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If I get in enough workouts, that gives me energy to get through the week,’ chef Jonathan Gushue says.

Ryan Enn Hughes

Power Crunch gets expert feedback on a different workout routine every week. This week, Jonathan Gushue shares his exercise regimen.

Jonathan Gushue, 38, is the executive chef of Langdon Hall, a Relais & Châteaux hotel and spa in Cambridge, Ont. He exercises to give his body the energy to endure exhausting hours. But ignoring a mysterious, relentless pain threatens to halt his routine. And the Newfoundland-born, AAA/CAA Five Diamond award-winning chef could also stand to develop an athlete's palate.

My goal

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"To make me feel better. If I get in enough workouts, that gives me energy to get through the week."

My workout

"I get in about five runs a week. One day is 45 minutes outdoors, and the rest is on the treadmill for 25 minutes. My gym routine is very straightforward. One day is chest and arms, then another day is back and shoulders, another is legs. I'm trying to maintain muscle, so I do three sets of 10 reps and I do three exercises per body part."

My lifestyle

"I work five days a week and 12 to 14 hours are spent on my feet. I'm constantly in motion."

In terms of nutrition, "breakfast is usually Cheerios with skim milk, rye bread and natural peanut butter, but if I had a big workout the day before I'll add three boiled eggs with soy sauce. I take out some of the yolks. Why? I read Body for Life and [author]Bill Phillips told me so.

"I'm a chef, so I have atrocious eating habits. I try to eat sensibly, I try not to pick. So between noon and 2 p.m. I need something substantial. With any luck, I grill chicken and have an arugula salad with Dijon vinaigrette - because Bill told me there's no calories in mustard. …

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"Before dinner service [the hotel]always puts out salad … leftover goat cheese, pear, watermelon, arugula and dressed romaine that wasn't used. I'll grill chicken and have that with pappardelle and wilted spinach in a little olive oil with shallots and garlic.

"Every night at 6, I eat a banana and that takes me to 9:30. If we're busy, I don't notice hunger. Then, at 10:30 or midnight, I run, and after I've finished, I have a cup of cottage cheese and a handful of pecans. A while later, I have glutamine in a protein shake with water."

My motivation

"My family and my staff motivate me. Whether I like it or not, I'm a leader and I've got to be my best. At our staff meeting after service I'll pop up and say 'Okay, I'm going for a run!' - and the looks I get, I think it inspires them. They respect me for it."

My workout anthem

"Right now, it seems like all Beastie Boys Remote Control . I listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine. Audioslave is very effective at getting me excited - anything loud and proud."

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My challenges

"The joke now is getting from my office to the main kitchen upstairs. For months, as I extend my left leg, I get a sharp pain in my knee. All day I'm working with this pain - but not during my run."

The critique

Deidre Pretlove, who holds bachelor's degrees in physical education and physiotherapy and is owner of Personal Best Physiotherapy, marvels that Mr. Gushue fits in exercise. But she warns that he has to address a few concerns or he won't be able to impress anyone.

Treat the knee first

Immediately, Mr. Gushue has to get a diagnosis from a sports physiotherapist, Ms. Pretlove says. "There's no particular cause of injury and it sounds like an IT [iliotibial band]problem. Soft tissue responds very well with treatment twice a week and should be healed in six weeks."

When Mr. Gushue is at work, Ms. Pretlove recommends that he try taping his knee or wearing a supportive brace - and toss the chef clogs. "I'd rather see him in good tie-up running shoes that support the heel."

Once the injury is healed, Ms. Pretlove suggests mixing up aerobic exercises. "Swimming, bicycling, elliptical and hiking will activate different muscles." She also recommends resistance stretching with a band during his cool down, and Pilates at least once a week to increase flexibility.

Learn sports nutrition

Because it's designed for weight loss, the Body for Life diet is not effective for his training needs, Ms. Pretlove says. "Jonathan needs to learn what good carbs can do. If he needs energy for working long days, protein alone won't do that. Nancy Clark's Sport Nutrition Guidebook teaches the fundamentals with good recipes that he can cook to his taste."

Feed Recovery

Timing and ingredients are as key to excellent health as they are to a great meal, Ms. Pretlove explains. "Because Jonathan goes too long between lunch and his last meal, his blood sugar level plummets dangerously low at the time he needs energy for his job."

Ms. Pretlove advises he combine the banana with complex carbohydrates such as nut breads and peanut butter for a better late-afternoon meal. She also says Mr. Gushue could benefit from boosting calcium and eating a wider variety of protein, including fish and dairy. He can accomplish both by eating a cheese sandwich and a broccoli salad before the dinner rush.

Mr. Gushue's liquid meal after exercising stays on the menu, but Ms. Pretlove recommends adding ingredients to make it a true recovery drink. "Jonathan can make the protein shake with chocolate milk, which provides calcium and carbs, and fruit, which boosts the shake's nutritional value with vitamins, to optimize his recovery."

Special to The Globe and Mail

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