Nutrition for founders

Finding the energy to run your business.

Do you have enough fuel to be a founder?  ⛽️

There is a lot of nutrition information out there but, in our experience, most of it is crap. 💩To find out how to eat right and stay energized as a founder, Laura Bosco sat down with Kristen Ziesmer, the owner and founder of Elite Nutrition and Performance. As the only board-certified sports dietitian and certified personal trainer in the state of South Carolina, Kristen knows her shit. 💪

Laura: Energy - specifically, having enough of it - is a big topic. How does food impact our energy levels? 🍎

Kristen: Think of it like gas-ing your car; if you don’t have enough gas in your car, you’re not getting anywhere. If you’re not eating enough overall, you’re not going to have enough energy. Eat a balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fat each time you eat. 

Nutrient timing is also a big thing. It takes about four hours for your food to clear out of your system. If you're not eating every four hours, your blood sugar levels have now dropped down to a level where you're sluggish and not thinking clearly.

You could be more productive if you eat on a regular basis. 

Laura: This gives a little bit of insight into the dreaded afternoon slump. Do you think that's nutrition related? 😴

Kristen: Definitely nutrition-related. 

You should be eating the majority of your food at the beginning of the day, which most people do not do. If you're not eating enough early in the day, by 3 o'clock for sure, you're going to feel it and feel like crap. 

If you're not staying hydrated, that's another big thing. Especially for people who are sitting at a desk all day. They think, "well, I don't want to get up and go to the bathroom all the time because it's interrupting my work." Which, I get it. But think about how our bodies are made up of something like 70% water. It's involved in every process that goes on inside our bodies, including our ability to think.  👇

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Infographic from Kristen and StayingHealthy.org. 

👉 Hidrate Spark is a great idea for smart water intake. 

Laura: A founder's work schedule can be REALLY demanding. How can people eat well when it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day? ⏰

Kristen: First of all, there are a ton of healthy convenience foods:

  • Rotisserie chicken  
  • Salad kits
  • Birdseye steam in the bag vegetables. (They even have different grains and vegetables.) 
  • Greek yogurt and fruit

If you want to cook meals at home, a crockpot is your best friend. 

With the crockpot, as long as you have a protein source, a carbohydrate, and a little bit of fat, you could literally just throw it all in the crockpot and turn it on. So something easy I do is take chicken, brown rice, chicken broth, and whatever vegetable I want and I just throw it in the crockpot and let it cook all day. And when I come home...food. 

Laura: Chicken DUMP meals? 🤔

Kristen: Yes. It's all these combinations of chicken meals you dump in a gallon size bag, put in the freezer, and save for later. When you're ready to use it, you just take it out and dump it in the crockpot.

👉Check out Kristen's posts on inexpensive ways to increase the quality of your food and how to meal prep for busy mornings

Laura: Many entrepreneurs are short on time AND money. Is it possible to eat well when you're both time and cash-strapped? 💸

Kristen: I actually buy my dry foods from Walmart.

There's a ton of stuff you can get from Walmart that's healthy. You could buy flax seeds and chia seeds from Walmart that are organic. They're a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Add it to some oatmeal. Oatmeal is another thing you can buy that's really healthy (as long as it's the plain oatmeal, not the packets of oatmeal). 

If you can buy some things from Walmart, you can save some money for things that might cost a little bit more. Meat is going to cost more money - and I'd buy that from a place like Publix.

👉Sign up for grocery store newsletters, like Earthfare and Fresh Market, for sales alerts. Download the Walmart grocery app for curbside pickup. Kristen also has an ebook on budget grocery shopping

Laura: This all sounds great. But many of us have really bad follow through. How can we be consistent with this stuff? 🏃

Kristen: A couple of things. One is to set out goals for yourself and write them down. It's just like a business plan. If you don't have a business plan and don't have it written out on paper, it's going to be really hard for you to follow through with it. 

Come up with SMART goals.

You don't want to go for outcome-based goals, you want to go for behavior-change goals. For example, "I'm going to eat lunch five days a week," or "I'm going to walk for 30 minutes, 3x/week." 

Look at some of the easy things you can do differently. Some people think, "oh I need to do this crazy diet, what's the magic pill, I need to change everything in one day." But, you don't.

In order for you to be successful, it is literally making small changes over time. 

Laura: Awesome advice. Where can readers go to learn more about you, your programs, and your resources? 👩‍💻

Kristen: The best place to go is my website, elitenutritionandperformance.com. You can get a ton of information there, including about me. 

👉Don't miss her blog and e-books.

Kristen has literally run down the sides of triathlon finish lines to cheer on her clients. Need someone to cheer you on, too? Good news - she works with clients all over the US!

"In order for you to be successful, it is literally making small changes over time." - Kristen Ziesmer

Want to see us cover a topic? Have major startup questions or sticking points? Email andrew@builtbykrit.com