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Dr. Marc Bubbs is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor, the Sports Nutrition Lead for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team, and Author of The Paleo Project. He’s also a Speaker, a Strength Coach, and a busy father of two. We chatted with Marc about his approach to all things diet, natural medicine, and lifestyle to learn how we can improve our state of health.
In my last year of high school, I was chronically sick, tired, run down, and unable to perform on the playing field. After several months of countless doctors and lab tests, I was no closer to a diagnosis or a solution. A family friend recommended I see a Naturopathic Doctor. Skeptical at first, but also fed up with feeling sick and tired, I was ready to try anything. Incredibly, after only a few weeks of removing problem foods and adding digestive and immune support supplements to my regime, I was able to resolve my problems and get back to competition. That experience made me realize just how important what you eat, how you move, and how you live are, for supporting health and wellness.
I am a big believer that diet, exercise and lifestyle are the biggest factors influencing your health and performance. My goal is to impact as many people as I can to upgrade their health so they can perform their best at work or on the playing field. A typical week for me, looks like this; seeing patients for one on one visits, writing blog posts for popular websites, connecting with our athletes at Canada Basketball, researching for my upcoming book and connecting with my followers on social media.
Working with the incredible medical and performance team we have at Canada Basketball is really an honour, you learn so much every year and it truly is a team environment. Add on to that, our players commit their free time and effort into achieving something for the country. It’s truly a special atmosphere during training camp and competition.
At the end of the day, whether you’re a professional athlete or just trying to lose 20 pounds, it is the sum of all the small changes you make that lead to success and maintaining your gains into the long-term. There is no magic quick fix, regardless if your goal is to make the big leagues or you’re trying to shrink your waistline!
Developing habits is by far the most important. Most clients want to attack 5 or 6 different tasks only to have these new behaviours fall off when life gets busy. The foundations for good health are solid nutrition, regular movement, and sound sleep. Ensuring you find the right mix for you will go a long way to improving how you look, feel and perform.
My book The Paleo Project is really a summary of how I practice and my core beliefs. Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds, increase your focus and productivity at work, or take your performance to the next level, your diet is the foundation. Using the key principles of a Paleo approach – grass-fed and wild game meats, healthy fats and plenty of veggies and fruit – is a great place to start for everyone. The book is called “Project” because from there you personalize the approach to best suit you. I outline how the diet impacts key areas of your health – digestion, immunity, inflammation, hormone balance – and in the last section you choose between weight loss and improving performance.
Start small. If you’re going to make dietary changes, just start with breakfast. Once you’ve got that nailed down after two weeks, shift over to lunch. The answer for long-term success is making things a part of your daily routine, rather than a 4-week blitz, only to fall back to old habits and lose your gains.
My wellness practice comes in many different forms; regular exercise, consistent sleep, and time off to relax, kick back and laugh with friends and family. My staple supplements are probiotics, fish oils and herbal adaptogens. In the winter months I add more immune support and when training more intensely, supplements like creatine and added protein.
I think raising kids presents new challenges and you have to be adaptable because no matter what your plans may be, your kids may have their own plans! At the end of the day, exposing your kids to regular movement and whole foods is great place to start. Kids are curious, tapping into that curiosity can be a gateway to new foods and an active lifestyle.
Simplify to achieve your goals and overcome roadblocks; there are no shortcuts to success. If you can do 20% of the fundamentals really well, you’ll get 80% of the results you’re looking for. (And don’t forget to enjoy eating, moving and laughing with friends and family!)