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What diabetic sports scientist really eats in a day, reveals diagnosis 'gave me the gift of health'

Sports scientist reveals the diet behind his ripped physique - and it also helped improve his skin and hair and rid him of sinusitis without skipping treats like carrot cake

  • Drew Harrisberg was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged just 23
  • The nutrition-obsessed health guru says it changed his life: for good
  • Mr Harrisberg eats a gluten free diet rich with vegetables, seeds and lean meat
  • Fuelling your body properly enables you to live a vibrant, nourished life, he says
  • Harrisberg wants to inspire others to live a full life - even with diabetes 

By Alice Murphy For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 19:55 EDT, 12 June 2018 | Updated: 20:00 EDT, 12 June 2018

Drew Harrisberg, an Australian physiologist and fitness blogger, turned to a health-focused lifestyle after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 23. 

The diagnosis changed his attitude to wellbeing and inspired him to live a 'vibrant, nourished lifestyle' more than he ever had before.

And now, the young professional has given an insight into his daily life and shared the go-to meals and snacks he swears by for good health both inside and out.     

Drew Harrisberg (pictured here on his Instagram DrewsDailyDose) says that discovering he had type 1 diabetes changed his attitude to health and nutrition

The physiologist and sports scientist rises before the sun each morning and gets out into nature, either swimming or taking his beloved dog Dennis (pictured) for a walk
The physiologist and sports scientist rises before the sun each morning and gets out into nature, either swimming or taking his beloved dog Dennis (pictured) for a walk
Sports scientist Drew Harrisberg says he eats a gluten and grain free paleo based diet to maintain his jaw dropping physique
Sports scientist Drew Harrisberg says he eats a gluten and grain free paleo based diet to maintain his jaw dropping physique

The physiologist and sports scientist rises before the sun each morning and gets out into nature, either swimming or taking his beloved dog Dennis (pictured left) for a walk

'My love for the human body, science and nutrition is what set me on the path to becoming a qualified health professional,' Mr Harrisberg told Australian nutritionist Jessica Sepel. 

But when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which is an auto-immune disease rather than a lifestyle condition, Drew was forced to reassess his nutrition and to rethink how he was exercising.

Mr Harrisberg describes living with diabetes as 'one big self-experiment', in which he is the scientist and subject all at once.

The diagnosis was a wake-up call for the physiologist, who says that in a way, diabetes gave him 'the gift of health'.

So what does one of Australia's fittest health professionals eat every day to maintain his killer abs and peak physical condition? 

'If I'm hungry, I'll eat breakfast before heading out (to exercise); otherwise, I'll extend my fast until hunger sets in,' Drew Harrisberg told Ms Sepel.

Once he's ready for breakfast, Mr Harrisberg loads up on plenty of greens and healthy fats with a plate of three eggs, avocado, sauerkraut, spinach and two pieces of paleo toast (as Mr Harrisberg is gluten free due to his auto-immune condition).

It takes time, patience and serious effort to get your fitness to Drew's level
It takes time, patience and serious effort to get your fitness to Drew's level

It takes time, patience and serious effort to get your fitness to Drew's level

A typical breakfast for the fitness king includes avocado, sauerkraut and paleo toast
A typical breakfast for the fitness king includes avocado, sauerkraut and paleo toast
If the scientist is in need of a pick me up, he opts for a turmeric or chai late in the morning
If the scientist is in need of a pick me up, he opts for a turmeric or chai late in the morning

A typical breakfast for the fitness king includes avocado, sauerkraut and paleo toast (shown left on his Instagram); if the scientist is in need of a pick me up, he opts for a turmeric or chai late in the morning (right, from Drew Daily Dose Instagram page)

Snacking can be difficult territory for diabetics, Mr Harrisberg explained, adding that if he does get peckish he'll opt for healthy treats like seeds, nuts, full-fat yogurts and berries.  

Lunch and dinner are vegetable-rich affairs for the sports scientist, who says that 'you name it, I'll eat it' when it comes to greens. 

Mr Harrisberg adds a small portion of lean meat or fish to his plate, adding that he tries to keep his diet low in carbs particularly on days when he doesn't train. 

Exercise physiologist Drew believes that nutrition is 'a partner you can trust and rely on'
Exercise physiologist Drew believes that nutrition is 'a partner you can trust and rely on'

Exercise physiologist Drew believes that nutrition is 'a partner you can trust and rely on'

A diet rich with leafy greens, vegetables of all colours and lean meats and fish helps Drew to maintain his impressive physique and keep healthy - even as a diabetic
A diet rich with leafy greens, vegetables of all colours and lean meats and fish helps Drew to maintain his impressive physique and keep healthy - even as a diabetic
A typical lunch or dinner for Mr Harrisberg
A typical lunch or dinner for Mr Harrisberg

A diet rich with leafy greens, vegetables of all colours and lean meats and fish helps Drew to maintain his impressive physique and keep healthy - even as a diabetic

Drew's 'Day on a plate'

* Turmeric or chai latte in the morning

* Eggs, avocado, spinach, sauerkraut and paleo toast for breakfast

* Berries, seeds and full-fat yogurt for the occasional snack

* Veg-heavy lunch and dinner, with small amounts of lean meat or fish

* Special indulgences are dark chocolate, gluten-free and grain-free banana bread and carrot cake 

Exercise physiologist Drew believes that nutrition is 'a partner you can trust and rely on', and uses his website to empower people living with diabetes to take control of their health and thrive in all aspects of life, just as he has.

The fitness guru credits eliminating refined sugars, gluten and all processed fats from his diet with a whole host of benefits including improved skin and hair, weight loss and ridding him of debilitating conditions like sinusitis and shin splints.

When he needs a pick me up, the online celebrity drinks turmeric lattes and cups of herbal tea.

Drew says that his ultimate weakness if gluten-free and grain-free banana bread or carrot cake
Drew says that his ultimate weakness if gluten-free and grain-free banana bread or carrot cake
Drew Harrisberg hard at work in the gym
Drew Harrisberg hard at work in the gym

Drew says that his weakness is gluten-free and grain-free banana bread or carrot cake which he enjoys with chai or turmeric lattes (pictured left); Drew hard at work in the gym (right)

'Not a flavour or texture goes by without a conscious thought of how damn delicious it is,' the nutritionist said
'Not a flavour or texture goes by without a conscious thought of how damn delicious it is,' the nutritionist said

'Not a flavour or texture goes by without a conscious thought of how damn delicious it is,' the nutritionist said

Showing that he's human just like the rest of us, Drew Harrisberg says that his go-to indulgence is dark chocolate or a slice of gluten-free and grain-free banana bread or carrot cake.

'Not a flavour or texture goes by without a conscious thought of how damn delicious it is,' the nutritionist said.

Mr Harrisberg cites a full eight hours sleep every night as being essential for him to maintain his active lifestyle.

The advice Drew gives to those looking to get serious about their health is to remain open to change, adding that 'Rome wasn't built in a day'.

'What works for you today might not work for you in a few months down the track. Be willing to change and adapt over time. Think of your health and fitness as building an empire.. it takes time.'  

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