Ever wondered what goes through the mind of a nutritionist? Well we have! This led us to ask Deanna from VitaminDea to give us some insight on nutrition, diet, and more! Deanna is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Fitness & Lifestyle Coach who is passionate about helping people feel energized through fitness and nutrition (without shame!). Dea is on a mission to inspire others to implement daily positive change!
Why are you doing sports nutrition?
I got into sport’s nutrition through my love of CrossFit. When I first got into nutrition, I was interested in weight loss and macro counting. At this time, I had a very disordered relationship with exercise and nutrition. After I began to heal my own problems, I realized how persistent diet culture truly was. I now want to help others who have consistently been told to eat less and exercise more, because that messaging can be extremely damaging to some of the population (including my former self). My focus with nutrition now is eating enough food to maintain and boost energy levels, and help aid in muscle gain. I enjoy discussing pre and post workout snacks, and the timing of food intake, to help the everyday athlete feel like their best selves in their workouts and beyond.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I have my Advanced Open Water scuba diving license and love to travel and explore!
What do you look for in a good energy bar?
I look for ingredients that will sustain me before or after my workout. If it is before or during my workout, I look for a bar that is higher in carbohydrates. Usually oats, honey, maple syrup or dates are my go-tos. These are all very energizing and generally easy to digest quickly. For after my workouts, I look for bars that have some carbs and a protein source. The combination of carbs and protein help your body recover after a workout! The calorie count doesn’t impact my decision, because if you are looking for “energy,” then calories are your friends. Think of calories and carbs as energy, because that’s what your body thinks. :)
Can you give us an insight on what you eat throughout your day?
I follow Intuitive Eating in my everyday life.This means I give myself unconditional permission to eat any and all foods, without guilt. This way of eating does get a lot of backlash, but it is scientifically proven to improve people’s relationship with food, and many of their health markers. After years of restriction, under eating and overexercising, it feels great to eat a variety of foods without fear. I think it can be harmful to share exactly what I eat, because we inherently like to compare ourselves to one another. Remember: even if we all ate the exact same thing, we would still look very different. If it helps, know that in one day, I might eat a salad bowl and a donut, and enjoy both equally, without judging myself.
Which aspects of nutrition do you feel are most important to address when consulting with clients?
As I touched on, fixing people’s relationship with food is my main focus. Along with this, I really focus on lifestyle habits such as moving their bodies in a joyful way, improving their sleep and reducing their stress levels. If you don’t focus on these few key factors, what people put into their bodies truly doesn’t matter. Because of this, the pillars of my business are titled “body, mind, movement, sunshine.”
Is one type of diet better than others?
The simple answer is no. Are some foods more nutrient dense than others? Yes. However, if someone tells you that their diet is superior, and works for everyone, RUN! There isn’t one right answer.
Do you have any tips for a busy individual who is looking to improve their nutrition?
One of the most helpful things I can suggest for busy individuals is to prepare food at least once a week in bulk. This also means you have to go to the grocery store with a bit of a plan. Protein, veggies, and complex carbs usually take the most amount of time to prepare, so having these ready to go can be very helpful. For example, if you can roast veggies and potatoes, and grill up chicken for a few days in advance, you can add some oil and other toppings on the fly. Hard boiled eggs are also a go-to in my household. Aside from that, you can always find a bar or two in my gym bag and/or car at all times. I know where you can find some good energy balls ;).
Still have questions you would like answered? Connect with Dea today!
Podcast: Dea Talks Wellness