In today’s world, understanding our bodies and the fuel we provide them has never been more crucial. With myriad diet trends and misinformation, cutting through the clutter becomes challenging. However, when one’s body goes through a traumatic event, the realization of how nutrition plays a pivotal role comes into sharp focus.
Let’s sit down with coach Bre, and we see how a harrowing ACL tear turned into a to a deep dive into the essence of food and its effects on the human body. Through this interview, we uncover the conception of the Nutrition Series, the importance of individualized nutrition, and the power of group learning in understanding our unique relationship with food.
Q1 How did you become interested in nutrition?
It started when I tore my ACL in college. I knew that my nutrition was either going to be in support of, or detrimental to my recovery. So I eliminated most foods that cause inflammation or these huge spikes in my blood sugar; processed foods, alcohol, saturated fat etc. and incorporated foods that were dense in anti-inflammatory properties. My intention was to fuel my body in a way that best supported my recovery since my movement was limited. There are three factors that contribute to performing at the highest function; movement, nutrition, and recovery. I was just missing that nutrition piece. So I made a choice, and in the end these habits that I changed became automatic to my daily life.
Q2 Please tell me about the Nutrition Series.
The nutrition series is a 4 week educational based program tailored to support your goals and habits in a holistic and sustainable manner. Basically what we do is, we find out how our bodies respond to different types of fuel. We all know that food gives us the energy to sustain life, but all foods are not equal, especially when it comes to individual goals. On top of that, it is common to fall into diet traps because it worked for so and so. What we fail to realize is, what worked for them may not work for me, and for me to find out what works, I will have to do some digging. This series may seem like a bit of “trial and error” but it allows us to really dive deep into how our food/fuel affects our individual bodily functions.
Q3 How do you target the individual in a group setting?
Every Body is different. Using Precision Nutrition’s formula, we can individualize based on body composition, goals, current eating habits, activity and recovery. As with a CUT class, our goals may be completely different but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be together, working out. I don’t force people to share or talk, if anything I want this to be the safest space possible to be vulnerable. I totally get and empathize with the fact that each of us has a different relationship with food. But one of the best things about this series is that we really get to reap the benefits from hearing the stories of others, troubleshooting, and working together.
Q4 Relationships with food can be sensitive and personal, how does the group overcome that?
Although we work independently, and consume most of our meals with people outside of the nutrition series, there is power in groups. Applicable education is easy to quit, because if you don’t do the work the meetings are a waste of time. It is also common to feel all alone in this journey. For some of us it is the first time deeply exploring the response of food on the body. This process can bring up intense feelings, given our social, cultural, and emotional connection to food. It is better to have someone(s) there for you rather than trying to figure it out yourself. Just like with all things; it takes a village.
Q5 Who is this for?
You. Me. Everyone. Seriously though, this is for people who want to know what to eat for their goals, as well as people who want to go deeper and learn how to recognize foods that fall in line with their goals, lifestyle, etc. I can tell you who this is not for: It’s not for anyone who wants to lose 20lbs before a trip and it’s not for people looking for a nutrition hack. This is for people who want to deepen their understanding of how their lifestyle correlates to their goals. Whether you think you know a lot about food or not, this is for you.
Q6 I know what I should be doing, I just sometimes need a reminder. Is that what this is, educating people on the how food works?
It is an educational based program but it is so much more. We have been eating all our lives, but how much attention is being paid to how your mind and body are responding, both mentally and physically, to that food is the real question. And that’s only the foundation of the program. Everything about this program is geared toward improving and optimizing nutrition for each athlete. Education is only part of the program, each week we will explore different facets of nutrition. Not a day is wasted, each subject we cover will drive participants to how and why they fuel their bodies.
Q7 What am I walking away with after I complete this program?
At the end of the program, we expect that you will know how to identify, and use fuel for your mind and body to perform at the most efficient, optimal level for YOU. We are not making a diet for people to yo-yo back and forth on. Together we are going to create a personalized tool that we hope can be used for the rest of your life. Good nutrition is not rocket science, unfortunately a lot of what we should know and do is not readily available to us. So we have to put in a little work from where we are to get to where we want to be. I am here for it, and here for you.