Kindred Nutrition

Thursday, September 15, 2016

EAT TO RUN


I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the podium multiple times.  I'm not writing this to boast about myself, although as I read this I am reminding myself I'm pretty bad ass. I'm using this as a segway to talk about one of the very key pieces to my success: NUTRITION.  

I know what you're thinking, does nutrition really matter when it comes to performance or does she just think so because she is a dietitian? I'm here to tell you YES it does!              

In the next couple of weeks we are going to talk about sports nutrition, specifically half marathons and marathons - Tis the Season.'  Not only do I walk the walk, or should I say run the run but I also specialize in sports nutrition where I've worked with THOUSANDS of athletes ranging from your average man/woman, professional athletes, collegiate athletes, high school athletes and children.              
                                                                                                                                       
To get you into the right mind frame for our sports nutrition series I want you to take a look at a couple of these facts and think about them until we get into the nitty gritty.    

1) Most athletes or avid exercisers (that's you) are not eating enough. This is actually causing you to  gain weight or preventing you to lose weight.

2) Ok, so you think you are eating enough because my fitness pal told you so. Well, you may not be eating the right macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein) which will also negatively affect your metabolism.                                                                  

3) Timing is everything!  If you aren't timing your meal,s prefuel, and recovery, again you may be negatively affecting your metabolism.        

4) Hydration matters. Yes I'm like a broken record. Research shows that runners bonk quicker from dehydration than fuel.                                                                    

5) Long distance runners: you've got to find a way to train your nutrition. You shouldn't be running without eating (dependent on distance) period.    

Stay tuned in the next weeks as we kick off the nutrition side of things with those Crazy Carbohydrates. GASP!!! They aren't poisonous I promise!              


In Good Health,
 Amy

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Inightful Intern: Back to School


“Back to school”: three words most kids dread to see come mid-August.  You see the phrase plastered all over general stores and hear it in about every other commercial when you’re watching TV (typically followed by the word “sale”).  How is it possible for two and a half months to fly by so quickly?  I ask myself this same question every year.  It feels like I just began at Kindred Nutrition yesterday and here I am now packing all my things and preparing to head back to Blacksburg to take on another school year at Virginia Tech.  Although I am by no means dreading my return to school, I still feel like I didn’t have enough time at Kindred Nutrition as there’s so much more that can be learned from Amy, Dawn, and their clients.

I want to use this blog final blog post before returning to school as an opportunity to make a short reflection on my time at Kindred Nutrition, but first I would like to thank both Amy and Dawn for allowing me to be one of their interns for the summer.  I have had a wonderful time following the both of you and your clients throughout the summer and have learned so much that I think will greatly benefit me in all my future endeavors regarding dietetics and nutrition.  After my very first week of interning here at Kindred Nutrition I told one of my best friends I wanted to be just like the two of you one day and that sentiment continued to be reinforced as my time continued on and I learned more and more from you two, so thank you for this awesome chance to see how you two change people’s lives with the power of nutrition.

When I first began at Kindred Nutrition, I had just finished my first year at Virginia Tech as a Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise (HNFE) major.  I was pretty sure I wanted to become a dietician based upon my enjoyment for my nutrition courses and based on what I knew about dieticians (which really wasn’t a whole lot).  However, since interning at Kindred Nutrition I have gained a whole new appreciation for dieticians and it has solidified my wanting to eventually become a dietician.  It has been so cool to see Amy and Dawn’s client’s progress as the weeks have continued on and it is really neat to see how much Amy and Dawn’s recommendations impact these people’s lives.  It’s remarkable to be able to revel in the joy when someone’s body or body functioning has improved how they have wanted because of the counseling provided by Amy or Dawn.  Being able to see someone initially come in feeling very insecure about themselves and then eventually seeing them leave with a new found confidence about themselves and just a new overall happiness is a very fulfilling feeling.  It is this feeling that makes me want to be a dietician.  If there is one thing I can take away from my summer with Amy and Dawn, it is that nutrition is the pinnacle of good health and the understanding of nutrition can serve to better a vast multitude of chronic conditions and other illnesses many people suffer from.  Not only is nutrition so important to physical health, but also emotional health.  When people start feeling better and looking better, it truly changes their lives as they become almost a new person. I am thankful for all that I have learned from Amy and Dawn this summer and I am excited to put that new knowledge to work as I continue my education at Virginia Tech this year.

In Good Health,
Katie Wanger

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.
A food label providing grams of fat, carbs, and protein

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't qualified and more importantly aren't licensed to do so.  Does this mean it doesn't work? Absolutely not as most of the time any change provides results BUT it does mean you may need to tweak things significantly multiple times as you move through the guessing game, especially when their is no scientific assessment made prior to your "prescription".

Dietitians and dietitians only are experienced, licensed, and protected from a liability standpoint to assess current lifestyle, activity, body type, co-morbidity's, and exercise regimens and provide specific calorie goals.  Based off of a dietitian's trained assessment and potentially additional equipment such as a Resting Metabolic Rate or Body Fat machine,  they come up with recommendations for calories to maintain, gain, or lose weight. The calories are then made up specifically of % or grams of the macronutrients Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat.

So many clients come into my office nowadays with their own research. Most come in telling me they follow a 40/30/30 macro diet or that they have been prescribed macros from My Fitness Pal. The fact of the matter is that the generic diet you have been prescribed comes from a generic calculation that doesn't take your body type, exercise regimen  lifestyles, or co-morbidity's into account. Most of these clients have some success to start but reach what they fear is a "set point" fairly quickly.

This is the problem. When you work off of a generic macronutrient percentage you are learning nothing about food, fuel, or your body's reaction to food. You are simply allowing yourself more flexibility to come up to a calorie number that someone prescribed from a generic calculation. Does it really make sense to eat 1 teaspoon of butter or some jelly beans at the end of the night just to hit your ratios?

Speaking of ratios, there is so much more to the generic macro ratio.  You really need to also look at the Carbohydrate to Protein ratio which is different for weight loss, weight gain, and maintenance, It is also different for my Runners & Triathletes and my Crossfitters and Body Builders, combine any of the two and boy are we getting complicated.

My point is macros are important but is the Macro diet the end all be all? It could be if you are working with the right person but most likely it's a means to provide more attention to your food and maybe that's all you need to do.

Bottom Line: Macros aren't Miraculous. Don't buy into the nonsense, especially if it's from someone who's not qualified to provide the recommendations.

In Good Health,

Amy







Thursday, August 4, 2016

Insightful Intern - Conquering the Craving

When we look at foods and are deciding what to eat, we will often label certain foods in our minds as “good” or “bad” usually in respect to their calories, carbohydrates, fats, or sugars.  For this reason, if we were choosing a dairy product to add into our meal plan for the day, we would probably chose something like Greek yogurt over something like ice cream.  But, what if on whatever particular day you’re having a strong craving for some ice cream?  Do you go ahead and just give into your craving or do you settle for something a little less satisfying like the yogurt?  Often times, people will refuse to give into their craving and will eat the yogurt, but will also eat a number of other things in order to attempt to get the satisfaction they may have gotten from just eating the ice cream – Amy would refer to this as “eating around” the craving.  Since I have begun at Kindred Nutrition, I’ve heard many clients speak of “eating around” the craving.  In this situation, it usually would have been better to have just eaten the ice cream but maybe sticking to the serving size.  I believe this is part of the issue we have with labeling certain foods as “good” or “bad” in our minds. 

If you really think about it, your body cannot tell the difference between the nutrients in the yogurt and the nutrients in the ice cream.  What I mean is, your body cannot tell that you’re eating ice cream and that’s “bad” so it is just going to automatically store it as fat.  Either way – whether you eat the ice cream or you eat the yogurt - your body is simply going to recognize the nutrients, break them down and convert them into glucose so that they may be used for ATP and energy.
Now, I don’t want people to read this post and think it’s cool to have ice cream daily because they’ve read a nutrition blog that makes a case for giving into a craving.  However, as I mentioned in my very first blog post I do think balance is extremely important in diet.  You ate ice cream or some other high - calorie, carbohydrate, fat, or sugar food that normally you would not have given into – so what?  Maybe you walk an extra 10 minutes every night this week or take out a dairy or fat from your meal plan the next week to make up for it.  Excess weight isn’t put on after one bad meal or after one day of excess intake, it’s added up over a longer course of time and there are many methods by which you can make up for it. 

What it may ultimately come down to is re-framing your mind.  In order to survive you truly need the fats, carbohydrates, and calories which you may be avoiding.  So, say you indulge in ice cream one evening – try looking at the ice cream from a different point of view rather than just filing it under “bad”.  From that ice cream you are getting the fat you need for your fat soluble vitamins, you’re getting calcium which serves a precursor for your hormones, and you’re getting the carbohydrates that your heart needs just in order to beat, so why feel guilty?  Now in a perfect world you would just eat that small ½ cup portion size, but say you over-indulge – all you have to do is find a way to incorporate this over-indulgence into your meal and/or activity plan for the next week so there is no damage. 


Really, at the end of the day, balance is key.  However, saying balance is key and actually achieving balance are two very different things.  Balance takes time and a fair amount of brain-training.  The way I see it though, without balance any kind of health-diet is very unrealistic.  I think it is borderline impossible to say you’ll just never give into a craving or never go out with friends and enjoy some foods or drinks that may not be the most nutritionally-dense.  What kind of life is life without foods that really make you happy or you find to be delicious (despite their poor nutrition)?  This is why I feel so strongly about the re-framing of the mind and also just finding ways to incorporate poor-nutrition choices into our meal/activity plan so that we are able to live how we want to.  

In good health,
Katie Wanger 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Insightful Intern: Meet Maryellen

We've been so lucky at Kindred Nutrition this year to have two great interns. Read below to see how a student athlete views her experience so far at Kindred Nutrition. We can't wait to follow her season this year!

I’m Maryellen Hauver and I am one of the interns spending time at Kindred Nutrition this summer.
I just completed my sophomore year at Bridgewater College, studying Nutritional Science. As I got into my major at school, I began to consider what job I would like to use my degree for after school. In my classes I mostly heard about working as a Registered Dietitian. Before choosing this as my career of pursuit, I wanted to get some experience that would help me understand exactly what the job entails. Knowing that I would be home for the summer, I did some research about dietitians in the Frederick area. Through the magic of Google, I found Amy! I also discovered this blog and saw that she had taken college student interns in the past. It appeared to be the perfect opportunity, so I contacted her last fall in hopes of gaining this wonderful experience. We did an interview while I was home on Winter Break. Then this spring, I was so thrilled to find out that I would be spending my summer shadowing Amy and Dawn in the office!

Before I share my reflections and impressions of my experience so far, I will share a little about myself. I’m a student athlete at Bridgewater. I run cross country and track. Running keeps me busy year round, but I really enjoy it. I’m a middle distance runner, focusing primarily on the 800. Cross country in the fall helps me build my strength. Then during track in the winter and spring I work more on speed. My life as an athlete in college has taught me a lot about the importance of nutrition in sport performance. I have always been fascinated with food, but understanding the application of food to my daily life, activity, and health has been especially interesting.

There are so many different ways food and nutrition touches our lives. Last summer I worked at a farm where you can pick your own berries in the summer. This summer I am working at a catering company. The farm gave me insight into how our food is grown and also challenged me to think about the different ways food gets to our table. The catering company has given me insight into the many ways our food is prepared and served. It’s also made me consider how food encourages fellowship and how we use it to gather together in times of celebration.

There is just so much to food! I find it so interesting. This internship is giving me a deeper understanding of how we relate to food and how food nourishes us. It has also shown me how a Registered Dietitian can help people by sharing their knowledge about the science of food and the body. It’s been amazing to observe Amy and Dawn as they listen to clients, address problems, give advice, provide encouragement, and develop solutions.


I’ve been so inspired by all that Amy and Dawn do. It has definitely confirmed that this is the career I want to pursue!

In Good Health,

Maryellen Hauver

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Insightful Intern - Eating to Lose Weight

In order to lose weight, we often are told that energy out must be greater than energy in.   In other words, calories taken in must be less than the calories we use in all of our daily activities.  So, to lose weight we cut calories and try to increase activity.  (Granted, there is more to weight loss/maintenance than just an exchange in energy.  What if we cut too many calories or don’t eat enough?

Since I started at Kindred Nutrition, I’ve heard many of Amy’s or Dawn’s clients talk about how they’ve cut back on calories to lose weight but have hit a weight-loss plateau.  Many a time when a client discusses this occurrence, we eventually come to the conclusion that the client is not eating enough.  This probably sounds foreign but you do need to eat in order to lose weight!  If you’re not eating enough your body goes into “starvation mode.”   Then whenever you do eat your body automatically stores those calories as fat because it is worried that it is not going to get enough calories to carry out your daily activities.

In no way am I relaying that you shouldn’t cut back on calories to lose weight, however, there is a limit on how much one should be cutting back.  Something else I find to be prudent to mention since I’ve heard so much about the benefits of cutting out carbohydrates from ones diet in order to achieve weight loss is the fact that your body NEEDS carbohydrates for survival.  Speaking bluntly, if you don’t eat carbohydrates you will die.  In popular media carbohydrates are time and again depicted as the enemy and an obstacle in losing weight when in reality they are absolutely necessary to your overall health and body function.  Carbohydrates and calories are our good friends, in moderation, so that we may fuel our bodies.

If you have any question on what your needs are given your current lifestyle, Kindred Nutrition offers something called a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test.  All you need to do in order to take this test is breathe into a tube for seven to ten minutes and once completed it will tell you exactly how many calories your body actually burns while you are sedentary or at rest, from there it will calculate how many calories you should be consuming to either lose or maintain your weight.  With this extremely accurate test you will also be provided with a lot of interesting information which could really aid you in either losing or maintaining your weight.  For example, this test also lets you know how many calories you would burn doing thirty minutes of exercise at a moderate level, how many calories you burn performing daily activities, and the fewest amount of calories you could possibly be consuming per day in order to avoid the “starvation mode”.  After completing this test, you could also speak to Amy or Dawn to see what types of food and how much of each type you should be eating to best fuel you in whatever you may be doing or working towards.  The numbers you get from this machine are not set in stone either,  if you are unhappy with the results or long for a better acting metabolism, Amy or Dawn could aid you in that as well. 


My bottom line: even when trying to lose weight, you need to be providing your body with all the nutrients it needs to be given so that it can be best fueled to perform the way we want it to.   If those needs aren’t met, your body will suffer the consequences.  A weight loss journey shouldn’t mean continuing to sacrifice the health of your body; it should be just the opposite.  While cutting back on what you are consuming just keep in mind you still need to be meeting your body’s needs. 

In Good Health,

Katie Wanger

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nutrition Tips: How To Get The Most Out of Your Nutrition Visit

What a tricky relationship it can be with your dietitian, especially if you aren't 100% committed or if you don't really like him/her. Do you ever feel like you dread your appointments or that you don't think it's worth your time? If so you may just not be a great fit  OR you may just not be ready to change.  I tell my interns I can usually tell within the first 10 minutes of a meeting how successful someone will be. Sometimes I am surprised but usually I am spot on. I thought this would be a helpful guide for anyone who is thinking about going to a dietitian, has gone to a dietitian and had a "bad" experience, or is currently seeing a dietitian and not getting the results they want.

Tip #1 - Research, research, research.  Check out their website, check out their Facebook page. Do they have Instagram? Most importantly ask around. Has anyone you known worked with this dietitian and if so what was their experience like? How does the dietitian work? Will they allow you to call them and talk about their approach? Don't be afraid to research. You are hiring them. They work for you.

Tip #2 - Ensure you are really ready to make a change.  A dietitian, if a good fit, is going to assess your current lifestyle, current eating and activity habits, and basic medical history. Based off of the information you provide he or she will make recommendations to reach your goals. You must have an open mind to try what's recommended.  Remember a dietitian, not a nutritionist, has the extra training necessary to assess all of above and really structure the correct plan.

Tip #3 - Comply with recommendations. I tell all my clients that I wish I had a crystal ball that could assess how perfect my recommendations will be but it doesn't exist.  Remember you or your insurance are hiring this person to help you get to your goals. If you don't comply and come back with actual feedback it is very difficult to implement the right changes that need to occur to help you make the recommendations feasible.

Tip #4 - Follow up often.  In my 17 years of experience, I can tell you without a doubt that almost every client loses motivation about 10 days after a visit if they cannot assess the results. Think of your work as in investment. The more you follow up and adapt to the behavior and lifestyle changes the more successful you will be. This investment, although potentially expensive, will save you significant money in the future. Think of all the money you will have to spend on medications, specialists, and more if you don't reach your goals.

Tip #5 - Be honest.  I am only as good as the information I receive from my clients. Of course, I have many years of experience that help me ask the right questions, but if my clients aren't honest with me it will delay progress. It is not any dietitian's job to judge. We are working for you to help you reach your goals. We need to make plans feasible, appropriate, and help with accountability. If a recommendation doesn't fit don't be afraid to communicate that.

One of the most important things to remember with your health is that your providers action should be to get you to your goals and help you sustain them. Focusing on the above will allow a positive relationship that leads to success.

In Good Health,

Amy

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