TJ Galiardi is the Co-Founder and our Chief Marketing Officer of TDF Sports & The Different Food Co. He was a professional athlete for more than ten years and has always has a keen interest in optimizing performance through nutrition.
He recently retired from hockey and stepped into the sports nutrition industry alongside his friend and mentor Dr. Darren Burke. These two met many years ago and have built a strong personal and business relationship. TJ and Dr. Burke worked closely together on product development and marketing, which made this move into business together a natural fit.
TJ grew up in Calgary in a busy household with three boys. Competition was a daily way of life and included battles for everything from the puck to the last cookie. Although he was never the best player on any of his youth hockey teams, TJ continually improved year after year, using his hard work and unwavering confidence.
Hockey Career and The Future
This resilience led to a scholarship at the prestigious Ivy League school, Dartmouth College. He had an impressive freshman year and was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche into the NHL. TJ made his professional debut for the Avalanche in 2008.
TJ was a versatile player for the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames & Winnipeg Jets, then spent the last few years playing in Sweden and Russia. He was always regarded as a great teammate by his peers and made sure the rink was filled with laughs. One thing TJ was well-known for was his diet. In fact, he has been notable as one of the first professional hockey players to transition to a vegan lifestyle. After learning about all of the health benefits associated with a plant-based diet, he took a leap and gave up animal products altogether. This wasn’t easy, especially in the hockey world where many things such as diet are still “old school” meat and potatoes and pre-game team meals are organized by others. However, the journey has become easier since fully committing to being vegan publicly and involving himself with environmental and cruelty-free initiatives.
TJ decided to retire from professional hockey and work full-time in his new role. He remains extremely active through yoga, pilates, tennis, and hiking. TJ lives in Halifax with his wife Paulina, their child and their two dogs.