The Core Diet Blog

Rachel Gargano

Marathoner, Triathlete, Registered Dietitian, Youth Junior Qualified

Rachel is a Registered Dietitian, board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and Wellness Coach. She holds an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, masters in Nutrition Communications, and completed her dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2006. 

In addition to working as a Core Diet dietitian, Rachel is a nutrition consultant with a private practice. While she works with a variety of clientele, athletes are one of her favorite groups to counsel because of their passion and ambition for optimal performance. Good nutrition is essential for athletic performance.
Rachel provides sports nutrition counseling to athletes at all skill levels and of all ages, including juniors. She has not only worked with beginner, age group, and pro triathletes and marathoners, but also with young athletes involved in triathlon; high school cross country and track, wrestling, and volleyball; as well as junior athletes striving for the Olympics in sports such as swimming and cross country skiing. 

Rachel believes that nutrition fuels our bodies both physically and mentally. That ultimate performance both in the office and on the field is based on what we choose to put in out mouth. Her nutrition philosophy is that the human body is made to function in wholeness and wellness; and healthy eating shouldn’t be a chore, but rather natural, intuitive, and delicious. 

As a life-long athlete, Rachel has been involved in many athletic disciplines; from competitive gymnastics and all-around track and field, to triathlons and running. She has completed a 70.3 ironman, many triathlons, marathons, fistfuls of shorter distance races, as well as team long-distance relay races.

Sea Salt: Is It Worth Emptying Your Wallet?

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Bolivian Rose Sea Salt. Dead Sea Salt. Celtic Sea Salt. Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt. Organic and Natural Sea Salt.

Sea Salts are marketed to us as a more natural and healthy alternative.  But are they any different than table salt?

Yes and No.

What is Sea Salt, anyway?

Healthify Your Comfort Food

As the colder months roll in and slowly envelop us in frigid air, our food choices start to change.  Our penchant for salad goes by the wayside and we start craving more comforting foods: warm, creamy soups; toasty, gooey casseroles; and oodles of noodles.  All the delicious foods that, if eaten with abandon, help create the lovely padding around our midsection– a thermal layer that keeps up warm through these chilly months.

Leucine: Improving Muscle Gain & Maintenance

As a triathlete, you work your tail off throughout the season to perform your best in that A race.  The first part of your season consists of building a solid base; gaining strength in the gym that will transition to power on the bike and in the run.  The second half of your season is devoted to speed and continued aerobic improvement.

The Food Mood Connection

We’ve all heard the short version of the nutrition mantra, “We are what we eat.” What we’re really saying, however, is that our health and mood are reflections of what we have eaten and what we have not eaten.
We can be deficient in both macro nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals). These deficiencies can lead to symptoms associated with depression, behavioral issues, stress, and physical illnesses. For example, what we eat can lower or raise serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine – neurotransmitters in our brain that control our ability to relax, resist food cravings, or maintain energy and alertness. What we put in our mouth can also affect how well our red blood cells carry oxygen to our body, and how well we convert food to energy. Poor management of either of these will make us feel tired, weak, confused, moody, or any and all of the above.

The Female Athlete Triad

Exercise in general is very beneficial. It helps improve cardiovascular health, reduces stress, helps with weight maintenance as well as overall quality of life. And yet it can play a role, or be a trigger, for a combination of health issues called the Female Athlete Triad.

This syndrome, which includes disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and reduced bone mineral density, can be present in female athletes of all levels; from high school girls just joining a team to elite adult athletes. Whether intentional or not, it occurs when there is a lower calorie intake than what the body needs to support increased activity, needs for recovery, as well as necessary nutrients for everyday functioning.

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