Contributed by Hannah Stoker



When we discuss performance nutrition, in the discipline of nutrition science, we focus on the biochemical components of food. We often talk about food as fuel.


In the field of nutrition, focus sometimes tends to predominantly remain on the metabolism of nutrients, correction of nutritional deficiencies, conduction of empirical research, pathogenesis of disease, or the manipulation of food to optimize performance. Yet, food is so much more than simply the sum of its biochemical components.


The meaning of food expands when you take a step back from the Eurocentric cultural lens which has typically dominated most biomedical research. In the United States, indigenous peoples harnessed inter-generational food knowledge to cure scurvy by treating a vitamin C deficiency long before such a treatment was understood by Europeans.


Traditional Anishanaabe teachings indicate an immense reverence for the surrounding world. Indigenous peoples practiced Anishanaabe values, connecting their surroundings to food and to nourishment. From this we can begin to understand that the meaning of food is a connectedness from one to another - a connectedness from body to the land, a connectedness from land to food, and a connectedness between each other as we eat food produced by the land. This is food as a relationship, as a celebration and as a memory of connection. As an example, to many tribal communities, wild rice was healthful not only for its nutritional components but also for its sacredness.


We can re-examine our presuppositions about food and nutrition by learning from practiced indigenous teachings and perhaps find a more grounded, and holistic understanding of our body’s needs. While Eurocentric scientific inquiry and empirical study remain invaluable, the respect for and inclusion of cultural knowledge from varying heritages enhances the biomedical understandings of nutrition. What does food mean to you beyond its nutrients? What celebratory memories or traditions are associated with particular foods? Do any foods connect you with a place or person?


Our hope is that this reflection will remind you of all of the unique ways that food is more than just fuel.



References

1. Hassel C. Nutrition Education: Toward a Framework of Cultural Awareness? CFW Plex. 2013;10(1094). doi:10.1094/cplex-2013-1001-27b

2. Hassel C. Reconsidering nutrition science: Critical reflection with a cultural lens. Nutr J. 2014;13(1):1-11. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-42

Updated: Jun 2

Contributed by Morgan Ireland

Fuel. Grueling practices and hard training can mute hunger cues for athletes. We know that under-fueled athletes can experience impaired performance, loss of strength and muscle size, poor concentration, and are more prone to injuries. In a world of exercise, structured meal plans and competition, is Intuitive Eating right for you?


Yes. Intuitive Eating is an entirely individualized nutrition approach focused on mind-body health developed in 1995 by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S, and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S. It is an evidence-based concept focused on removing obstacles that prevent body awareness. It will help you to focus on adapting your body and listening to your own hunger cues to decide when, what, and how much to eat. Here at Rasa Nutrition, we believe that healthy fuel can give you the opportunity to complete and accomplish.


What about my rigorous schedule? Intuitive Eating can easily fit into your training schedule as it is an individualized means to learn what is the best fuel for you. You will learn how to find the best fuel that leads to optimal performance and counter diet culture by making peace with food. According to sports dietitian and nutrition therapist, Victoria Lambert, MS, RD “Listening and tuning in to the language of our own bodies is what allows athletes to avoid over-training, injury, and disordered eating,” all things she commonly sees in her clients.


Pre-emptive eating is a tool we use to help you find what makes you feel good using foods that you enjoy. So come learn how different foods affect your body and find what works for you so that you can fuel your body and set yourself up for recovery. Intuitive Eating is about individual needs and can teach athletes to care and honor their bodies by giving them permission to eat in a way that feels good and works for them. Optimal fueling comes from listening to your internal hunger cues and your bodies time clock. It’s self-care!


“When your body is leading the way, it's much easier to drown out the noise and nonsense so rich in the world of human performance and run your own race.” - Victoria Lambert, MS, RD

  • Rasa Nutrition

Updated: Jun 2

Contributed by Elizabeth Capistrant


Social media has become such a strong presence in our daily life that it seems impossible to remain current, informed and connected without repeatedly scrolling through multiple platforms daily. Curious about your favorite sports teams? Check at least 2 feeds and numerous sites. Want to read the news? Check a few different feeds. Curious about your friends? Check at least 3 social media sites. Want some quick social engagement? Check another 3 sites. Every single person is scrolling. All the time.

I know that staying connected and engaging are important, especially for a business. However, at a certain point shared information becomes too diffused. Sometimes, information is so altered that it crosses into disinformation. Because social platforms are so widely and frequently used, disinformation has the potential to reach an exceptionally large audience, very quickly. Lately, I wonder if the multiple social platforms that I use for my business are the most effective way to share. Or am I adding to the proliferation of random information available online? Am sharing my years of experience and nutrition expertise in a way that helps people?


As a nutrition professional, I often think about influence and responsibility. In my work, disinformation has very real consequences for people. As a business owner, I acknowledge that social media is a great platform to quickly share “teaser” bits of information and reach a wide audience. It’s a great opportunity for marketing. A conversation is still the best way to share the big picture and an opportunity to discuss all the interesting details. Understanding comes from conversation. Face-to-face is the best way to share a story. As a busy Dietitian, managing a full-time practice, it doesn’t seem right to only give people a small snippet of information.


So, in order to fulfill my goal of professionally helping people become healthier and educate my clients, I have chosen to foster relationships and connection. I look forward to meeting you face-to-face, even if it’s over the computer for right now. Let’s talk, learn, and make changes together.


#rasanutrition #rasatroup #weshouldtalk #elizabethcapistrant