Every single month, I love using my weekly The Sexy Scoop interviews to profile a male hottie and this month, I'm tickled to feature Martin Reader. He's a multiple National and 2 time Continental Champion who represented Canada in Beach Volleyball at the the 2012 Olympic Games in London where he placed 17th. Martin retired from pro sport in January 2013 to build a business around sharing and motivating Canadians to be their best through his life learnings in pursuit of the Olympics. Martin co-founded StriveLife in April 2013 with Ryan Caicco and has since been taking a new approach to public and corporate training and life coaching while sitting on the board of The SandBox Project to make Canada the healthiest place on earth for kids to grow up.
My head spins when I think about all that you do: volleyball master, representing Canada in the London 2012 Olympics and running your own successful fitness business. What do you actually do to slow down and de-stress?
As crazy as it sounds I'm not very stressed and thrive on being busy! I have a lot on the go but I only commit to things that motivate me, allow me to engage likeminded and inspiring people while supporting my mission to elevate the people around me. Outside of those life guidelines I prioritize reading, writing and personal growth activities plus I naturally spend a few hours a day in kitchen therapy freestyling meals, listening to podcasts and/or dancing so I am always buzzing!
You’ve spent a lot of time half-naked on the volleyball court (I don't think anyone is complaining), so my question is other than exercise, what do you eat to stay fit? What's a typical daily meal plan look like?
I guess having boardshorts as my business suit for the last decade has helped me be conscious of what I eat but performance has always been my main focus. I needed to be lean, athletic and energized so I have developed an intuitive nutrition style that supports my goals and doesn't stress me out. I really like how I feel from fasting 16hrs from dinner to lunch then feasting from 12-8PM on lots of healthy fats with pasture raised meats and organic/whole foods bought from local farms. Decreasing your eating window by fasting in the morning is proven to be better for longterm health and I consume the same amount of calories regardless! This way I can better control my hormone balance, insulin sensitivity, energy levels, focus, lean body mass and systemic inflammation and actually enjoy it.
Here is a typical day for me:
5:15AM - 500-750ml hot water, freshly squeezed organic lemon, drop of honey and Ascenta HP Omega Oil
5:45-7 - BulletProof coffee (Upgraded MCT Oil, Coconut oil, grassfed butter) Yes, I am for real with this!
9:30 - Superfood BOSS shake on training days (beet, gelatinized maca, home ground flax & chia, kale, spinach, blueberries, VegaOne, Glutamine, Coconut Milk, MCT oil, home sprouts, turmeric,
12:30 - 6 eggs, 4-6 slices of pasture raised bacon & an avocado
2:30 - MAN salad - kale, spinach, nuts, fuji apple, broccoli, cabbage, home sprouted organic mung beans, goat cheese, organic meat, signature high healthy fat homemade dressing.
5 - High protein, high healthy fat meal with veggies and sweet potatoes (lathered with coconut oil!)
8/9 - Whatever the heck I want! (usually leftovers from 5PM with something sweet after)
High five for accomplishing your dream of representing Canada in the London 2012 Olympics. What’s your best advice for achieving your goals and really sticking to your guns?
Thanks, it only took a decade of training and competing to check it off the bucket list! I learnt a lot on the journey and generally share three important life teachings I went through -
1) You are never ready - So it is your responsibility to relentlessly and fearlessly pursue personal excellence so when the opportunity arises you believe in yourself more than your opposition...
2) Nobody is qualified to tell you that "You can't" - Only you know what you are capable of so don't let anybody tell you otherwise...
3) You MUST be willing to work beyond your capabilities to succeed - Actively seek situations and opportunities you aren't qualified for and learn through experience. I am a huge fan of learning to swim in the deep end...
Being an athlete can be hard on your body. Do you have any special tips that you can give to our readers on how to recover from aggressive workouts?
Life is a battle between Inflammation and Anti-inflammation. Anything you can do to reduce inflammation in the body will help you recovery faster and propel you forwards. My favourite tricks are Gelatinaized Maca Root, Ascenta NutraSea Omega Oil, BCAA's, Glutamine for recovery and huge leafy green MAN salads to alkalize the body.
What’s the one no-holds barred indulgence food that you just couldn’t live without, healthy or not?
I will remorselessly crush a red velvet cake once a month as well as my fave candies when my mom sends me care packages from Vancouver Island. And yes, my mom still sends me care packages.
I have to ask…what are your biggest turn ons and turn offs that you can you let our female readers know…are you single?
I am single but after the Olympics I needed to find myself outside of sport and work diligently to build stability in my life. I am now grounded in my new path, understand what I am meant to do for the rest of my life and am finally in a position to give what I haven't been able to in order to be a part of a great relationship.
I melt on the spot if a woman leads with her mind, flashes a genuine smile and confidently serves it up with a body she is proud of. For the real sexy scoop, I LOVE a well dressed feminine physique, uninhibited eye contact, passionate kissing and a woman who is comfortable enough with herself to help me please her better. I don't have many turn offs but not respecting my time, talking negatively, being ungrateful and not living a health forward lifestyle will send me packing in a heartbeat.
It seems like people are defining themselves by using labels for the way they eat nowadays, do you have any rules when it comes to your food?
We live in a time of overconsumption and waste. Too few people earn their meals and they just eat because they have been programmed to think it is time to eat. My primary rule is to only eat when my body asks me to eat. Once my body kindly requests nutrients I eat as close to natural sources as possible with the animal products being grassfed and freerange/pasture raised. I want my fuel to be alive and bursting with nutrients, if not, then as close to their origin as possible with as few preservatives as possible. I eat for vitality while not concerning myself with meal plans, calorie counts and macronutrient percentages. I recommend being highly in tune with your body rather than confined by restrictions which just perpetuate stress and cravings. Eat well and be well
You must be used to people being impressed with your many skills by now, do you have any in the kitchen? Would you share your favourite recipe with us?
I truly LOVE cooking but pride myself on free-styling the meals I make. I have a few signature bests like paleo pancakes, bakes, BOSS shakes, MAN Salads and oven bakes but I think it is time to unveil my bone broth stew!
For 24 hrs I lightly simmer bones with a full onion, a few carrots and a few cloves of garlic. I then filter out the chunks and bones and then immediately make a stew out of it!
I generally marinate grassfed stewing beef in soy sauce and ginger for 4hrs then sear the meat in a skillet with coconut oil and garlic. Then I put the meat in the bone broth pot and simmer for 2 hrs. I then cut up and toss in a medley of seasonal veggies and a full piece of ginger (sometimes quinoa) then simmer it for another hour or two before serving. It is super low maintenance and gives me leftovers for a week which support recovery with all the powerful minerals and nutrients from the bones, veggies and meat!
You’ve mentioned that StriveLife is "about being in a constant state of growth", what's next for Martin Reader?
Well StriveLife is the evolution of Martin Reader Athletics, Strive Conditioning and Nutrition with my good friend Ryan Caicco. I believe the fitness industry is sick and has so much misleading information powered by ego and aesthetic. I personally come from a place of performance and inspire people to pursue their peak physical and mental expression through living better! The vibe is totally different and has allowed us to create awesome workshops, skill development sessions and social elements for our growing crew in Toronto. Now that Ryan and I have clearly defined StriveLife after eight months of business, it is time to change the way Canadians engage in "fitness" and inspire kids, the corporate world and adults to approach it with a higher calibrating "life athlete" attitude for long term health improvements. Check out www.StriveLife.ca if you are interested in joining our team!
What are three words that you would use to describe your relationship to food in the past and in the present?