Nutrition Tip – Week 1: You Can Never Out-Train Poor Nutrition


You Can Never Out-Train Poor Nutrition

Sure you will improve your fitness, but unless you fine tune your nutrition like you do your training, you will never know your true potential. This fine tuning does not require you to read chapter after chapter of food rules or wade thru lists of exceptions. Simply stated, it comes down to the old K.I.S.S. principle – Keep It Simple Speedy.

Sure there are tweaks along the way, but your training varies as the season progresses as well. This is called Nutrition Periodization. This involves adjusting your overall fuel intake, manipulating proportions of carbs, proteins, and fats, or adjusting the timing of fueling your body. This is based on your activity level or training phase (base, build, taper, etc). In doing so and keeping it simple choose whole foods. This means build your plate to include a variety of textures and colors from fruits/vegetables & nuts, lean proteins, high fiber, complex carbohydrates, and don’t forget healthy fats. The benefits from whole foods just can’t be matched by bars or shakes, no matter how convincing the label reads. Following these K.I.S.S. principle results in better nutrition for better performances.

Andrea Rudser-Rusin, MA, ATC, RD, CSSD

Recipe – Week 1: Grilled Margarita Chicken Salad


  • ½ cup frozen (thawed) nonalcoholic margarita mix
  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 lb)
  • 6 cups bite-size pieces assorted salad greens
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 medium mango, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.
    2. Dressing – in small bowl, stir margarita mix, oil and vinegar with wire whisk until well blended. Measure 1/4 cup dressing for basting chicken; reserve remaining dressing for serving.
    3. Cover and grill chicken over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with 1/4 cup dressing, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
    4. Cut chicken into slices. In large bowl, toss salad greens, chicken and strawberries; divide among 4 plates.
    5. Arrange mango and avocado around each salad.
    6. Sprinkle with cilantro.
    7. Drizzle with reserved dressing.

Makes 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from


About Andrea Rudser-Rusin, MA, ATC, RD, CSSD


Andrea Ruder-Rusin, is a registered dietitian, board certified as a sports dietitian, and a certified athletic trainer (the sports medicine type). Andrea practices in the private sector under the title of SportWise Nutrition & Consulting LLC. Clients of SportWise include athletes and non-athletes as well as groups associated with both for-profit & not-for-profit organizations.

Andrea has Bachelor’s degrees in Athletic Training and Nutrition & Dietetics from The University of North Dakota. She holds Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from The University of Minnesota. Her nutrition expertise includes sports nutrition, weight management, pre- & Post-bariatic surgery nutrition & lifestyle counseling, and behavior modification. Her sports medicine skills are maintained and put to good use with ongoing work for the United States Swimming national team and traveling with other USOC sponsored teams and competitions.

Her athletic career began some 30 years ago as an age-group swimmer under the instruction of internationally known swimming & stroke expert, Mike Stromberg. Ander continued her swimming career through college, splitting her time between The University of Minnesota and The University of North Dakota. While at UND she was NCAA champion in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly and was awarded All- American status at both universities in a variety of events and distances. Andrea has participated in 5k &10k open water swimming events, ironman & ½ ironman distance triathlons, and various running events ranging from 5k to marathon distance. She has completed 3 sub-12 hour ironman races and has placed 1st in her division in the 2.4mile swim portion of the ironman triathlon. She is also a member of team Go Dog Go!, 12-time co-ed relay champions at the Chicago Triathlon.

Words to live, train, and race by: “The pain of not trying your hardest lasts a lot longer than the pain it takes to push yourself to the limit” and advice learned early on from Coach Stromberg – “Just have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff.”

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