About ME

Just.ME.
Just.ME.

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Hi there! My name is Matteo, and as you can easily guess, I am a sort of health and fitness fanatic…

My background in health dates back in 1999 when I entered my BSc in Physiotherapy at the Universita’ Bicocca in Milan. The reason why I wanted to be a physiotherapist? I had been playing youth basketball at National levels in Italy until then (thanks to my team mates mainly, but I played my good minutes too…!) and between our team, the more senior squads and the first team (in the Pro league) I started to see the importance of the physiotherapist / massage therapist in sports… I did not want to pursue a six-year long career in medicine (to be followed by another tenuous specialty course in sports medicine at the end of it), so the shortcut to stay in professional sports (once I realized that on court I had by then given most of what I could…!) was to enter by the medical door…!

Three years later I was a qualified physiotherapist, pushing my way into a very well respected private sports clinic in Milan for my first job, while providing physiotherapy services to the basketball club I used to play in and studying Osteopathy on the side. I worked pretty hard for the first 4 years, almost burning myself out… Until I decided that something had to change… And I found myself applying for an MSc in Sports Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Aus), at a time when MSc’s in Physiotherapy were still hardly heard of in the rest of Europe. My interest in nutrition started to develop concurrently, with the publication by Dr Barry Sears of his first book on the Zone Diet.

One thing that completely changed my life? My MSc year at UQ in 2006...
One thing that completely changed my life? My year at UQ

2006, my year in Brisbane, became my door to the world. Not only I met equally keen professionals to share knowledge and experiences with, but I learnt a scientific and rigorous approach to practice that truly changed the way I looked at things once and for all… After seeing another side of the world, coming back to Italy looked and felt very limiting. I only resisted the few months it took me to pack my luggage again and take my plane to London, direction Oxford, and Oxford Brooks University, where I enrolled in the BSc in Osteopathy (by then I was convinced that a University qualification was a better deal than the private course I was attending in Italy, and Italy did not offer degrees in Osteopathy). They were another two amazing year, Oxford stole my heart with its history at every corner, the vibrant student life and the chance I found to start working for the Royal Air Force as a civilian physiotherapist. I will always be grateful to my colleagues and managers there, Maj Gallagher, Dr Phillips, Dr Masci, Dr Lewis, Luke, Paul and the administration staff. I developed professionally at lightning speed. Due to the close proximity of the RAF base with Stoke Mandeville and the GB Wheelchair Basketball training venue, I even managed to cover their weekly training sessions, another priceless experience. I went from a locum physiotherapist to a band 7, with all the professional education and experience required to be a band 8 (US imaging and injection therapy included) in the space of two years. I was ready for a move, and that came when I applied and got selected to join the physiotherapy team at Mile End Hospital, East London as band 8a with the responsibility to develop sports physiotherapy services for the community in view of the coming London 2012 Games… My dream job!

At the beginning of 2010 I was therefore in London. Supporting the “sports branch” of the physiotherapy department. My interest in sports, nutrition and the interconnection of those with health and chronic pain was now booming. I was reading all that came to my eyes about fatty acids, subclinical inflammation, arachidonic acid, proteins, insulin, pain receptors, primary and secondary hyperalgesia and whatever other geeky topic might come to your mind. A lot of things did not make sense, did not match, confusion stimulated further reading and further reading stimulated further confusion. Things were moving well anyway. On top of my full time job I was working part time in a private sports clinic and travelling with UK Athletics to their training camps in Kenya, Italy and France. I was planning to study further the effects of nutrition on chronic pain and overuse injuries, two physiotherapy topics of great interest and relevance. And in the middle of my plans, a call to move to Dubai happened… After a month long visit, I was convinced: Dubai was going to be my next home…

My first UKA training camp
My first UKA training camp

It was 2011 when I touched down in the Middle East for the first time in my life… The early days were more fun than work: tourism, travelling, skydiving, scuba diving… Slowly I shaped my role, moving from physiotherapy to a much broader responsibility as “health and fitness trainer”… From injury recovery, I moved to injury prevention and the next most natural step was fitness training. I was as fit as I’d ever been by then and the role was giving me some wonderful and contagious positive energy. I was putting my knowledge in sports science together with my medical and scientific background and the results were the best demonstration that things worked! Only one thing was still missing, so I enrolled in a distance learning MSc in clinical nutrition from the University of Roheampton. It was not as I intended, although I was now formally entering the world of nutrition. After 18 months and enough credits to get a PGDip, I decided that clinical nutrition was not my pathway, so I stopped my studies there. Dubai in the meantime made me meet some real health freaks. I was as much studying nutrition as I was getting into serious home cooking… The Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold was going to be another life changer… Can we apply science to cooking? I’m in..!

Skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah
Skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah

It is now present days… I am enrolled and currently studying a distance learning PGDip in Sports Nutrition from the IOC, with the aim of extending it into an MSc, and who knows, maybe even further… I have expanded my cooking skills and merged them with my nutritional theories and (where available) scientific knowledge. I have discovered that if the evidence for the benefits of many medical procedures, physiotherapy treatments and training regimes is inconclusive to say the least, the evidence for dieting and nutrition is even weaker… Confusion reigns… What was true yesterday, is disproved today and then reversed again tomorrow… The scientific approach finds itself fighting the daily media coverage of Hollywood dietary trends, “expert” opinions and the pressure from Big Food seems comparable to that of Big Pharma in medical science. And in all these, the obesity epidemic keeps growing, diabetes is becoming the number one cost for most healthcare systems worldwide and nevertheless it is still responsible for a wide number of deaths, together with the Cardiovascular deaths in which altered blood lipids seem to play a major role… My personal experience is guiding me more than anything else. Consistent training, a dietary regime developed over many years of reading and experimenting and a similarly developed lifestyle have helped me achieving an excellent physical and mental state, and my hope is that through sharing my views and experiences with you, you will also benefit and find some clarity on so much confusion…

Breakfast time
Breakfast time
Clubbels, Kettlebells, TRX, Rings, Bosu, Functional Training
Clubbels, Kettlebells, TRX, Rings, Bosu, Functional Training
Hold on...!
Hold on…!

12 thoughts on “About ME

  1. Hey therе would you mind letting me know whіch web hst you’re utilizing?

    I’ve loaded ʏour blog in 3 completely different wеb
    browsers and I must say this Ьlog loads a lot fasteг then
    most. Сan you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a ɦonest price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

    Like

    1. Hi Doudoun, and thank you for your interest in my blog. Hope you also find it interesting as much as fast :). I use Bluehost and found it well priced and effortless to setup with WordPress… Cheers

      Like

  2. Hi Matteo,

    Great blog, it has come at very crucial point in my life as I recognise more than ever the importance of nutrition and being fit. I feel your blog is giving me the motivation I need to be disciplined. I turn 47 in eight days time and although people say I don’t look my age sometime I certainly feel it. I hope one day you will put together a book and other materials that can break things down in greater detail. Great Work.

    Like

    1. Hi Chris, thank you for your comment. Giving that little extra motivation, useful knowledge or just some good tips and supporting who embark into the challenging experience of modifying their lifestyle and embracing a more health conscious living is indeed a big motivation for me to keep the blog running… I will do my best to keep it at the level you and all the readers deserve and please feel free to keep the community updated on your progress..! I hope you will find my next post about added sugars useful and informative… Up in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned..! Take care

      Like

      1. Hi Matteo,

        I certainly look forward to it. I went to the Gym this morning and did some cardiovascular stuff, like running on the tread mill and a bit of cycling, and skipping, then finished off with some leg strengthening excercise. All in all I am glad I dragged myself out of bed. And I am looking forward to tomorrow. Oh I am also consciously watching what I eat now. I have a lot to learn about the science and balance though. I guess it’s one step at a time. Thanks for the motivation. It’s a great calling helping people develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regards

        Like

  3. May I just say what a relief to uncover an individual who really
    knows what they are talking about on the web.
    You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people should look at this and understand this side of your
    story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular given that you certainly have the gift.

    Like

    1. Hi, thank you so much for your kind words… It is a great drive to receive positive feedback and the blog is still in its infancy… I hope over time I will be able to dedicate more time to it and with it, more people will start contributing… Take care and hope you will keep enjoying the posts…!

      Like

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