Wednesday, May 13, 2015

3 Nutrition Practices I Wish Would Disappear

As a sports dietitian, I spend a good amount of time dispelling myths created by the media, movie stars or the like. Whether it is some supplement that promises toned abs and gigantic muscles or some method of eating that is SURE to result in 20 pounds of weight loss in a week, the media is never short of ways to play to the emotions of those desperate for a solution. But of all of the practices I despise, hare are a few that top the list.

1. Detoxing
By far the one of the most irritating practices that continues to be encouraged is detoxing. By detoxing, I mean using a product (shakes, pills, powders, etc.) or elixir (think lemon juice and chili powder, for example) to "clean out" the gut from months or even years of food byproduct build-up or toxins spread throughout the body. This entire practice is based on a fallacy, as digestive by-product does not build up in the gut, so there is no need to clean out anything. Plus, the body rids itself of toxins very well on its own using the liver without the need for additional help. What most of these products do is irritate the lining of the intestines, resulting in diarrhea...which makes the user feel like he/she has achieved something. Want to detox? Regularly focus on eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water to keep the body and intestines working properly - no products required. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sports dietitian, eh? So what do YOU eat?

It never fails. I'm out and about and someone finds out I'm a dietitian. What they say next is typically one of the following: "Don't look at what I'm eating!" or "I bet you never eat _____, huh?" Lucky for those individuals, the following two things are always true about me:
1. I never pay attention to what other people eat unless I'm being asked (and paid) to. I have enough clients who need my expertise that I don't go around evaluating others on my free time just "for fun". And plus, if you aren't asking for advice, unsolicited comments from a random dietitian will likely only tick you off.
2. Whatever it is you think I don't eat, chances are I do....maybe not every day or even every month, but I probably do. 

So on that note, here is an example day of eating from me - unfiltered and 100% honest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sports RD Race Report: 9-Mile Ride N Tie

This past Sunday, my husband and I competed in a very unique race called a Ride N Tie: two people, one bike - start and finish together by leap-frogging eachother over a 9-mile course. Going into the race, we were unsure of our strategy since we had never done a race like this before. In retrospect, this was one of my favorite races I have ever done. It was SUPER laid-back - no timing chips, very basic race bibs, no finisher medals or food. But, there is something beautiful in getting a bunch of people together that just love to exercise.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Cleaning the Pantry: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Although the cold temps are once again swinging through Chicago area this week, the calendar tells me it is spring. What a great time to spring clean more than just the bedrooms, living room and garage - how about the pantry too? Overwhelmed by the idea and not sure where to start? Follow these steps for a performance-supporting pantry in no time!

1. Pull everything out of the pantry
Whether you think the food is healthy or not, remove everything from the pantry and place on an easily-accessible working space such as a large countertop or kitchen table. 

2. Divide everything into groups of food
Sample groups might be: crackers, chips, cookies, other snacks, canned fruits, canned vegetables, grains (rice, pasta, etc.), cereal, etc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How-To: Training Your Stomach to Tolerate Fuel During Exercise

Many athletes that walk through my door report difficulty tolerating food or even fluids during workouts. But, fueling during exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes is hugely important to overall performance and body composition goals. So, training the stomach like athletes train muscles needs to happen. The question is, how exactly does one DO that? Well, I'm glad you asked....

1. Start with your easiest workout
By easiest, I mean the workout that is either lowest intensity or during which you seem to tolerate fuel best. It may mean a cycling workout instead of running, a lifting day instead of speed or a long swim day instead of dry land.