Eating Clean and Living Local – meet the man behind Immortal Fitness Studio Thornbury, Byron Koester

By Ange

Byron Koester is one of those lucky people who has been able to make a living doing something he loves – keeping fit.

Byron is the proud owner and head trainer at Immortal Fitness Studio, located in Thornbury, Melbourne.

In a competitive industry, Immortal Fitness continues to offer its clients a unique training experience that sets it apart from a standard commercial space. Byron’s personality is reflected in the space he has created, warm, genuine and humble.

MFD took time to sit down with the man behind Immortal to ask some hard hitting questions around diet, nutrition and recommendation on where to get a healthy, nutritious feed in the local area.

Q1. Byron, you have been a small business owner of Immortal Fitness Studio for 15 year now, what is your favourite thing about being a PT and owning your own studio?

I initially went out on my own and started immortal fitness 15 years ago. It has changed and grown so much since then, as have I. Prior to starting Immortal I worked in a few corporate gyms and really disliked the way they ran things with the main focus being to make money rather than help and encourage people. So I have always loved being able to do things the way I want or feel I should (with a little guidance from friends and family along the way).

I truly feel my main purpose in life is to help others implement exercise and healthy eating into their lives and share my passion and knowledge for these things and actually doing this is what I love most about my job.

Q2. What is your eating philosophy? If you were to give one piece of nutrition or diet advice, what would it be?

I have experimented with quite a few eating philosophies over the years and this has helped me finally find a great balance and a diet I am really happy with. My personal eating philosophy is to maintain a well-balanced diet incorporating all food groups. I am a “clean eater”.

I never measure food, count calories or calculate macros. But I know my body very well and know what works well with the amount of exercise I do and what activity my lifestyle usually involves.

There is a difference between eating for enjoyment, eating to be healthy and eating for results. I guess after all this time of experimenting I have found a great balance between all those things. So my advice is to try and find your balance through your own experiences and seeking guidance from your trainer.

Q3. What is the biggest mistake you see women making around their diet when they are trying to lose weight?

Well a simple answer would be that most people, not just women, will be super strict or super silly in eating very small amounts to try and lose weight, only to see it all come back on again when their goal is reached or the time comes when it’s impossible to maintain.

We all want to look good and eat and train accordingly. Unless you have a wedding or something drastic you are aiming to look good for, I strongly encourage people to not pressure themselves to get quick results and implement a realistic diet that allows for slip ups and “life” in general – to aim for slower but long term sustained results through a healthy and maintainable approach.  One other thing I would like to mention is the difficulty parents experience in lacking time to prepare healthy meals for themselves. It’s so common to hear of men and women spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking for their kids, then, through lack of time or preparation, eating toast or just picking at food or even eating what they made the kids. Through personal experience, it’s not only possible, but it’s really important to think about yourself as well and plan ahead, even if you have to make a couple of meals at dinner time.

Q4. As a PT, you work long hours. What is your go-to- health meal that is easily to prepare and eat later?

I have a ridiculously fast metabolism and everyone comments that whenever they see me I am always eating. So I do need meals prepared and waiting all the time.

A simple one I turn to is roasted sweet potato (in cinnamon and coconut oil) with steamed broccoli and a lean meat of choice. I usually add a little salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrot, avocado and humus or a lemon, olive oil and balsamic dressing. I always make enough to supply me with another 2 meals to eat later.  If I’m really lacking time I’ll buy a few salads from a cafe and cook some meat to add to them.

Q5. You post lots of delicious food on your social media and seem to know all the local #cleaneats locations and restaurants. List your top 5 local hot spots for all things raw, yummy and healthy.

I love eating healthy, colourful foods and it’s even better when I don’t have to cook.

So I eat out very regularly and have a big list of “go to” cafes.

Pinning it down to 5, in no particular order, I would say these are my current favourites:

1. Shoku iku (120 High St, Northcote VIC 3070) – amazing raw food, smoothies and smoothie bowls. Have a huge list of health elixirs you can add to these.

2. Harvest (108 Station St, Fairfield VIC) – healthy and delicious salads and superseed patties. Can add poached eggs for extra protein. Have a great selection of raw protein balls.

3. The Merri Clan (15 Gilbert Rd, Preston VIC 3072) – acai bowls that are presented so beautifully and taste as good as they look. Plenty of healthy vegan meals.

4. Munsterhaus (371 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC 3068) – it’s a bit pricey but they have an amazing selection of vego dishes you can take away or eat there. I takeaway so I can add meat

5. My latest fave is Poke King (385 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065) poke bowls are the latest fad but with good reason. You can make up your own bowl of low carb, high fat and high protein selections that are extremely healthy and great for gut health also.

A few honourable mentions….

1. Tahina (223 High St, Northcote VIC 3070)- monkey salad is yum and healthy and have great smoothies too.

2. Wild things (228-230 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC 3068) – great salads, smoothies and raw treats)

3. Terror Twilight (13/11-13 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066)- can make up your own bowl of really healthy choices. Also have great smoothies.

If you are looking to get into shape in 2018, by sure to get in touch with Byron or his fantastic team of trainers at Immortal.

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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