knew my diet was to blame.*  I'd been trying to make nutritional adjustments for myself, but nothing was helping; Finally, I admitted defeat and decided to seek the guidance of a trained expert.  And this, of course, is where Kyle came in.

Obviously, a good nutritionist should know a lot about food.  Kyle certainly does: he has a BSc in Human Nutrition (with honours).  He's clearly passionate about the science of food and he taught me lots of things I didn't know before (and I was already a lot better-informed than the average bear...dealing with several major food sensitivities will do that to a person).  I told Kyle about my wacky food issues and he designed set of guidelines for a healthy, complete diet that stayed within all my parameters and only included foods I actually like.  So that's pretty awesome.

The less-obvious part of being a good nutritionist - the part that didn't occur to me until I experienced it - is knowing a lot about human nature.  Kyle realizes that it's really hard for most people to make drastic life changes all at once, so we proceed in baby steps: at each appointment, he gives me one or two new daily food-tasks to fit into my day.  If I encounter a setback**, I don't feel like he's judging me or secretly thinking that I suck; he just gently nudges me back on track.  In fact, recently I got really blocked - I couldn't make myself take the next baby step - and I asked Kyle if I could take a break from our appointments until I got my sense of discipline back.  Kyle replied that we could totally take a break if I wanted, but that he'd prefer to help me work through my mental block instead.  He understands the underlying reasons why people make bad food choices and considers it part of his job to educate people.  And, indeed, we did make some progress there, because...

Kyle's knowledge goes above and beyond what you'd expect a nutritionist to know.  Did I mention that he's also a certified personal trainer?  Well, he is, and this puts him in a unique position to see how food and exercise dovetail to improve your health.  He also knows techniques for dealing with stress and getting a proper amount of sleep.  In our last session, I don't think we talked about food at all; we mostly discussed the fact that I need to buy a warmer winter coat (so that I can go for walks, which will lower my stress and clear my mind, which will help me go to bed earlier, which will help me wake up earlier, which will give me time to chop vegetables for my omelets and salads!).

I love that Kyle emails me notes/reminders/nutrition charts after each session and that he remembers all my details whenever we talk - that's just good business right there.  And even though he's technically a jock (he's into rugby, jiu-jitsu, and lots of other sports, plus there's the whole personal trainer thing) I have never once seen him crush an aluminum can against his forehead or scream the word "EXTREEEEEME!" at the top of his lungs***.  He seems like a guy who could relate well to anyone.

Since seeing Kyle, my energy levels and even my mood have improved quite a bit.  I also lost ten or fifteen pounds in the first month or so, which wasn't one of my goals (but I like it!).  And our journey isn't done yet!

If you want to make some positive changes to your body and you're able to get to the Spadina and Adelaide area of Toronto, you should consider seeing Kyle, too. 

*You would probably be amazed at the things diet can cause...if you have an issue with your health and nobody can figure out why, try testing yourself for food sensitivities!  Actually, do that even if you do think you know what's up.  Years ago my doctor diagnosed me with clinical depression; eventually, I figured out that I could lift my mood considerably simply by cutting soy out of my diet.

More of my wacky food issues: if I eat gluten (so basically, anything with flour in it) I feel all bloated and then fall into a horrible inescapable coma sleep that lasts for hours.  Gluten was also making my cuts/scrapes/bruises take forever to heal - and contributing to my low energy - because it kept me from absorbing the nutrition in my food properly,

And either the gluten or the soy (or both) must have been giving me "cloudy brain" (a frequent symptom of food sensitivity) - now that I've cut those things out, I no longer trail off in mid-sentence all the time.  Eating differently actually made me smarter!

So remember: food sensitivities can cause a lot more issues than you realize.  Pretty much everyone would benefit from doing the process-of-elimination thing to make sure their body is okay with the food they eat.  Kyle can teach you how!


***you laugh, but I was seriously worried.  Everyone knows that jocks and nerds are natural enemies; also, naturally athletic types usually don't see that my low-energy thing is an actual physical problem.  They think I'm faking it for attention, or I just need a pep talk, or something.


  1. Hey thanks MV!! I just saw this now - was on vacation for a bit there.... You have made great changes, and uncovered a lot of the "why" stuff! You are fun to work with and I love your artwork! Can't wait to hear what coat you bought!


  2. YAY for vacation! I hope it was a good one. :)

    Talk to you soon!