Health and Nutrition Information

Health and fitness Info, on an information security website?

Yes indeed! As someone who’s long been interested in health, nutrition, and exercise, and as a certified nutrition coach, I thought it only natural to dedicate at least one page to giving out some key info. With a healthy community of infosec folks out there repping #BlueTeamFit, #DFIRfit, #RedTeamFit, #HackerFit and more, there’s clearly interest within the infosec community on peeling ourselves away from packets and code to maintain our most precious resources – our mind and body.

No matter which hashtag you use. Whether you’re a lifelong exerciser and healthy eater, or just getting started, hopefully the resources on this page help you along on your journey. It’s never too late to get going, any improvement no matter how small adds up over time!

Being Healthy – In The Real World

Being healthy is not about eating highly restrictive diets, having a 6-pack and 1% body fat, or creating the perfect workout schedule that you follow every day like a robot. No one does that, and in fact, in many cases, chasing those “ideals” can be detrimental to your health.

What fitness and nutrition is about to me is simple. It’s about finding a sustainable way to live the healthiest life that you actually enjoy. Getting to that position involves gaining some basic knowledge on nutrition and the importance of movement and exercise. With just small improvements and a minimum time investment, you may be able to drastically alter the course of your health in the future. As one of my favorite quotes says:

The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

So What Do I Do?

At this point you may be thinking, is John about to try to sell me something? Nope, I’m not, I’m purely a previous PN coaching customer who saw results and I wanted to become certified myself so that I could better share with others what worked for me, and help others improve their lives too! Considering the purely science-based approach their guides take (this is soooo important for me, as soon as I get a whiff of pseudo-science anywhere, I’m out) I can, in good conscience recommend the free guides they provide below. While the health industry is full of garbage advice and all sorts of whacky nonsense, I 100% won’t have any of it, so you won’t find any magical cures here, only reasonable, evidence-backed advice.

Health and nutrition is at the core of our everyday experience. It determines our energy, longevity, mobility, ability to focus, and much much more. For me, trying to keep healthy is a “keystone habit” as Charles Duhigg would put it – something that snowballs into all other aspects of your life and makes everything else easier (exercise for example, has been shown to have this effect in studies). And for that reason, I have placed health and nutrition as one of the core things I try to pay attention to every day, and am offering the aggregated links below to hopefully help you do the same.

My Story

Do following these guides work? They did for me, read on if you’re interested in my story.

One of the reasons I liked Precision Nutrition’s approach, and decided to become a Certified Nutrition Coach is that I’ve experienced their coaching and curriculum myself. Through 2019, I worked with a PN coach associated with my gym and saw how PN’s simple, real-world suggestions helped me build sustainable, and life changing nutrition habits. If I didn’t see success from PN’s highly practical approach, I never would’ve stuck with it for a year, let alone signed up and went through training to become a coach myself.

Want proof? I’ve got it. Being a proper data nerd, of course I like tracking metrics on anything I can. In 2010 I got a Withings smart scale I’ve been using constantly for almost a decade that I have used to tracked my own numbers across time. The picture below shows my weight across from 2010-2020 (yes I’m aware that’s not the end all be all metric, but it’s what the scale clearly tracks and was a useful metric for me). The actual numbers are removed cause they don’t matter, but for scale, the highest to lowest number is a difference of multiple 10’s of pounds.

Yon You can see a couple key trends here.

  1. I’ve swung pretty quickly both up and down over the last 10 years, but after going down, it never stayed. Fixing this up/down cycle was my goal.
  2. Even when at a relative low, I’ve been historically particularly effective at bouncing back over the year-end holidays, not unusual I suspect (vertical gray bars are the end of the year).

As labeled, in early 2019, I started working with a PN nutrition coach through my gym and using the PN curriculum guiding principles. I’d never worked with any kind of health coach before so went in blind not knowing what to expect, but I was very happy with the results. From when I started in early 2019, I’ve feel I’ve been on a much more steady path as defined by my goal of no swings, and a positive trend towards my other goals as well. As an interesting surprise bonus, at the end of 2019, that end-of-year weight jump I always managed to create disappeared, and I wasn’t even really trying for that, I only realized it in January after looking back at the data.

Best of all, I’ve managed this trend while not feeling like I was being overly restrictive. I wasn’t calorie counting, I didn’t say “no dessert, no beer” etc. I still had those things, just was more conscious of it and made good choices daily. In other words, living in a way I enjoyed and could continue on with for the long term instead of dropping weight and gaining it right back. Progress was slower, sure, but that’s the balance of keeping it sustainable. As I previously mentioned, the requirement going in was “…life that you actually enjoy“, and through this journey, I think I’ve learned how to hit that target.