It wasn’t until my early 20s that I became conscious of what I was eating. I often think how much better my teenage years would have been if I had a better diet. I never really drew the correlation between my diet and my health, but as I got older and started traveling and competing, I became really on top of my eating. I still make sure I read about different diets, foods and the effects they have on the body. As a professional athlete, you are always looking for that edge. You don’t ever want to have to question it. You want to do the work early and know that it is there.
I first seriously learned about nutrition when I bought a tape for $1 in a health food store called “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie.” It had all this stuff on it about the effects of food, degenerative diseases and lack of nutrients. It was the first time I truly realized that if you don’t have the right diet, it can cause so many problems. On top of that, in 2003, my father died of cancer and I’ve had a lot of friends who have been either sick or died from a lot of diseases. All those situations made me become passionate about my health and longevity and being careful of what I put in my body. I read the ingredient panel of everything I buy. I think it’s hugely important. I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to read them.