Peter's Health Journey
"Looking back on my athletic & academic time in high school & college, I realizes if I had these nutrition & lifestyle tools I would have been able to take my game to another level both on the court and inside the classroom. Now, it is my mission to pay it forward to the younger generations of student-athletes."
Wow, where to begin. Here's how my life turned upside down and my journey started... In early 2013, I experienced the onset of frightening health problems that would last for 18 months and change my life forever. Practically out of nowhere with no warning signs, I began to suffer from brutal skin issues and itchy eczema all over my legs, severe indigestion and constipation, and sex drive related problems. As a “healthy” 24 year-old young man?! How could this be? Wtf was causing these problems? I tried everything… from creams, to supplements, to going gluten-free, to sleeping more… nothing worked. The doctors could not diagnose me. The GP doctor said I had “normal bloodwork.” The dermatologist took a skin sample of the eczema on my legs and diagnosed me with “dermatitis” – she gave me topical steroid cream (steroid cream?!?!) which only helped for a few days until the itching came roaring back every time. The gastroenterologist wanted to do a colonoscopy on me as a 25 year-old – it just didn’t feel right so I said “thanks, but no thanks.” I was literally at rock bottom and pleaded so many times for the pain and symptoms to go way. I was scared of what was happening with my body and felt absolutely helpless with no answers from the docs. I also felt alone and insecure, with no close enough to tell all of my vulnerable health problems to. I had recently broken up with my college girlfriend of 3½ years, and had moved into an apartment close to NYC with three guy friends. I questioned "Did I need to just 'man up' more??" No one knew how I truly felt and what was going on inside of me physically and mentally – my confidence and ego were stripped bare to the point I would try or do anything reasonable to feel better. So, more vulnerable and helpless than ever before, I took the responsibility to become my own doctor. I knew I had to dig deep. Instead of thinking first, I began to listen to my body and just feel for the first time in my life. After 1½ years of painful suffering, I was traveling a few weeks for work and started to feel slightly better. After a bit of thinking, the light bulb in my head went off. I had my answer – a protein powder that I was putting in my morning and post-gym shakes on a daily basis. I felt relief but also anger and revenge towards the manufacturer, protein powder, and doctors that could not help me. Looking back, I believe this roadblock was placed in front of the old path I was headed down in life in order to bring me to my knees and divert me to a new path. In the end, I realized the same thing that had brought me so much pain and harm is the reason I find true joy and happiness in my work as a nutrition & lifestyle practitioner today. And for that, I am forever grateful.
This is how my transformational journey and understanding of true health started. Long story short – I quit the protein powder and within 1-2 months the eczema and skin issues cleared up. The internal problems with the severe constipation and sex drive have taken longer to work out. After I got off the protein powder I started to work hard on my nutrition – incorporating fresh organic smoothies (no protein powder, obviously) for breakfast, eliminating dairy and limiting meat intake for 6 months, transitioning to a 100% plant-based diet (vegan) for 1 year, and finally coming full circle by adding back in quality grass-fed meat, pasture-raised eggs, and wild fish. I also started to exercise differently, incorporating more yoga, dynamic mobility & functional strength training exercises. My mental clarity & skills jumped to another level after I started incorporating a daily meditation practice. It was another 1½ years (after I got off the protein powder) before I left my corporate financial consulting job to start my own business Hoffmonious Life, with the intuition that I would be successful and supported to follow my passion for nutrition, mindfulness, and fitness. This is the journey that has led me to study at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, become a MovNat Level 1 trainer, attend 10-day silent meditation retreats & teach mindfulness meditation, and serve you as a student-athlete peak performance coach.
Over this journey of 8 years now, I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge from many mentors and most importantly through my own hands-on personal experience. This knowledge covers unique insights on nutrition & lifestyle, with the foundation that it is all connected. There is a deep-seated truth behind my own diet & lifestyle decisions as well as my recommendations to you as a client. I use the process of listening to my body in order to understand how food and lifestyle choices are affecting me. And that is the same aspiration I have for all my clients – for you to quiet outside thoughts and expectations, tune into your own body & intuition, and truly understand what food and lifestyle choices nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
Looking back on my athletic & academic time in high school & college, I realizes if I had these health & lifestyle tools I would have been able to take my game to another level both on the court and inside the classroom. Now, it is my mission to pay it forward to the younger generations of student-athletes.