Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 2 - Gloria Stoverink - Nutrition Isn't Complicated Part 2 of 3

Do you do you have, I'll say, maybe a go to toolbox, like these are the, you know, five or 10 staple ingredients, you know how to mix together and make five or 10 different things? Or is it you know, a constant rotation of seasonal items? 

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JESSE: Do you do you have, I'll say, maybe a go to toolbox, like these are the, you know, five or 10 staple ingredients, you know how to mix together and make five or 10 different things? Or is it you know, a constant rotation of seasonal items? GLORIA: I would say, it's a mixture of both. I definitely have seasonal items like I have a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter right now. So, I like to utilize the winter vegetables and then in the summer, eat a lot of the fresh fruits. But yeah, I guess I try to do a big mix but I always have, I pretty much have a lot of staples. I do a lot of sweet potatoes, a lot of like brown rice or quinoa. I always have broccoli, always have cauliflower. So, I do have definitely like staples but it makes it fun when you can mix it up with whatever seasonal too. JESSE: Any like go to spices I know, we are huge on like garlic or garlic salt, depending on what it is. And that's like it's there's no other spice. It's like, okay, we can try that on it. Do you have any flavors you’re particular to? GLORIA: I use a lot of cumin. My dad used to travel to Kuwait when I was younger, so we always have cumin flavored things. So, that's something that I use a lot. Honestly, I'm partial to just salt and pepper, especially in a lot of veggies. I like to roast and just put salt and pepper on it and I think that tastes really good. So, nothing too fancy over here. JESSE: Just kind of letting the food speak for itself? GLORIA: Yeah, yeah. JESSE: So, I mean, being a dietitian, you're very clearly aware that there is a large obesity problem in this country, no pun intended there. Do you feel like, is there any kind of silver bullet or single culprit that you think we could point to and say, you know, this is the largest source of the problem? GLORIA: I would say I mean, it really is multifaceted of, we're eating too much and we're not moving enough. I think that's the huge part of what it comes down to. Would I say that there's a specific food or specific restaurant or anything? No, I really think it just comes down to learning to cook at home, eating more at home, exercising more, finding enjoyment in exercise so it's not such a chore. And same with food, finding enjoyment in cooking and preparing meals. So it's not, again, like a chore, which a lot of people view it as. And then it makes it easy to sit at home and order in and then kind of starts the epidemic. JESSE: So what do you do, if you decline come to you and just say, “Well, Gloria, I just don't have time” like, you know, how do you get around that? GLORIA: I think you kind of have to make it a priority. You know, everybody has time, you just have to make time for it. But, you know, like we were talking about earlier with, some people have to meal prep. And they have to do that. And they have two hours on a Sunday. And so we're going to cram as much cooking as we can. Where other people say, okay, I have time in the morning, I can throw something in a crock pot, and it's ready. So, really just kind of tailoring it to the individual of let's find some time and then work that in there. When can I exercise and find the time there, even if it's 10-20 minutes, you know. JESSE: Fair enough. GLORIA: Yeah. JESSE: So, that kind of makes me curious, I mean, you know, like we said, there's all these kinds of food fads. And it's one things hot one minute and other things, the next super food and there's always an next silver bullet, which I think is kind of a plague in mentality that people think there's one thing that's going to, you know, solve all their problems. So, how do you personally decide like what kind of foods people should be eating like a particular person should be eating? GLORIA: So many options. I mean, just anything from as basic as age and gender to family history, food preferences, whether they're an athlete or non-athlete, how much they're exercising, just kind of looking at their lifestyle as a whole, as well as their goals. So, do they want to lose weight, do they want to gain weight, kind of taking all that in at once to see what really needs to be included in their diet. JESSE: Are there any like client examples, you could walk us through? Like specifically you remember, this person was wanting something and that's how you set it up? Like, could you walk us through that? GLORIA: Yeah. So, I worked with someone that so just a typical, like busy mom, busy professional and she just wanted to lose a little bit of weight. And she had time, but she didn't really like to cook, it was kind of one of those where I don't really know what to cook, just feeling overwhelmed. So we work together, her kind of was on meal prep, that was what she was really interested in. So, kind of coming together on okay, let's not eat kale just because it's good for you. Let's find a vegetable that you like, which is something that I really see a lot of is, again, they see these food trends, and they say, “Oh, I have to be eating this because that's the only thing that's healthy.” Where “Hey, healthy can taste good. You just have to find out what tastes good to you.” So, for her, yeah, it was it was mostly finding recipes, finding things that will work for her and her whole family. So, she's not, you know, short order cook, making things for herself and then for the rest of her family. So, that's honestly a pretty common example of people that just, it comes down to what to make, when to make it, how to make it... So, I like the food side of things, the recipes and things. JESSE: Yeah. Okay, so let's pretend that all I eat is pizza, hot dogs, corn dogs, and hamburgers. How do you get me from there to, you know, a better diet, and don't forget that I absolutely cannot stand the taste of any vegetable? GLORIA: That sounds like a lot of high school cross country runners that I work with. It's just really baby steps and also, I know for them specifically, I have one boy who's a very good runner, and only eats you know exactly what you said, he eats Pop Tarts and pizza and all of that and so-- JESSE: Chicken nuggets. GLORIA: Yes, mac and cheese. So, for him, it's kind of like all right, let's remind you of your goals, you want to be this, you know, elite runner, you want to run in college and so to do that, we're going to have to eat well and you know, fuel our bodies to our best potential. And so I think reminding him of his why makes it a little bit more tolerable to put in some fruits and vegetables and real entrees every once in a while. So, just baby steps, though. I couldn't go in and say all right, we're eating salad three times a day because he's not going to do that and it's not going to go over well. So, just little baby steps of let's put one vegetable at a meal or let's try a grilled chicken instead of fried chicken. So, it’s just easing into it for sure. JESSE: So, this is something I've noticed, personally, because I was basically that runner at that point time and not now, but I know. So, I'm going to ask you for I guess for some validation that I'm not crazy. I've noticed that kind of with those baby steps and trying something new, if I don't like something right away, maybe I had something I'm like, it's okay, like I could take it or leave it. Later on, maybe I'm like almost craving wherever that was. Do you do you see that with anybody else or am I just off the wall? GLORIA: No, definitely. And our taste buds change so even if, like I used to hate mushrooms, and now I eat them almost every day, I love them. So, your taste buds change. I mean, even like with babies, we always say that you want to try it out 10-15 times before you can kind of write it off as they don't like it. So, same with us is just keep trying it, try it in different ways. So, I have a hard time when people say I don't like vegetables. I'm like, “Well, have you had it prepared different ways? Have you had them seasoned different ways, tried different ones?” So yeah, just trying different ways, but it does change. Your taste buds definitely do change. JESSE: So how do you get over like the mental blocks, like I know, personally broccoli makes me want to vomit. And I mean that in a physical response kind of way. Like I put it in my mouth, and I literally gag. So, if you were kind of trying to convince me to broccoli, you're going to be running as a stone wall. So, like how do you get past that mentality with people to say, you know, I want to be state champion or whatever it is that you know, they want to do; they want to lose weight or whatever their goal is. How do you get past that kind of like stone wall mentality, I won't try that? GLORIA: It's hard, you won't try it. So, like for you if you said I am going to throw up if I eat broccoli, I would not make you eat broccoli. It's good for you, but it's not that good. You know, there's so many other options. But for someone that's just adamant, it's kind of -- it's almost goes into psychology part. Even in my degree, I had to take psychology classes because food is just -- it's a lot deeper than just food for a lot of people. And so kind of working into the why are you so adamantly not eating this and kind of finding out what that roadblock is really, because it's probably not about vegetables. And if it is, then we need to find different vegetables. You know, I'm not going to make you eat broccoli. JESSE: Yeah, yeah. I keep losing my train of thought. Doing well today. So, I guess one thing I'm curious about is, I know, I don't know if you've read Joe Friel’s Triathlon Training Bible, but in there and I'm sure in Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight as well, it's probably in there. So specific books, endurance athletes, they'll talk about the kind of protein requirements for athletes and how they vary. And, you know, since we're trying to build muscle, whether it's lean or bulky, depending on the kind of athlete proteins, you know, kind of central to our needs. So, I'm kind of curious, what do you think the guideline is if you have kind of personal experience with, yeah, I need this many grams or if you have an opinion on kind of protein intakes for athletes? GLORIA: I believe the actual guideline is .8 to 1.2 grams per kilogram. Don't ask me to do that math right now. JESSE: It's fine. GLORIA: So, it usually I usually say comes down to probably like 20 grams per meal and then some with snack as well. Again, it's super individualized. So like, I'm a small cross country runner, I don't need as much as a big football player. So, kind of finding out those calculations and that is something you probably could Google, that very few things of nutrition that will be accurate on Google. But yeah, finding out what's actually you need because some people will just pump protein, protein where if your goals are not taking a muscle or gain weight, you probably don't need that much. JESSE: So, that's interesting because you're basically going to work out to roughly -- without doing the super math like a half gram per pound since we, in the US we use pounds. So, I like to convert it there. And I know I've heard several, I’ll say like high level and Olympic level athletes say a gram per pound of body weight. So, I like to kind of see different people's opinions. So, it seems like your emphasis is on little bit more on the micronutrients then strictly like this one macro, that has to be this particular way. GLORIA: Yeah. And I think just looking at your diet as a whole too instead of just you know, people say I'm an athlete, all I need is protein. Where it definitely, you do need quality protein for sure, but you also need quality carbohydrates and healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables. So, it doesn't really do justice to just focus on one thing, especially protein. Go to Part 3 Go Back to Part 1

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