Nutrition Energy Zappers & Symptom Starters

  0 volleymob | October 04th, 2016 | Lifestyle, Training

By: Anita Nall Richesson (Olympian, Nutrition & Wellness Expert)

In my last article, the number one key in achieving an elite mindset with food was linking what you eat with how you feel. Olympic Gold Medalist Dana Vollmer shared that “listening to her body and understanding the signals” has been a real key to her success since working with me on her nutrition years ago. “Learning about nutrition has made a dramatic change to my training and is one of the keys to my success”, says Vollmer.

So, how can you link what you eat with how you feel? What are the possible signals your body might be sending to let you know a particular food might not be working? The following sample assessment is what I use with clients to gauge their health.

Fatigue ___

Sluggishness ___

Hyperactivity ___

Restlessness ___

Erratic energy ___

Pain in joints ___

Arthritis ___

Stiffness ___

Aches in Muscles ___

RLS ___

Binge eating ___

Cravings ___

Excessive weight ___

Compulsive eating ___

Water Retention ___

Itchy ears ___

Ear aches ___

Ear infections ___

Ringing in ears ___

Hearing Loss ___

Watery eyes ___

Itchy eyes ___

Dark Circles ___

Swollen eyelids ___

Acne ___

Hives, rashes ___

Hair loss ___

Hot flashes ___

Excessive sweating ___

Mood swings ___

Anxiety, fear ___

Depression ___

Aggressiveness ___

Nervousness ___

Irritability, Anger ___

Chronic coughing ___

Gagging ___

Often clear throat ___

Sore throat ___

Canker sores ___

Swollen Tongue ___

Stuffy Nose ___

Sinus Problems ___

Hay Fever ___

Sneezing attacks ___

Excessive Mucus ___

Diarrhea ___

Constipation ___

Bloated ___

Belching ___

Passing Gas ___

Stomach Pains ___

Headaches ___

Faintness ___

Dizziness ___

Insomnia ___

Poor concentration ___

Brain Fog __

Frequent illness ___

Urgent urination ___

Frequent urination __

Frequent UTI’s ___

Frequent yeast infections __

Period problems___

Rate the following symptoms on a scale of 1-10. If you do not experience the symptom, leave it blank.


Minimal effect/impact               Moderate                    Severely impacts your life

Now, add up ALL of your numbers from the assessment to get your total and compare with the scorecard below.

Score Assessment
0-25 Amazing Health!

On the right track, look to see where you could refine your diet even more. Don’t stop!

26-40 Good health overall!

Could use some fine-tuning to get to amazing status.

41–55 Warning Zone!

Turn it around now before your body really lets you know its’ not happy.

56 & up Yikes!

Consider a major diet overhaul to achieve your goals.

I’m not saying you HAVE TO feel amazing in order to have a breakthrough performance. Our minds can certainly push past our ‘feelings’ at any given moment and overcome many circumstances. However, we can assert that, the more vibrant and energized you feel day in and day out at practice, the higher your performance capacity will be. If you are chronically plagued with migraine headaches and sinusitis like I was, it will take its toll at some point and decrease your capacity to perform. Energy spent handling ear infections and sore throats is unavailable energy for your training time.

How can you reduce your numbers from above? Reducing foods that encourage symptoms and zap energy is your first step. Here are the top energy zappers & symptom-makers that I regularly see in my work:

  • Foods w/ added sugars & chemical sweeteners
  • Processed foods Whole Foods
  • Toxic Oils (soybean, hydrogenated & other vegetable oils)

Here are some simple switches you can make to get a jump on removing some of the above ingredients from your daily diet.

Traditional grocery store applesauce All Natural, unsweetened applesauce
Traditional peanut butter Natural, non-hydrogenated

peanut butter

High sugar, dry cereal w/milk, or

Flavored oatmeal in packets

Warm crock pot mixed

whole-grain porridge or oatmeal

w/ berries & honey

Nesquick or Carnation

Chocolate Milk

Unsweetened chocolate almond milk

w/ vanilla stevia (Almond Breeze Brand)

Mini bite sized candy bars Chocolate dipped dates

(homemade w/ low sugar chocolate)

Corn syrup or sugar

sweetened jelly/jam

ALL fruit spread

(no sugar or corn syrup, just fruit)

Soda Sparkling mineral water or seltzer &

a little juice OR

Mineral water & flavored stevia.

Try Zevia soda or Steaz

Pasta Spaghetti Squash
Fruit Roll Up Real, all fruit leather
Salted or sweetened nuts Raw nuts
Traditional Chips Avocado or Olive Oil Chips

Stay tuned for my next article, “Ingredient Reading vs. Label Reading”.   It will teach you an invaluable skill that will empower you in your elite nutrition journey.


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 Anita Nall Richesson 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.

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. 

By: Anita Nall Richesson (Olympian, Nutrition & Wellness Expert)

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