About Me

Hello, I’m Patrick and I’m an Ancestral Health Practitioner.

I have a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition and am a lecturer at McGill University. I teach a class on how humans have evolved to contend with defensive compounds from plants.  When it comes to nutrition, evolution explains everything.

Your particular physiological blueprint is the result of a complex interplay between your genetics and your environment. The shape of your body, the way you respond to stress, the level of susceptibility you have to overeating, and the way you per are all caused by your particular expression of neurotransmitters and hormones. My passion is to find out how your particular genetic makeup interacts with your environment so that we can figure out the best diet, lifestyle, and health approach that will get the optimal version of yourself.

I use an ancestral and functional approach to health which means that I consider your personal requirements for nutrients, sleep, activity levels, and sun exposure. Any metabolic disorder is therefore interpreted as a misalignment between your genes and your environment or lifestyle. In this regard, carb addiction has strong evolutionary drivers and the only way to effectively combat our cravings is through evolutionary tricks and tools that we all have hidden in our genes.

My Story

I’ve conducted research among Tibetan Highlanders, Canadian First Nations, and Papua New Guinean Islanders and found that as humans, we can thrive on a variety of diets. However, if given access to cheap, easily digestible carbohydrates, most of us will consume far beyond our physiological needs. I was no exception. Despite my intimate knowledge of human biochemistry and metabolism, my brain was hardwired to seek out carbs. My Northern European ancestors likely lived through long, hard, cold winters, and their ability to rapidly convert dietary carbs into body fat provided a strong survival advantage. Today, carbs are plentiful, available year-round, and irresistibly delicious. Forget willpower; my genes, my brain, and my metabolism were designed to gorge on carbs in order to pack on a nice padding of fat to increase my chances of survival for a winter that never comes.

The Himalayan Highlander Life

Tibetan Highland children subsist on a diet high in animal products and low in fruits and vegetables. Metabolic disorders are rare in this population.

In 1998, while conducting field research in the Himalayas, I ate much like the Tibetan Highlanders. Plenty of yak and lamb meat, butter, cheese, and barley. Instead of adding sugar and milk to their tea, they used butter and salt…. and Highlanders drank a lot of tea. Despite this, they rarely suffered any of the metabolic diseases that plagued my country, Canada. Soon after eating like the Highlanders, many of my ailments that plagued me since childhood began disappearing: asthma, constipation, acne, and allergies. More importantly, my hunger felt different. I would always be ravenous in the morning and had to have a large breakfast before I could even think of starting the day. Without breakfast I was irritable and lethargic. Starting the day with Tibetan butter tea took a few days to get used to, but eventually, it was something I was looking forward to. I was eating a High Fat – Low Carb diet without really paying attention to what I ate.

The Pacific Islander Life

Conducting ethnobotanical research in Papua New Guinea, 2004

In 2004 I conducted a year-long study in Papua New Guinea. I ate tropical fruits, taro, sweet potato, rice, cassava, and an amazing variety of hard biscuits. I packed on the pounds, felt bloated all the time, and embraced the life of a slow-moving Pacific Islander. This High Carb – Low Fat diet had me conscious of the massive amounts of rice I was able to consume. I still remember salivating at the thought of biscuits and sweet tea every afternoon.

The High Fat / Low Carb Life

Based on how I felt and looked, I can conclusively state that I THRIVED while living in the Himalayas and DETERIORATED while I was living in the Pacific. Perhaps the cold snowy conditions of the mountains resembled the environment of my ancestors. Perhaps my body was designed to thrive in a place where there’s plenty of animal fat and protein and limited access to carbs. If I was able to determine what kind of diet best suited me and my health goals, I was determined to find out if I could help others find theirs.

A Functional Approach to Carb Cravings and Fat Loss

Who you are is a culmination of generations that have adapted to certain environmental pressures that are vastly different that what you’re exposed to today.

If you:

  • Are unable to lose fat despite eating healthy and exercising regularly.
  • Feel unsatisfied if your meal doesn’t have carbs.
  • Eat healthy for most of the week but have occasional binges or cheat meals that halt your fat loss efforts.
  • Compensate from an episode of over-eating by dieting or exercising more intensely the following day.
  • Constantly experiment with low carb diets, including the keto diet but eventually relapse after only a few weeks.
  • Become “hangry” or irritable if you don’t eat.
  • Suffer from asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other inflammatory condition.
  • Suffer from acne, eczema, dry skin or thin hair.
  • Suffer from constipation, haemorrhoids, fissures, bloating, or IBS.
  • Suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • Suffer from interrupted sleep or poor sleep quality.

Then you’re the perfect candidate for this approach!

Professional Bio

I started my academic career in botany with a specialized interest in ethnobotany: the use of plants as food and medicine. My first manuscript was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology during my Bachelors degree.

I was awarded a National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postgraduate Scholarship and a Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Nature et Technologies Scholarship to study the bioactive properties of medicinal plants in Tibet, India, and Papua New Guinea.

I was the first recipient of the Ecosystem Approach to Human Health Graduate Training Award, launched by the International Development Research Centre of Canada in 2004. 

I was also the first recipient of the prestigious Richard Evan Schultes Award granted by the Society of Economic Botany.

In 2010, I was awarded the Elsevier Reviewer of the Year Award – Pharmacology Division, for the large number of manuscripts I reviewed for various medical and biochemical journals.

In 2008, I received my doctoral degree from the Department of Human Nutrition at McGill University. I investigated the role of local food systems in Papua New Guinea in preventing the development of Type 2 Diabetes caused by the introduction of Western foods.

Certified as a personal trainer and a CrossFit Level 1 Coach, I combined my knowledge of nutrition with various modalities of human movement to promote health and wellness in my clients.

My evolutionary and functional approach to health has been showcased in the various articles and videos I have done with AskMen.com, the world’s largest on-line men’s magazine.

I run an Ancestral and Functional Nutrition Consultation clinic in Montreal, Canada and continue to help people achieve optimal health through personalized approaches that encompasses circadian rhythm imbalances, stress management, exercise, and even ancestral heritage.