Monday, June 28, 2010

Success and Balance

Is this you?

You are working hard on building your sports dietetics practice, following this marketing lead, listening to what this other RD is doing and thinking, “Oh, I need to do THAT!” And you pretty much run from sun-up to sun-down, trying to chase after all the things you think will help you achieve success.

Where is your rest? How will you successfully grow your business if you don’t incorporate rest into your business?

Let’s address how to incorporate balance into your life, so you practice what you preach.

Getting balanced – 3 tips you can use now

1. Eliminate pre-conceived time boundaries. I have had my business since 1996, and have pretty much worked “full time” since then. Yes, I would take time here and there to meet friends for lunch, or attend networking events. But I was religious at making sure I worked Monday through Friday… because “that’s what you do!” However, I have just moved to Arizona, and when I moved, that opened up two days a week in my schedule! At first, I thought, “Oh, great, I can add more coaching clients to those days!” However, I also realized that one of the important parts of life, now, was to hit the hiking trails. So, today, I take Tuesdays “off” and then also either a Thursday or Friday off. And, I have never worked weekends.

Now, the first thing people think when they take more time off work is “Oh, business will drop down!” But, you know what? I am more present with my clients NOW, my creativity has increased, and when I DO work, I am much more focused and productive. And business has NOT dropped!

2. Do what you think you can’t. Is there something you’ve wanted to do but hesitate because it feels like too much work to learn? Do you hear yourself always saying, “I don’t have time for that”? The advantage of striving for something (a new competition, playing an instrument, etc) not related to your business will help you in several ways. First, it will help you empathize with some of your own clients better, who struggle to achieve their goals. Second, it will push you out of your comfort zone, so when you DO accomplish that goal, you will have greater self-confidence. This will filter into your business confidence, too.

3. Avoid isolation. Get out and join entrepreneur groups that are not just related to dietetics – for women, NAWBO ( is an excellent organization to get involved with. Join your local Chamber, and then go to the meetings on a regular basis. Get out and get to know people; develop relationships. Not only might you create some great contacts that lead to new opportunities, but you may create new friendships, as well! And, when it comes down to a balanced life, strong friendships will make all the difference between enjoying life and just rushing through it.

With focus, determination, and planning, your business will be up and running successfully. In the meantime, however, it’s as essential to incorporate that balance into it as the work and dedication. Way too many people find themselves saying, “I’d just like to quit and get a job.” Before you get to that point; take time off and play!

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Power of Adrenaline

Last Thursday, my company raced in the New York J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile run. We had about 75 people competing – sadly for them, all were subjected to six months of my blabbing about hydration, sports nutrition and proper snacking. Finally, the day had come to put their training into effect.

Most of this crew ran the race, a far cry from their initial training abilities and racing goals back in the winter time. These are a people that usually sit in cubicles for eight hours straight. These peoples do not typically get up unless to eat a bowl of cereal, use the bathroom or grab coffee down in the local Starbucks. Luckily, we have two incredibly well-stocked kitchens full of healthy items, compliments to Yours Truly, and an on-site gym where we offer fitness classes and daily ping pong/Wii tournaments. That said I never imagined most of my coworkers running (no, not jogging) this race.

So I have to wonder about the powers of the “adrenaline rush.” 15,000 other corporate junkies were spotted in NYC’s central park, gearing up to run with their teammates and coworkers. Crowds were cheering, the weather was sunny and music blasted to feed the soul. Adrenaline is known to produce unusually exhilarating effects in the body. Says coworker Kate K., “I don’t know what came over me, but I felt the need to run.”

Can we say fight or flight? This girl has exercise-induced asthma and informed me at least a month ago that she was only going to walk this race. I concurred (I didn’t think stretchers were necessary at this corporate challenge). I would love to say she followed some of my training and nutrition programs, but something else tells me her catecholamines were in full-throttle. She ran the entire race successfully, her sympathetic nervous system in overdrive.

Coworkers came to me with similar tales. The crowd inspired them; it was an out of body moment; they couldn’t wait to attend the after-party we were hosting… How much of their race can we attribute to epinephrine? Are my coworkers (remember: Starbucks and cereal bowls) closet-case runners? No one was running from a tiger – but J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge anecdotal evidence shows that some C+C music factory and an audience of cheers can inspire some serious physiological responses.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The big online marketing dilemma – What do I do?

Today Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs are the hot tickets in online marketing. We hear it everywhere, and there are TONS of ebooks, webinars, and other products to tell you how to make millions using them!

Is there any truth to this and what should YOU do?

First, yea, they can be extremely effective, IF your target market hangs out on them. But, regardless, these methods should not be all you do, but is just part of what you should be implementing. In fact, you should have your PLAN (as in marketing plan?) put together before you start any marketing! And, these methods should be part of that bigger picture of what you want to accomplish in your marketing.

What else can you do, then?

Writing short articles and submitting them to article submission sites is still an effective strategy. One article submission site to add articles to is Organizations and businesses will go to these sites to find articles for their own blogs or newsletters. I’ve even had a few show up in print media! This leads to a wider potential audience for your services!
Determine where your ideal clients hang out and offer to provide THOSE sites with short articles, too! And, if they have a networking area, jump in and develop relationships within that site, also.

Writing a short online newsletter/eblast helps you feature different programs you offer from time to time, and develop an ongoing relationship with potential, current, and previous clients. You can easily create a following of people who do NOT go on the social media sites. Think about it: Do ALL athletes spend a lot of time online? Maybe not.

With every one of these methods, however, when marketing online, make sure you track your progress. How many people come to your site via these social networking sites? How many people read your articles (EzineArticles will send you stats)? As you put your plans together (which is essential!), you want to also determine the expected outcomes. This way, if you decide to start Tweeting about your new membership program, with expected outcomes of increasing your website traffic by 30%, you can measure how well that’s working for you. If it IS, you can do more of it; if it’s not, you know you need to make a change, or eliminate that strategy.

Afterall, no matter what they say not many people (if any) make millions on Twitter…

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Marjorie Geiser is President of MEG Enterprises, and is author of the book, "Just Jump: The No-Fear Business Start-up Guide for Health and Fitness Professionals ".

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Protein post-exercise: how much?

I work amid a sea of computer engineers – they’re not your standard Mountain Dew drinking, sedentary bunch of kids creating the next social networking website in their garage. Some are. But many come bearing muscles, protein powder and a pocket full of sports nutrition questions.

The other day, Phil W. asked me if I thought he should, "...take in as much protein as possible after weight training. Is there a limit to look out for?" What should he do?

My first thought was: is he for real? Realizing he was, I forwarded him a study that showed how more than 30 grams did not further enhance the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.1 I also presented him a list of foods to calculate his protein needs post-exercise:

But then it dawned on me. Was this even accurate? I consulted my Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook, aka Goddess of Exercise Books, to rediscover that protein needs may be upwards of 1.5g/kg body weight in those who engage in heavy resistance exercise. So Phil, a 140# 5’11” male would require around 95g protein per day for his heavy strength training – at least.

The text went on to say that one factor determining the amount of protein needed might also be the type of resistance training program being used (e.g., single-exercise, low volume versus multi-exercise, high volume). This means that Phil’s total body resistance program would have more protein requirements, which makes sense because his body is using more muscle mass. So then, if Phil is eating three meals per day and no snacks in between (remember: computer engineer = six+ hours without food and drink, as though in a desert), is 30 grams really sufficient. Really?

My bottom-line is to tell people to ingest a meal chock-full of protein to help recovery. Maybe 30 grams is all one truly needs to ensure adequate muscle protein synthesis. My computer engineers are mathematicians. They want exact to the gram numbers here. Without doing a personal diet history on each and every one of them, what can we generally say is an adequate amount of protein post-exercise?

A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein sythesis in young and elderly subjects. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009.

-Marissa Beck, MS, RD is the Director of Wellness at NextJump and a NYC-based food writer. Visit her website at:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cheat Days

One of my sports nutrition cases (a HUGE supplement-fanatic) eats fewer calories than a five year old per day. He is in fitness-model shape and has one day per week where he gorges like Violet Beauregard from Willie Wonka. Only he doesn’t blow up… and chews more than just gum.

I’ve chosen to focus upon the “three offending ingredients,” salt, sugar and saturated fat, because I wanted to present the most horrifying story possible to my client – such excesses seemed like it might do the trick.

The following is his list of foods consumed on, as he indicates, a “pretty standard cheat day:”

In calculating his total calories, we discovered that he was consuming close to 9,000 calories on his “cheat days.” Although he certainly makes up for calories lost throughout the week on his <1500 kcal plan, it’s certainly one of the more self-sabotaging methods of weight control.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Americans should not consume over 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of added sugars per day, based on a 2000 calorie diet. Food labels generally do not distinguish between added and natural sugars in products. For example, one cup of skim milk has 12g of the natural sugar (lactose). One packet of peanut butter M&Ms is over the daily value at 47 grams of sugar, coming from sucrose. To put this into perspective, 665g is at least 2,660 calories from added sugars.

At 10,723mg of sodium per day, our subject is having close to four times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sodium. Focusing on long-term health consequences, such as hypertension, did not seem to affect this individual’s behavior change as did, “reducing tummy bloat in swim trunks.” Likewise, the term ‘chronic heart disease’ didn’t scare him, but not surprisingly, mentioning that 163g of saturated fat would interfere with his ability to maintain his 6-pack abs, did.

Our subject confessed there might be a level of masochism involved (ya think?) Nonetheless, he tends to follow “strict body-building advice,” which includes the cheat day as a method to offset weekly calorie restriction. Google “the vermonster cheat-y,” his favorite website, for more rated-R cheat-day materials.

For the record, I am a proponent of eating a planned, portion-controlled ‘off-limit’ snack or meal. By ‘off-limit’ I mean foods that generally don’t fit the bill of health (a donut, a piece of non-home-made cake, a bag of salty chips). Clearly, the goal with this person was to show that "cheat day foods" could and do fit into the weekly budget.

We finally established that ransacking the body for one full day wouldn’t just ruin his chances of beach-body Adonis, but also increase his risk for serious chronic conditions that no beach-body Adonis could ever be worth.

Marissa Beck, MS, RD is a NYC-based dietitian and the Director of Wellness at NextJump Inc.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bugs and Fixes

Once a new website is launched it is followed by a period of Bugs and Fixes. Some of the problems that members are experiencing are due to the website itself and others are due to something the individual is doing or not doing. The goal is not to assign “blame.” The goal is to fix any problem as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing problems with the new SCAN website, please let us know by going to the bottom of the home page ( and clicking on Contact Us. Type in your name, email address, and message. In the message area of the box, try to give us very specific information. For example, if something is wrong with a particular page, copy the URL and tell us exactly what is happening (or not happening). Once you have written your message, click on the green box that says SUBMIT. SCAN will try to figure out the problem and respond to you as soon as possible.

Sometimes the problem is on the user end. Here are some things that may be causing problems and how to correct them.

Have you renewed your SCAN membership? The membership year runs from June 1 to May 31. If you haven’t yet renewed your ADA and SCAN membership, please do so. It’s easy to renew online at:

Have you re-set your password? If not, you can do so here: You only have to do this once, but you must do it before you can access the member only area.

Have you updated My Profile? If not, click on My Profile, which is at the top of the page once you sign in. There are three sections that you can edit. The first is your name, credentials, contact information, etc. As your primary email address, please use the email address on file with ADA. You can also sign up for the subunits here. The second section is a Member Profile, which allows you to describe yourself and your services. This information will show in the Find A SCAN RD feature. The third section allows you to upload a picture and put in your social networking information, such as Linked In, Twitter, or your personal Facebook page. Remember to save your information after you edit your profile by clicking on the green box that says SAVE.

If you are having a problem with any part of the website, SCAN is committed to fixing it. Let us know about it. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD

SCAN Web Editor