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Hiring a Nutrition Expert

4 Apr

If you think my interests are varied wait until you catch a glimpse of my Twitter timeline.

Following people writing about nutrition, technology, finance, exercise, music, travel, fashion, food, TV and sports is no easy task. When that includes people in 4 continents writing in 3 languages, things get pretty hectic.

But the title of this post is why I write today. A lot of those nutrition follows happen to be Registered Dietitians, probably the highest distinction you can get as a nutritional expert. Admittedly, they may all not be very current on their research and some may have little to no experience with Sports Nutrition but in the end, the R and D initials after your name is as real as it gets.

Nutrition as a whole is something that doesn’t really evolve as often as say, technology. Diets come and go (usually all being mutations of themselves), but the human body and food metabolism? Physiology? Well, that won’t change much in our lifetime.

Naturally, this makes it rather hard for a nutrition expert to deliver fresh content on Twitter every day. Rendering a nutrition-based account to be 80% about recipes, links to older articles and pictures of pretty plates full of vegetables and fruits.
A select few manage to distinguish themselves by posting links to studies and their analysis while others do so by criticizing the latest incredibly misguiding headline in mainstream media.

I can live with those, please keep up the good work.

But I had just delivered a presentation when it occurred to me:

If I were an average Joe or Jane Doe trying to look good naked get in shape, and wanted to hire some professional help, how can I know I’m getting good nutritional advice?

Here are a few questions I would ask:

1. Do I have to eat every 3-4 hours?

2. Are there forbidden foods? Do I have to stop eating anything?

3. Do I have to eat organic to get results?

If those answers result in anything besides NO. You may want to keep looking.

I wouldn’t ask for a meal plan, either. I’d want to be sent off with the knowledge to make good choices and think on the go.

What good will a meal plan do me when half the things on there I don’t like?

We don’t need any more links to articles about the benefits of fiber. But I’d like to know ways to get it without having to eat broccoli all the time.

We know dieting is about modifying long term behavior. But success? That’s directly related to compliance and if you’re told you can only eat X or Y foods and puppies will die if you eat Q or Z foods, chances are you’ll have a hard time sticking to a plan.

Find your expert and when in doubt, question everything.

You’ll be helping each other out.

Mileage Runs

5 Feb

You may wonder what a mileage run (MR) is. I don’t blame you, I never heard of the term until I got involved in the world of frequent flying.

A mileage run is a trip that is taken solely for the purpose of accumulating miles with the airline or alliance. Yes, it sounds…crazy.

There’s a variety of reasons while people embark on mileage runs. Usually it comes down to two things, achieving elite status with the airline and/or taking advantage of a running promotion (some promos let you get x2, x3 the miles flown).

Here’s a handy chart with the benefits you can enjoy for having elite status in American Airlines. My airline of choice.

A true MR is considered to be one in which you fly to a destination land, get off the plane and immediately head back. Sometimes even in the same aircraft with the same crew. Note: I hear their faces are priceless when they see you boarding again.

Currently on a quest to become Platinum with American Airlines, last week I went on my first mileage run. After much searching, MCI to SAN was the best mile-for-your-buck (aka, cents-per-mile) fare available. I ended up flying MCI-DFW-SAN-DFW-MCI and spending 4 hours roaming San Diego. From 6am to midnight, almost 9 hours were spent up in the air.

Arrived to SD at 10:30am and made sure to enjoy the 4-hr layover:

Like every other out-of-towner visiting the West Coast. A must stop. Incidentally, also a pre-workout meal.

May as well get a workout in, no?

Gold’s Gym SD. The view from the cardio theater.

Some post-workout replenishment:

When you’re this close to the ocean, sushi is mandatory.

About two hours from catching my flight back, I thought I would start walking towards the airport and take on some sun:

Sunny San Diego at a chilly 52F.

However, about 45 minutes into my hiking I decided to get a cab and get my ass back to the airport. Despite only having a carry-on,  a MR is not the time to cut it close to the gate!

Got back with a few minutes to spare and off I was.

Later, Pacific. Always a pleasure.

After a 65min layover in DFW and landing at MCI at 12:04am, the deed was done.

I am now 1,770 EQPs closer to platinum status.