There is a saying that some of the greatest things in life are created out of frustration. How do we eliminate the frustration when there are so many unanswered questions regarding nutrition and health? When Mark Macdonald created The Venice Nutrition Program, he never imagined that it would revolutionize the entire nutrition and fitness industry. His goal was simply to provide people with a solution...
There is a saying that some of the greatest things in life are created out of frustration. How do we eliminate the frustration when there are so many unanswered questions regarding nutrition and health? How do we separate fact from fiction? When Mark Macdonald created The Venice Nutrition Program, he never imagined that it would revolutionize the entire nutrition and fitness industry. His goal was simply to provide people with a solution.
Mark grew up tall and lanky, and like most kids, ate whatever he wanted. Adept in sports, his athletic abilities soon earned him a collegiate soccer scholarship, driving him to exercise and train for hours each day. It was during this time that he noticed his Mom struggle with her weight. He saw how she attempted diet after diet, always losing weight and then gaining back what she lost and more; her constant struggle never made sense to Mark. Why couldn’t she stay lean and healthy? Why couldn’t she eat well consistently? Was she exercising enough?
Mark thought that his college education would answer these burning questions regarding nutrition. He soon realized that the educational system did not provide the answers he was looking for. He distinctly remembers speaking to one of his professors, "I was an athlete and always lean and fit. I was talking to a Registered Dietician one day and asked her how could I be considered overweight on a BMI (Body Mass Index) chart if I have never been above 10% body fat? She said the chart was not for athletes, because it does not take my lean muscle mass into account. I then asked her what I should eat and she said she didn’t know. At that moment I realized how out of touch the entire nutritional education system was. It didn’t make sense to me that there was not a philosophy or system that worked for everyone, the moms out there as well as athletes like me".
Mark’s second big lesson in nutrition came when he finished college and stopped playing soccer. Despite the lack of activity, Mark continued to eat the food he was used to; fast food, pizza and ice cream. He realized that without constant exercise, his body became a fat storing machine and before he knew it, he had gained 60 pounds of body fat in a 6 month period. Mark remembers "I just thought I was putting on muscle. I remember saying to my wife Abbi, 'Can you believe I’m 250 pounds and I still have a six pack stomach?" Abbi replied, 'I love you baby but to be honest with you, I just don’t see your abs anymore!'" It was a true awakening for Mark.
Mark began researching and experimenting with every diet in the industry. He thought he found the answer in the Ketogenic Diet, a high fat, high protein and no carbohydrate plan. Mark followed the Ketogenic Diet diligently and went from 250LBS, 24% body fat to 180 LBS, 4% body fat in a 4 month period and thus began his fitness modeling career. For 4 years Mark read every fitness magazine, every nutrition book and tried every natural supplement on the market. Mark remembers, "It was an interesting time, I kept searching for answers. I looked great and felt horrible. I lived for my cheat days and was grumpy 6 days a week (the days without carbohydrates) and happy one day a week (the day I ate carbohydrates). It was not the life I wanted or the life Abbi wanted. Then Abbi once again sparked the next phase of my research. Abbi told me she couldn’t live like this anymore; my obsession over my body, food and the control it had over me was putting a dent in our relationship and wasn’t healthy. She said things had to change. Abbi was, is and will always be my sounding board and voice of reason. She was absolutely right."
Mark began to seriously study his medical books and research endocrinology, the nervous system and the digestive system. His research gave him a true understanding of the science of blood sugar stabilization. Mark recalls, "I was at a point in my life where I could not find the solution that would let me look great and feel great. I wanted lots of energy, I wanted to be lean, and I was sick and tired of the sugar cravings. I was truly frustrated. My college education provided me with a thorough understanding of human physiology & anatomy. The gap in this education was in the area of nutrition… I was taught very little about it. Most of the information I came to know relating to this was had to do with Body Mass Index and the food pyramid, neither of which made much sense. My years of fitness modeling taught me about starvation and deprivation – this wasn’t a healthy way to stay nutritionally sound. I decided that I should go back to the basics and study how the human body regulates and stabilizes blood sugar. I took out my medical dictionary and started reading. I realized that if the answer was going to be found, it was up to me. I took the knowledge I learned in school, my years in the fitness industry and my research on blood sugar stabilization and Venice Nutrition was born."
Venice Nutrition received its name because of its location next to Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach,California, known by many as the mecca of the nutrition and fitness industry. Mark thought that he had finally discovered the answer to optimal health and well being and used his findings to create a system to teach others on how to achieve permanent results at his nutrition center. Then a defining moment occurred in his wife’s life, Abbi sustained an impact injury to her neck. The injury seemed minor at first, and slowly and surely her body began to deteriorate. Mark remembers this painful time all too well: “It seemed initially Abbi would recover in a couple of weeks. But the weeks stretched into a year and Abbi was not getting better. We saw 10 orthopedists and 3 rheumatologists. No one had an answer. She was eventually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. She had trouble walking more than 5 minutes at a time, was in pain all of the time, and couldn’t sleep well throughout the night. The pain and frustration soon took over her life. "It was the hardest thing for me to deal with; I helped people everyday and could not help my own wife."
Mark hit the books once again in attempt to discover a solution for Abbi, studying the human body in relation to sleep, psychosomatic syndrome and stress. He realized that stabilizing the blood sugar is only one part of the equation. Mark learned that sleep, nutrition, exercise, supplements, water intake, and stress all must be maintained and balanced in order to achieve optimal health. Within six months, Venice Nutrition's Health Structure was born. Abbi began implementing the Health Structure and her condition started to improve. Her comfortable days grew more frequent and her pain lessened each week. Within 6 months she was completely off medication and had her life back.
Mark vividly remembers Abbi’s recovery: "I recall the tremendous relief when I realized that Abbi could live her life to the fullest again. We had thought she might never get better. Several years later she had a pain free pregnancy with our son Hunter, and we knew at this point that her body had made a full and permanent recovery. Today, she is Chief Operations Officer for Venice Nutrition, LLC. and a driving force behind our company. We are living a life now that neither of us ever thought would be possible. I thought at that moment how amazing it would be to teach everyone we could all about how to incorporate nutrition and the Health Structure into their lives. I finally found the answers I was looking for."
To date, Mark has personally coached over 25,000 clients. The diversity of his clientele is amazing to say the least. Mark’s clients are young and old, healthy and unhealthy, athletes and beginners, male and female, etc… His dream of creating a nutrition system that could improve anyone's quality of life has truly been achieved.
Mark knew that in order to reach the vast amount of people who needed help with nutrition to improve their quality of life, he would need to create a network of nutrition centers, a certification program to train and educate new coaches, and a software system that could be used from any computer anywhere in the world. This inspired Mark to create a Licensing Package which would achieve the goal of expansion, and provide the platform for Venice Nutrition's overall mission. Venice Nutrition launched its licensing system in 2003 and now has hundreds of Venice Nutrition Locations across the country.
Also in 2003, Mark founded the IBNFC (International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaching). He and his team of two doctors and a registered dietician combined their years of professional expertise and knowledge of the human body to create the most dynamic nutrition certification process in the industry today. Now anyone can learn about nutrition, fitness and the science of blood sugar stabilization and find the answers that took Mark so many years to uncover.
In May 2006, Mark's ultimate dream came true. He worked with the VN medical and management team to create a virtual replica of his one on one coaching system. The official launch of Venice Nutrition Online was a tremendous feat. Since then, anyone in the world has the opportunity to take a complimentary health assessment online and get immediate results, choose to enroll in the system and have a complete customized Health Structure created according to their personal nutrition and fitness goals.
Venice Nutrition continues its steady growth daily with new members enrolling in every state, nutrition centers popping up nationwide, health professionals getting certified in nutrition and licensing the system as well universities inviting VN coaches to perform lecture series and corporate America enrolling in courses and programs to boost employee wellness. This tremendous growth is due to the goals and dreams of Mark Macdonald and his powerful team, and our members, who continue to spread the Venice Nutrition message of great health daily.
March 2011 will be when Mark and the Venice Nutrition Community reaches the Next Level. March 29, 2011 is the Highly Anticipated World Wide release of the Venice Nutrition Book. It is time for a New Level of Thinking in the Industry. Together, Mark and the One Million Strong Venice Nutrition Community, will Lead this Change and finally provide realistic and attainable health answers and solutions for the millions of individuals who search desperately day after day.
Creator and CEO of Venice Nutrition LLC / Chair of the IBNFC (Venice Nutrition's Medical Board)
Contact Us for Mark's Current Rates
It was pretty much love at first rep and by 17 Joanne was onstage competing in Bodybuilding. In her 20’s Joanne won the British, European and World championships. She turned professional, competed in the Ms Olympia a couple of times before retiring at the age of 30...
Joanne grew up in the North East of England, born under the glow of an industrial blast furnace... Joanne’s parents worked hard to achieve their dreams and were able to move their family into a wonderful home in a beautiful village called Hilton.
Hilton is still where Joanne calls home, her parents still live in the same house, some 35 years later and maybe its that solid family foundation that gave Joanne and her brother, Simon the stability to be able to spread their own wings, create their own destiny and dance to the beat of their own drum.
Joanne was always the athlete, while others at school played hockey and netball (England remember); Joanne was always told to get back out on the track. High jump, 100m and 200m with the occasional hurdles were her forte. Although her dislike for the high jump was pretty intense she persevered and took all her events to county level where she competed for several years.
While training at the track Joanne was encouraged to train with weights to strengthen her legs, this would be the first time Joanne entered a weight gym - when she was 14 years old.
It was pretty much love at first rep and by 17 she was onstage competing in Bodybuilding. In her 20’s Joanne won the British, European and World championships. She turned professional, competed in the Ms Olympia a couple of times before retiring at the age of 30.
When not in the gym Joanne was quite a good student going from college to University to gain her BA (honors) in Business and Finance.
With two main goals achieved, to get her degree and to get her “Pro’ card, Joanne turned her sights to travel and moved to Australia. On her return flight to England Joanne had second thoughts about going home and when the plane landed in Los Angeles for a stop over, Joanne got out and didn’t get back on... 14 years ago.
Dreams do come true and Joanne turned her great passion for training into a personal training business. Gold’s Gym in Venice became Joanne’s base (and this is where she first met Mark Macdonald, the creator of Venice Nutrition) her clientele and reputation grew; she became the go to girl for ‘conditioning’, the best advert of her skills being herself.
Now Joanne is a Certified Nutrition Coach and an Nation-Wide Inspirational Speaker. She brings all her experience and life history to every event she attends.
Certified Nutrition Coach + Award Winning Bodybuilder
Having grown up in a household with an aerobics instructor for a mom and long distance runner for a dad, Amy was born to exercise. She has always known how important it was for health but...
Having grown up in a household with an aerobics instructor for a mom and long distance runner for a dad, Amy was born to exercise. She has always known how important it was for health but did not understand the overwhelming importance of nutrition to a healthy lifestyle. Despite her penchant for exercise, Amy tried every diet in the book - the no fat diet, the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers and many others.
Always a competitive athelete, Amy kept her weight in check until college where the "freshman fifteen" came to stay. Graduating with a B.S. in Management from Georgia Tech, Amy went on to become director of operations at an IT marketing firm. As she climbed the corporate ladder and her stress level rose, so did her weight. After getting engaged and going on a near-starvation diet to ready herself for her wedding, Amy came to realize how destructive a diet like that could be. She was hungry, miserable, and because of this, she nearly drove off her fiance (now husband). After the wedding, Amy vowed never to diet again, beginning her journey to better health through education and her understanding of the human body and its relationship to food. Eventually, Amy was introduced to the Venice Nutrition system and strength training. Amy has achieved amazing results by adding variety to her workouts and implemementing a balanced lifestyle. Now, Amy is a certified nutritionist and wellness speaker for Venice Nutrition. Her goal: motivate others to end the destructive cycle of dieting and live a healthy lifestyle through balanced nutrition and exercise.
A native Atlantan, Amy is married and has two small children. Her office is at the Buckhead location of The Forum Athletic Club.
Certified Nutrition Coach
Patti has spent her life accumulating cutting edge knowledge in the fields of psychology and nutrition. She has studied a multitude of disciplines and is a Certified Nutritionist, Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, Certified Speaker and Trainer, and a Certified Personal Trainer...
Patti Driesell has the passion, knowledge and life experience to help you achieve the levels of success you desire in your life... and more! She has spent her life accumulating cutting edge knowledge in the fields of psychology and nutrition. She has studied a multitude of disciplines and is a Certified Nutritionist, Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, Certified Speaker and Trainer, and a Certified Personal Trainer.
In addition to her extensive training in nutrition and powerful behavior change techniques, she has had first hand experience working through very challenging personal issues of her own. Raised by college basketball’s legendary Coach Lefty Driesell, her life was anything but normal and calm.
To the outside world her life appeared to be successful and fulfilling. She graduated with honors from the University of Maryland, was a competitive springboard diver, and had many friends who loved her up-beat personality. While her life looked successful from the outside, inside she was tormented by bulimia and driven to find the answers and keys to healing and freedom from the uncontrollable urges to binge and purge.
Patti has discovered that all of the mental and emotional tools for creating behavior change and healing simply cannot be as effective as they are meant to be if one’s nutrition is out of balance. Paramount to creating your optimal physical and mental health is learning how, when and what to eat to ensure that your physiology is working for you and not against you.
She has learned that what works for one person may or may not work for another. Her commitment to herself and to you is to continue to learn and pass on the newest behavior change techniques so that you can more easily make the lifestyle changes you desire.
Patti found the nutritional “Silver Bullet” she sought with Venice Nutrition. The Venice Nutrition philosophy and program is grounded in the science of blood sugar stabilization. It will empower you with the knowledge, tools and support you need to take control of your health, energy and life.
Together with Patti and Venice Nutrition you will gain powerful insights into how your body and mind operate. You will have Fun taking charge of your health and learning new life skills! You will enjoy tapping into your own motivation and inspiration as you successfully turn your challenges into triumphs!
Certified Nutrition Coach, Life Coach + Personal Trainer
When she began this journey over fifteen years ago, she knew only that she wanted to be in the health care field. She lost her mother at a young age and did not fully understand what exactly what happened to her...
When she began this journey over fifteen years ago, she knew only that she wanted to be in the health care field. She lost her mother at a young age and did not fully understand what exactly what happened to her. At the time, she was too young for any technical explanation, and felt helpless and powerless to do anything to change the outcome of that crisis.
That is when she made up her mind to never again be in the dark with regard to her own health or the health of those she cared about. She ended up choosing nutrition and dietetics for two reasons: first, to gain an understanding of the general mechanisms of the human body, and specifically, the relationship of good food and good nutrition to positive health outcomes; secondly, because she has an insatiable passion for it. She knew after she finished her first nutrition course that she had found her niche. It is an ever-changing field that offers constant stimulation and opportunity for new growth and learning. She is fortunate to practice something that she truly enjoys doing everyday. Her client's victories are also her victories, and it is always a thrill for her to know that she has made a difference in their lives. As a result of the education she has received and the experience she has gained, she is now in a position to offer her skills and knowledge to those who need it. For her, being capable of filling the position of Director of Dietetics for the IBNFC (International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaching) is an honor and provides her with the opportunity to help educate thousands more people each year about nutrition and fitness.
MS, RD, LDN, CNSD, Director of Diatetics / IBNFC
At the age of 20, something tragic yet spectacular happened to Dr. Bryen Bell. As a competitive collegiate rugby athlete, Dr. Bell suffered a serious neck injury while playing in a game...
At the age of 20, something tragic yet spectacular happened to Dr. Bryen Bell. As a competitive collegiate rugby athlete, Dr. Bell suffered a serious neck injury while playing in a game. When no traditional doctors or medical procedures could help, he sought out the help of a local Chiropractor. After an exam, x-rays and a series of corrective spinal adjustments, Dr. Bell’s pain, numbness and dysfunction were removed and his health was restored again! Opening the nerve channels through corrective chiropractic adjustments and spinal alignment worked amazingly well.
Today, Dr. Bell owns and operates BAC To Health Chiropractic Group of Beverly Hills and serves as the Clinic and Wellness Director. He is the founder of BACfit, an elite ergonomic program for business and corporate professionals. Dr. Bell is dedicated to making non-drug solutions the first choice in health care. He strives to help as many families as possible live a healthier, more productive life, one spinal adjustment at a time. Dr. Bell has been established as one of the best in Beverly Hills for 7 years.
Dr. Bell is a leader in his profession and is the current President of the California Chiropractic Association, LA Metro Division. Additionally, he is the sixth-year Head Chiropractor for the Los Angeles Avengers of the AFL. He is the Team Chiropractor and Medical Director for the Angel City Derby Girls, L.A.’s premier Roller Derby Team and Ergonomic Consultant to the World Famous USC Trojan Marching Band. He has been featured on Fine Living, the Style Network and the TLC Cable Network as one of the nation's Top Health Specialists. Dr. Bells treats many other local professional and amateur athletes. He is loved by his patients not only for his professionalism, but also for his warm, caring nature.
Dr. Bell received his undergraduate degree for the University of Portland in Business Management (B.S.), and his Chiropractic Degree (D.C.) as well as a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology (B.Sc.) from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Los Angeles. He is a current EMT and, as a youth, earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout in 1989. Dr. Bell was listed in the 2005 Guide to Americas Top Chiropractors, printed by the Consumer Research Council of America. He was also recently listed in Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals, “Honors Edition,” 2007.
Dr Bell practices with his Wife Dr. Alithea Corter-Bell in the Heart of Beverly Hills. They have beautiful a one-year-old daughter named Mikayla and another little one on the way!
Dr. Bryen Bell
Director of Spinal Wellness and Rehabilitation / IBNFC
As a Personal Health Facilitator Simon believes the three most important things in life are: Family, Health and Happiness. You can’t choose your family BUT you can choose to be healthier which will lead to a happier, more balanced life....
As a Personal Health Facilitator Simon believes the three most important things in life are: Family, Health and Happiness. You can’t choose your family BUT you can choose to be healthier which will lead to a happier, more balanced life.
Born in Sydney Australia, Simon has lived in England, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Mexico, California and is now firmly planted in San Antonio, Texas.
His love for Health and Fitness started as a nationally ranked junior Track and Cross-Country Athlete. If he wasn’t running, he was thinking about it, eating or asleep. At 21, Simon became a Certified Level 1 ATFCA Endurance Coach and tried his hand at Mountain Biking – An instant passion which evolved into competing as a Nissan Xterra Off-Road Triathlon Series Athlete!
Simon graduated with a Double Major, Associate Diploma of Fitness and Recreation Leadership from the Canberra Institute of Technology. He holds AFAA, NCEP, NASM PT Certifications and is an IBNFC Nutrition Coach with over 12 years PT experience.
With his knowledge and experience, Simon believes in a “functional-holistic” approach to Health and Fitness.
Simon's interest and passion for health and fitness helps me facilitate his roles as a IBNFC Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. Simon has recently moved from California to Texas, with the state of public health these days it allows him to help more people across the nation.
Simon looks forward to speaking at your wellness event and helping you to maximize your employees' health!
Nutrition & Fitness Expert / Director of VN Health Professional Division
Valerie’s appetite for culinary knowledge has served her well in her position as Head Chef for Venice Nutrition. As an honor student at Johnson & Wales University, she received a BS in Culinary Nutrition and an AAS in Culinary Arts...
Valerie’s appetite for culinary knowledge has served her well in her position as Head Chef for Venice Nutrition. As an honor student at Johnson & Wales University, she received a BS in Culinary Nutrition and an AAS in Culinary Arts.
Val’s affection for fitness and the desire to help others led to certifications in wellness and nutrition coaching. Through education of correct nutrition and exercise, she has coached thousands of clients to succeed.
Reaching out to the public through radio proved very successful for Valerie and she secured a monthly guest spot on the popular STAR 94 serving the Atlanta area. As she educated the viewers and took call-ins, her segment became one of the most popular for the station and it was not long before Valerie was in high demand for companies interested in providing Wellness programs to their employees.
Valerie resides in the Boston area and travels around the country teaching others about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Head Chef of Venice Nutrition, Master Nutrition Coach