As you would have known, I was at the newly-opened Fitness First platinum club – meeting the experts who had shared the secrets of their craft and their real life stories. Hear what the pro triathlete and founder of ‘Coached’, Ben Pulham, and Blackmores’ in-house Naturopath Chua Kay Tse have to say.
Founder of ‘Coached’ | Ben Pulham
We’ve heard about ‘Coached’ and its individualized approach in the Coached Lab. How did this whole concept begin?
B: One of the benefits of racing for your country is you have access to a lot of cool things that help you to improve performance. One of the things I enjoyed in my own training was going into the lab to measure my progress and see how my body was reacting to the training I was doing.
Using testing helped me better understand my body and track my progress so I wanted to offer this to amateurs so that they could optimize what they were doing to ensure all the time invested training was being put to best use.
What constitutes the ‘holistic’ Coached approach?
B: At Coached we look at everything that effects your ability to perform to your potential. These include things like training, nutrition, stress management, race execution, mindset etc. While we often see quick results, we are not focused on short terms results that sacrifice long term gains like a lot of other coaches, gyms and programmes. We believe you should get the basics right and work upwards from there.
You’ve been a professional triathlete representing New Zealand at World Championships, World Cups and in the Olympic Trials. What keeps you going everyday?
B: Professional triathlon was my past life and I was fortunate I was able to experience that. Nowadays, I am passionate about helping people optimize the way they train, eat, manage stress and sleep etc so that they can be healthy, energetic, lean and happy.
What’s a highlight/most memorable incident in your career?
B: In 2004 I won the vertical marathon in Singapore and was flown to NYC to run up the empire state building. I did a lot of cool races in my career but that was very memorable.
If it weren’t for sports, what would you have liked to do?
B: Sports has been at the centre of my life since I was in my teens. To be honest, I am not sure what I would do if I wasn’t in this industry. I love working on the design and user experience side of developing our web platform so maybe I would do that if I had enough skill and someone would employ me 🙂
Could you share with us something we wouldn’t have guessed about yourself?
B: I am a recovering sugar addict. As an athlete (who didn’t know better) I used to think I could eat whatever I wanted because I did so much training and would stay lean. What I didn’t understand was the addictive nature of sugar and the effect it has on your metabolic health. I have since dramatically changed my diet but am still a work in progress.
Blackmores’ in-house Naturopath | Chua Kay Tse
You’ve been involved in naturopathy and actively pursuing in-depth natural health studies across the world (US and Australia) for the past 17 years, and you’re still pursuing further studies in this. What interested you in the very beginning?
C: I was a very sick child diagnosis with chronic bronchitis and autoimmune concerns. I was prescribed costly antibiotics monthly, which is not helpful for my financially compromised family. Crying myself to sleep during one of the daily painful episode of attack, I prayed to God to take me home or keep me alive so I could be a blessing to many in health. I was lead to Naturopathy. I got back my health gradually by learning to eat and live naturally with my GP supporting me at the same time with medical science solutions. This integrative approach in Allopathy medicine and Naturopathy which contributes to my unique healing journey leaves a great impact in me. I became a strong believer in evidenced based complementary medicine. It is through constant learning and upgrading that enables me to be a responsible healthcare professional for the benefit of the community.
Naturopathy employs natural practices to promote self-healing. Do you think it’s possible to live a life sans modern medical practices, pills, or surgery?
C: No, not in this modern industrialize era. A good example: If one gets knocks down by a car, you do not bet on naturally healing method to work as the person will naturally, die. The injured person needs surgery, sound medicinal practice and medicines to save his or her life. Allopathy medicine has a good role to play in acute, especially life-threatening health conditions while Natural medicine have a better role to play in prevention and health maintenance. Both systems have gaps which can be filled by each other perfectly. That is why we also call Natural medicine, Complementary medicine – to complement medicine.
How does it feel to be the first and only Singaporean trained and certified as Instructor and Designation Certified Iridologist in the US in Comprehensive Iridology? Does being the first and only Singaporean set you apart from the others?
C: It’s my passion and a beginning of my pursue in progress. I feel glad to be a responsible healthcare professional in my profession to be well-trained and certified by internationally recognized professional bodies. My patients entrust their health to me and that is what I should be, certified, well-trained and trustworthy.
Is there a work hazard when it comes to your personal diet? (Do you have a cheat day?)
C: Yes, yes and yes 😊 In general, my diet could be “too undesirably healthy” to my peers but not really up to my own expectations. I have a very busy work schedule so eating well is a great challenge. Knowing the possible consequences of the “not so ok” food that I had just gobble down due to convenience could be quite depressing. The pros is, my knowledge enables me to minimized the damage. A joyful spirit saves the day too!
What motivates you on a daily basis?
C: I am passionate to live Love. Love is being shared through the gospel of good health.
If you could only eat 3 things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
C: Organic kale, eggs and brown rice. They will provide me with the essential macro and micro-nutrients to ensure survival, functionality and reasonable health.
Photo courtesy of Shaun Tay