Much Ado About…Peanut Butter and Jelly?

Much Ado About…Peanut Butter and Jelly?

Professional athletes have been making headlines a lot recently, and for something other than their slam dunks.

Athletes have been changing their eating habits in an effort to improve performance. A few weeks ago, Tom Brady’s diet went viral. Last week we heard about the ban on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (and the battles that ensued!) for the Golden State Warriors. Spoiler alert: the Warriors won, and their beloved PB&Js are back. Continue Reading

For those who believe they are fat, ugly and horrible

This is an excerpt from Dear Mum, a collection of letters from Australian sporting stars, musicians, models, cooks and authors revealing what they would like to say to their mothers before it’s too late, or would have said if only they’d had the chance. I think it is worth reprinting so that all moms (and dads, for that matter) can understand how harmful their “I’m too fat” comments can be to their children.

When your mother says she’s fat

Dear Mum,
I was seven when I discovered that you were fat, ugly and horrible. Up until that point I had believed that you were beautiful – in every sense of the word. I remember flicking through old photo albums and staring at pictures of you standing on the deck of a boat. Your white strapless bathing suit looked so glamorous, just like a movie star. Whenever I had the chance I’d pull out that wondrous white bathing suit hidden in your bottom drawer and imagine a time when I’d be big enough to wear it; when I’d be like you.

Continue Reading

Once you have lost weight, how do you keep it off?

Once you have lost weight, how do you keep it off?

Although losing weight may seem like a hard job, the harder part, actually, is keeping it off – or so I am told by many successful dieters. Research indicates about half of weight lost is regained within a year, and most individuals return to their baseline weight within 3 to 5 years. Clearly, dieting is not a “quick fix.” Continue Reading

Upcoming Sports Nutrition Workshops

Is it time to give yourself the gift of education? Not just another webinar, but a live workshop, where you can meet people, network, and enjoy meaningful conversations with the leaders?

Exercise physiologist John Ivy and I are looking forward to our upcoming live sports nutrition workshops in Washington DC-area, Norfolk, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. We hope you can come and have a good time with us!

Jan 29-30, 2016 Raleigh, NC
North Caroline State Univ: Vaughan Towers (football stadium) 4700 Trinity Road, Gate C, Raleigh NC 27607
Hosted by: North Carolina State Sports Nutrition

Feb 5-6, 2016 Arlington, VA (DC-area)
Marymount University: Reinsch Auditorium, 2807 North Glebe Rd, Arlington VA 22207
Hosted by: Marymount Univ. Malek School of Health Professions

Feb 26-27, 2016 Norfolk, VA
Norfolk State University Student Activities Building Room 149, 700 Park Ave, Norfolk, VA 23504
Hosted by: Norfolk State Univ. Dept of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science

For more information:

Both John Ivy and I are committed to make sure you get from this workshop what you want. You’ll leave with practical tips you can put right into use. We welcome health professionals who need CEUs, as well as athletes themselves. This blend make the workshop special. We get great reviews!

Food and Politics … sickening!

I don’t usually write about politics, but this sickening article needs to be shared …

Leave the science alone on Dietary Guidelines of 2015
By Laura MacCleery

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. One-third suffer from
diet-related illness. We invest massively in treating cardiovascular
disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and other preventable illnesses,
while funds trickle into prevention and wellness programs. A full one-third
of our national diet even today is burgers, sandwiches, pizza, dessert,
sweet snacks and sugary beverages, according to government estimates based
on a national dietary survey. Only half of Americans exercise regularly, yet
we find time to watch an average of 5 hours of television per day.
Continue Reading

Just what do you mean when you say you are “eating clean”?

Just what do you mean when you say you are “eating clean”?

“I’ve started eating clean,” my client reported with pride. While I understood what he meant, I decided to play devil’s advocate.

“What were you eating before… filthy food from the floor?”

“Do you actually think food in wrappers is dirty?”

“Are you concerned that processed food is filled with dirt?”

Clearly, the phrase “eating clean” is a bit too trendy for me. It implies that commercially prepared foods are unfit for human consumption. Not quite true. Some commercially prepared and  processed foods are indeed healthier than others; for example, munching on baked corn chips is preferable to  eating fried cheese puffs. But processed/canned kidney beans and tuna fish, Wheaties from a box, frozen broccoli, ZING Bars in wrappers, and numerous other foods that come pre-wrapped add to our ability to consume a wide variety of highly nourishing and wholesome foods. Continue Reading

Sports Nutrition Information: Websites You Can Trust

As the winter weather sets in, you might have a little extra time on your hands. What a good opportunity to use that time to educate yourself about fueling for performance, longevity, injury prevention, and stamina.

The goal for all athletes should be to eat pro-actively, to stay in peak health. This is the opposite of eating reactively. (You know, “I just got the flu … maybe I should I start eating more oranges?”) The following websites can help you fuel your body wisely and well. Continue Reading

Traveling Athletes & Gas Station Nutrition

Traveling Athletes & Gas Station Nutrition


Are you among the many coaches, athletic trainers, and support crews—including parents, partners and siblings—who spend too much time on the road, traveling with your athletes from one sporting event to the next? If so, your food budget is likely tight, your encounters with unhealthy foods are relentless, and your hankerings for comfort foods might often overpower your nutrition knowledge. While you likely know what you should eat, you may struggle to eat well. Regardless of the obstacles, athletes who travel by car and bus need to fuel optimally to be able to perform at their best. Continue Reading

Artificial Sweeteners, Diet Soda & You: Yes or No?

Artificial Sweeteners, Diet Soda & You: Yes or No?

Is diet soda really bad for me? … Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer? … Which is healthier: to put sugar or Sweet ‘n Low in my iced tea?

Many athletes ask me many questions about diet soda and artificial sweeteners. They feel guilty about eating sugar, but they love sweet foods. If that sounds familiar, you can stop the guilt! We are born with an innate preference for sweet foods (including all-natural breast milk). All living species —apart from cats— are attracted to sweets. (Yes, my dog loves blueberries!) Hungry athletes, in particular, tend to enjoy sweet stuff a lot! While little is wrong with 100 to 200 calories of sugar a day, some athletes enjoy way too many sugar-laden foods, including soda. Continue Reading

How to manage foods that have power over you…

I know, I know. You say you are addicted to chocolate because you have an addictive personality. Maybe yes, but maybe no. Maybe you are just doing “last chance eating”? You know, “Last chance to eat chocolate so I’d better eat all of the Hershey kisses today because I am back on my diet tomorrow.”

When a food like chocolate (or cookies or donuts) has power over you, that power stems from the fact that you like the food and want to eat it more often. You should indeed eat that food more often, so that you get bored with it and it loses its power over you. The solution to managing “binge foods” is to eat the food routinely, not try to stay away from it. (Think about it: Do apples have power over you? Why not?)

When you next go home for the holidays and get confronted by your favorite dessert (Granny’s chocolate cake?), plan it into your meals and eat it INSTEAD of your meal. That is, if you have 600 calories in each meal, you could enjoy two chunks of came for breakfast, lunch, dinner … and still not “get fat.”. You also will not die from malnutrition in three days.

You will not gain weight if the portion fits within your calorie budget. You might get sick of cake, and realize that when you eat smarter, you feel better … The benefits of feeling better might overpower the urge to splurge on yet another piece of cake the next meal.

Worth an experiment? 
Eating MORE of the food that has power over you is a tactic that works. You just have to trust this experiment. That is, when you have an “I need cookies” day, simply plan cookies into your meals and have cookies for lunch INSTEAD OF real food for lunch. You might end up feeling lousy and discover that when you eat better foods, you actually feel better. You will look forward to enjoying quality food at your next meal.

Learning how to control “trouble foods” is a management issue, not a food issue. There is a possibility you just need to learn how to manage your binge foods, not deny them and ban them from your menu. For help learning that skill, make an appointment with a local sports dietitian. To find one, use the referral network at

Best wishes for finding peace with food,



Resource: the chapters on Snack Attacks and Dieting Gone Awry in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

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