Prior to adolescence I had reached over 200 pounds. As I entered my teens, I decided to take control and dieted obsessively. I finally reached and maintained a healthy weight, but was still eating in unhealthy ways. As I left college and entered the workforce, I started learning about fitness, but nutrition was still in its infancy. Low fat, carb rich (food pyramid) diets of the early 90’s were in vogue, and I began gaining weight following these. Paleo had not been conceived yet, and its indirect predecessor, Atkins, was often viewed by the medical community as dangerous, cholesterol inducing voodoo.
I had a slow metabolism, slow digestion, propensity towards weight gain, and was already insulin resistant from years of childhood obesity. But none of these issues were recognized or even known at the time in nutrition.
At the peak of my Wall Street career, I traveled over 150,000 air miles per year and had reached 300 pounds, with cholesterol in the 300s, high blood pressure, and severe pre-diabetic symptoms. Interestingly, I had gone from 240 pounds to 300 under the direct supervision of one of those famous, published diet doctors seen on all the morning shows. Doing exactly what she said, I put myself in greater harm than had I just maintained my bad habits. Traditional diets were dangerous for me and I didn’t know what to do.
Fortunately I stumbled onto an alternative nutritionist who figured out I was gluten intolerant and insulin resistant. In 2005, this was considered pure quackery. His recommendations saved my life, despite invoking the ire of several well-known physicians, including my famous diet doctor.
Over a few years, with little portion control, I went from 300 to just under 200 pounds, and began developing the food which eventually became the You Are Loved Foods product line. I needed an easy meal and snacks for business trips which gave me protein and fiber and satisfied my appetite, and the “Protein Bites” were born.