Hiring a Nutrition Coach
I have been an on again,off again vegetarian since the age of 16 and more recently an on again, off again vegan. I kept switching from a plant based diet to a diet based on lean animal protein,eggs, and dairy along with fruits and vegetables. The reason for my switching back and forth was that I felt like I was not eating plant based correctly. When I was younger there were not a lot of options as a vegetarian or resources on how eat plant based in a healthy way. Over the years there have been more resources and more food options, which helped but when I started running 6 years ago and then started Crossfit 2 years ago it seemed like a plant based diet wasn't going to work. I was counting macros and also ended up going over on carbs and under protein. I was told that beans and lentils were carbs not protein. I was also told eating a lot of tofu was not good for you. Then I started reading and researching. I read "The China Study", "How Not to Die". I read article on nutritionfacts.org. I also began to read up on elite athletes who were vegan, such as Brandon Brazier and Rich Roll. I began to think that a plant based diet was probably better for me. I thought I really could do this but I needed help to guide me through my nutrition especially while training for road races and Crossfit. I wanted someone who would understand my love for running, lifting, and Crossfit as well as my desire to do this all on a plant based diet.
Somewhere along my way of internet research on plant based diets for athletes, meal plans, and meal prepping I found an article on an elite Crossfit athlete Jeremy Reijnders who trains and competes while on a plant based diet. Also, in that same article was another elite Crossfit athlete Dani Sidell. I started to follow both of them on Instagram as a way to motivate myself to continue training while being plant based. Despite all of the research I still struggled and reverted briefly back to the animal protein.
Few weeks into my marathon training that I realized Dani Sidell did nutrition programming. I decided to check out her website at atpstrengthandconditioning.com I was super excited when I saw she did nutritional programming with different options to include vegan meal plans. Besides a Crossfitter she also ran track, so I figured she would totally understand me. I decided to see if she was accepting new clients and try her out.
I was so excited when I got my first meal plan from her. I didn't have to count macros, I just had to follow the meals she wrote out. She even included recipes to use that were all easy and quick. I was able to meal prep and be ready for the week.
Once I started with her my weight dropped to the racing weight I wanted prior to my marathon. My training went well and recovery was quick. When I had a question on the meal plan or struggled with an issue she was a text away and very responsive. I had an issue with not fitting all of my meals within the day and she helped me figure out where I was going wrong with my timing. She even gave me extra food leading up to race day so I would be well fueled for 26.2 miles. I finished the marathon strong and recovered faster than I thought I would. I owe most of that to my nutrition.
After the marathon I decided to continue to work with Dani. I have loved all of the meal plans and recipes. For me, it is much easier than counting macros since working full time, mother of 3, coaching Crossfit, and training for a marathon took up a lot of my time. I could pull up the meal plan and know this is exactly what I need to eat.
Even though she maps out exactly what I need to eat, I am learning what I need to fuel for performance. I have kept all of my meal plans so I can use them as references. I also still log my food into an app, Cronometer, just so it keeps me accountable for eating what is on my plan.
I would highly recommend hiring a nutrition coach if you have fitness or performance goals or if you need guidance on how to eat healthy. It has truly helped me remain plant based which is how I prefer to eat. I would definitely recommend Dani Sidell and ATPNutrition to anyone looking for an awesome nutrition coach. She will program your meals to your needs, she does not only program vegan and vegetarian diets, but other types as well, such as paleo.
Thank you Dani and ATPNutrition for helping fuel for training, staying true to myself by being on a plant based diet, and helping me PR my marathon. Next up is another attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon with a race date of March 31st. For now, trying to maintain my running fitness through some track workouts, easy runs, and long runs,and increase my strength through Crossfit.