Last month, I spent some time at Division I Duke University in North Carolina learning the latest in college sports, pro sports, and military performance nutrition. Check out some behind-the-scene photos of Duke Football. You’ll notice a strength record with the name Paul Asack on it. He is an amazing athlete I used to run track with in the summer (a long time ago… proud of you Paul!). Bonus: My dietitian colleagues from all over the U.S. and I completed a sweaty strength and conditioning workout on an indoor turf Duke Football practice field (see photos included in post).
What does a dietitian do for a sport or military performance team, you ask?
The role of a dietitian for a performance team:
Questions a dietitian may ask an athlete/performance team member:
Did you know 74% of female D1 athletes did not meet the minimum recommendations for carbohydrates and 50% did not meet the minimum needs for protein in a 2013 study of 52 D1 athletes?
Dietitians can calculate your fluid needs, carbohydrate, fat and protein needs depending on your sport and your position in your sport (ex: pitchers need more calories than third basemen).
How are Traditional Sport (Athletes) similar and different to/than Tactical Athletes (Soldiers)?
There are many similarities and differences like regular access to food and fueling stations and variable access to food and sanitation. The biggest one is outcomes:
Win/Lose vs. Life/Death
Last week, the Nutrition students attending UMass Lowell kept their blood sugar steady trying tasty Zing Bars as I discussed with them the many pathways to becoming dietitian. This was my second time talking to the students at UML. Thank you for having me back Professor Keyes! These bright students will all go far! They asked GREAT questions. For example, “Should I join AmeriCorps?” The answer is YES!
If you are interested in trying Zing Bars, you can purchase Zing Bars at Wegmans and Star Markets. You can also purchase the bars at zingbars.com. Zing Bars are created by dietitians (so you know you can trust the nutrition and quality!) and they are vegan, gluten-free AND non-GMO. Bonus: They also fit amaZINGly well in small pockets!
What can a Dietitian do for you?
Dietitians aka Nutritionists provide expertise and guidance for help with weight loss, muscle gain, improved sports performance, management of health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, high cholesterol, obesity, stress and anxiety and better overall health. Nutrition & wellness counseling benefits clients of any age. Clients can get help with a special diets such as low-sodium, low-potassium, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan. Adults and children who have food allergies, intolerances, or diabetic needs can also benefit from the help of a nutritionist.
The title “Nutritionist” is not protected by law and does not require regulation, whereas the title “Dietitian” requires specialized education and clinical training. While many nutritionists may have completed formal training or have university degrees in nutrition, they are not required to do so to use that title. Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are regulated and licensed by the state in which they operate. As such, RDNs/ RD, LDNs may have higher fees than someone operating as a nutritionist. *An RD is the same as an RDN. An RD with an LDN is licensed in the state. An MS after a Dietitian’s name means they have a Master’s Degree in Science. I earned my Master’s Degree in Applied Nutrition with a specialization in Fitness from Northeastern University.
Dietitians are Beneficial in the Offices of (but not limited to):
Join me and other talented food professionals this coming Saturday September 23rd at the Let’s Talk About Food Festival in Copley Square! What will you get at the festival? Free food, free knowledge, and tons of fun for the whole family! Time: 10:15-5PM See the event on Facebook. Don’t forget to bring questions, an open mind, and an adventurous appetite!
Sustainably Caught Cajun Swordfish Skewers!
Watch us cook this recipe up on video at the 6th Annual Boston Seafood Festival HERE!
PREP TIME: 6 minutes Total Time: 12-15 minutes Servings: 6
Ingredients: 2 pounds of swordfish, cubed into equal chunks
Directions: Mix marinade ingredients together. Place fish in marinade and leave in refrigerator 30 minutes to 24 hours. Skewer and grill, 3-5 minutes per side, or cooked thoroughly. Serve warm or refrigerate to serve later.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Makes 6 servings at approximately 413 calories per serving, 39 gm protein, 26 gm fat (4.6 grams of sat fat & 1390 mgs of Omega 3 fats), 272 mg sodium, 617 mg potassium, 3 gm sugar. Also provides approximately 133% of daily needed selenium, 90% of daily needed niacin, 51% of daily needed B12, and 21% of daily needed vitamin A.