That was the title of a video that changed my life forever. It was 2016 – I was in my 3rd year at the University of Windsor, living with all girls, on academic probation, and depressed trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life because this Finance degree was not it. At the time I was stealing groceries, driving 1 – 2 hours to earn some extra cash, and turning myself into an introvert. Mentally, physically, and emotionally I was broken. I don’t ever recall a time being down on myself like that before 2016, I had no clue what anxiety or depression was, I was ignorant to it. Before university, I was an athlete, I played sports all my life, Basketball being the focus during high school. When I got into the only university that accepted me, I stopped playing basketball. I could have played basketball in College but my ego told me:
“If you go to college you’ll look like an idiot around your university friends”
So I declined all my college offers and went to University. I was lost! What were my interests? What were my passions? I had no clue, I was just doing shit my parents, siblings or friends recommended. I never really had to sit down and think about these decisions. Ball was life.
I was in LIMBO.
Through this chaos I had an area that I could go to for my therapeutic outlet; it gave me structure, and it gave me a safe space. It was the gym. I began learning about the body, nutrition, how the brain worked, what foods affected what, supplementation and a whole world of science. I remember telling my friend Nana “I picked the wrong major, I should have been in Kinesiology” . That’s how much of a passion I developed for health and fitness.
People would always come up to me asking how to lose weight, how to gain weight, how to train, what to train, what to eat…
I just began training people for free and in that process I began to learn more and more about my body and others. Fast forward to May 2018, I graduated with honors, attended my graduation and launched my online health and fitness business the next month. The first thing I did was hire mentors and coaches to teach me how to run an online business. I think everyone should have a coach for an area that they find important in their life. If there is a coach that has what you want and knows things you don’t, you should hire them, A skilled coach’s value is unmatched. In my first 4 months in business and building my personal brand I had 0 clients and spent thousands of dollars on coaching, but I never gave up. I remember paying for my own flight to Florida to attend a 2 day mastermind group with my mentors and mentees. My advice, if you have a goal, get a coach, follow what they say and know you will be successful. Within 10 months of gaining clients and working two other jobs I accumulated enough money to take a trip of a lifetime.
I bought a 1 way ticket to Bali.
My mentors kept on telling me about the spiritual, business and healing aspects of Bali. I had no clue what Bali was or where it was on the map. I remember I made a post on IG saying “All life is suffering” and she challenged me on that Buddhist philosophy, we sat down in a Starbucks shop and we both spoke about how the subject of Bali has been coming up. That conversation sparked up a plan to go to Bali. My friend and I bought a 1 way ticket, on a 2 month visa. Those 2 months ended up being 5 months. I didn’t really have a plan, I had the intention to meet amazing people and improve my business. What I experienced was that and much more.
The night before I went for Bali my car died on the road, I had to get it towed, it’s as if the universe was telling me don’t go or go and leave everything behind.
I’m still not sure. I remember coming out of the plane after a 17hr trip, stepping out into the country, smelling the air and I felt at peace. No worries, no anxiety, just peace. At that point I knew this was meant to be. A quick note: What you see in books, hear from people, and see on social media is not the same as what you experience. People always “ X place looks amazing” but you never truly know until you go and experience for yourself. My experience and another person’s experience will be completely different. Always experience for yourself to make it really for you. Theory vs experience, experience always wins. I learned more about my spirituality then I did business. I learned more about myself than I did people. I learned more about my physical, mental, and emotional health as well. I went into Bali in probably one of the best shapes I’ve ever been in, and then one night that all changed. I was doing working on a laptop sitting at a restaurant in Ubud by myself. I ordered one bowl of curry and it was so good I had to order a second one. Worst decision ever. That one decision led me to being bed ridden for 3 days and weak for another 2 weeks. I can honestly say in 2020 I’m still affected by what took place. What made it worse is that the friend I was with also got sick with something called ‘Dengue Fever’ a deadly fever that you get from being bitten by mosquitoes. This all happened right after the raptors won the championship.
One of my biggest fears going to Bali was not getting sick, but seeing the Raptors win a championship and I’m not there. Well you know how that went. But here I was sick, on the toilet, then eventually on the ground curled over holding my stomach in pain for awhile. I was so sick I couldn’t even tend to my friend with Dengue fever I was out of it. Walking 10m was exhausting, I had to take a break. I lost 15lb. I couldn’t eat red meat, I’d feel terrible. I couldn’t eat gluten, I’d always get some type of skin rash. The only things that I could really eat at the time was vegan food, some fish and some chicken. My entire gut was shot, no one knows this but for the last 2 months of that stay I was filled with anxiety and poor gut health. Which Is why now I am so huge on gut health and protecting your insides. My advice, listen to your body. If you feel uneasy after eating a particular meal, your body is speaking to you, just listen. I began studying more about gut health, digestion, mind gut connection and different superfoods to heal your gut. I haven’t officially diagnosed it but I am sure I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It was a major shift from me and it completely changed the way I approached nutrition. I could talk about my life, spiritual and other learning lessons but I thought I’d keep this article strictly about health. But this wasn’t my first scare…
I was backed up for over 1 week.
Yes, gross… I know. It was the first and only guys trip overseas that I went on, which I had to plan by the way because if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done. We were in the Dominican and we were drinking, eating, smoking and for 1 entire week I couldn’t get a bowel movement. I tried drinking Tea, Coffee, fruits… nothing. Something wasn’t right, this was the end of 2016. It took me until 2018 to set the intention of “this year I am going to have the best gut health ever” And that’s when the KVP SYSTEM was born.
The KVP SYSTEM.
It was a trial and error system. I did Keto, it worked but I couldn’t seem to stay on it forever. I tried Intermittent fasting, but then I noticed all I did was think until my eating window opened. I tried a vegan / vegetarian diet, but my body felt weak. I weighed my food, but that became a chore. Mind you I got results on all of them, but they wouldn’t stick. I knew though that a high carb diet made me feel like shit and made me a lot slower. I was trying to figure out a way to improve my energy levels, feel light and still be strong in the gym. I remember first experimenting with my breakfast and I noticed oatmeal made my bloated and sluggish but eggs, bacon, vegetables and fruit made me feel light and energized. That’s how the K, which stands for Keto Breakfast, came about. Then came lunch, it was nearly impossible to avoid carbs at lunch so I decided what if I just got the vegetarian or vegan option. I satisfied my carb craving and I didn’t have the 3pm itis from eating the mix meat and carbs. That’s how the V, which stands for Vegetarian or Vegan Lunches, came about. Finally for dinner, I noticed if I would have carbs at night I would crave it in the morning and I also realized I don’t necessarily need the energy from the carbs in the night time, but I did miss the animal protein that I never got from lunch. So I cut out the starchy carbs and added in my favorite proteins. That’s how the P, which stands for Protein & Produce dinner came from. It started with trial and error and then I did the research to figure out what was going on, to sum it up I was controlling my blood sugar levels throughout the day which led my body to go into a fat burning mode state. This discovery led to me spreading the system and teaching it to my clients and groups, this has led to some great results for more than 50 people! Now I do not eat like that now, although I still follow the keto breakfast, It’s intention was to reset me. It’s to resensitize you to insulin and carbs, a lot of people have no clue they are over eating carbs until they go on the system for 4 – 6 weeks and then realize how much they were truly over eating. Carbs are not the problem, it’s the over eating of them that are. And so now I have a 6 week KVP System program for anyone looking to do a reset. I created a star system around it as well to make it much easier to follow, the goal is to make every meal a 5 star meal. For example:
Refined carbs like pasta may carry a half a star, whereas lean protein like turkey may carry a 2 star. This program is FREE by the way. All you have to do is go on @Iamranique on IG and click the link in my bio to download my FREE App, it’ll be in the programs section.
I’d like to end this piece by saying in the black community and probably in many others, but I can only speak for my community, health deemed as a luxury instead of a necessity and that bothers me. I hate hearing:
“Yeah I’m not really into the whole health thing” or “My mom is into the health thing” What do you mean “health thing”? It’s not a trend, or a style like what the hell?
This should be a top 3 priority for everyone in my opinion. So moving forward any business or initiative I involve myself with will be tied into Health, spirituality and mindset/mental health. Which is how I got involved in opening up Likkle Juice. Likkle Juice was started in August 2020 with my friend Rachel and I. She made juices to help improve her fathers health, he doesn’t like fruits and vegetables so juicing was the next best solution. Rachel would always bring me the extra juices and the product was amazing. I told her I would sell these for here and through my network, people loved the product as well and so we decided to take it seriously. Our official launch is April 2021, follow us on twitter, Instagram and Facebook @likklejuice It’s November 2020 now and we have accumulated over 100 customers organically and sold over 1000 bottles. My health journey has opened up so many opportunities like Likkle Juice. it’s unlocked parts of my awareness that I never knew was there and it’s changed me for the better. I get so excited to talk about how it’s changed me for the better and I hope to pass this generational health to my kids so it’s now a Norm and not a luxury. I hope the next generation of kids can normalize taking care of their physical, emotional and spiritual health. A lot of people talk about generational wealth and not enough about generational wealth. Both combined creates an amazing community. Your health is much more important than a flat stomach, a nice ass or nice arms. Those are nice, but it’s bigger than that. My name is Ranique McFarlane, I’ve decided to play this game of life with the intention of bettering myself everyday so a kid out there can look at me and say “he looks like me, I want to be like him or better.” It’s bigger than health and fitness for me, this is just a tool for me to help unlock people’s minds. Follow me on IG @iamranique for workout circuits, mindfulness tips, and hacks to make your fitness journey much easier.