Sports Nutrition For PEAK PERFORMANCE

Sports Nutrition For PEAK PERFORMANCE

Nutrition is essential for optimal performance on and off the field, fueling the body and the mind.  An effective nutrition regime is especially important for student athletes, who are still growing and developing. However, for many student athletes, nutrition takes a backseat to workouts and performance-boosting tactics, such as specialty gear and personal training programs.

Many young athletes go into their training and competition underfueled.  Just as a good work-out and training session can help a student succeed, a solid nutrition plan is an essential element for top performance and health.

Sports Nutrition for PEAK PERFORMANCE will give you the tools to fuel your body with evidence based sports nutrition guidelines. As well as answer common questions to supplementation, electrolytes, and recovery fuel.

Gluten Sensitivity or is it Fructan Intolerance?

Gluten Sensitivity or is it Fructan Intolerance?

Many people struggle with complaints of gas and bloating and while searching for relief, decide to give gluten free foods a try.  It may help alleviate your symptoms and you feel better, less bloated, less gassy, and therefore, self diagnose yourself with a gluten sensitivity.  But, is it really the gluten that is causing the uncomfortable digestive woes?  Millions of people voluntarily avoid gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye foods like bread, cereal and pasta. Those who have celiac disease (1% of the population) MUST avoid ALL gluten due to immune damage  it causes in the small intestine, which makes them very sick.  But is it really the gluten causing all the digestive symptoms for the 12% of people reporting a gluten sensitivity?


New research from Norway suggests it’s not gluten that is causing issues for these people… it’s a FODMAP called fructan.  FODMAP is an acronym for a group of short-chained carbohydrates which are poorly digested by the human body.   FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide,Monosaccharide, And, Polyols.


Since many people can’t break down FODMAPs, these molecules remain undigested until they reach your colon. From there, the bacteria in your colon “digest” or ferment these molecules, which produces gas, and causes digestive symptoms – ouch!  Typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are now treated with the Low FODMAP diet. Symptoms of IBS include:


  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Excessive gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distention and swelling
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue


The Low FODMAP diet is also helpful for those diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and inflammatory bowel disease.


FRUCTANS are a FODMAP and  occur in large quantities in wheat, barley and rye, garlic, onions, chickpeas, raisins, watermelon

So what’s the problem with avoiding gluten?  There are gluten containing foods that you may be unnecessarily avoiding, such as sourdough spelt or wheat bread, as the cultures in sourdough breakdown the fructans.  We know that the microbiome in the intestine is very important for gut health.  We don’t want to unnecessarily elliminate foods that contribute to a healthy microbiome environment. The other issue is that most people with digestive issues don’t ever fully recover on a gluten-free diet. This is because FODMAPs (including fructans) are the likely culprit and gluten free is not always low in FODMAPs which is what’s actually required. The good news is the Low FODMAP diet is not meant to be followed forever!  There are 2 phases;

1). elimination phase and

2). challenge phase. 

You begin with eliminating High FODMAP foods for 4-6 weeks, if you notice a remarkable improvement, it’s time to challenge!  You will begin to see which FODMAPs are triggers and your tolerance level.  Yes, tolerance level!  That means you don’t need to follow a Low FODMAP diet indefinately.  Remember, alot of these foods contibute to good gut microbiome.  So, let’s not eliminate!  It’s about figuring out what YOUR triggers are, then finding your tolerance level.  You may tolerate a slice of wheat bread with your eggs in the morning, but have some awful digestive sympotoms after consuming a large pasta dish with a garlic sauce – that’s a no, no for me!

Consult with a Registered Dietitian prior to initiating a Low FODMAP diet or any elimination diet.  








Chicken Fajitas with Mango Cucumber Salsa

Chicken Fajitas with Mango Cucumber Salsa

10 Tips to Take the Fear Out of Halloween Treats this Year!

10 Tips to Take the Fear Out of Halloween Treats this Year!

10 Tips to take the Fear Out of Halloween Treats this Year!


Halloween is  the start of the holiday season and is the most candy saturated holiday of them all!   Halloween can be a scary time of year if you find yourself trapped in an eat-regret-repeat cycle.  Often this can result in a full blown binge,  feelings of guilt for even wanting it and deprivation for not allowing it.

Let’s get rid of all the food rules that ultimately lead to guilt and binging.  Allow yourself to enjoy the candy if eating mindfully and intuitively.  It’s ok to treat yourself.  In fact, leaving room in your diet for some “treats” can help you stick to healthy eating habits and hone in on your hunger and satiety cues as you won’t feel deprived.

Try these 10 Tips this Halloween Season:

1.  PERMISION – Give yourself permission to enjoy some candy, if that is what you truly want.  Permission helps to end the power struggle with food.

2.  PAUSE – Take your time to decide what and if you really want something.  Let’s not give yourself permission to tear open candy wrapper without pausing.

3.  SILENCE – Quiet those critical diet thougthts, you know the ones that tell you, “well, I already blew it by eating a piece of candy, I’ll keep eating tonight and get back on track tomorrow” or “I’m so bad, why did I eat it”.

4.  SAVOR – If you decide you want to eat it, because you really like it, then eat it that way!  Taste each bite and eat mindfully without distractions.

5.  JUST RIGHT – The fun size treats are the perfect size for a few delightful bites.  Those first few bites are always the best, so eat mindfully, and pause and think before you dive in for more.

6.  NO GUILT – We all know that guilt leads to more eating, not less.  So let go of the guilt.  But that is not permission to let go of midfull eating.

7.  NO COMPENSATION – Don’t punish yourself by overexercising to “burn of the calories”.  Exercise for the health benefits and because it makes you feel good, but don’t use it as a form of punishment.

8.  BALANCED MEALS – Continue eating balanced meals throughout the day as this will help to keep your blood sugar and appetite hormones stable and lesson cravings and protect against overeating.

9.  HONE IN ON HUNGER – Listen to your body, what is it telling you?  Are you hungry, comfortable, or too full?  Remember you don’t need to eat it all now, as you can enjoy some tomorrow.

10.  HAVE FUN!  Don’t try to trick yourself into avoiding what you want, but also taste your food and eat it like you love it!  Set some candy aside to enjoy when you really want it.

It is possible to balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment!  


Welcome to Building Better Nutrition!

Welcome to Building Better Nutrition!

Nutrition at it’s Best!

Everywhere you turn someone is providing nutrition advice. How do you know which ones you can trust?  I provide reliable, and credible nutrition!  I give my clients fresh, realistic, and science-based eating strategies to nourish your body healthfully and mindfully.  I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Board Certified Sports Dietitian, specializing in eating disorders and digestive wellness.   I enjoy running, triathlons,  nutrition, and food!  My blog will explore nutrition issues from relationships with food, body image, sports performance, digestive health, and sharing recipes.  I love to empower and guide individuals to achieve optimal health through wholesome eating and active living.  I provide a non-diet approach to nutrition while promoting intuitive eating and finding peace with food, accurate nutrition information, without creating fear or guilt.  

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