I am a cook and a darn good one! I keep an all organic house and most foods are real. Granted, I admit here and there little things slip in…But, I know food. I was raised in a kitchen and my mother is a chef. I read cookbooks and food resources as if they are novels and text books; then, I write my own rules based on what I learn. Oh, and the magazines, newspapers and journals…
I have changed my ways many times based on my family’s needs. When Sydney needed to stay off all cow’s milk products, we all did and used substitutes until she was able to reintroduce it. David had to go vegan for 6 months to get his pre-diabetes and cholesterol numbers in line and so I introduced other foods into our diet. I even develop recipes. But, at the end of the day, I fuel athletes and I’m not a nutritionist, so I needed help from a pro. I didn’t know a thing about timing, amounts, food combinations, or why this should be used over that…Do you?
So, I researched on line and asked friends for recommendations. I interviewed nutritionist after nutritionist, really!!! It took going through a ton of them to find THE one that knew about triathletes AND about real food! Here were the 5 questions I asked of each one I interviewed:
1. What kind of cheese do you recommend?
Most said just use string cheese, because it is quick and easy to grab. Then, when I asked, “Why not real cheese and raw goat cheeses?” they would say they just don’t recommend it. BYE BYE
2. I like to use whole milks and nothing “low-fat”. Can you make those adjustments?
Most said no and that they just recommend low-fat.
3. Can you give me a recipe for a post-workout shake with real food?
This was a classic response – “If you use one of the organic or raw powders they are real food”. Oh really, they aren’t processed? I know I am extreme here, but don’t you think a nutritionist should know the difference between real and processed foods?
4. Alcohol – Yes or No?
If they said no, they were out! Hey, we both like our cocktails now and then…
5. Will you work with me on modifying your plans for our lifestyle?
The most classic answer I got during the interviews was – “Not really. I just make one plan for everyone to follow”. And, this was even from a woman who wrote a book!
And then came Stacy Sims. I realize I fell in love with her from our first conversation, but I didn’t make it easy for her. I have to admit I was a bit of a bitch given all the interactions I had already had. Many apologies to Stacy. After my initial conversation, David and I had a conference call for her interview, in which I was nice. I was sold and so was David.
Unfortunately, I reverted to my old ways in the next conversation and it did not go as well. I pulled an attitude. How could she know more than me about the recommendations she sent over? I was so critical of the plan. Yes, she adjusted it for us to the way I cook, but I was just upset for no good reason. After my cooling off period of 30 days, we got back on the phone and I had a long list of items to discuss. Very calmly, she answered my questions and we made adjustments based on my use of whole foods. I realized that together we made a great team and I was going to love working with Stacy.
What I learned through this process:
- I am a great cook, but I don’t know a thing about fueling a triathlete. I need, and now love, having a partner in this.
- Hiring a nutritionist can make a huge difference in a triathlete’s training.
- You can find a nutritionist who says a drink is ok.
- Having an attitude about getting help from a nutritionist is NOT worth it and actually makes no sense.
- I can fuel myself with a modified plan for my running. I could never eat as much as my triathlete – darn…
- My MagicBullet is my best friend.
I would recommend to all by cooking friends out there and even those who are classically trained chefs, to find a nutritionist who loves food and has the same outlook on food you do and become friends. You can complement each other and even learn a lot. Seriously, you can…
DOES YOUR TRIATHLETE USE A NUTRITIONIST? IF NOT, HOW DO YOU HELP MANAGE THEIR NUTRITION?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.