Kaytee Boyd is a renowned and leading integrated nutritionist who helps everyone from cancer patients to world-class sports stars. She’s also a former international athlete herself. So there’s plenty of evidence she knows a lot about energy. But what really draws you to her is her own boundless energy and enthusiasm. She works hard, exercises often and laughs really loud. And when you witness it, you can’t help but envy it. Which then makes you want to know what her secret is. But to know her secret, you’re going to have to get up really, really early…
It’s 6am, on Orewa Beach, just north of Auckland – New Zealand’s biggest city. A golden sun has just snuck up over the horizon. The water is turquoise blue. The waves are coming in regular sets. And Kaytee Boyd has just begun her day the best way she knows how – by going for a surf.
The first thing you notice about Kaytee Boyd is her enthusiasm. Even in the way she chats to other surfers in the carpark as she pulls down her board from the roof-rack of her car. Or the way she runs across the sand and launches herself into the water.
And that’s the secret apparently. Her morning routine – up at dawn to either run the dog on the beach or go for a surf. It may sound simple, but it’s a religious adherence to that routine that gives her the energy that slams you in the face the moment you meet her, and then drives her through her day as an integrated nutritionist looking after everyone from cancer patients to global sporting superstars.
But people don’t just become like that overnight. It’s usually a lifetime of practise that gets them there. And so
if you had a time machine and went back to where it all started, it would be the day her father introduced her to BMX racing in the often-ignored coal-mining town of Huntly just south of Auckland.
“I remember when I was about 5 years old,” she remembers. “And my dad took me down to the BMX track for the first time and I had a go and when it was all over and we were heading home, the first thing I asked him was ‘how do I win?’, she laughs. “Nothing much has changed!”
Indeed. From there, a passion for winning drove her to the top of BMX racing in New Zealand until she was representing the country at senior level. Then came mountain-biking, for which she represented New Zealand as well. Then came Road and Track cycling too. And though it all, she kept getting picked to represent New Zealand at world level, making her perhaps the only person in the world to have ever represented her country in all four cycling disciplines.
“I’ve been to world champs, Commonwealth Games – all sorts. And to do that, to reach that level, you have to have something core in your life that keeps you grounded. And what I’ve come to realise is that exercise is that thing for me – it’s deeply ingrained in me,” she says. “And I think what I realise about myself is that if I don’t exercise, and I don’t have that morning routine, I’m irritable, I can get anxious and I’m not grounded. And I think most people can relate to that. So that’s where it all starts for me.”
“I remember when I was about 5 years old, and my dad took me down to the BMX track for the first time and I had a go and when it was all over and we were heading home, the first thing I asked him was ‘how do I win?’."
And that’s when you really start to listen to her, because the other part of the Kaytee Boyd story is the part after her international cycling career when she became a renowned integrated nutritionist – or a “fixit person” as she puts it.
“I help find out what’s wrong with people. So from metabolic diseases, to people who have mild toxicity and have had chronic fatigue for years and all the way to people with autism and cancer. So I deal with all sorts from athletes to end-stage cancer patients.”
And what that means, is that she really knows her stuff and brings a scientific approach to everything she does. Because, put simply, when a cancer patient comes to you for help, they really need it.
“And that’s the other reason why energy is really important to me, not just because I need it to be able to function personally. But also because I’m dealing with some pretty serious health conditions and some of them require a significant amount of energy – like mental energy, thinking, but also empathy too. You need a lot of concentration to listen to someone’s history and give them all you’ve got because they’re talking about problems that are affecting their lives and sometimes even threatening their lives.
“So if I haven’t exercised, and I haven’t had the motivation to get up and prepare myself for the day, I’m no use to anyone.”
And so if there’s anything at the heart of most issues, according to Boyd, it’s the topic of energy.
“Energy would be the number 1 thing we all need to consider in our lives,” she says. “Because if you don’t have energy, you won’t have motivation. And if you don’t have motivation what are you going to do?
“And for me that is not only being able to have a great surf or have a really good mountain-bike ride, or go for a run, or whether it’s gardening, our it’s sitting down and having to study for three of four hours, or have a full day at the clinic. It’s having enough energy to give those things my full attention mentally as well.
“Energy would be the number 1 thing we all need to consider in our lives. Because if you don’t have energy, you won’t have motivation. And if you don’t have motivation what are you going to do?"
Which is where the subject of MitoQ and overall mitochondrial health comes into the picture. Because Boyd is one of MitoQ’s biggest fans after seeing how a strong focus on mitochondrial health has helped her patients.
“So mitochondria are your energy producers. And they’re in pretty much every single cell in your body. So if you think about them like little batteries that are in each of your cells, and they’re pumping out energy all of the time. And MitoQ fuels those mitochondria and helps our cells pump out more energy.
“And like I said – if you have energy, you’re going to have motivation. And if you’ve got motivation, you’re going to end up with better mental health. Because you’ll have motivation to do the things you love. And that’s what we want for everybody!”
And that’s when the real secret comes out…
“Honestly, what I’m trying to say is, mitochondria should be valued as our most prized possession – like a Picasso or a precious stone.
“The more you take care of your mitochondria, the more they’re able to self-replicate and the way we do this is by exercising. And then when you add MitoQ into them, you’re putting fuel on the fire for those mitochondria to really start burning.”
And that was worth getting up for a 6am call-time on the beach for. Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is the secret to Kaytee Boyd’s boundless energy. And her really loud laugh!
“Honestly, what I’m trying to say is, mitochondria should be valued as our most prized possession – like a Picasso or a precious stone."