It’s time for another edition of my Rebel in the Spotlight series. This one is very special, as we get a glimpse into the life of my dear friend, pescetarian, and expert horticulturist, Todd Walton.
For those of you who don’t remember, this is my Rebel in the Spotlight series, where I ask the same 25 questions to my fellow food, nutrition, and fitness enthusiasts. I’ll be interviewing people who have completely different viewpoints and practices when it comes to healthy living, which makes it all the more interesting to get a glimpse into their perspectives. The focus of these interviews isn’t for you all to learn more about the people themselves, but to get a better appreciation of different (and sometimes contrasting) eating and workout regimens, and understanding that there is no one right answer to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about what fits best for your life and what personally motivates and inspires you.
Everyone who will be featured on this spotlight series are true rebels to me in every sense of the word. They have their own way of doing things, despite how the vast majority of the public behaves. They are taking health and happiness into their own hands. They are reaching and obtaining their goal themselves, instead of waiting around for it to reach them. A rebel is someone who rises, even in opposition or resistance. All of these people have dealt with opposition and resistance in some way, shape, or form in their diet or fitness journeys, and I believe this is definitely something worth admiring and celebrating. I hope these people serve as inspirations to you, as they have to me, and I can’t wait to share their different philosophies with you all!
Now on to the interview with Todd Walton. Todd is a Florida native but a world-renowned horticulturist who specializes in growing tropical fruit and vegetables. Todd has worked with many of world’s leaders in his field. He began his ventures working for an exotic fruit shipping company where he shipped rare fruits all over the country. Continuing on, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as a Biological Research Technician where he did research on tropical fruits and sugarcane. After that, Todd managed rare tropical fruit greenhouses, collected data, and published numerous articles on tropical fruits while working for Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. Following his dream, he has spoken at nearly every agricultural institution in his state, including: universities, local schools, community colleges, agricultural extension agencies and even places like Epcot’s Land Pavilion in Disney World.
Todd has taken his expertise abroad and takes frequent trips to consult and teach sustainable agriculture in developing countries. Between trips, he manages his growing business of specialty produce where he grows sprouts and edible flowers for restaurants in the Miami area. Currently he is promoting and conducting personal research on tropical vegetables and the importance of growing them with our constantly changing climate. Following his passion has allowed him to learn about tropical fruits and edible gardening from the ground up.
Now, on to the interview–
- How old were you when you started your health/fitness habits and what prompted it?
I started being interested in health was a child but fitness didn’t start until I was an adult.
- How would you describe your cooking style in 3 words?
Progressive, plant-based, simple
- What is your signature dish?
I don’t have a signature dish, rather, I will say that I’m good at making something out of what’s available or in season.
- Do you believe in weekly meal prepping? Why or why not?
I do believe and meal prepping for several reasons but primarily for convenience. However I only prepare 2 to 3 days’ worth of food at a time. The reason being is I believe that’s about the maximum storage time I like to keep my prepared foods for.
- If you got to cook a meal with anyone in the world, who would it be?
It would be with somebody that I don’t currently know from another culture probably from another country.
- What does your typical breakfast consist of?
My go to breakfast is one cup of rolled oats with honey and berries on the side.
- Do you weigh yourself on a regular basis? Why or why not?
I weigh myself mostly when I am exercising regularly. However, I do not stress over a few pounds, gain or lose.
- What are your 5 most frequently consumed foods?
Berries, oats, peanut butter, grain bread, sweet potato.
- What do you love most about cooking?
What I love most about cooking is knowing exactly what goes into my food and where I sourced the ingredients from.
- How much water do you drink a day and how do you stay hydrated?
In general terms I drink several bottles worth, although I try not to drink out of plastic bottles I will admit sometimes I do. If coconut water that didn’t have added sugar wasn’t so expensive and or if coconuts weren’t so hard to open I would drink coconut water every day.
- If you could eat only 1 source of protein, 1 fat, and 1 carb for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Beans, avocado, beans.
- What is one food or nutrition fact you wish everyone knew?
That your diet could play a role in the longevity and wellbeing of your life.
- What current nutrition fad do you hate the most?
Although I understand celiac disease is real people I don’t understand why people go gluten-free to try to lose weight.
- What is your favorite form of exercise and why?
My favorite form of exercise is the mix between a lunge and a crunch as it’s all called lunch, just kidding I saw that in a meme.
- What is your current fitness/body goal?
I wish I could honestly say it was just to feel good but I was raised in Miami so it’s obviously that superficial muscle look.
- How often do you pig out and eat whatever you want?
As far as quantity of food per meal I always eat as much as I want but I try to stay away from a lot of white bread and candy.
- What food is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure food is pizza.
- What motivates you to stay consistent with your diet and workouts?
Results are the biggest motivating factor for me.
- Who, in the food, nutrition, or fitness world, inspires you the most?
I’d say vegan bodybuilders inspire me the most, because of the amount of work that goes into it is overwhelming to even think about.
- Have your food habits had an influence on your friends or family? If so, how?
Well anytime anyone invites me and my girlfriend over to eat I have to mention food restrictions and it always becomes a talking point. I was try to share with others well documented research publications.
- If someone came to you wanting to start living a healthier lifestyle, what is the first thing you would tell them?
I would suggest eating more dark leafy greens and legumes before eliminating anything.
- What is your most frequently asked question about food, nutrition, or fitness?
I get asked where I get protein from and I explain the misconception in our culture that we need a lot of protein.
- If you were to write a cookbook, what would it be called?
It would be a cookbook about tropical vegetables that most people have never even heard that happen to grow well in south Florida.
- What is your overall food philosophy?
I believe the more plant based your diet is the better off your will be in preventing illness.
- How can people reach you/find your work?