Essential Sports Nutrition


Finding the right professional

With so many experts out there who are doing what I do for a profession and so many experts who have decades more experience than I do, I carefully select the mentors from which I learn from and the same is true for the professionals that Karel and I welcome into our life to help us with our own needs.

Seeing that a mentor has experience, I find this valuable as I want to understand different approaches and methods to help me determine the most appropriate advice that aligns with my philosophy and that will help me better serve my coaching and nutrition athletes. 

With so many experts out there, here are some ways that I select the professionals that help out with our coaching athletes (ex. physical therapists, sport psychologists, PhD researchers, other coaches, etc.) as well as the experts who I look up to and consult with as mentors. 

1. You believe in his/her philosophy. When you have insight on how an expert approaches situations and how he/she helps others, you will gain trust in this individual as you have similar views and understand his/her methodologies. 

2. Your expert has credentials, competence, experience and a good reputation. 

3. You feel safe and not judged by your expert and you feel like you are treated like an individual. 

4. Your expert has a specialty area or is an expert in a specific field, based on personal experience and formal education.

5. Your expert is actively involved in learning with continuing education, writing and speaking.

6. Your expert has patience for you and does not rush your journey. She/he doesn't have a quick fix or an one-approach-only method.

7. Your expert gives you his/her full attention, provides a supportive environment and does not ignore or dismiss your questions during your consultation. Your expert values a team approach when working together.

8. Your expert challenges you and wants you to step outside your comfort zone. She/he doesn't tell you exactly what you want to hear or give you false or too-good-to-be true promises.

9. Your expert maintains your confidentiality.

10. Your expert doesn't change his/her approach based on what is "in" or trendy, especially when  she/he can sell something to you in order to buy you into his/her method.

As you search for the best expert(s) to help you with your personal needs, keep in mind that the same expert may not work for two different athletes.

Always understand what you need from an expert, keeping in mind that not every problem has a clear or easy answer. 

Despite having knowledge, education and being the full package, experts are not magicians and there is no wand to cure a problem in one day or in one session. 


Are you seeking help?

Do you find yourself using forums to gather advice on yourself when you are vulnerable and in need of help?

Did you ever consider that the people giving you advice are strangers, knowing nothing about you, your life, your struggles, your needs, your journey and your goals?

While forums can be a great place to learn, don't just seek help from anyone. There's an expert out there who is a professional, trained to help you with your individual needs.

Often times, when a question is asked on a forum, there are dozens, if not hundreds of responses, from all types of people. The same goes for articles and information on the internet.
While some information may be valuable and credible, it becomes very difficult to decipher between all the "this works for me" advice vs. what will work best for you.
Rather than getting a concise or clear "right" answer, you end up more confused and overwhelmed than before you asked your one question.

Be careful and very wary when seeking advice on forums (or the internet) as the information or feedback that you are given may be incorrect, incomplete or biased.

As a guideline for athletes, you should not use forums as the main outlet for the following:

-Treating or diagnosing a health condition, illness (health or mental) or injury
-Correcting or fixing your biomechanics (or form/posture/position) when training/exercising
-Dialing in your personalized daily diet and/or fueling approach
-Changing equipment or gear mid-season (or during peak training)

If you have a concern, struggle, issue or limiter in a specific area, consult with a professional (who specializes in the field of your question) that will help you understand what will work best for you and can give ongoing feedback throughout your journey.

So there lies another question.

How do you find the right professional or "expert" to help you out? 

In my next blog, I will talk about how to find the right professional to help you in your individual journey. 


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Conquer yourself

In my last blog, I talked about getting out of your own way.
I find that many athletes are so focused on what everyone else is doing that when it comes back to your own reality, you believe that you are not good enough, doing enough, fast enough, strong enough, working hard enough or lean/skinny enough.

Every day you are filled with thoughts and while some are positive, many of those thoughts can be negative interpretations of your weaknesses and mistakes.

Ultimately, when you believe in negative thoughts, you self-esteem drops.
It's easy to understand why so many athletes give up on themselves simply because of fear of failing and negative thinking.

Let's look at some of the ways that you may be limiting yourself from reaching your full potential so you can conquer yourself and achieve your goals.


Are you never satisfied with your effort or performance? 
Are constant negative thoughts filling your head as you are so self-critical with every action? 
Do you feel as if you are never happy with yourself or you can never do well enough? Are you  constantly wasting energy comparing your life to the lives of others?

Training and racing with a constant fear of failure and a very critical mindset will not only 
damage your self-esteem but it could also hinder your ability to improve. 

For better results in training and racing and in life, focus on small, manageable goals.
Even better, focus on executing to the best of your ability and just see what happens. 
Keep great enjoyment for your sport with a developing mindset. 
Stop the unrealistic, high expectations and focusing too much on the outcome. 
You are human.
You are allowed to make mistakes.
When you make mistakes, you learn. 


Uncertainty and things out of your control can often bring anger and anxiety. 
Injuries, travel, a change in schedule, sickness, missed workouts, a bike mechanical, unplanned bad weather or GI issues.
Accept the fact that you cannot control every situation but you can control how you deal with it.

To perform to the best of your ability, you must first learn how to manage your emotions.
Athletes who can prevent frustration turning into anger, will stay more relaxed in training and 
Athletes who are confident in their abilities, embrace competition and don't stress about challenges and obstacles will notice a more relaxed mind and body. 

Identify what makes you so angry or anxious before and during training sessions and in your races. 
With every "oh no, this makes me anxious" situation that comes your way, create a go-to strategy to better handle your emotions. 


It takes a lot of courage to stop doing what you are comfortable doing in order to change and work on weaknesses. 
In order to be open to change, you can't be defensive when you feel challenged or threatened, especially if you are trying to protect your ego when someone (ex. coach) suggests to try something different.
Being open-minded will allow you to experiment and to try new things. A closed mind will never let you grow. 
In sports, you can't keep doing the same things over and over and hope for different results. To be successful, you will have to make changes and with changes comes the possibility of making mistakes. 
Throughout your individual athletic journey, you can be optimistic and persistent but always be open to a different approach.   


Do you live a conflicting lifestyle? 
You have goals and you love to race but it can be a struggle to put in the work to train.
You know your diet is limiting your health and/or performance but you just can't seem to hold yourself accountable to your nutritional goals.

There appears to be an epidemic of being easily overwhelmed. With so much information available and the ease of being connected to everyone at anytime, there is a cost of being so distracted - it's very hard to focus on what works best for you.
Distractions are exhausting so consider how much energy and time you spend focusing on what other people are doing. How's it working for you?
Be an active participant in your life. Be present during your workouts, listen to your appetite and hunger cues during the day and always respect your body.