• Rasa Nutrition

There are many articles about our shared history of eating, whether it’s sharing food together or eating alone, and the many emotions it brings up. At its core, there is a humbleness in sharing food and fueling your body. You consciously put time aside to eat, which means that you consciously put aside your obligations, the work of the day, to take care of your body.


Taking the time to fuel your body is an opportunity for psychological well-being. Eating is a collective experience that is one of the most common experiences of life. Every single one of us has memories around food. Some of them are joyful, invoking memories of love and fun. Perhaps they are expressions of kindness and care while gathered around food with family or friends, laughter in the kitchen while cooking meals together, a child’s joy when parents are making a favorite meal, or feelings of togetherness and belonging.

And you may also have uncomfortable memories. They can range from hunger, when there may not have been enough money or resources to cook a meal that satisfied your body, hearing or thinking shame infused comments about what or how much we ate, or the discomfort of eating disorder thoughts as we are eating our challenge meal.


It is normal to have a variety of emotional experiences around food and eating. In this, you are part of a shared human experience. In a way, it is empowering and very human to begin to understand that your experiences and patterns with food can affect how to care for your body over time.


Our experiences of joy, togetherness, uniqueness and belonging may lead us towards our inner wisdom and intuition to fuel our bodies with care, love, kindness, and compassion. Just as other experiences of hunger, shame, discomfort, struggle, and loss may lead us to distrust our internal wisdom and intuition.


By embracing your memories and experiences, you will learn to change your psychological patterns and nutrition behaviors. When you are ready to heal and explore your relationships with fueling your body, we are here to help you empower your healing by helping to improve your relationship with nourishment. Knowing that you are not alone in struggling with nutrition can be empowering.


Nourishing your body is not a perfect path but a road of knowledge, courage, and kindness. We are here to support you when you are ready to explore, or need help with, nutrition.


I’ve been told “you have it all”, more than once. It always gives me pause.


To be honest, hearing this causes me some discomfort. As a nutritionist, “you have it all” seems to imply that I have everything together and that I must have a perfect nutrition routine. As an immigrant woman, I wonder if I translated the phrase too literally in my head. As an English as a second language speaker, I wonder if it’s a figure of speech or a joke, based on cultural humor. As an athlete, I struggled tremendously with fueling my body during competitive athletics.


What I do know is that after my years of working with all different types of people, bodies, and nutrition issues, that hidden behind the phrase “you have it all” is perfectionism.


Perfectionism is something every single person struggles with. If we are entrenched in perfection, it affects our nutrition habits. We may seek the perfect meal or the prefect food or the perfect time to eat. Every single person I have provided nutrition care for has struggled with perfection.


In nutrition counseling, perfection does not exist. In fact, I can argue that perfection only lives in our minds. When we seek perfection in how we nourish our bodies, our choices are based on a foundation of judgmental and shame-based decisions. We may hyper-focus on being perfect and this may disconnect us from listening to our bodies. In nutrition counseling, this type of thinking can create rules and regulations that may lead to a disordered relationship with our bodies and food.


As a human who is passionate about helping you connect to yourself and create your own unique approach to nutrition, one of my goals is to help you align your nutrition with your culture, your passions, your body, your job, your pleasure, and your humanity. You eat for you and because you belong.


I would love to help you connect with things you may think of as imperfections and vulnerabilities but are actually opportunities and strengths. In my experience, the most meaningful and biggest teaching moments in nutrition journeys happen when you accept being. You are a human that is vulnerable, humble, and brave. Your nutrition care and your nutrition journey can be some of your biggest moments of growth.


At Rasa Nutrition, I encourage you to show up as you are. I respect, honor, and appreciate you and I know that making the first call or writing the first message to ask for help in nutrition requires a lot of bravery and vulnerability. But I believe in you.

  • Rasa Nutrition

Contributed by Hannah Stoker



We sweat. When we do, water evaporates from the surface of our skin. It’s the bodies mechanism for cooling our core body temperature. During athletic performance, not only do athletes sweat and lose water volume in the body, but they also lose some electrolytes, mainly sodium and chloride. Those electrolytes are important for maintaining fluid balance in the cells of our body.


Have you ever wondered how much fluid you need when exercising? The answer is unique to you. The best fluid replacement strategy for each individual athlete considers your sweat rate, sweat composition, exercise intensity, ambient temperature, and humidity to determine the best approach for your body.


Fluid replacement is important for me as an athlete? It’s all about safety and supporting your body. In fact, a fluid replacement strategy is especially pertinent for the safety of athletes during long endurance or ultra-endurance training and races like the Ironman triathlon event. In training sessions or events that are much shorter in duration, athletes should aim to minimize fluid losses in order to optimize performance.


When your body loses large amounts of water during exercise, your blood volume is reduced. A reduced blood volume increases the cardiac output required to maintain athletic performance. An increased cardiac output elevates perceived strain on the body during exercise which increases core body temperature and impairs skeletal muscle blood flow. When your ambient temperature increases, your sweat rate increases, and this amplifies the effects of reduced blood volume if fluids are not adequately replaced. As your training intensity increases, your body’s demand for oxygen increases. This translates into an increased demand for blood to your muscles to increase oxygen plus an increased blood flow to the skin so that your body can offload heat. Thus, as training intensity is increased, the importance of fluid replacement to achieve adequate blood volume and flow is elevated.


What is the ideal fluid replacement strategy for me? As a starting point, Rasa Nutrition recommends that athletes consider determining their individual fluid loss during exercise by noting body mass before and after a training session at a given temperature. This can help mitigate variability from athlete to athlete in sweat rate, sweat composition, and training status and intensity. To prevent performance decline, athletes should aim to reduce body mass losses to less than 2% of the pre-exercise value by drinking sufficient water throughout performance. For athletes who lose substantial amounts of sodium in their sweat or for athletes participating in longer endurance events, consuming sports drinks, or electrolyte drink mixes, throughout the bout of exercise can be an important factor to increase water retention and encourage water consumption. A fluid replacement strategy can be refined during training, especially under the guidance of a dietitian, before being used in a competitive setting. Happy hydrating!


References

1. Burke L, Deakin V, eds. Clinical Sports Nutrition. 4. ed. McGraw-Hill Education Medical; 2010.