Do Your Nutrition Homework

A series of food on plates and bowls highlights the importance of nutrition.

You may be encouraging athletes in workouts, but if you aren’t also coaching them in nutrition you aren’t doing your job to the best of your ability, Affiliate.

The number of podcasts, blogs, books and videos is continually growing for you to use to educate yourself and your students on the different values a healthy diet can bring to the table, but how do you know what works and what doesn’t?

Lindsey Marcelli, owner of CrossFit Eminence in Thornton, Colorado, explained while using Google can sometimes help students, it is good to have a nutritionist on hand at your Box for the times when an expert opinion is needed.

“We have a Coach of ours that is a nutritionist, so our athletes don’t have to do much on their own if they don’t want to,” said Marcelli. “She does seminars, blogs and offers personalized nutrition. It is great to have this resource because it’s very personal, versus some generic ‘how to’ on Google.”

Not every Coach is a licensed nutritionist, however. This makes it even more important for every staff member at your Box to continually be educating themselves. Marcelli explained she is currently getting a nutrition certification through Precision Nutrition because she felt the need to better herself and her Box

If getting certified isn’t possible, there are always other sources to learn about nutrition from, like magazines. “I love the Clean Eating magazine,” said Marcelli. “Instead of pushing Zone or paleo, I really like members to read about clean eating. When I first started CrossFit, the concept of a Zone diet was very overwhelming and hard to stick to. I found a Clean Eating magazine and bought Tosca Reno’s books and that was the key to success as a beginner to nutrition. Everything was laid out and the recipes are so good.”

The unique aspect to nutrition is it is never the same for two people. Sure, there are specific foods to avoid, but it really depends on what a person wants and what their body requires. Make sure you educate yourself on different techniques you may need to take with athletes.

According to Marcelli, nutrition is ebb and flow. People want to be healthy and fit, but they want to have their ice cream too, and that’s OK. You want to find a perfect fit for people that will have them sticking to their nutrition, and will make them happier and healthier in the process. With the ample amount of resources available, make sure you find a few to consistently revisit.

“So many great resources are out there these days,” said Marcelli. “Working Against Gravity and Precision Nutrition are my top two sources, and Eat to Perform is also up there. Those all have great blogs and newsletters. PaleoNick also has blogs, tips and now even seminars. I also really like the Well Fed and Paleo Performance cook books, there is a ton of detailed information in both.”

Most importantly, understand you are making a difference in people’s lives by helping them with their nutrition. Know your stuff before dealing with someone else’s life. “If you truly want to make a difference in people’s lives, do the work,” said Marcelli. “Be the best. Don’t just give guidance because it’s popular. Give it because that is what the person needs. Do the homework before you throw random guidance out, because they trust you.”

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Peake Media. Contact her at