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Nutrition to help you through Perimenopause

Feb 09, 2022

Do you experience hot flushes, night sweats, a rollercoaster of moods and changing periods? You may be in Perimenopause. Often described as the roller coaster shit show heading towards Menopause, Perimenopause can start from as young as 35 in some people.

But what can we do to manage Perimenopause from a nutrition perspective?

What is Perimenopause?

  • It is a natural aging process
  • It is the point in a women's life leading up to her final period
  • This typically happens around mid-40s, however, can vary between individuals and start as young as 35

What happens to the body during Perimenopause?

  • There is a decline in the female sex hormones; oestrogen and progesterone
  • The decline in these hormones is not linear
  • In general, between the age of 35 to 50, there will be about a 35% reduction in estrogen and a 75% reduction in progesterone over about a 5-10 year period

What are the symptoms of Perimenopause?

(All women experience it quite differently)

  • Changes in cognition
    • Brain fog,...
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How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

Jan 20, 2022

If you are looking to improve your health or enhance your performance this year, it might be time to invest in a Dietitian. But finding the right person can be overwhelming and confusing.

Here are some tips for how to know if a Sports Dietitian is right for you, and how to best work with them based on your goals, time and budget:

Check Credentials

  • Make sure you're working with someone that is qualified to be giving nutrition advice
  • Look for 'APD' or 'Accredited Practicing Dietitian' if you’re in Australia
  • Other countries have different regulatory bodies, so make sure they have done a proper qualified university-level study in nutrition
  • If you’re looking for a Sports Dietitian make sure 'Accredited Sports Dietitian' is after their name in Australia or look at what regulatory bodies are in your country

Specificity

  • Look for a Dietitian that is an expert in your area e.g. gut health, fertility, team sport etc.
  • I am an endurance nutrition specialist so I work with runners,...
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Why You Need to Ditch the Detox this Year

Jan 05, 2022

Welcome to 2022!

I hope you all had a lovely break. I'm feeling pretty refreshed actually and ready for an awesome year ahead. I always have lots of really good ideas when I get to take the opportunity to step away for a bit. So I've got some pretty exciting things planned.

To set the scene for the year, I just wanted to give you some tips to help you actually achieve your health and fitness goals and stay on track. Instead of smashing it really hard at the start, going too hard, too fast and losing puff by February.

This is why you need to ditch the diet and detox mentality this year...

 1. Ditch the detoxes

  • So many people think you need to detox the body to get rid of toxins, to lose weight, to kick start something
  • There is no evidence to support detoxes
  • Our body is well equipped with two kidneys, and a liver that know how to filter our blood and that gets rid of the toxins out of it
  • If you can just simply eat well, and exercise regularly, it'll help you to get yourself...
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5 Tips for Surviving the Festive Season

Dec 09, 2021

Before I take my one and only break for the year, I want to leave you with five tips to help you survive the silly season. I find that most people just completely switch off and let go of their healthy lifestyle and fitness goals as soon as December hits. We overindulge on delicious food and alcohol, are way more sedentary and just accept that 2kg weight gain is inevitable. Knowing that we’ll hit the diet or detox hard come January.

I'm not here to tell you to be strict and not enjoy all of the delicacies. I really want you to enjoy this time. But I challenge you to change your attitude this year and implement my top five tips for surviving the festive season without having a massive blowout.

 

 1. Aim For Balance

  • Find a comfortable middle ground where you can still go out and have a great time, but try and minimise the damage by going overboard
  • Make healthy choices when you can and when you can't, don’t feel guilty for it. Focus on being mindful so you...
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The Shit Show that was 2021

Dec 03, 2021

I wanted to take you behind the scenes a little bit at Dietitian Approved and the Triathlon Nutrition Academy and give you some insight into what's been happening this year. The highs and the lows, the lessons I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes at our plans for 2022.

Highlights of the year

  • The Olympics! It provided a great distraction and banded the country together
  • The Debut of the Triathlon mixed team relay
  • Launched the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program
  • Launched the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast
  • Dietitian Approved turned 6
  • Dietitian Approved transitioned to a more global brand with the change from .com.au to .com
     

Things I learnt this year

  • Exercise is a huge part of my life, specifically social exercising. I need to prioritise
  • I need to schedule breaks/holidays ahead of time so they actually happen
  • If I am going to put myself out there in the online world, I need to develop a thicker skin. Because negativity will happen
  • The power of social media can be...
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The Rise of the Female Triathlete with Stef Hanson

Nov 25, 2021

This episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast is with total legend and one of my favourite humans, Stef Hanson. Stef is the founder of WITSUP, which stands for Women In Triathlon, Sup?

In this episode we chat about:

  • Her many talents, skills, and untapped knowledge
  • Her motivation for starting WITSUP
  • Key learnings from the business
  • Why she decided to close the chapter of WITSUP
  • How things have changed for women in sport/triathlon thanks to Stef
  • Perceptions of triathletes
  • Lowering the barrier to entry into triathlon and encouraging others to compete in the sport
  • How she has held people/companies accountable for leaving women as an afterthought in sporting events
  • Her journey and personal stories working as a photographer for triathlons
  • What the future holds for her businesses and family

To go deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast Episode 18:  The Rise of The Female Athlete Interview - Stef Hanson for more!


Instagram handles to link:

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Athlete Spotlight: From beginner to 2 x Ironman finisher with Bec Baird

Nov 18, 2021

I spoke with one of my longest-standing clients ever, Rebecca Baird about her journey through triathlons and what she has learnt about nutrition along the way.

Here’s what she had to say:

Some background about Bec

  • Bec is a single mum to Roy and lives in Mackay. She works as a podiatrist and first got into triathlons in 2015 after playing and coaching netball. She has since competed in many triathlons of all distances including 70.3 and two Ironmans.

Bec’s Plans for the next 2 years

  • Mooloolaba Tri next year in March
  • Looking into the ultra-running scene – either 50 or 100km
  • Ironman distance again in 2023

What made her decide to invest in a Sports Dietitian?

  • She read a blog post about another triathlete and how she'd been training for ages and had put on weight while doing massive volume even though she thought she was eating okay. She'd been to see her friend Taryn at Dietitian Approved and with her help managed to lose weight, fuel herself properly and was...
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7 Nutrition Tips for Exercising in the Heat

Nov 11, 2021

It’s getting hot here in Australia! Training in the Aussie summer can be challenging. 

One of the biggest impacts of heat exposure when exercising is its effects on the gut. This is exacerbated when our core temperature gets >39°C

What happens to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) when we exercise?

  • Redistribution of blood flow away from the GIT towards working muscles and peripheral circulation (to cool you down)
  • Results in decreased perfusion (less blood flow) of organs in the abdominal cavity causing GIT ischemia (lack of oxygen)
  • Sympathetic activation (fight or flight response) - you don’t want to spend energy digesting food when you’re trying to run away from a lion
  • Supressed gastric emptying (less efficient compared to normal), digestion and absorption

The longer & more intense the exercise, the worse these responses are.


Here are 7 strategies to manage exercise in the heat from a nutrition perspective:

1. Heat Acclimation

  • Exposure to a hot...
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What is Sweat Testing and should you do one?

Nov 04, 2021

What is Sweat Testing?

Sweat testing is a way to measuring your sweat sodium concentration during exercise. Simply, we put patches on your skin, you exercise for a defined period of time and then take them off and analyse them. Combine with measuring your body weight pre and post, we can also calculate your sweat rate in ml/hr and then calculate sweat sodium concentration in mg/L of sweat.

In the field, we use sweat patches at certain sites on the body to calculate your sweat sodium concentration and then use mathematical equations to calculate total body sweat sodium.

Many things impact your sweat rate; genetics, your fitness level, intensity, the environmental conditions of the day, your pre-test diet – there are many things we want to try and control for to give you the most accurate results.

Who is sweat testing best suited for?

  • Athletes competing in endurance events 10hrs + e.g. ironman, ultra-marathons, 24hour mountain bikers
  • Shorter events if having issues
  • If...
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Do You Need Salt Tablets?

Oct 28, 2021

Many endurance athletes take salt tablets, but do we really need them? I spoke with the sodium and hydration master aka Alan McCubbin to break down everything you need to know about sodium, hydration and endurance exercise.

Here’s what we discussed:
 

Why is sodium is important for sports like triathlon?

  • When we sweat during exercise, sodium is the main mineral we lose along with chloride
  • The main electrolyte in our blood is also mainly sodium, and this plays a big role in moving water around the body

 Are there currently any guidelines around sodium replacement?

  • The guidelines are currently very vague
  • There aren’t really any specific guidelines around sodium replacement during exercise apart from a broad statement from the American College of Sports Medicine indicating that people should replace sodium when large losses occur, but they don't define what a large loss is

What research is currently underway to find some answers?

  • A study to survey what...
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