Bridging the Nutritional Knowledge Gap

Athlete knowledge
One of the most common themes surrounding my dietetic practice is "myth busting". So many of my clients, both athletes and wellness, inquire about foods being "good" or "bad", supplementation with pre-workouts, and new diet fads.

Lately, the trending question to me has been about grains - "I thought grains were bad".

The answer: false, grains are an essential part of our nutrition!

Especially when working with athletes, grains are of high demand as they are our immediate fuel source and provide fiber to help sustain energy levels with prolonged/intense bouts of exercise. Beyond that of energy needs, whole grains help to regulate blood sugars, spare protein being used as a fuel source (maintain lean mass -muscle), assist with the breakdown of fatty acids and support hydration status. There are nutrients in grains that support the delivery of oxygen throughout the body and brain-cell signaling for muscular contraction and coordination of movement.

Whenever in doubt, ask a registered dietitian. We do the research so you don't have to in providing nutritionally sound advice to best
​ #FuelForTheGOLD and #FuelForLIFE

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C

Pre-Workout Powders and Drinks: Is it really worth the buy? 

As an RD, I’m not a fan of pre-workouts as they can contain synthetic/artificial ingredients as well as questionable and sometimes even banned substances for sport.  Much of the time, the ingredients they do contain are not backed up by sufficient research to say they do improve performance.

With underlying questions and possibility for concern, I encourage coffee as an alternative to a pre-workout. You’ll save money, not have to question “what’s in my drink?”, and you’ll still experience the same training intensity as if you had that pre-workout product.

Sometimes coffee gets a bad wrap but it shouldn’t! Coffee is rich in antioxidants and who doesn’t love the little pick-me-up from the caffeine. Coffee is just as, if not more, beneficial than a pre-workout product you can buy at a supplement shop!

And when it comes to health and drug testing, it’s when you surpass the 4 cups of coffee where more concern regarding overall caffeine intake should be assessed.
So go ahead. Enjoy your coffee and train like a champion!

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C

Keepin' It Fresh Friday

Turkey pesto meatballs ingred

The Key to Getting those Veggies In

Salad isn't the only strategy to meet your daily vegetable intake! Whether you choose to go with the veggies recommended in the recipe or to go with those that are currently in season, you can't go wrong! And if you really want to get creative, try mincing some onions, mushrooms, peppers...and mix them into your turkey meatballs. Delish! And ohhh look, you just upped your veggie intake once again! ;)

Try this recipe and let me know how you like it! It can be found on the Team USA Cooking website:

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C
Rd vs. nutritionist

What's the Difference Between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

A Dietitian is a nutrition expert who has earned the minimum of a 4-year degree and has had professional training. An RD is protected by law, accredited, certified and an important member to the health profession in assisting with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions through evidence-based practice and continuing education. Qualified to do so, Dietitians are the advocates for both health and well-being.

In contrast, Nutritionists require no degree or professional training. In order to call oneself a Nutritionist, there are absolutely NO requirements.  Really, anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist!

When in doubt, seek out an RD!

If you have any questions, feel free to stop by AIM, call or email us! We'd be happy to discuss how our nutritional services can best serve you!

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C

Myth Bustin' Monday

Food appreciation

Less Deprivation. More Appreciation.

Nutrition is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Unfortunately, the media and non-credible sources attempt to tell us otherwise - skewing public knowledge regarding nutrition.

As mentioned previously, fad diets and “cheat” meals carries a negative connotation - the idea that one must deprive and restrict foods in order to be healthy. And when that happens, disordered thoughts and nutritional behaviors can occur.

Just as we care for our relationships with others, we must nurture our relationship with food. Food is our friend!

The idea of restricting or depriving oneself a certain meal/treat can actually harm one’s relationship with food and increases the likelihood of consuming excessive calories while the ongoing craving(s) continue to be dissatisfied.

Instead, nurture your body by making it an experience: color your plate with foods, keep trying new foods and have FUN with eating! And if you’re really longing for that piece of cake, enjoy it and NEVER feel guilty.

A well balanced life should be one that is both ENJOYABLE and SUSTAINABLE. Never deprive yourself of living life.

Appreciate food. Appreciate your body. Appreciate yourself.

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C

Keepin' It Fresh Friday

Fresh and organic

Fish Friday

Did you know that a Fish N' Chips dinner can cost you as many as 1,000 calories or more!?!? A single deep fried and breaded piece of your fish dinner can contain as many as 500 calories alone! Beyond the scope of calories, heavily deep fried foods contain saturated fats and pro-inflammatory properties - harmful to our health.

But just as there's "plenty o' fish in the sea", there are plenty o' healthy and delicious ways to prepare fish!

Fish is a fantastic addition to one's nutrition and the American Heart Association recommends consuming twice a week as part of a heart healthy diet. Fish contains an assortment of vitamins and minerals that are essential to our daily nutrition: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B12, iron, zinc, magnesium, iodine and potassium.

Rather than quickly ordering your typical Fish Friday Fish N' Chips, I encourage you to branch out and try other types of fish dinners, such as grilled, braised or lightly breaded n' baked. Pair your fish with a colorful array of veggies and you've got yourself an award winning and nutritionally sound dish!

If you are local to the Mentor, Ohio, area. I highly suggest visiting Euclid Fish Market just down the street from our facility. Euclid Fish offers a variety of seafood at great prices and they are a huge advocate for sustainable fishing. 

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C

What's New Wednesday (1)

The Pegan Diet: is it healthy?

Perhaps you've heard of a new diet in town - The Pegan Diet: a hybrid of the Vegan and Paelo diet, invented by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD.

The Vegan and Paleo diets emphasize consumption of plant-based foods, and as we know, consuming more plant-based foods is valuable to our health! However, as much as these diets emphasize increased intake of plant-based foods, there are limitations and greater risk(s) for developing nutritional deficiencies.

Unlike a strict Vegan or Paleo Diet, the Pegan diet encourages 75% of one's total daily food consumption to come from plant-based sources while the other 25% should come from lean animal-rich foods, such as eggs, grass-fed meats and wild caught fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel). The Pegan diet earns a gold-star for it's whole-foods approach, focus on sustainably raised animal sources, low glycemic load and intake of omega-3 fatty acids. And as opposed to most diets out there, the Pegan diet shows more sustainability in following!

But before you dive right in and become Pegan... there are areas of interest that requires some planning and prioritizing to ensure adequate intake of all nutrients each day:

Those following a Pegan diet are to restrict or limit intake of gluten, grains, legumes and dairy. However, there have been no evidence-based findings to suggest that avoiding gluten, grains, dairy and legumes is "healthier" for those that do  not have allergies or an intolerance to such foods. Complete removal of such food groups increases risk for developing nutritional deficiency, especially, calcium, vitamin D, folate, B12 and iron, if one is not educated on how to ensure daily adequate intake of such nutrients from alternative sources.

As I always mention to my cliental, nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It's all about finding the best nutritional path for you in optimizing health outcomes and performance goals. Instead of trying to fit into a nutritional approach, it is always best to fit the nutritional approach to you! When in doubt, ask a nutrition expert about what would work best for you! Questions? Shoot us an email or stop in to speak to Jessica, our sports & wellness dietitian.

Healthy Regards,
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C

Myth Bustin' Monday

Whole or ground flaxseed

Whole or Ground Flaxseed: Which one is better?

Considered a Super Food, flaxseed is a hot item on the market and for good reason!

Flaxseed contains an abundance of nutrients that support digestive and cardiovascular health. A great source of omega-3 fatty acid ALA - known for its anti-inflammatory properties - flaxseed is a fantastic addition to a person's diet; especially, for those who are strict vegan or vegetarian.

Flaxseed is rich in fiber and contains phytochemicals called lignans that supports a healthy cholesterol. But does it matter whether or not flaxseed is consumed in its whole or ground form????
The answer is YES! 

Most nutrition experts, including myself, recommend consuming ground flaxseed. Why, you ask? The body is not capable of completely digesting whole flaxseed, therefore, you will not receive all the nutritional benefits that flaxseed has to offer.

Just one table spoon of ground flaxseed contains 2g of dietary fiber and 2g of polyunsaturated fatty acids (including omega-3's). Here's a few ways to incorporate ground flaxseed into your daily nutrition: 
  • Add 1Tbsp to hot or cold breakfast cereal, including overnight oats! 
  • Add 1tsp to mayo or mustard
  • Mix 1Tbsp into your yogurt or smoothie
  • Incorporate into baked goods, such as muffins, cookies and breads
If you are interested in reading more about ground vs. whole flaxseed, check out the Mayo Clinic:

Keepin' It Fresh Friday


Thai Chili Chicken Salad

Even when you’re traveling, you can still find #delicious and #nutritious eats!
Eating out is also a great way to get #freshideas for recipes that can be made in the home. Thank you, @hiltongardeninn, for the #yummy Thai Chicken Salad!
The chicken was grilled, chopped and dressed in a Thai Chili Gaze that was then placed over a bed of Napa cabbage, mixed baby greens, snow peas, baby red bell peppers, slivered almonds and thinly sliced radishes - giving a “cooling” effect to the heat from the chili chicken. Drizzling the balsamic vinaigrette over top brought all the flavors together. Is your mouth watering yet?
Just as this salad did, If you’re not a huge #veggie fan, finely chopping your veggies may improve your interest in them! Fresh veggies offer a delicious crunch to any dish! When in doubt, play “sneaky chef” and finely chop those veggies. You may even surprise those friends and family members skeptical of #vegetables!

#FuelForTheGOLD #nutrition #nutritionist#dietitian #eatrealfoods #foodforlife#vegetables #vegetablesalad #vegetable#salad #nomnom #quickandeasymeals#wellness #health #wellnessnutrition#livewell #fitness #fitfoodie #foodie #yum#getinmybelly #foodphotography #nutrient #nourishbowl


The cultivation of a counseling environment that promotes personal growth and self-development is fundamental in empowering the client in making a positive lifestyle change. Considering myself a teammate to my cliental, my counseling approach is one that promotes the adoption of a nutritious lifestyle that is both enjoyable and sustainable.

Nutrition is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Unfortunately, the ease of access to nutrition and health-related knowledge is, most often enough, invalid and unreliable – furthercreating confusion and skewing the truth regarding nutrition.

As a Registered and Licensed Dietitian (RD, LD), I completely individualize and tailor my nutritional approach to best fit the needs of my cliental. Food is a required fuel source to live, however, it is important to understand food to appertain to multiple sectors of a person’s life: social, emotional, physical and cultural. Understanding food to go beyond that of a necessary fuel source, I work with my clients in adopting a healthful and positive relationship with food that aligns with all areas of a persons being.

Working primarily within sport and wellness nutrition, through a combined and personalized approach, I strive to provide my clients with the tools and skills required to reach their maximum athletic potential, optimal health and to become a champion for life.

Healthy Regards,

Jessica G. Anderson


Nutrition Consultations
Nutrition Coaching
Basic Nutrition Plan
Basic Nutrition Plan with Counseling
Complete Individual Nutrition Plan

One-On-One and Team Nutrition Education
Grocery Store Tours
Teaching Kitchens
Education Material Specific to Sport, Lifestyle and Health-Related Goals

Group and Team Presentations
A topic may be selected OR suggested to best fit the performance needs of your team

Travel Preparation
Nutrition Snack Bag Outline
Navigating Healthful Dining Options with Upcoming Travel

Happy YOU
The primary goal of Happy YOU is to provide athletes with the tools needed in making the transition into athletic retirement enjoyable and sustainable. Happy YOU assists the athlete in discovering a newfound perspective when it comes to fueling and exercise training.  Similar to that of a coach, Happy YOU's unique design self-empowers and motivates the athlete in becoming a CHAMPION FOR LIFE. ​