I am a true ectomorph with all the challenges that go with that. I started lifting around 1980 while in the Navy. But for a long time I was thin and unable to gain weight no matter how much I ate (some people envied that!). In 2004, the reason was diagnosed. I had Celiac Disease. In general, Celiac is an allergy to the “gluten” protein found in food-grains like wheat, rye, and barley. The body invokes an autoimmune response to this protein causing the intestines to impair the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. It is a genetic disorder that affects at least 1 in 133 Americans. In addition, it is not uncommon for those with gluten allergies to also be lactose intolerant.
From 2004 onward I was on a quest to push aside these obstacles, making adjustments to my nutrition to avoid allergies that were impeding my fitness and rebuild my body to the fullest extent naturally and genetically possible. Having Celiac Disease made the nutrition effort very tricky and a single slip would cripple a gym workout with bloating or abdominal irritation and pain. Simple foods like carbohydrates, spices, and sauces can contain gluten. For example soy sauce has wheat in it. Vitamins can have coatings that contain gluten. Protein powders can have flavorings that include gluten in their ingredients, and whey protein is a milk product that can contain lactose. I switched from one brand name supplement manufacturer to another running into problems. One manufacturer even included something called “glutamine peptides” in their protein which is derived from hydrolyzed wheat protein. I struggled for a while with discomfort not knowing why. I knew glutamine as a safe and conditionally essential amino acid, but did not know that when created in a peptide form that it was derived from wheat. I tried some brands utilizing protein mixes which include protein concentrates of which I had reactions to. So I tried a brand that was “98%” lactose free thinking 2% wouldn’t bother me, but over time it did. Nutrition was like running a clinical trial trying not to change more than one variable at a time so that when I did have a reaction, I could pin point the culprit.
Over time I was able to be smart about food choices and fortunate enough to find a supplement company whose products I was able to confidently use and feel safe with because of the pure ingredients and a proactive approach to manufacturing and labeling appropriate to consumers with allergies. I started at a full 135lb total weight, with a lean mass probably around 110lbs. By around 2007 I had reached the 190 lbs mark and by 2012 I had broken that plateau to 215 lbs. My lean mass was at its theoretical maximum of 165 lbs. From there I got into true shape, reduce the body fat and entered my first natural bodybuilding competition on November 4, 2012 placing third in the Grand Master category.
From this, it is easy to see why events lead me to NutraBio and their products. As far as I’m concerned they are the most efficacious and safest for me to use, and that makes every difference in the world. I am now proud to champion these products as I know they will mean as much to the lives of others as they have to mine.
— Maya Angelou