Gluten Free Athlete Profile-Jon Fernandes

I am very happy to have Jon as a featured Gluten Free Athlete. Jon and I were introduced by a mutual friend, JC at JCD Fitness. Jon has a great story and attitude. Introducing Jon!

Name: Jonathan Fernandes
Age: 21
Location: Edison, New Jersey.
Sports/Activites: Currently doing Strength Training & Bodybuilding. Previously Did martial arts for around 18-19 years. I started out as a toddler.


1. At the age range of 12-13 years of age, I was around 230 pounds at a height 5’4”. Yeah I was a pretty big-little kid. I have successfully over the decade lost a decent amount of body fat and gained some LBM. (Erin note: LBM=lean body mass)

The leanest I’ve ever been was May 2009. I was around 147-150 pounds at height 5’7”, around 10-12% body fat. I had done close to a month of Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss program. Lyle is awesome when it comes to body recomposition, the guy really knows his stuff.

Jon Fernandes

The picture you see above of me was at the end of that diet.

2. Helping others achieve their goals with my nerdiness. (Is that even a word?) (Erin note:If it’s not, it should be-I use it all the time!)

My story of diagnosis was the biggest event that changed my life. As of right now, I am self-diagnosed. This is due to the fact that when I was visiting doctors (and chronically very sick) they were misdiagnosing me, which is not fun. I then decided to take my health in my own hands and do my research. My motivation to figure out my problem was the one thing that kept me going. I eventually figured out my gluten sensitivity when I started working with elimination diets late 2007/early 2008. When I officially went gluten-free, I felt like a whole new person. My attitude changed. I became more positive and promised myself I was going to be someone who can help others with this condition.

Do you know your “trigger” and if so what was it?

Yes, the one thing that was a big contributor to my condition was daily chronic stress as a child. Put on top of that the right genetics and boom.

The foods I am sensitive to are gluten, dairy, legumes (including peanuts), high amounts of soy (trace amounts like lecithin and soybean oil I can tolerate,) oats, & eggs. Took me a while, but I finally got my diet straight and healthy despite the sensitivities. Embracing science does wonders.

Training plan:

The current type of training I do is a combination of strength training & bodybuilding. I do best with a 3-day split type deal. I focus mainly on compound movements with some small isolation work. I also perform stretches and pre-habilitation exercises. In regards to my strength, it is slowly going up. My main focus now is proper technique. Prevention of injury and activation of the proper muscle fibers is very important. I like to train smart.

Nutrition plan:
During the time of my 2009 fling with Lyle’s RFL, I discovered Martin Berkhan’s Intermittent Fasting website. This style of eating completely changed my perspective of nutrition. I used to be a “Bro” who ate around 6-8 meals a day for fear of my muscles falling off. I used to hate it, I felt like the kitchen was my life. Since I have lots of sensitivities, it was even more frustrating since picking up something on the go is not really an option. On top of that, I was always hungry and never satisfied with my meals. My blood sugar levels would also be all over the place.

When I first started IF (intermittent fasting), it felt awkward. I was so used to eating small meals that psychologically, I felt I was overeating and I was going to gain a ton of fat.

But I didn’t.

Over time my health actually improved. My mental focus and clarity during the fasting phase is awesome. I am always motivated to work with a positive mindset. Also, my hypoglycemia issue was resolved. IF has made me insulin sensitive and I feel great eating carbohydrates. I am also always satisfied with my meals and never think about food until it is time to eat.

I would also like to mention that my digestive system since I have started IF has greatly improved as well.

Intermittent Fasting + food avoidances + digestive enzyme/probiotics = A happy GI tract.

Favorite Pre/Post workout foods:

Pre-workout: 200 mg of Caffeine & 10 g of BCAA (branched chain amino acids). I work out fasted and feel great doing so. I highly recommend everyone reading Martin Berkhan’s article on Fasted State Training.

Post-workout: Creatine and a ton of food! Cocoa Pebbles is definitely on the menu.

Favorite Supplements:

Food, Water, & Creatine Monohydrate.

Upcoming plans/competitions/goals?

Woah, where do I start.

Well as of right now, I have recently started my own blog/website. The link is My goal for this site is to write articles improving celiac awareness and informing all about proper health, nutrition & training (even for the non-celiac).

I’ve also recently started consulting/training locally where I live. Helping those who are motivated to make a change is just simply awesome.

Regarding my physical physique, I would like to reach my genetic limit and hover around 10% body fat all year round.

I plan on getting my bachelors or masters in the fields of nutrition/anatomy & physiology/biology.

I also plan to in the future write a book regarding celiac disease & body recomposition. I really can’t wait to start it!

-Advice you have for other gluten free athletes?

My advice to my fellow celiacs & everyone else is to always be positive, no matter what. Enjoy life and have fun. Time is too short and we all need to make the best of it. Also, never stop learning. There is always something new to discover everyday. That is what makes life awesome.

I would like to thank everyone who has ever been a good influence on me. People who are leaders with good intentions & knowledge have all took a part in creating the person I am. Thank you all…you know who you are.

Also, (and I know I have said this thousands of times) I would like to give a BIG thank you to JC of JCDFitness. If it was not for him, my website would not even exists. He is a good friend and a very smart kid. Thanks brother!


Filed Under: Gluten Free Athletes


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  1. Thanks again Erin for having me on your site. =]

  2. Erin says:

    My pleasure Jon! I see great things in your future and look forward to your continued involvement in the celiac and fitness community. (In my best Adam Sandler movie “Waterboy” impression: “You can do it!”)

  3. [...] Elberson has interview me for her website [...]

  4. lol! Adam Sandler is the man. Thanks for the comment.

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