My story begins as a full-time professional athlete, competing internationally for Canada as a Ballroom and Latin dancer. To support my habit, I taught 35-40 hours a week of dance lessons plus everyday a 2 hour practice session with my partner and two hours of ballet and stretch classes on a weekly basis. I also studied for exams to get a PhD in dance method.
I took handfuls of vitamins and looked great, swirling and twirling in beautiful dance costumes. I was super lean, could kick to the sky and split to the floor, I was a respected champion in my field. Little did anyone know that inside I suffered with chronic constipation, mental fatigue, yeast infections, painful hemorrhoids, bronchitis and debilitating migraine headaches.
Back then I never thought of drinking water or eating raw food. I lived on easy to find fast food, plenty of hamburgers and French fries and high refined carbohydrates and lots of trans fats. I just wanted to get filled up, and thought ‘food was food.’ I had no idea that food quality was so important and I never associated my diet with my health problems. I thought my health problems were genetic; at least that’s what I was led to believe. After all, my mother, sister and grandmother all suffered from the same ailments as I did.
On the outside, my appearance was clamorous and I performed extremely well, but on the inside, I was tired, physically worn-out and mentally burnt-out. I couldn’t cope with the stress and the pressure, so…I decided to retire. This meant forfeiting my career status. I was 24 years old!Boy, if I knew then what I know now!!!
Everything changed when I met Cory (my husband). He explained his philosophy (in graphic detail), sparked my interest in preventive medicine and helped me to understand the importance of whole food. As a result of following his advice and applying the ten principles revealed in his Recipe for Health, I am literally ‘born again’. At 50, I’m stronger and faster than I’ve ever been. All of my former health problems are long gone, and I know it’s because of how I nourish my body with high quality food and drink. Nutrition is a science and I now realize that food can heal the body or act as a poison. What a revelation! Never underestimate these wise words…
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”- Hippocrates
Today, I prepare all my own meals, which gives me the knowledge of what I am putting into my body. Buying pre-made, pre-packaged food with unknown ingredients are the real silent killers. Like most active people I want to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen and be as productive as possible. Whole food, as close to nature as possible, fresh and raw or lightly sauté meat, fish or chicken in coconut oil is the only healthy healing food that I put into my body now. The rewards are tenfold.
Filtered water, freshly squeezed fruit juice and protein shakes are the liquids I consume on a daily basis. I eat a large green salad with homemade dressing and a protein for dinner and a vegetable plate with a protein for lunch. When I need a starch for more energy I will have wild rice, yams or manna bread. And don’t forget, I take plenty of vitamins, minerals and EFA’s to protect my immune system. Pretty simple stuff!
Having said all this, it is also important to understand that I have learned to know my body very well. I know when it isn’t working at optimum levels and what the causes are of any symptoms I may have. I do not take any over the counter drugs or prescription drugs, which is quite an accomplishment at my age. It‘s obvious that this system is working for me. I keep the excess body fat off and remain lean year round, no PMS or headaches or achy joints. I never would have guessed 30 years ago that diet had anything to do with performance. I will never go back to my old ways of eating, it’s poisonous. I just wish everyone else could see the light too!
Tracy Kaye Holly BIO
Tracy is the Executive Director to the Cory Holly Institute and a CSNA (Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor) Master. She is the author of several books including “The Athlete’s Cookbook” and “Sports Nutrition for Kids”, and writes for several national health magazines.
Tracy lectures to children, teens and women’s groups on health and wellness and staying fit for life. Tracy has an eclectic background as a professional international competitive Ballroom and Latin dancer and continues to teach. She has competed as a Masters athlete in Fitness and Bodybuilding and works as a professional Emcee for these events.