“Nutrition is easy, people just complicate it”, Believe Nutrition’s Faisal Alshawa tells me as I’ve just finished grilling him on the do’s and don’ts of nutrition: rules to follow in order to attain a healthy lifestyle and the “body of my dreams”.
While maintaining his balanced, Zen demeanor, Faisal has graciously answered all my questions good-naturedly, throwing in a few laughs between thoughtful, honest and relatable responses. This conversation sums up what Faisal’s approach to healthy living is as a health consultant, and it’s with this attitude, he extends a system of his belief to those around him.
After gaining both a Bachelor’s and Masters degree in Sports Science, Believe Nutrition started off as a way for Faisal to share the science of nutrition and wellbeing to the masses. Though his initial focus during his studies was physiology, he found himself scored a gig as the Qatar’s Olympic soccer team’s nutritionist, managing a team of hungry athletes.
This provided an eye-opening experience and a deeper appreciation for the science of food, what to eat, when to eat it, and why to eat it. In that, he himself learned a lot while in turn, influencing others towards the best possible choices.
“I wanted to stray people away from the ‘lunchbox approaches’ of nutrition. The quick fixes, the crash and fad diets – there’s no such thing!” And of course, spending all that time as a consultant built lots of bonds with those whom he would guide. This isn’t an unusual side effect for coach and client relations, and Faisal carried the idea holding a bond in the journey of finding wellness with everyone he helps.
Though he started out small three years ago, just posting tips and food science facts to the public via a dedicated Instagram page, Believe has expanded towards him taking on clients for meal-plans, daily tips and guidance for them to benefit from, with his full emotional support.
“I work on a habit-based curriculum that encourages positive changes in my clients’ behaviour, through using visualization and other techniques.” Being present is a large part of said techniques, as Faisal prides himself in accesibility, even during the tough moments, where temptation slinks in to lead us astray. “I encourage them to keep me updated everyday with what’s going on. Even if they’re going out to eat, or invited to a party, they can take pictures and details of their options for my advice in return.”
That being said, Faisal doesn’t in any way, shape or form believe in sacrificing your zest for life and even your love for food in order to get healthy or stay healthy.
“It’s all about balance. I enjoy food, and I want people to keep enjoying food! No restrictions or constraints, just change your mindset. That’s the most important thing. But without changing your mindset, you’ll never reach your goal.”
That sounds super inspiring, Faisal. And if we’re doing it with someone as down to earth, supported and level minded as you, we’re into start “believing” nutrition.
TRUTH OR DARE QUESTIONNAIRE
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked?
“Do you ride camels to work?” Real talk.
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
What is your theme song?
Great question. Definitely a track by Kendrick Lamar called “Cut You Off”.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
My preference is always living beachside, in a country with lots of nature, blue skies and sunshine all year round. And what better place to provide this vibe than California? Definitely the dream!
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
“It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
What do you miss about your childhood?
Being able to live my life with barely any responsibilities or expectations!
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
If things don’t go my way or if I feel like something is getting in the way of my routine, growth or development, I tend to feel frustrated. I am working on being more flexible though!
Who is your favorite historical figure?
What in the world do you least desire?
Corn…I find absolutely no desire to eat it. And of course, it barely has nutritional value!
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
The ability to love. Whether loving yourself or loving others, I think we were put on this earth to love
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
I think I’m friendly and approachable and never put on a front. What you see is what you get, and I try always to be real and just be myself.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Follow Believe Nutrition on Instagram @believenutrition, and visit www.believenutrition.net for more information. Faisal also writes for Fourteen magazine! Find his articles by visiting www.fourteenkuwait.com.