By Anita Nall Richesson, Olympian & Nutritionist
As a general rule of thumb, eating foods in their whole, most natural state (rather than mashed, pureed, juiced, popped etc.) generally lessens the impact on blood sugar and contains more nourishment for the body. For example, choose a baked potato over chips and fries, choose an apple over applesauce, and always choose the whole vegetable or the whole fruit rather than juicing it, so that you get all the beneficial fiber (which, don’t forget, cancels out some of the sugars) and the other nutrients stored in the skins and pulp.
An excellent illustration can be found in an orange. When you drink orange juice, you get the vitamin C but not the beneficial fiber and phytonutrients that come from the pulp. Even if you buy orange juice with pulp, you’re still not getting any of the fibrous white membrane, which is where the phytonutrients (plant nutrients that fight disease) hide.
Nutrition science research is finding, increasingly, that it is not one substance or another that gives plant foods their disease-fighting power, but the interaction of these vitamins, antioxidants, and other plant chemicals. So, by eating foods the way Mother Nature presents them, you won’t miss out on any hidden health benefits. As for sports, your energy will come from whole, natural foods as well. Bagged and boxed foods won’t give you the performance edge you are looking for.
Setting the swimming world ablaze at the young age of fifteen with 2 world records in one day propelled Anita into the fast lane of success. After swimming for the cycle (gold, silver, and bronze) in the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona, many health challenges hampered her attempts at returning to an Olympic level. Challenged by a series of “mystery illnesses” that lasted a decade after the Olympics, Anita rediscovered health through food. Traditional medicine’s failed healing attempts drove her towards a personal quest for wellness and a passionate understanding of the healing power of food. Her profound experiences with illness, healing and professional athletics have given her a unique perspective she shares with clients.
After completing her undergraduate degree in Communications and Spanish from Arizona State University she pursued holistic nutrition education at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona. Anita is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Certified Life Coach and accomplished motivational speaker. Anita is also an elite member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Anita coaches clients on how to become the CWO (Chief Wellness Officer) of their own lives through her company Feed Me Anita. She completed 3 NFL seasons as Nutrition Consultant for the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Football Team. She works with various elite professional athletes including UFC fighters, boxers & world-class swimmers as well as major corporations around the country. She recently began another business called More Than Medals. It is an empowerment program for teenage female athletes that centers around motivation, nutrition & increased self-esteem. www.morethanmedals.us
Read the following articles to learn more about Anita:
How Anita helped guide the NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars.
How Anita caught Dana Vollmer’s food allergies and helped her get on the right nutritional track to succeed at the Olympics.