Meet Marc Mouhadeb; health coach, entrepeneur, and self-transformed athlete who looks forward to a cold beer on a hot Hamptons day. Great read, awesome advice, the real deal!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be? (career, family, location, etc.) How/why did you start City Health Coach and what do you like best about it? What’s the overlap between your career and your value for health, fitness, and wellness?
I grew up in a Jewish-Lebanese household full of love and lots of Mideastern food. I was relatively active, but by no means was I healthy. I loved Shawarma, falafel, and stuffed grape leaves.
In my early 20’s, my dad was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and all everyone ever said was that it was hereditary. I was scared shitless! Am I next? Is this written in my book of health? I did a whole bunch of research and came to realize that Type 2 Diabetes is not only preventable and treatable with proper nutrition, but it’s actually reversible! And so my journey began into the realm of health. I became a Certified Health Coach and delved into the teachings of Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. Neal Barnard who both advocate a plant-based, Nutritarian way of eating. Simply put, a Nutritarian diet bases food choices on maximizing the micronutrients per calorie (term coined by Dr. Fuhrman.)
Simultaneously, in 2011, my good friend invited me to join him on a training run before his first half-marathon. I repeatedly told him to play a real sport like basketball or football. After a month of him asking me, I finally obliged and decided to lace up my sneakers and go running…I couldn’t make it a mile. I was so embarrassed that I decided then that I needed to start running. Three years later, I’ve logged hundreds of miles, a few marathons, a 50 mile ultra-marathon, and a few triathlons.
See, I am one of you. Just a guy trying to make it in this hectic world. I grew up in Brooklyn and now live in NYC and love summer in the Hamptons. I read a book called The China Study, which I highly recommend, and decided to explore the plant-based way of eating. The combination of following a Nutritarian lifestyle and running has transformed my health and my life.
With my health and fitness now in check, I decided to share what I know with the world and help people overcome many issues including weight loss, cholesterol issues, and diabetes. I realized that giving people a diet rarely works. Telling them they are going to die if they eat that burger will also be ineffective as people need something tangible to grasp and small targets to reach.
And then it hit me: charge people obnoxious amounts of money (something tangible) and when they hit their goals and targets, they get it all back. The next time one of my clients reaches for a burger, it’s not death they are worried about, it will be losing $10,000. Mean, I know…but it works. And so City Health Coach was created and after two years, every single one of my clients got all of their money back. It’s a good thing I have a full-time job as well!
People always ask me how do I make a living when I give my clients all of their money back? It’s simple: I don’t. I do this because I love helping people transform their lives. I have a full-time job which pays the bills and gives me the luxury to do this.
2. What’s one thing you overcame and how?
The concept of running a 50 mile race seemed like the most daunting task in the world but I decided I needed to do it to take my mental and physical fitness to another level. It’s one thing to be physically fit for a marathon. It’s a whole other thing to be fit for double that.
Aside from the physical stress, running The Bison 50 was by far one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever taken on, physically, but even more so, mentally. I was out there for about nine hours alone in corn and wheat fields. I’d worked really hard to get to that point. I trusted my coach and focused on the task at hand – mile after mile – trusting my body and trusting my mind. Obviously, I survived. You can read about my experience here.
3. What is your favorite recipe? workout? Favorite weekend activity? How did you get into running?
Favorite recipe: hummus and veggies in between two portobello mushroom caps – my version of a burger ☺
Favorite workout: sprints
Favorite weekend activity: love a delicious farm-to-table brunch
4. As a young man, business owner, member of both the NYC and Hamptons scene, how do you maintain balance in your life?
Balancing everything is actually extremely difficult, but I’ve come to realize that if I sleep well, I can undertake all of my tasks effectively. Between sleep and proper eating, my mind stays sharp and I can complete everything I need to do in a quick and efficient manner. If I don’t sleep well…boy oh boy…
5. Any other great healthy/balance tips for other busy folks?
My biggest tips are as follows:
• Sleep – sleep is vital to proper health and functionality. Without it, your body doesn’t recover, grow, replenish, or reboot.
• Eat – Eat for nutrient density. Instead of focusing on carbs, fat, and protein, focus on foods high in nutrients; veggies, greens, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Your busy life will get so much better when you eat efficiently. When you get rid of anything that is not nutritious in your home, you won’t be tempted to eat it. Sounds radical, I know, but it’s less radical than dealing with the ramifications of disease later on, right?
6. What food items do you always have available?
I love hummus! I eat it on a daily basis. And lots of fruits (mango and avocado are my top favorites), If I have hummus and fruit, I’m a happy man.
7. What is your favorite indulgence?
While this is certainly not in the health category, I love a cold beer on a summer day.
8. How do you make health a priority in your home/life?
Health has become a huge priority in my life. I tell my clients all of the time that if health isn’t a priority, everything in your world may falter. You can only do what you want to do effectively if you are healthy. If you aren’t healthy, nothing else really matters. Health has to be a mindset, a total shift in perspective. Most people wait for a near-death experience to change. Don’t let that be you.
9. What is your FAVORITE thing about the Hamptons? Favorite place?
My favorite thing about the Hamptons is sunset drinks and my favorite place to enjoy them is Dockers.
One Healthy Breakdown: If you want to live life to its fullest, you need to be healthy. Focus on becoming a Nutritarian and you’ll live to see life in a much happier and positive way.