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:
- Dietitian provides resources to coaches (education, support, recommendations)
- Collaborate on protocols and strategies used
- Collects and consolidates data, stays current on research
- Body composition, performance supplements, vitamin supplementation
- Members of performance team: athletic trainer, sports medicine physician, sport dietitian, strength & conditioning coach, sport psychologist, clinical psychologist, sport scientist
Questions a dietitian may ask an athlete/performance team member:
- Tell me about your current eating habits.
- How many times do you eat per day?
- How many times do you eat outside of your home?
- Do you avoid any foods?
- Do you take supplements?
- Do you know which supplements are banned by the NCAA?
- How much water do you drink before, during, and after a workout?
- How easy/difficult is it for you to maintain your weight?
- What are your weight goals?
- How important is this to you?
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?
- Lose weight
- Find peace with food
- Increase energy
- Decrease body fat
- Decrease stress & anxiety
- Improve performance
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):
- Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapists
- Personal Trainers
- Fitness Centers
- Athletic Directors
- Athletic Trainers
- Massage Therapists
- Food or Fitness Expos
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
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
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.
Inflammation is meant to be a positive aspect of our body’s natural way of protecting itself. If something is wrong, for instance, when you fall and scrape your knee, inflammation shows up at the site of the injury, which causes pain and/or swelling, and that gets your attention. This is an example of a normal inflammatory response. Inflammation is not normal when you have it consistently and you are in constant pain, have irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue or if your doctor tells you your blood shows that you have high inflammation in your body via your C- Reactive Protein lab value (CRP). More info on why your doctor may want to test your CRP to screen for heart disease here.
What you should eat to help decrease inflammation:
- Fruits and vegetables: Most fruits brightly colored vegetables contain high levels of natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.
- Nuts and seeds: Studies have also associated nuts and seeds with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Fish and healthy oils: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, oysters, mussels, halibut, catfish and tuna help decrease inflammation.
- Whole grains: These grains contain all three parts of grain—germ, endosperm, and bran. Not all whole grains are high in fiber, but they are all good at reducing inflammation because they also contain other inflammation-fighting substances—vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try: amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and millet (all gluten-free grains).
- Beverages: The polyphenols in coffee and the flavonols in cocoa are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is rich in both polyphenols and antioxidants.
- Spices: Turmeric with black pepper (black pepper has been shown to enhance the absorption of hydrophobic turmeric).
What you should avoid (inflammatory foods):
- Beverages: Sodas, alcohol, energy drinks, and refined carbohydrates (sugar-sweetened beverages).
- Meat: Red meat and processed meats (sausage, bacon, roast beef, ham).
- Processed foods: For example: emulsifiers added to products like ice cream may have independent effects on inflammation. Read more about emulsifiers and gut microbiome disruption here.
- Foods with refined grains: White bread, white rice, white pasta, white flour. These foods spike blood sugar, which can cause inflammation.
- Foods with added sugar: Juices, soda, cake, candy, cookies, jarred sauces, salad dressings. These foods also raise blood sugar, which can cause inflammation.
- Foods with trans fats: Most stick margarine, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, deep-fried fast foods, and most commercial baked goods.
- Foods with saturated fats: Whole milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, red meat, and coconut products. These fats also raise cholesterol and increase inflammation in your body. Limit these to no more than 7% of your daily calories.
For Anti-Inflammatory Recipes: Click here
For Anti-Inflammaroty Recipe Videos: Click here
Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/fighting-inflammation-at-the-meal-table Published January 2017.
It is important to me to make my own meals as often as possible and share them with loved ones. It makes a difference knowing where each ingredient comes from and home-made food always tastes better than store-bought food. On a trip to Italy this summer, I learned how to make gluten-free Pasta Pomodoro from scratch along with Risotto (the Italian word for waves) and Tiramisu. I was taught by a professional Italian Chef, Christina, who teaches in a beautiful kitchen overseen by a company called Veronality, which I found on Viator.com, a wonderful travel website that helps you find good deals on tours and classes anywhere in the world.