Intro- a dietitian trying to turn her dreams into plans.Read More
WHAT: What is Sports Nutrition?
Sports Nutrition is a balance, just like your plate should be, so should the variables in life to help you reach your goals. In this case, Sports Nutrition is a balance of research and education, as it’s foundation, knowing the demands of the sport along with medical nutrition therapy, behavior change, it’s a big indicator of execution, actual performance, and the support team that surrounds the athlete and/or individual.
In more simple terms, it is the food you fuel your body with to achieve the goal an athlete or individual sets before him or herself.
WHEN: When is Sports Nutrition executed?
ALL YEAR LONG: In & Out of Sport Season and/or training periods
- Education never stops
- The DRIVE to improve performance never stops
- YOUR competition is YOURself.
WHY: My WHY is still underdevelopment…but with the help of Simon Sinek, I’ll figure it out.
The rough draft looks something like this:
To encourage athletes (individuals) to build better habits to meet their overall goals, to make an impact on their lives through nutrition so that it propels them forward to achieve their version of greatness.
HOW: How did I become a professional in the field of Sports Nutrition?
Coming out of high school, I went to a junior college because I am the first person to go to college in my family. Very fun two years of college; however, I also learned fast that I needed to go somewhere else because I wanted to become a Dietitian. I actually spoke to a high school classmate because her sister was becoming a dietitian. She told me she went to Stephen F. Austin State University. I picked up the phone and called immediately, did everything I was told to do, and next thing you know I was moving to into the dorm. I received my undergraduate degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. From there, you actually have to apply for an internship, complete over 1000+ hours of rotations and received a verification statement before you get to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam. As my luck would prevail, I did not get in my first time sooooooo a Master’s in Kinesiology was my back up plan, which I wouldn’t trade for the world. My mentors and classmates were awesome. I mean I even convinced one of them to count footsteps on my thesis, still grateful. The mentors I had are still the smartest people I know and I still send random emails to one of them today, Dr. Faries—you are the real MVP in my graduate journey. After a year of waiting, I applied again, received an internship at Stephen F. Austin State University, completed the rotations, and couldn’t wait to see what the future held.
I always wanted to be a sports dietitian even when it really wasn’t a thing. I googled it and found an organization called Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association. Joined immediately. Then when I was finishing up my internship, the Sports Nutrition Immersion Program was on its second year of applications. Applied and landed at Texas A&M. The Journey as a Sports Dietitian started.
From the left to right: Stephen F. Austin State University, SNIP + Job 1 at Texas A&M University, Job 2 at Baylor University, Job 3 at University of Oregon.
After being a Registered Dietitian for 5 years, there is still so much to learn and my journey is still uphill.
Where ever your journey takes you, ROAM freely.
It’s a new year and decade, I still have the same dreams. To be honest, the last part of 2019 I questioned what I was doing with career because I couldn’t think of “what was next for me” or “how do I develop more when I am stretched so thin mentally, physically, & financially”. I came up with “being happy with what you have”.
Looking towards the future, I wrote 20 goals for 2020. Go big or Go home, right? Let me tell ya– I am being extremely ambitious with these goals but I wanted to push myself to see if I could think of 20. Here they are in no real order:
#1 Read a book every month AND take notes.
I have had this goal for some time but I never really take notes. This year I am going to challenge myself to keep notes to refer back to. 12 months, 12 books.
#2 Complete 1 CEU from my Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Magazines each month.
As a Registered Dietitian, we get a magazine with research articles and I hate to admit but I’ve probably “read” half of them from last year. When I say “read” I mean, look through the magazine, fold over the pages and never pick it up again. What a waste.
#3 Start a Podcast.
Athletes + Nutrition, duh.
#4 Eat More…. Vegetables.
What a Registered Dietitian has to make that a goal?! Yes, I am human! The recommendation is 5 fruits & vegetables per day. I want to make this a continuous habit. Practice what you preach.
#5 Start Investing.
Dolla Dolla bills. I just actually need to do this one. I’ve researched and researched, it’s time to commit.
#6 Pay off my Jeep Jeep.
Aye, ballin’ on a budget. A really small budget to get this paid off in 5ish years. Then I’ll officially be debt FREE.
#7 Learn more on photo shop.
Don’t @ me Shirley. I’d like to create my own graphics to help athletes reach their goals by simple reliable education.
#8 Wake Up Earlier to Journal.
Do you journal? What is your favorite? I am starting with Michelle Obama’s Becoming Journal.
#9 More Yoga, twice a week.
#10 Start a private practice
#11 Take a business coaching class
I’d like to take Rachel Hollis’ business coaching class.
#12 Teach Nutrition Work Shops
#13 Write more Nutrition articles
#14 Learn to cook a variety of foods
Again, I am a Registered Dietitian NOT a chef.
#15 Teach a Sports Nutrition Class
#16 Volunteer twice a month at the Mission
#17 Learn more areas in my profession
I am a nutrition expert–that doesn’t mean I know it all. Learning never stops. A few more topics I’d like to learn: eating disorders, hormones and their reactions to low energy intake, nutrition and its relationship with blood work, etc
#18 Be mindful and patient with myself.
I am fully aware some of these goals won’t be completed in 2020 but doesn’t mean I can’t start actively pursuing them. What are you pursuing?
#19 Send birthday cards & gifts BEFORE the date.
I am the worst at this. If it gets into my car, that’s progress. The real challenge is getting it from my car to the post office. Face palm.
#20 Practice Duolingo daily, Spanish.
My record is 112 days. Lets see if I can get to 365 days. Fingers Crossed.
Here’s to 2020 Vision, lets make the most of the time we have!
ROAM in 2020.
As a new year and new decade approach, I decided to write down my goals, like everyone else in the country, but instead of sharing those just yet– I’d like to share: I am happy with what I have.
I am happy to have…a family that supports my dreams, even if they do not get them or they cost money. My real family and those friends that have become family. Moving across Texas and then across the country isn’t easy but it is far easier when you know you can call home (daily) and get the same support.
I am happy to have…friends around me keeping me grounded. If you know me, I am the person that “keeps their circle small”. I have a small group of friends from each place I have lived and those individuals make my heart happy. I love them and support them– the best part is, they love and support me even when my Enneagram 8 comes out. Find people that will tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it and find people that will support you even when your ideas are crazy. Limit your time with those that doubt your dreams, family or not.
I am happy with my career. I chose a non-traditional career. Simply put I work everyday, limited days off, holidays, and whatever comes up–welcome to college athletics– but I can say that I am happy that I get to teach sports nutrition to some amazing athletes. I get to know them as people, I get to support their dreams, I get challenged by them daily, but to witness a Triple Crown, back to back individual NCAA championships, most tripe-doubles for an athlete male OR female (it was done by a female), final four appearances or even them taking their vitamins without me asking or coming back from being in the NBA to tell me they take their vitamins now is worth it. They all deserve fruit snacks for their efforts.
I am happy with a roof over my head, even if rent continuously goes up, food to eat and the countless small things I take for granted everyday. I usually travel somewhere to help those in need to remind myself of these things but when I look around I can see that the smallest things are what make me happy: reading a book, sleeping in, working out, drinking coffee, Christmas, birthday’s (I love mine), a good hair day, snail mail from my mom, a text from an old friend and voicemail’s from my dad.
As this year is ending, I challenge you to sit and see, what are you happy with?
PS: those that really want to just write out their goals to jump start the new year, DO IT! There’s nothing wrong with taking new year motivations to achieve new goals but remember “you can’t receive anything, if you’re hands are full.” I am a full believer in goals and never settling but I am starting to believe if we don’t appreciate what we have then how are we going to appreciate whats to come?
ROAM in 2020.
Friends of Los Niños
Every year I like to travel somewhere new: 2019 was Honduras.
I went with a group from my home town:
We all signed up because of the children. We were able to visit a village and an orphanage.
The Village is a place where the families live, very low income; however, they are proud to have a place to call home. The children run the village. They take you everywhere and play at all hours of the day. We visited the village in the mornings. We were able to see their school, play, and explore to their favorite summer spot. We walked around the village, we saw houses, we passed out candy, and first aid supplies.
If you sponsor a child at the village, you help the family and/or the child. If the child is under a certain age, you help the family with supplies. As the child grows older, the donation aids the child to go to school. Getting to see a child and sponsor meet or reunite again is always special. Again, the feeling of reward you get when you get to physically see the benefits of the sponsorship compares to nothing.
The point of going to the village: love the children, help the families.
The Orphanage is named Copprome. It is a place that raises children to be the best they can be given their situation. A woman founded the orphanage to help give back to the kids. It is a place not only do they learn responsibilities but also go to school to earn an education. We had so much fun playing games with the kids that I didn’t take as many pictures. We played volleyball EVERY. DAY. We, I, attempted to play soccer several times–had to get my street cred up. We taught some of them how to play basketball and then occasionally made up games to play.
While we were there, Copprome had its 30th anniversary Gala. The kids performed different dances and singing’s for the group. It was so much fun seeing them all dressed up in beautiful gowns and button up shirts.
Going to experience new places is always fun, it pushes me outside my comfort zone. Allows me to get to know strangers and even those I have known for years, a little bit better on a more deeper level.
I am a homebody but there is nothing that sparks my soul more than going to experience a new place, attempt to learn a new language, and to see new cultures. Oh & don’t forget the beach.
The universal language is a smile and love. ROAM freely.
Visit Friendsoflosninos.org for more information.
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