A while back the More Than Food team took up the FitChef 21 Day Challenge with some pretty astounding results. Following our introduction to the FitChef way of life, we sat down with founder Wayne Kaminsky to find out more about living a fit lifestyle.
Where did your love for fitness and a healthy lifestyle begin?
In school I wasn’t much of an athlete. I enjoyed a bit of jogging and I enjoyed being fit. I got into mountain biking at one point and I totally loved it. It progressed from there to racing as hard as I possibly could in Cape Epics and getting onto a road bike. Then I started to train for Iron Man. I just loved the feeling sport gives you. That high that takes you out of any of the issue you’re having and clears your perspective. From there it went into food. In around 2009 and 2010 I noticed there were a few things wrong. My mental focus wasn’t good. Although I was super fit, probably in the top 1% in the world, I was still slightly overweight. I was living on antibiotics. It was all about training harder to lose that extra weight.
What was your motivation to start FitChef?
I had decided to enter MasterChef. I always was a bit of a foodie. I wanted to be a chef originally but I’m super fussy with food. At one point I went through a phase of playing with food. One night I made about 45 versions of one meal which I ended up giving away to my friends and personal trainers. All of a sudden I decided to start cooking only with ingredients that come from nature as my preparation for MasterChef. Then I decided to live only on my food for 3 weeks. Those 3 weeks gave me the boost to get off antibiotics for the first time in 3 years, drop those extra kilos and my focus went through the roof. This made me realise that all diets fail for one reason – you don’t have good food available when you need it.
It’s our Eat Clean Ethos. We have the cleanest labels in the world. FitChef food is produced with ingredients which are as close to nature’s version as possible without being raw. No additives, preservatives, added or artificial sugars. Most companies are taking massive shortcuts and aren’t really worried about exactly what is in the food they produce. The difference with FitChef is that if we are making a soup for instance, we just use loads and loads of vegetables, fill it up with water and then just let it cook. It’s nothing but chunky, nutrient-dense veg. Others add flour and sugar which have no nutritional value. The taste of our food is hugely different and it fills you up. The difference is dramatic.
There are many current food and fitness trends (Low Carb, Vegan, Banting, Gluten Free). How does FitChef stay in line with these?
We always stay away from fads as much as possible. They tend to push you into extremes. Most diets do have a core of what is good for you just with some small differences. The one thing in agreement across the board though is that we should all eat more real food. We need to get into the habit of really reading ingredient labels. FitChef helps you make sure that you get back to real and eat seasonally.
The one thing we all agree on is that we should eat a lot more vegetables. Mostly green vegetables. If we all ate a bit of meat and mostly green veggies, we would be incredibly healthy. They are incredible for you but there’s just so much spinach and green beans that you can do. With banting you need to remember you’re looking for normal levels of fat for it to be effective. You can’t just eat as much fat as you like. You need to control the quantity and the quality of the carbs you consume. High Fat should be renamed Normal Fat – LCNF rather than LCHF. Moderation is really the most critical and create seasons in your life. If you love avo and are going to eat it for the next 3 months, do it but then move off avo. Start slowly changing your diet and exercise habits. Don’t push hard all the time. You need to adjust and recover. Always trust your gut feel and know you are your own expert.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I go through phases. I love feeling good so that’s the main thing. What keeps me going is I set quite big goals for myself. I go out and book a big immovable thing like the Iron Man. It’s very focusing when you do these big things or make big commitments. You somehow make sure it happens. Naturally I need to feel like I’m always moving forward and pushing for better things. What keeps me sane is exercise. I use the gym as my office. Then I’m there and there’s no excuse not to exercise. I’m also a big believer in lots of meditation and yoga.
Which is your favourite / go to meal or smoothie in the FitChef range? Why?
By far it’s the FGS Smoothie. The green veg (spinach) is a super food. I drink them a lot. Sometimes I deliberately don’t have them though so I can bring in some form of variation. Meal-wise I go through phases. Our Cautage Pie with a cauliflower mash is often the one I go to the most but lately I’ve been going more for the vegetarian options. The Boerewors Bredie is also one of my favourites, it’s just divine.
Give us some insight into your daily health and fitness regime. How is FitChef an integral part of it?
5 to 6 mornings a week I wake up and go to gym and do about 2hrs of work there. Then I do a spinning class followed by a gym session and then I work a bit more. Other times I find a good coffee shop. I love a good cappuccino. I try and mix it up. In a week I’ll do around 2 spinning classes, 2 yoga sessions, 1 or 2 swims and go for at least 1 decent run. I like morning exercise with an afternoon swim or evening yoga session to wind the day down.Any tips for us as newbies taking up the 21 Day Challenge?
Always have at least 3 days of food and smoothies defrosted in your freezer so you have it ready as you need it. Always start strict and remove all the stuff you know you are going to cheat on. Start with the simple oat breakfast and eventually swop these out for vegetarian meals for breakfast. This will make your stomach feel good and then you feel good. Go for low carb meals in the evenings and if you feel hungry, throw in another meal, smoothie or some fruit. Make your first 10 days the strictest and the key thing is to be consistent.
What are your plans for the future of FitChef? Can you let us in on anything exciting coming up in 2019?
We’ve just launched the Smart Food Concept. You get a certain number of FitChef meals then we give you a shopping list and on Monday and Tuesday nights you cook your own meals and sauces. Then you put everything into containers and stock your freezer with your own good food which you can then grab and put together as you wish. It’s smart cooking. You do the prep work upfront then it gives you a lot of flexibility and control over what you are eating.
If you’re keen to know more about FitChef and embark on your own FitChef challenge, visit www.fitchef.co.za