Gary Roberts: 7 Essential Habits To Achieve & Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Get exclusive tips from Gary Roberts, 23-year NHL veteran, Stanley Cup winner and Canada’s leading advocate for whole, natural and organic food-fueled high performance training!

Updated, June 26: Want to eat like Gary? Click here to check out his essential High Performance Shopping list.

Gary Roberts is a 23-year NHL veteran and Stanley Cup winner with 1224 games played, 2560 penalty minutes and ranked 14th all-time in scoring for a left-winger (438 goals and 472 assists for 910).  Since his retirement after the 2008-2009 season, Gary has become a leader in high performance training and sports nutrition for both amateur and professional athletes.  Since 2011, Gary has been training many of the top NHL and junior players at the Fitness Institute.

July is Get Active Month here at Nature’s Emporium, and we were fortunate enough to get some exclusive tips for a successful transition to an active lifestyle from Canada’s healthy high performance guru – and long time Nature’s Emporium customer – Gary Roberts!


Here’s 7 Essential Habits to Achieve & Maintain a Healthy, Active Lifestyle from Gary Roberts!

“My philosophy on how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle evolved through my own experiences – first, as a professional hockey player for 23 years and now, as a lifestyle coach to athletes.

It is based on an integrated approach that brings together three elements:  proper training; healthy eating; and, regular recovery strategies.  Ultimate success, in my view, is a commitment to all three.

It is worth mentioning the particular importance of healthy eating.  You can train hard and focus on helping your body recover but all those gains you make can be significantly undermined if you don’t eat right.

I believe the best approach to healthy eating is developing healthy habits.  Once you do that, sticking to a healthy lifestyle becomes much easier.  To help, I offer you my top 7 healthy habits:

1. Drink plenty of quality water to stay hydrated.

I recommend a natural spring water because it is clean and contains minerals our bodies need.  I like to start my day with a couple of glasses natural spring water with fresh lemon to hydrate and cleanse.

2. Eat natural whole foods as much as possible.

A variety of organic is best to maximize nutrients.  Focus on eating:

  • lean proteins (e.g., fish, poultry, grass-fed beef, lean pork, beans and lentils, eggs)
  • good carbohydrates (e.g., lots of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains)
  • healthy fats (e.g., extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds, unsweetened nut and seed butters, avocadoes, organic butter, fish oil)
  • fibre (e.g., freshly ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisins, dates).

3. Engage in some type of physical activity everyday.

My rule of thumb for training is train more days than you rest – so I train at least four days a week. As a family, we all try to stay active everyday – e.g., swimming, sports, training, riding our bikes, going for walks.

4. Limit the amount of sugar you and your children eat.

You may be surprised how many processed foods contain some form of sugar, and much of it is highly processed like high fructose corn syrup.  I recommend choosing only natural sugars and using them sparingly (e.g., pure maple syrup, raw honey, and coconut sugar which is a low glycemic option that can easily be substituted for refined sugar).

5. Eliminate bad fats.

This means highly processed and genetically modified ones like corn oil, soybean oil, and hydrogenated vegetable oils. They are also in many processed foods like cookies, cakes, granola bars, cereals, pizza, salad dressings, condiments – the list is long!!! Instead, choose healthy oils – unrefined and pure like a high quality extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

6. Get plenty of restful sleep.

That means get rid of the electronics in your bedrooms and get to bed well before midnight.

7. Do everything you can to reduce stress.

The above tips should help in that department!”

Thanks Gary – we appreciate the hard work that you continue to invest in today’s top performers, and the many thousands who look up to them. Thank you for spreading a positive message emphasizing the importance of natural & organic whole foods in all of our lives!

To learn more about Gary Roberts’ High Performance Training and get more healthy tips (and videos!) be sure to visit his program website by clicking here!



  1. Jacob Thompson on June 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

    thanks for this plan.

    • TheNETeam on June 22, 2015 at 10:35 am

      You’re very welcome Jacob – hopefully some of these tips help you make the most of your efforts. If you’re local, we’ll be having Gary in-store at our Vaughan location soon, sharing more on these tips and strategies. Stay tuned to our event calendar in July for details coming soon!

      -Your friends @ Nature’s

      • Rob on January 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm

        What if the games played are early in morning . How would you suggest eating night before and before early morning games?

        • TheNETeam on February 1, 2016 at 2:11 pm

          Hi Rob!

          Great question; this is a very common challenge athletes face.

          A good rule of thumb is to eat a robust dinner the evening prior, and a nourishing snack before bed. Plain, full fat greek yogurt with berries is a great option.

          In the morning, the key is to get an early start. Approximately 2 hours before your game, a hearty bowl of steel cut oats as well as some eggs – made your way – makes a great combo. Alternatively, if you’re prone to getting a late start, we recommend a nutrient packed smoothie. A cup of mangoes, half a banana, a handful of spinach, a cup of coconut water and either yogurt or some milk (or a suitable dairy free alternative – VEGA Sport Protein is a great option). This can be consumed about an hour or even 45 minutes before your start, and will provide a rich source of energy to keep you moving.

          Always remember to carry a post training shake in your gym/hockey bag, and have it as soon as you get off the ice. A simple smoothie, such as the one mentioned above, does the trick!

          Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!
          -Your friends @ Nature’s

  2. Jazz on September 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Gary,

    Nutritionists and those who follow a highly nutritious program tell us not to eat wheat but to eat whole grains.
    Is ‘wheat’ not a whole grain? Can you help clarify this for me so I can get started on my journey to better health.


    • TheNETeam on September 11, 2015 at 9:45 am

      HI Jazz!

      Thank you for asking; its true that many nutritionists advocate avoidance of wheat. However, often this is simply because wheat is typically the

    • only
    • grain people consume. Over reliance on any one food is never ideal.

      Wheat certainly can be a whole grain – ie, whole wheat. However, there are a myriad of other options, including spelt, kamut, buckwheat, quinoa, oats and beyond, We recommend branching out and trying them all, to keep variety in your daily diet!

      Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.
      -Your friends @ Nature’s

  • Titi on January 27, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Gary, you are an inspiration for all of us — not just the elite athlete. What is your best advice to help those of us that want to do better but struggle because of stress (not matter the source really) and in particular dealing with grief that gets in the way of what we know is best?

    • TheNETeam on January 29, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Hi Titi.

      Thank you for sharing these positive words.

      Although Gary may not be able to respond directly to this comment, we’d like to offer a suggestion:

      One of the helpful things that can be done for those dealing with stress or grief is to break down the challenges ahead into smaller, manageable components. For instance, rather than visualizing the ‘end goal’ – which can seem impossible when the spectre of stress or grief is hanging overhead – try instead to focus on one particular segment involved in reaching that goal. The satisfaction that comes from reaching these mini-milestones will sustain you, and provide the motivation and endurance needed to move through larger challenges.

      For example: rather than saying to yourself ‘I’m going to be in the best shape of my life by x month’, say to yourself: ‘this week, I’m going to train 3 times’.

      Remember, the goals you set for yourself have the potential to sustain you and elevate you through times of struggle. However, setting goals that are unclear, overly ambitious or unrealistic have the potential to do just the opposite. Keep them manageable, and you will reach the end goal before you know it.

      Thank you again for your comment,
      -Your friends at Nature’s

  • Stephen Wise on February 20, 2018 at 10:37 am

    As a die hard Leaf, Gary, I really appreciate the living healthy suggestions and all your hard working efforts you gave on the ice as a player. Wish we had a couple more like you on the current team. As an aging boomer that wrecked the body playing sports I find rolling yourself in the morning and before bed helps too. Keep up the great work with our budding stars and I look forward going through your site to find more help.


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