Meet Drew Harrisberg - the exercise physiologist and nutrition enthusiast inspiring us all with his positive attitude and unshakeable drive.
We love watching Drew in his mission to educate people about fitness and nutrition, and underneath his chiseled exterior, he’s a down to earth guy, who is healthy and thriving with type 1 diabetes. As Bare Blends’ newest ambassador, we’re stoked to have him on board to share his nutrition and exercise knowledge with us all.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ever since I was a young kid I’ve been intrigued with the human body (both physically and physiologically), as well as had a keen interest in science and nutrition. My love for all of those topics is what sent me on the path to becoming a qualified health professional. I’ve always considered myself a ‘healthy’ person, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 23 that I began to understand the true meaning of the word.
Sure, my world shifted when I was first diagnosed, but after making positive changes to the way I live, eat, move and approach life, I can honestly say I am happier and healthier today than I was before my diagnosis. So in a way you could say that diabetes gave me the gift of health.
Diabetes is a very small part of what makes me Drew. I’m an exercise physiologist, diabetes educator, sport scientist and most importantly – I’m a happy and healthy guy thriving with type 1 diabetes. I’ve not only accepted living with it, I’ve learned to love it and manage it so that it doesn’t manage me.
Why are you so passionate about educating people on food and health?
Since being diagnosed with diabetes, the last few years have been one big self-experiment, and the cool thing is - I've been the subject and the lead scientist. I’ve made countless mistakes and discovered just as many solutions. Perhaps the greatest discovery of all is that a healthy lifestyle is not only an effective way for me to manage my condition, but rather it allows me to thrive with my condition. That’s why i’m so passionate about sharing my knowledge with other people. I want to empower them to take control of their health, so that like me, they can thrive too!
What kind of response have you received from your audience so far, and do you have any testimonials that you can share?
My audience is very diverse and unique. There’s people with diabetes (type 1, type 2, and insulin resistance), and also those without diabetes. There’s a large age range from young kids all the way up to the elderly. I’ve had an overwhelming response from my audience so far and that’s exactly what motivates me to keep on giving. My approach at Drew’s Daily Dose is progressive and science-based. I’m all about managing, reversing, and ultimately preventing disease. Lifestyle modification is a key part of my management strategy.
What does a normal day look like for you?
My typical day involves getting a daily dose of my 5-pillar-approach to healthy living:
- Insulin and Blood Sugar Control
- Daily Living
The 5 Pillars are not about extremes; rather they’re about getting a balanced daily dose in order to effortlessly and optimally manage diabetes, and ultimately thrive (to find out about The 5 Pillars - go to my website www.drewsdailydose.com)
In a nutshell:
I wake up naturally with the sun and immediately go outside to spend time in nature. I either walk my dog in a park or go for a swim in the ocean. I walk a lot throughout the day. I’m always on my feet. I even work at a standing desk. I do a lot of research, reading and writing to make sure that I’m staying progressive with my knowledge. I lift heavy things in the gym. I get some sunlight. I always remember to play; be it with my dog, surfing, or playing an instrument. I eat real whole food (organic where possible). I spend a huge amount of time in, on, or near the ocean. It’s my happy place.
What does your exercise routine look like?
I always favour being athletic over aesthetic. My exercise routine is based around performance and a nice by-product is that it has enabled me to get into the best shape of my life. I have a specific day dedicated to each aspect of fitness i.e. strength, power, speed, agility, cardio, etc. Some days I lift heavy weights for low reps. Other days I lift lighter weights for high reps.
Outside of the gym I love triathlon style training i.e. cycling, running and swimming. I play touch football 3 times a week. I love calisthenics bodyweight training at the outdoor gym at bondi. I sprint on the soft sand. I climb a rope in the park. I do sprints/HIIT. I basically try to do anything and everything.
I don't follow a strict routine. I listen to my body and do what I feel like on the day. As long as I do what I really feel like doing each day - I know i’ll get the most out of it. I don't force myself to do things that I don't enjoy. I don’t believe that every workout should be a ‘grind’. I do it for the love of it.
Do you prefer weight training or cardio?
I truly love them both. But if I had a gun to my head and had to choose one - it would have to be weight training. You can actually get a fantastic cardiovascular workout from doing weight training if you structure the reps and rest appropriately, i.e moderate to high reps with minimal rest... it’s a two-birds-one-stone scenario.
My idea of cardio is playing sports like touch football or rugby, kickboxing, doing triathlons etc. The thought of running on a treadmill makes me feel a little bit sick.
Exercise in general is literally like medicine for a diabetic. It is more effective than insulin when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels. I’ve written an article on my website explaining the mechanism, check it out.
How would you encourage people to be more active in their everyday lives?
Human movement is a gift - not a burden. Today’s modern world is designed so that we move less and less. Stop relying on machines - become the machine.
Do not underestimate the power of walking. Walking has proven to be one of my most valuable and trustworthy partners when it comes to diabetes management.
Here are a few tips to walk more:
- Park further away. Don’t always look for the rockstar spot.
- Get on the bus a few stops later and get off the bus a few stops earlier.
- Avoid the lift and take the stairs.
- Walk up escalators - don’t just stand there.
- Take up golf.
- Sell your car.
- Get a dog.
Why is eating organically so important?
I see it as giving your body the nutrients it deserves to function optimally. For me it’s about respecting the gift I've been given - my health. It’s as simple as that. Eating organically has allowed me to: sleep better, get sick less often, train harder, recover faster, have more energy throughout the day, and overall feel happier!
What is your favourite sport?
My favourite sport to play would have to be touch football and surfing. My favourite sports to watch are MMA and rugby. To be honest, as long as there’s live sport on - i'll watch it.
What do you do for fun?
The truth is, the same things that I do in everyday life are the things I do for fun. I play with my dog, Dennis. I recently rescued him from a pound. He is literally my best mate. We run through the park, play on the beach and swim in the ocean. I play team sports like rugby and touch football. I play golf with my Dad. I write and listen to music. I surf. I workout… yes, I actually consider a workout as fun. I genuinely love it.
What is your idea of adventure?
Setting off on foot through nature. Hiking, swimming, climbing, discovering parts of the world that I've never seen before.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. I love organic dark chocolate. I’ll go as dark as 90% cacao.
Favourite Bare Blends product?
Any and all of the WPI blends. I’ve made so many delicious things out of them from protein balls, to smoothies and pancakes.
Facebook: Drew's Daily Dose