One size seldom fits when it comes to fitness and nutrition

Jan 26, 2016
Ashley Ann Lawrie


In December, Emilia Fragomeni lost eight pounds in six days.

There was no magic weight loss pill involved, no fancy exercise gizmo that promised big results and three easy payments.

All the 52-year-old hospital lab technologist did was make the right changes to an already healthy diet.

It turned out that Emilia has a number of food sensitivities. A blood test revealed her system couldn’t handle dairy products, gluten, beer, MSG, potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers and just about any amount of sugar, including the fructose that’s high in most fruits.

The result? Her body reacted to these foods as if it was under attack, with bloating and inflammation.

“Even just adding cream to her coffee could be debilitating,” said Michael Robichaud, personal trainer at FFF’s Kanata location.

Michael helped Emilia remake her nutrition habits. He designed just for her a three-day rotating diet for nine days that avoided these troublesome foods and also helped to detoxify and reset her metabolism.

“That’s made a huge difference,” Emilia said. “It’s changed my energy level. Now I know what ‘good’ is supposed to feel like.”

Emilia returned to FFF about six months ago after a four-year hiatus. The first time around, she enjoyed great results for a few months, but then decided to manage her fitness on her own.

As the years passed, she found it more and more challenging to keep on track with an often unpredictable schedule of shift work, split between several local hospitals.

She tried circuit training, but found that, while it was a great cardio workout to melt unwanted pounds, it didn’t do much to build strength and muscle tone. In fact, she found the routine was doing as much harm as good, by putting too much strain on her back that resulted in recurring pain.

Emilia decided to come back to FFF. That pleased her physiotherapist, who was happy to see her return to a personalized fitness program that would help strengthen and condition her body.

“I had a good experience here last time, so I decided to go back, and it’s been amazing,” Emilia said.

In fact, her back pain is gone and she doesn’t have to go to physio anymore. Because of her varied work schedule, Emilia rotates her sessions among the entire Kanata FFF team, which she considers a plus.

“I’ve learned so much from each of them,” she said. “They each have their own excellent qualities.”

That includes the importance of stretching, from trainer and certified fascial stretch therapist Ryan Williams. In addition to her 30-minute training sessions two or three times a week, Emilia makes time for about 45 minutes of stretching and cardio beforehand to burn extra calories and stay limber, no matter how hard she works her muscles. Emilia also gets great motivation from trainers Nick Antal, Monique Vautour and Matt Uden.

Thanks to the combination of exercise and a new nutrition plan to avoid foods she’s sensitive to, Emilia has steadily gained strength and cut her unwanted inches. The people in her life have taken notice.

“I’ve motivated a couple people at work who are older than me to do something about their health,” she said.

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