GLORIA: And I mean, just like if you have symptoms, and you Google them, and then all of a sudden you have some terminal illness that you're going to die in three days. JESSE: It’s always cancer. GLORIA: Right. But then you go to the doctor and they give you some antibiotics and you basically have a cold, you know. So, it's just like nutrition where you can Google your things. And then you find recipes that say, don't eat there you don't eat gluten, don't eat this. When really, you can go to a dietitian, and I could say, hey, here are your goals, here's your own situation. Let's incorporate foods you like, let's help you reach what you want to accomplish. And it can be a lot simpler, a lot easier, and definitely a lot more effective. JESSE: Today on the show is my guest, Gloria Stoverink, and she's a registered dietitian and a former division one runner. So, she has a lot of experience being both an athlete and eating well. Welcome to the show today, Gloria. GLORIA: Thanks for having me. JESSE: How have you been? GLORIA: Pretty good. JESSE: Any tough runs out in the middle of January? GLORIA: All of them. It’s just hard getting out the door at this point. JESSE: So, you're you're still on marathon season right now or are you transitioning? GLORIA: I'm kind of into triathlons right now. So, I don't have a marathon till the fall. So, I don't spend a lot of time on the trainer actually. That's what I'm focusing on. JESSE: Okay. I was gonna say the big question is, do you go outside on the bike when it’s this cold? GLORIA: No, not a chance. JESSE: You should try. It's good for you sometime. GLORIA: Yeah. JESSE: Okay. So, clearly, we know, you know, you're into food. But I want to talk a little bit about running first. Everybody kind of comes to running from different backgrounds and for different reasons. So I was kind of curious, like, do you remember when you started running or maybe why are you started running? GLORIA: Yeah, I grew up a swimmer. So, I started swimming competitively probably about seven or eight. So, I grew up an athlete, an active kid, but I believe it was probably Middle School, they did all those like physical fitness test in PE Class-- JESSE: The presidential test. GLORIA: Yeah, yeah. And I remember everybody dreaded running the mile. And I loved it. I loved -- that was like my favorite day of the year. And so I ended up breaking a couple records at my middle school for the mile. And my eighth grade year before High School, the cross country coach sent me a letter and said, “Hey, you should come out for cross country.” Up until that point, I never even considered running. Never thought about it, I was a swimmer. I was I was only going to be a swimmer, swim in college. But I kind of took that and was like, well, I'll try it out. I kind of thought maybe I'll just try it for the team, see how it goes. And then - switch from there. So, I didn't start until freshman year in high school. JESSE: Okay, so you're swimming club as a kid? GLORIA: Yeah. JESSE: Did you continue that through high school or--? GLORIA: Yes, Yep, up until senior year. And then I ultimately decided to run in college, obviously. JESSE: So, you didn't want to like, do the Glenn thing and get offers from schools for both running and swimming? GLORIA: No. JESSE: You know you're talking about going Jorgensen? GLORIA: Yeah, yeah. JESSE: Jorgensen, I did when I was...? GLORIA: Yeah, I was pretty burnt out of swimming at that point. And so yeah, running was still fresh and new and fun so and so. JESSE: And so you're, I know, you've told me, where did you go to school? GLORIA: Southeast Missouri State. So, we're in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. JESSE: Okay, I'm with you now. I mean, you know, I ran for a college, but not a Division One program. So, I'm kind of curious about, like, you know, how is it in Division One, do you think it's, is there a lot of pressure for, you know, the program and to perform? You know, were you given kind of free rein to kind of meet your own performance goals, like, how's that kind of culture for you in that running program? GLORIA: I was thankfully, very lucky and my coach was probably very different than most division one coaches. He definitely put the emphasis on the individual over the program. So, I know a lot of division programs are pretty cutthroat and it's kind of, you know, full throttle and if you survive, you survive, if not, no problem. And he's definitely not like that. So, ours is very individualized. You know, we sat down and talked about goals together. More pressure just because we're performing on bigger stages, but never really just stemming from that division one program. I think my coach was definitely really gentle with us, compared to a lot of different programs, thankfully. JESSE: So, it's not like, there's a coach, I remember who I think it's Southwest Baptist, it was the coach there who would basically make or break runners. And he would bring them in and say, we’re doing 100 mile weeks and if you make it good, if not, you know-- GLORIA: Find another one. JESSE: Yeah, too bad, right, find somebody else. That's good to hear. You know, I hate to hear about that kind of situation where you're basically throwing kids in and just saying, well, we're going to break you or you'll make something yourself. So, I just lost my train of thought. That's okay. So, clearly, food is big for you. So I'm curious, like, what you -- Can you give us some insights into kind of what food you ate growing up? Did your parents have a big influence on you ss far as like food and nutrition is concerned? GLORIA: Yeah. I would say my mom was kind of that health nut foodie before healthy e ating was cool, you know. So she, I remember looking at my friends lunches and while they're eating pizza rolls and pop tarts, I have like whole grain bread and dried fruit as my snack. So, it was definitely-- she did that, I don't think I necessarily saw it as healthy versus not healthy. She didn't really preach that message to me. It was just, this is what we eat, this is what's on the table. My parents are both very good cooks, thankfully. So, I've always had a really good home cooked meal every day. But I think I put that connection together really early on of, okay, I am eating all these fruits and vegetables and whole grains and I'm able to work out multiple hours a day, and I don't get sick, I don't get injured. I have a lot of energy where my peers and teammates aren't eating as well and they are getting sick, they are getting tired faster. So, I think I was able to make that connection really early and obviously it translated to my profession. JESSE: Is that I mean, was that the spark, essentially, that kind of brought you to that decision, or--? GLORIA: I think so. I wish I had some glamorous story. But I think I was like a junior in high school. And my mom came home and said, “Hey, met this dietitian at work today. Maybe you should look into that. She deals with food and nutrition and healthy eating.” So, think I Googled it and was like, “Yeah, that sounds fun.” But I think it came from my background of we did always eat healthy, we did always experiment with food and cook. And so I was just interested in that really early on. JESSE: I mean, we could work on your backstory, we could, you know. I feel like ?? 7:47> working a polar bear somehow, like you went on this adventure in the Arctic and you saw like a polar bear and how it ate. I don't know we can work on it, we can figure it out, we can glamorize it. GLORIA: Perfect. JESSE: So, for anybody that doesn't know, Gloria actually writes a weekly kind of mostly blog and recipe for us. So, you can find that. I publish all her new stuff on Thursdays. Which kind of brings us to the question, and you contribute to this, I’ll call it a problem or symptom, but like, you know, recipes are all over the internet. Like, why do you think it's necessary to actually like, kind of work one on one with you? Because I mean, assuming that's the ideal situation for you that you can actually tailor some of these diet, you know, what can I get from you that I can't find on the internet? GLORIA: I think the reason to work with a dietitian is exactly because it's all over the internet. There's so much information out there. And I would generalize probably 90% of it isn't from an RD or nutrition professional. And I mean, just like if you have symptoms, and, you Google them, and then all of a sudden you have some terminal illness that you're going to die in three days. JESSE: It's always cancer. GLORIA: Right. But then you go to the doctor and they give you some antibiotics and you basically have a cold, you know. So, it's just like nutrition where you can Google your things. And then you find recipes that say, don't eat there you don't eat gluten, don't eat this. When really, you can go to a dietitian, and I could say, hey, here are your goals, here's your own situation. Let's incorporate foods you like, let's help you reach what you want to accomplish. And it can be a lot simpler, a lot easier, and definitely a lot more effective. JESSE: Speaking of the big G word would you brought up gluten, I'm kind of curious what your take is on, I mean, food fads. So, it's like it feels like, you know, a couple years ago it was everybody needs to have - in absolutely everything. And then a couple years after that it was okay, kale needs to be an absolutely everything. And then everybody has a gluten allergy, and I have a friend who actually does have celiac. It's not that it's not a real thing, but I mean, how do you like what, what's your take on that? How do you navigate kind of the world of food fads? GLORIA: It's interesting, I'm writing a recipe right now about trends. But honestly, they drove me crazy and it definitely makes being a dietitian harder than it should be. Just because like you said, we just glorify a certain food or demonized a certain individual food. That's really not necessary. I think my very first week of college, my professor said, “We don't label foods as good and bad.” And I think that's really stuck with me, through my journey of just, you know, there's a place for all foods, and we can definitely incorporate them into anyone's diet. And so all these food fads are just, it just over complicates it. And nutrition and food really doesn't need to be super complicated, it should be fun. So yeah, the food fads just drive me nuts. JESSE: So I mean, so how do you make food fun? Because I mean, I know, for us, and we fairly well, it is often a frustration trying to figure out, you know, what do I need to eat this week and, you know, how do I take out that frustration like and get to the point where food is fun? GLORIA: I think that's where dietitians come in and play a lot is just kind of giving you that food freedom of what foods are going to nourish me the best, what do I like to cook, what is accessible for me to cook, and working with you to decide on all of those points and then kind of work out a general plan. I think a lot of times once people have kind of a game plan, then it makes the stress go down a little bit and then you can kind of experiment what what you like, and know what's going to be the best to fill you. JESSE: So, that kind of makes me think about like you said having a game plan. And I feel like often because of kind of frenetic pace that most people work at, you know, it’s supposed to be nine to five, but you know, that's often not the case. For people, it's eight to six, it's seven to seven. I feel like the frenetic pace of, you know, makes it easier to say, I'm just going to grab fast food or whatever. In your opinion, is there a difference between say, like meal prep, like on Sunday, I'm going to make meals for the whole week versus absolutely fresh, I went to the store today, bought you know, fresh produce and making something absolutely fresh today, is there a significant difference there or is it just--? GLORIA: I think, you know, anything to avoid that drive through, you know, whatever works for you. Me personally, there are weeks where I will have the whole week planned out and cooked in the fridge. And then there's weeks where I barely have any groceries. So, I'm kind of pulling things out of my freezer. I think, again, it's what works for you. It's so individualized. Something, one of my biggest tips to help people with that is kind of create big batches of something, of healthy items. So, maybe on a Sunday, I'll have a huge batch of quinoa that I can, you know, I'm not eating the same thing every day. But I can incorporate that quinoa or make some dried beans or cut up a lot of vegetables. Just so when I am home, I can have something fresh, I can have something ready, but it's already chopped and ready to go or it's already half cooked and ready to incorporate. So, you still get kind of the meal prep kind of a still fresh food and eating something different. I don't like to eat the same thing every night and so that can kind of be a hiccup for a lot of people too. JESSE: So, that's just like an ingredient that you use, you prep and then you cook it a different way each night or I mean, how are you incorporate, like can you like give examples of how you would, like your batch of quinoa; like how are you incorporating that throughout the week? GLORIA: Yeah, so like I could have that be just a side dish one day. So if I cook some meat and some vegetables and then have quinoa on the side, so I already have my grain taken care of. Or that could be the basis of the meal. So sometimes my meal is like quinoa and beans and veggies in a bowl, have a sweet potato, put some quinoa on it, put some protein on it. So, it kind of can transform into a bunch of different meals and then I'm not just eating like chicken and quinoa all week. JESSE: I think I hopefully you agree but I don't know if you've ever watched any of the I'll say kind of like reality TV type lose weight shows. But you know, in past years, I've watched them and it seems like often, when they're trying to lose weight, it seems like the trainers will say, “Okay, well, you're going to eat chicken, just plain chicken.” It seems like they're almost setting them up to fail by not giving them the proper tools and knowing how to mix you know all these things together. Go to Part 2 Go to Part 3
Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 2 - Gloria Stoverink - Nutrition Isn't Complicated Part 1 of 3
And I mean, just like if you have symptoms, and you Google them, and then all of a sudden you have some terminal illness that you're going to die in three days.