Profession – Dental Office Manager/Student
Married, 2 dogs and 1 cat
Age – 34 years young
My Sport – Triathlon
I grew up in a house with an Olympic bronze medal hanging in our family room. My dad went to the 1968 and 1972 Olympic games with the men’s water polo team. Afterward, he went on to become an oral surgeon. I guess you can say he was (and still is) pretty driven. As a child, I remember having two jobs: get straight A’s in school and practice and perform well in sports. Like a lot of kids, I dabbled around in a few different sports growing up. I was a competitive gymnast for 10 years before I moved onto diving, and then soccer. When it came time for college, I was recruited to play at California State University, Fullerton for the women’s soccer team. I played for 1 year and decided to focus more on academics than on sports. After that, my life an athlete came to a halt. I didn’t do anything sports related for 10 years.
In 2009, I had a doctor’s appointment for an annual check up and my doctor decided to give me the nudge I needed to get moving again. My heart rate and blood pressure were getting higher, my weight was creeping up and she wasn’t comfortable with my lack of exercise. So I decided to enter an all women’s sprint triathlon to get motivated and moving again. I didn’t know anyone who was doing it and I had no idea what I was doing!!! Like so many people looking for answers, I turned to the internet to get a beginners sprint triathlon plan and I followed it the best I could. On race day, I did so many things wrong, but I had so much fun. For days, I couldn’t stop talking about how much fun I had that my husband and I decided to do another one together. And that is how it began…
I’ve been racing for 5 years now. For the first 3 years, I continued to do a lot of things wrong…including my nutrition. I struggled with GI distress, cramping and lack of energy (I thought I was overtraining). I laugh when I look back at my training journals and see what I was eating to prepare for races and hard training days! The day before I ran the California International Marathon in 2011, I ate a huge bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast, 2 foot long veggie sub sandwiches and an apple for lunch and a large bowl of pasta with marinara sauce, sourdough bread and broccoli for dinner! I was literally gaging down all that food thinking that I needed to stock up on calories since I was running a marathon the next day. And to no surprise to me now, I bonked around mile 20 of the run and struggled to make it to the finish line. I’m glad those days are over!
After 3 years of all of these struggles, I decided that I needed to figure out why I was having so many issues with fatigue and GI distress and I headed back to my MD. We did a blood test and discovered that I was struggling with anemia. Rather than living on iron pills, I decided to seek out a nutritional therapy practitioner to help me cure my anemia with whole food. Luck for me, she looked at more than just my need for iron and we started tweaking my diet. I started eating more good fats and cut out food like I was having sensitivities to (most of them processed and full of carbohydrates). We did a few elimination diets and finally figured out what food worked for me, and which ones didn’t. I stopped having GI distress, I hardly ever cramp anymore and I have energy to train and race! It’s fantastic!
During the middle of my nutritional discoveries, I was invited to a lecture on optimizing fat metabolism geared towards athletes. At this lecture, I discovered VESPA. Since I had already been following the OFM way of eating and feeling great, I thought that this could be a great addition to my race day nutrition. I was right. I have been following the OFM way of life and using VESPA now for almost 2 years. Since then, I have made drastic improvements in my race results and even qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant, Canada this year. VESPA will be there with me!!!
The best way for me to describe what VESPA has done for me, is it has made me a steady athlete. I can’t remember that last time I “bonked.” I can push hard in the swim, push hard on the bike and still feel like I fuel in the tank for the run when I use VESPA.
OFM and VESPA have made such an impact on me as an age group athlete that I have gone back to school to become a nutritionist myself. I want to be able to help everyday, age group athletes optimize their performance. Whether their goals are to have fun during training and racing or to qualify for a championship race, this is one of the major keys to an athlete’s success!!!