Where did Truth begin? and Dr Harry's personal views on health and wellness
- Interviewed by Shani Kaplan
Always wanted to know more about Dr Harry and where his journey began? His personal views on nutrition and wellbeing... and what superpower he wants. Well, lucky for you, we have all the answers!
Hi Harry! First thing's first...Where was the idea for a supplement company born?
I don’t actually remember! All I know is that both Trent and I had insatiable appetites for health optimisation and each of us were already supplement enthusiasts. We shared the belief that what we - as work hard, train hard, play hard kind of guys – were asking our minds and bodies to do more than could be achieved with a ‘balanced diet’. Accordingly, each of us had experimented with supplements to enhance not only physical but mental performance.
One of the problems was that there wasn’t a great deal of scientific research nor clear information about many of the supplements we were interested in, and in our desperation to improve our lives, it was easy to be sucked in by gimmicks and marketing spin. I think it was from this that our idea for Truth supplements was born.
"Trent and I had insatiable appetites for health optimisation and each of us were already supplement enthusiasts. We shared the belief that what we - as work hard, train hard, play hard kind of guys
How long have you and Trent known each other?
I met Trent in November 2007. Just a few hours earlier, I had just finished what would be my last ever hospital night shift – and had flown to Adelaide to start a new job, working alongside Trent for a global eye care company. Trent had only arrived a few days earlier from the UK and was posted there to lead the retail operation, whereas I was there to develop the professional workforce. It was an incredibly exciting time for both of us as we developed our friendship, commercial and professional acumen and desire to, one day, do something big for ourselves.
As a doctor Harry, do you see an issue with doctors not understanding the field of nutrition enough?
Yes, of course. But doctors are human, too. They know what they’ve been taught and therein lies the problem. Nobody really fully understands nutrition, despite the fact that it’s one of the few things all humans have in common – we all need it!
I, myself, am still coming to terms with the effects of dietary manipulation and interventions such as fasting in the context of a carbohydrate-addicted world. Doctors will catch on to the importance of nutrition for health and prevention of diseases such as cancer and the metabolic syndrome once the evidence is studied and taught.
Do you follow any eating principles/ways of eating personally?
Like everyone, I struggle! I love corn-chips – I’d eat them every day if I could. I also love rice, fresh bread or scones, ice-cream, gnocchi. I could go on! But yes, I do follow a way of eating that attempts to balance what I know I should do for my health against the foods and drinks that I love.
I’m still to find the perfect combination that works when I’m either exercising hard or low on motivation but if you had to classify me, I’d call my diet “doing my best to be low carb with frequent exceptions and occasional experiments with fasting”.
Breakfast:It is rare for me to eat breakfast – I usually just have coffee with butter and MCT oil and a high-fat smoothie. If I do feel like eating, I’ll have eggs.
Lunch: It is often a challenge, but I typically eat salad and try to hang on until I get home from work.
Snack:As soon as I get home, I’ll eat a fistful of nuts.
Dinner: When I’m on my game is grass-fed beef or chicken or seafood with vegetables. When I’m stressed or excited, my wife and I will order Thai take in!
How often do you exercise and what type?
When it comes to exercise, I’m pretty good! My main exercise is cycling – generally road cycling. I typically train and race about 11 or 12 hours per week with a mix of high-intensity interval sessions either indoors or at a velodrome and longer rides on the road. I love mountain biking too in the warmer months.
I do 15 minutes of yoga 4 times a week for core strength and flexibility – without this, I’d be worse than the tin man. I also swim about 30 minutes and lift weights once a week for bone density and general wellbeing. If I had more time, I’d cycle more (in the daylight) and do a Pilates reformer class.
What are your hobbies? (outside of cycling 😉 )
What’s a hobby? In my life, there are only things that I’m passionate about and those that I’m less passionate about. I’m passionate about hanging out with my wife, my kids and my good friends. I call my mum almost every day and catch up with everyone in my family as often as I can handle! I love the beach, drinking beer in summer (I found a carb-free one!!), Aussie rules football, reading, writing and listening. I think what we’re doing at Truth is really special, too.
Have you always placed such importance in plants?
Not at all. I did experiment with a vegetarian diet for a little while I was at university, but I was otherwise in poor health and didn’t tolerate it at all. However, I am now starting to appreciate the true potential of plants – not only as food, but as medicine. What an amazing thing to consider!
What is the worst/most crazy diet you’ve heard of?
The standard American diet. Kills you after making you dumb.
What’s a common myth about health/and or nutrition and can you debunk it?
That insulin is a good treatment for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disease epidemic that is causing poor health, killing people prematurely and costing the world billions. The origin of the problem is too much sugar – which is converted to fat by the liver. The fat chokes the liver and the pancreas, causing these organs to malfunction, with the result being fatty liver disease and diabetes. The best treatment isn’t more insulin to store blood sugar. It’s fasting!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to upgrade their health?
The average person doesn’t require rocket science to upgrade their health. Remember that perfection is impossible, but you need to tip the balance in favour of good habits over bad ones. Quit smoking or smoke less. Quit drinking or drink less. Try to sleep more by going to bed earlier. Exercise a little, and if you’re already exercising a little, do some more. Pay attention to nutrition – the very act of looking at it has a beneficial effect!
"The average person doesn’t require rocket science to upgrade their health. Remember that perfection is impossible, but you need to tip the balance in favour of good habits over bad ones. Quit smoking or smoke less. Quit drinking or drink less. Try to sleep more by going to bed earlier. Exercise a little, and if you’re already exercising a little, do some more. Pay attention to nutrition – the very act of looking at it has a beneficial effect!
Are there any resources that have really helped you on your journey?
My wife is my biggest help. I’m not sure that she’d appreciate being called a resource, though! I love listening to Peter Attia, MD and Sam Harris – I often follow up reading the works of their podcast guests.
What do you think is the most common reason for people failing or giving up when they embark on a new health regime?
Unrealistic expectations and the fact that the best plans are the ones that work even when motivation is low. It’s important to give it time to make new habits and to realise that everyone falls off the wagon every now and then. The key is to tip the balance in favour of good habits over bad ones every day.
How do you cope with pressure and stress? Obviously, it can be hard juggling family time with running businesses and also practising as a doctor…
With work, I don’t really get stressed – just busy. I occasionally get stressed about money. The only things that really stress me are issues with my kids or my family, and in the past, my health. I love being a doctor – no stress there at all. I have a pretty tight system that helps me achieve as much as possible in a limited amount of time. I have an assistant, I use lots of software, I delegate where possible, I pay experts rather than hack through things myself and Itry not to let myself get distracted.
You have come through various illnesses yourself which must have been really challenging. What are the biggest life lessons you have learnt from overcoming these moments?
I discovered that my previously held notion of taking a trip around the world and spending up big if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness was a fantasy. It’s the last thing I’d want to do.
Following on from that…Do you have a life motto?
Not sure if it’s a motto but I never, ever give up. Possibly the only thing I’ve ever given up on was trying to give up.
If you were to advise your 21-year-old self of anything, what would it be?
Stop squeezing pimples in the mirror, take up cycling, buy shares in Apple.
What are your desires or visions for the growth of Truth?
That’s easy! To bring an ever-increasing range of premium quality, super-effective, scientifically-backed products to the world. You never know, one day people may reach for a can of plant-based goodness over a Red-bull or Coke!
And finally, we saved the most important question until last. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
My daughter asks me this all the time. You help me choose. Here are my favourites: time travel, invisibility, mind-reading, mind-control, healing, flight, genius, x-ray vision, supersonic speed and the ability to eat nachos every night without gaining a gram!
Curious about our other Founder, Trent?
Don't worry, he's up next week! Keep your eyes peeled...
Shani Kaplan is a contributing writer for Truth Origins. She combines her knowledge gained from working within the fitness/wellness industry in Sydney and London for the last seven years as a Personal Trainer, and class instructor, with her addiction to research due to her BA in Business Marketing. Shani loves martial arts, resistance training, dance and yoga, nutrition, travel, design, photography, and art.
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