Monthly Archives: March 2015


Joey Adams, metabolic specialist and esteemed athletic coach, contributed the following to ‘ACTIVE VERMONT’ on March 29, 2015. Read on:

The pursuit of fitness has varying “rules”. Do this, try this, don’t do this, eat this, not this. Yet, where is the fun in any of that – in following someone’s dogma? So, without being dogmatic, I’d like to start with the concept of FUN in re-defining the pursuit of fitness.

When I think of the concept of fun, and the creation of my F rules (Fun-Focus-Flow-Fit-Form-Fuel-Fitness to avoid Fooey!) in pursuing fitness, I always use fun as the litmus test. As a true Vermonter, I think of Ben and Jerry and their famous quote, “if it is not fun, why do it?”

I then immediately think of the experience of watching my own children at play and now pursuing their own fitness passions. I’m captivated by their total immersion in their sports. It LOOKS like fun. You can see it on their faces and in their bodies’ expression.

So I offer you this, when it stops being fun, when you don’t look forward to your wellness pursuit in whatever form, it is time to stop and change course, shake it up, try something new. Get outside, try a new sport, take a new class, dance, move, play, create!

Chris Cover, 3-28-2015, having fun on the bike, Ironman 70.3, Oceanside, CA.

Chris Cover, 3-28-2015, having fun on the bike, Ironman 70.3, Oceanside, CA.

Even if you can’t do it YET, the key is a growth mindset. You can always learn, evolve and grow. It is in these moments that one can experience what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called FLOW. This is the moment of the autotelic experience, or of being immersed in the moment, a zen-like experience.

Eckhart Tolle would call it the “Power of Now” (1997). It is those experiences one has in the pursuit of a passion, of a time warp, where one loses the sense of time.

So if you’re working out and you find yourself looking at the clock, it is time to go back to the first F rule, time for some FUN. But, if you’re experiencing flow on a regular basis, move to the next F rule.

FIT. Your stuff has got to fit you. This comes down to EVERY contact point that your body makes with the ground or gravity or friction. I cannot tell you how many people who, when asked where they got their shoes, equipment, etc., and how they chose it, answered: “I got it online, it was a good color, or I thought it was the right one.” Inappropriate equipment leads to a path of injury through one’s endeavor. When a foot strike is wrong, a bike too big, or even a yoga mat too slippery, injuries and setbacks are waiting to happen.

This is where it makes sense to go to a local vendor, do research and spend time checking out what is right for you and your unique body.

For example, most running shoe fittings can take an hour or two to ensure you’ve got the right shoe (and the left one too). The clinician should have you run in multiple shoes on a treadmill and even do a video analysis to ensure proper fit that will enhance proper form.

Any equipment you buy should come with a warranty. If it doesn’t work for you, within reason, your provider should help you find what will and make the appropriate exchange.

Assuming things FIT, you’re now ready to work on FORM. Form is simply how you move in your endeavors. Do you move well, or are there imbalances? If you are a creature of the 21st century, you likely sit a lot, or have a job or life-demands that strengthen one part of the body over another. (I think about all those times I carried my kids around on one hip while doing something else with the other hand. Ouch.) It all adds up and translates to poor form caused by body asymmetries that derail your training. In addition, when you exercise, if you go at it too hard, you tend to favor strengths rather than addressing weaknesses, which in turn exacerbates weaknesses.

Think of the cognitive demands of Tai Chi, dance or any activity that requires precise form (which in actuality is everything, if done well).

Often the movement patterns developed as a basis, for the aforementioned activities, are done with slow movements first, adding on more complex patterns once those are mastered and then adding speed. So why start to sprint when you could walk, jog and then run?

It is during the slow pace that there is cognitive space to think about form. When I workout hard, form is the first thing to go; I’m just trying to survive. The body will follow the mind, not the other way around. A thought elicits a body response. We can be the masters of our thoughts and thus our movement and reactions.

F rules build a foundation, and now that you’ve grasped these, you’re ready for FUEL, repeatedly mistaken as the first rule. When people come to me for a metabolic test, they often think they have a slow metabolism. I’ve been assessing people’s metabolism for over a decade. In all that time I’ve tested less than three people (out of thousands) with slow metabolism, and those people were on very restrictive diets, unfortunately starving themselves fat.

For most people the key to weight management is to eat enough, eat early and often. Eat like a king or queen in the morning (it is called break-fast for a reason), a prince or princess in the afternoon (why the midday meal is biggest in many cultures), and a pauper in the evening (circadian rhythm slows and the body favors storing evening calories as fat).

The other concept to FUEL is to eat during exercise. Depending on your activity and intensity, if you know you’re going to exercise for more than 60-75 minutes, you need to eat 200-300 calories per hour. Too often I work with people who forget to eat during an event or workout and then pay the price towards the end.

Finally, after quantity and timing, remember to refuel post exercise. We are primal people, just a little better dressed than our paleolithic ancestors. But, at that stage of ancestral development we were either running to get food or running from being food according to the Paleo Diet for Athletes (even though I would argue no cookbooks survived from that time). Research supports eating within one half hour post exercise. It doesn’t have to be a lot; it could be a balanced meal as simple as fruit and nuts.

Fuel and timing help build the new, better, stronger you. Isn’t that one of the reasons why you do what you do?

Your F rules are in line. You’ve mastered and embraced FUN. You’ve discovered FOCUS that led to FLOW. Your gear finally FITS because of the guiding hands and eyes of a specialist. Your FORM is impeccably evolving and you are continually vigilant. You honor your FUEL needs. You have created a deeper FITNESS FOUNDATION.

The other choice, when any F gets out of balance is to just say Fooey (you could put in your favorite F word), but there’s good news. You then go back to FUN and start again, maybe in a new direction. When I was out of balance, I found yoga and meditation in my arsenal and I’m sure I will discover other fun things in my future.

Wishing you miles of smiles down your personal road to wellness, balance and peace…and as always, lots of fun!

Joey Adams, M.S. Exercise Science, Intelligent Fitness, Metabolic Specialist, VO2 assessments and performance analysis,, “Getting workouts on target and making your time count.”



MEET JOEY ADAMS: Joey Adams, who has an M.S. in Exercise Science from Colorado State, is a Metabolic Specialist.  “I specialize in assessing human performance and metabolism to help people make the most of their time by understanding their unique physiology,” Adams said. “My end game is to help people understand how their body works with the time and skills available to them.” Adams, who lives in Shelburne, travels throughout New England to test.

Meeting with Adams, one recognizes that there is more to his work than a job description. Adams finds a way to connect the nuts and bolts of training and teaching with the essence of humanity. For example, Adams teaches at Shelburne Community School and Champlain College where he  “aspires to inspire kids to question everything around them, including authority, and prove everything they know so they can become the masters of their future.”

In his personal life, Adams is a devoted family man and generously dedicated to his students. “I’m an evolving compartmentalizer,” Adams said, “and stay true to my personal mission statement: Be true to myself, my family, and my students. Be present in each moment. Accept that I am human and try my best every day. In doing so I have the ability to create positive change.”

New research, new studies explained and books written, tout the importance of the mind-body connection to personal health and individual performance. Adams has ridden the crest of this wave. “For the past 5 years, the mind-body connection has been the driver for me,” Adams said. “This goes back to my earlier years working with corporate wellness. So many people think of their body as a vehicle to move their head from meeting to meeting rather than the interconnectedness between them.”

Adams prioritizes sleep hygiene as part of daily health and well-being. He practices yoga and meditation each several times a week, trains balance and functional movement, follows a vegan diet and lifestyle and the guidance of a naturopath. As a vegan he believes “that small changes than an individual makes can have a bit of global impact.”

These practices dovetail perfectly with the physical part of the equation and Adam’s expertise as a multi-sport athlete including cycling, cross-country skiing, skating… “ There’s not a sport I don’t love,” he said. “Currently it’s following my kids’ interests.”

Adams practices what he teaches and learns. By living an active lifestyle he relates to his students who yearn for more and to his clients who bring their hearts as well as bodies to the quest for higher performance. He models what he coaches and digs deep into mental and physical components of competition as well as daily life.                                [by – Linda Freeman]

Celebrate the Full Moon

A Vermont Full Moon - Stefan Hard

A Vermont Full Moon – Stefan Hard

A full moon –  it’s the perfect time to throw a party, to celebrate, to be festive, loony if you like, and to have some active fun.

Let me explain. I am active and constantly coach, prod, teach, encourage and nag others, including you, dear readers, to move, to get outdoors as much as possible, to include exercise in each day and to play.

I sincerely believe purposeful, deliberate, structured training is great, but that it must be accompanied by hours of moving through life, in a variety of activities, with a sense of humor and within a community of friends.

Like many of you, I become bogged down in the busy-ness, the hustle and bustle of work, responsibilities, obligations, tasks and worries of daily life. I neglect to take my own advice, and the recommendations of so many others much wiser than me, to play, to have fun.

A few weeks back I was invited to join some awesome women on a full moon snowshoe to the summit of a wooded mountain in central Vermont. I was about to decline when I said to myself, “Hey, this is what you are always recommending to others — just do it.”

When the time arrived to join my friends, I had many excuses prepared as there were deadlines and unfinished tasks piling up around me.

I snowshoed. It took time to get where we were going, through woods on trails that were sometimes packed and sometimes deep and new, sometimes gentle but usually steep, sometimes with headlamps, sometimes simply under the starlit sky, sometimes in full chatter and sometimes silent, sometimes focused and breathing hard, sometimes in awe. But always in companionship.

And then it happened. Over the crest of the hill, past the distant mountain range, there it was, the moon beginning its ascent. It was a celebration of life in Vermont, of friendship, of the blessing of an active lifestyle. It was also a workout and we were happy to return to a warm house to eat and drink and share.

So why don’t we do this more often? Those five or so hours with friends have sustained me with pleasant memories during the weeks since. Do we need an excuse to get outdoors, to do something fun or maybe even a little silly, a bit — lunatic?

Here’s the excuse, a full moon. The very next full moon is known as the Full Pink Moon, supposedly dubbed that because of the early flowering pink phlox. It’s also called the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and, on the coast, the Full Fish Moon because of the shad headed upstream to spawn. There’s more. In the early morning, for about five minutes, there will be a total lunar eclipse.

Here are a few lunar facts for you. The moon is actually a satellite, billions of years old, and rather than a face in the moon, what we see are craters. The solar eclipse happens during a new moon, but a lunar eclipse comes about at the time of a full moon, and thus April 4. The moon affects ocean tides and the length of days.

Moving beyond the scientific, the moon figures prominently in music, literature, mythology, nursery rhymes, folk tales and art. There’s the man in the moon, a man on the moon, the attempt to reach the moon, over the moon and to the moon and back.

In January, we had a Full Wolf Moon and in February, a Full Snow Moon. (no kidding). The March Full Worm Moon sounds less enticing, but it worked.

May 3 brings us a Full Flower Moon, June 2 a Full Strawberry Moon and July offers a bonus of two in one month: the Full Beach Moon on July 1 and the Blue Moon on July 31 (the 2nd of two full in one month is a Blue Moon).

Aug. 29 provides the Full Sturgeon Moon, Sept. 27 the Full Harvest Moon, Oct. 27 the Full Hunter’s Moon, and Nov. 25 the Full Beaver Moon.

The year ends coincidentally with the Full Moon Before Yule, or the Full Cold Moon, falling on Dec. 25.

Because the calendar is based upon the moon, perhaps you will join me in taking pen in hand and noting the remaining full moon dates of 2015. Then, go ahead and put yourself out there.

Plan now, and more importantly invite others to join you, thus stating your intention, to actively celebrate each full moon. There are full moon walks, hikes, runs, skis, snowshoes, paddles, cruises, events, outings and frolics in the moonlight just waiting to be devised and enjoyed.

Thru-Skiing the Catamount Trail

The Catamount Trail is unique to Vermont and the Vermont winter of 2014-2015 has offered skiers on the Catamount Trail the equally unique opportunity to thru-ski the entire 300 miles. The quality as well as abundance of snow during this very cold winter has provided coverage and unlimited possibilities.

The following story appeared in the Rutland Herald & Times Argus, ACTIVE VERMONT section, Sunday, March 8, 2015.

Snow and Cold

This has been a winter to remember. For some, memories of battling the cold, shoveling snow off roofs and moaning about the salt brine that sticks to vehicles as well as roads, are not the best reminders of the winter of 2014-2015. But for others, this has been an astonishing trip and it is still going.

Recreational snow sports participants, competitive athletes and kids of all ages love the white stuff, and this has been white stuff to love.

Alpine ski areas boast multiple feet of snow, 100% open trails and powder, yes powder, in the north east. Cross-country ski areas have not been hampered by the lack of snow-making and VAST snowmobile trails have never looked better. Out the back door, on with the snowshoes, and there’s adventure to be had for almost anyone.

What makes this year’s snowfall so special? Amy Kelsey, Executive Director of the Catamount Trail Association, explains. “The abundance and the cold,” she said. “There are no layers of ice. The snow is soft, not crusty. Significant amounts of snow make breaking trail challenging, but the abundance and quality of the snow provide uniform coverage.”

Catamount Trail

Catamount Trail. Photo by Greg Maino

Photo by Greg Maino

The Catamount Trail extends 300 miles from Massachusetts to Canada through the state of Vermont. Since 1984 the Trail has been developed, managed and conserved by the member-driven Catamount Trail Association. At times, some of the 31 sections of trail are unavailable due to poor snow coverage. Not this year. “With several feet of snow in some locations, 2015 has been a banner year for winter enthusiasts,” wrote Andy Wood, Outreach & Youth Program Coordinator CTA in a recent press release, “and thru-skiers on the Catamount Trail reported deep snow and excellent trail coverage across the state.”

The Catamount Trail beckons skiers of all levels. Some choose to spend a few hours on cross-country skis or even snowshoes enjoying a local section of the trail. Time or skill constraints make this a possibility. Others embark on more challenging uses of the trail and most often with back country (BC) skis and gear.

Then there are those who choose to ski the entire distance. “Thru-skiers undertake the 300-mile trip in one journey,” Woods said, “camping along the trail or staying in the homes of CTA members and friends.”

“Of the 70-plus skiers who have skied the entire trail, few undertake the journey in one season, let alone in one expedition. Currently at least four separate attempts to thru-ski the Catamount Trail are underway or recently completed.”

Inn to Inn

On Tuesday night, Bob Ordemann was in Lowell, just 28 miles from the finish of his thru-ski. Ordemann, from Groton MA, began on the southern end of the trail and pursued a unique journey, carefully arranging in advance with innkeepers along the way who often helped pick up or drop off at the trail after spending the night at their inn.

Ordemann has skied alone as many do. “Skiing alone forces me to engage with other folks,” Ordemann said. “I meet people I would never meet with somebody else. The variety is stunning.”

The hours of solitude on the trail balanced the social interaction at the inns. “I wanted to clear my head and relax,” Ordemann said. Fortuitously between jobs, he has been able to do this with the support of his wife and three kids, all of whom now have bragging rights to his soon-to-be success.

With storms pounding the states south of Vermont, one can only imagine the amount of snow Ordemann faced in Massachusetts. “I struggled early on, there was so much snow. Sometimes I broke trail in 20” and in Sections 3 and 4 the drifts were dense.”

There has been, however, a good side to the intensity of effort. Did the cold bother him? “Not at all. It was surprising but I was working so hard breaking trail that I kept warm.” Dressing appropriately, of course, is a must. So is fitness.

“I’m rather fit,” Ordemann said, “and because I compete in triathlons and running races, I train all year round.” As to ski skills, however, Ordemann said: “This is a do-able trail. If you have determination, basic skills, can side-step, snow plow and herring bone, you can do it.”

Ordemann spent leisure hours posting photos, travel notes and helpful advice on it out.

"Wednesday, February 18, 2015, Blueberry Hill to Rikert XC ski center “The ski from BB Hill to Rikert (thru to Wagon Wheel road) was the most pleasant 12 miles of skiing I've done on the trail. The terrain was undulating, but relatively flat, and in the woods. The trails were all groomed or broken. There was a nice long downhill with bumps heading down to highway 125. Photo by Bob Ordemann.

“Wednesday, February 18, 2015, Blueberry Hill to Rikert XC ski center “The ski from BB Hill to Rikert (thru to Wagon Wheel road) was the most pleasant 12 miles of skiing I’ve done on the trail. The terrain was undulating, but relatively flat, and in the woods. The trails were all groomed or broken. There was a nice long downhill with bumps heading down to highway 125.
Photo by Bob Ordemann.

17 Days

Sam Blakely, owner of Hermit Woods Trail Builders in Norwich, thru-skied the trail in 17 days, camping out every night but one (a visit to his grandma in Middlebury). Blakely has a history of experience in the backcountry beginning with trail building behind his dad as early as 8 years old, and moving on to long-distance hikes and paddles. “Every year I guide month-long canoe trips to northern Quebec,” Blakely said. “That was why I set out on this adventure. I love being in the woods, the rhythm that a trip falls into, and the peace and serenity I find by slowly moving across a landscape.” Looking for a different adventure, “the Catamount seemed a right fit.”

While Blakely brought strong outdoor skills to his challenge, his ski skills were something less. Formerly a downhill skier, Blakely gave cross-country skiing a try because of his girlfriend. “Since she was so passionate about it, we would go out together, she gracefully gliding along while I shuffled and huffed and puffed behind, arms akimbo as I tried to keep up. I didn’t even like it all that much at first.”

Things must have changed. Finishing the trail in 17 days indicates some powerful skiing.

Temperatures were extreme, well below zero. “Every minute of every day I was conscious of my body and my extremities,” Blakely said, “and maintaining sufficient warmth and circulation was always at the forefront of my mind.”

Nights were long with almost 13 hours of darkness. He carried a small tent (“on several mornings I woke up with just the top 10-12” showing above the newly fallen snow”), 3-4 days of food, (Consuming enough calories was necessary yet he still lost 8 pounds on the trail.) and a Whisperlite stove. “Each night I just packed out an area of snow, set the tent up, cooked my dinner, and then crawled into my sleeping bag for some reading and writing.

Perhaps most memorable for Blakely, however, were the people. Other skiers, store-owners, folks in a general store – all were supportive, generous and shared his enthusiasm.

“It was so cold out there that mistakes would not have been good,” Blakely said. “And that, in and of itself, was liberating and exciting.”

“By living like that, alone in the snow and cold, I knew that I was capable and self-sufficient. I could face challenges and conquer them, and keep on making progress, while also enjoying the stunning beauty and wintry silence of a Vermont forest landscape.”


Sue Johnston of Danville has a different take on snow conditions. Despite her early worries that there might not be enough snow, its abundance hasn’t always been in her best interest. Johnston skis alone. “If the trail’s not broken out,” she said, “it’s really hard to trail break by yourself.”

Sue Johnston, Little Pond in Section 5 of the Catamount Trail, near Stratton. Photo by Chris Scott. (2/2015)

Sue Johnston, Little Pond in Section 5 of the Catamount Trail, near Stratton. Photo by Chris Scott. (2/2015)

Johnston, primarily a Nordic skier who has chosen to ski the length of the Catamount Trail this season, brings a mixed bag of skills to her plan. “I am not a gifted skier,” she said. “mostly touring center. BC (back country) is new to me. I am so not a BC skier.” Last year she bought BC skis, “a little wider with metal edges, and soft boots that come up a little higher. I’m a snow-plower. I don’t do tele (telemark)turns.”

What Johnston must confess, however, is that she has a history of endurance sports: ultra running, distance hiking, (Appalachian Trail and Long Trail), and winter hiking in neighboring New Hampshire mountains.

This is significant. Yes, Johnston skis alone, but she’s fit, experienced and “knows what to put in a pack.” She is an excellent example of what CTA teaches and encourages: you don’t need superior ski skills but you do need to prepare thoroughly and understand risks as well as self-sufficiency.

“I like to make grand goals,” Johnston said, “and reach them.” On January 18 her journey began at the Canadian border. With the help of her husband, a non-skier, who supports by dropping off or picking up, snowshoeing in to bring supplies or to check on her, Johnston skied as far as Camel’s Hump in Duxbury. She did so in day trips, going home each night and missing a day now and then.

Because it seemed easier to follow the guide from the south, she decided to change tactics and, on February 18, hit the trail in Massachusetts and has, so far, gotten to Heldville, near Ludlow. What remains are the sections connecting Camel’s Hump with Heldville, and she hopes to finish these before the end of the month.

For Johnston, who must deal with the cold hands of raynauds syndrome, managing the sub-zero temperatures has been challenging. “The cold has been such a pain,” she said. Chemical handwarmers helped, but grasping the poles was problematic.

After so many days of cold, however, she said she became acclimated to it. “There were a couple of days with severe wind chill warnings. I had intended to start at 7 a.m. but told myself ‘I can’t do this,’” so spent a few hours over coffee before a delayed start.

Johnston’s advice is uncomplicated: “Watch the weather and know your limits.”

Johnston makes it clear that skiing alone is not for everyone. She was surprised by the extent of cell phone coverage, but knew better than to rely on it. “Concerns cross my mind,” she said, “but I’m never afraid. I’m always comfortable outside in the woods by myself and carry enough to survive an emergency.” Except for lightening, cold rain, and city subways, not much alarms her. But, then, her off-trail partner knows where she is.


Not all who embark on the journey plan to complete it in one trip. “Since the inception of the Catamount Trail, nearly 70 intrepid skiers have completed all 32 sections,” Wood said. Some complete section by section with days, weeks or even years off in between. All deserve kudos as successful End-To-Enders.

In the stories of Ordemann, Blakely and Johnston, one thing becomes clear: while advanced ski techniques may be helpful, they are not mandatory. What IS mandatory is a functioning level of strength and endurance, a huge dose of determination and an appreciation for the Vermont outdoors, an appreciation that is best coupled with experience, planning and respect for what nature might deliver.

This is where the Catamount Trail Association can help. Visit the website There you will find answers to questions you might not even know to ask. CTA maintains trails, works with landowners, provides education and sponsors guided tours and events.

Timid or unsure? Ski with others. Considering an overnight? Check out the Winter Camping Guide. Want to know what it’s like before you head out? Look to those who have gone before. You might be breaking trail in the snow, but you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Others are happy to share their stories and helpful information with you.

“Contact us,” Kelsey said. “It’s fun for us to help you make connections. Don’t let the winter and cold keep you from being outside. The Catamount Trail is only one of many. I’ve bundled up and gone out and it’s made me happy.”

The remarkable snowfall, cold temperatures that can be dangerous but have created a quality of snow unparalleled for recreational use, spectacularly crisp, clean and clear vistas, and the availability of a designated trail system, can be acknowledged from the comfort of an armchair in front of a blazing fire, but are best understood through involvement.

“The Catamount Trail,” Kelsey said, “gets you to places you can only imagine.”

The Catamount Trail Classic

Section 22, the stretch of trail from Bolton to Traps may be the most frequently skied and dramatic section of the Catamount Trail. On Sunday, March 15, CTA offers a fund-raising event to benefit the CTA’s Ski Cubs and Youth Ski Program. “This is not a race,” Kelsey said. Come enjoy a 9 mile climb of about 1,000’ followed by a 2000’ descent into the Nebraska Valley, all supported and with a sweep provided to be sure that all participants have a safe and enjoyable day. Follow it up with an after-party at Trapp’s with a “few surprises.” This event offers a perfect opportunity to sample the Catamount Trail if you haven’t already. If you have, come show your support and celebrate a ski season to remember.

ACTIVE VERMONT, Linda Freeman, Contributing Writer and Field Editor.

Nutrition Must Be An Integral Part of Training

Nutrition and Training go hand in hand to produce health and performance. In my role as a writer, and as field editor of the ACTIVE VERMONT page of each Sunday’s Rutland Herald & Times Argus, I am privileged to meet experts and fellow participants in the active life we share in Vermont. It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of the best, Kim Evans of Whole Health Nutrition in Williston, Vermont. 

Below is my introduction of Kim as well as her writing on nutrition and the athlete. Both stories appeared in ACTIVE VERMONT, 3-1-2015.

Kimberly Evans, MS, RD, co-owner of Peak Physical Therapy Sports and Performance Center and Whole Health Nutrition

Kimberly Evans, MS, RD, co-owner of Peak Physical Therapy Sports and Performance Center and Whole Health Nutrition

Meet Kimberly Evans, dancer, athlete, business owner, mother of five and generous friend. Professionally, Evans is a registered dietitian whose continuing quest for knowledge gives her depth in specialized areas of sports nutrition, functional medicine and integrative nutrition.

Often introduced as a sports and wellness nutritionist, Evans teaches and lives her belief that “Food should be friend, fuel and fun.” To Evans, it’s all about the “power of nutrition meeting the pleasure of eating.”

Evans spent her early years in Michigan, living in New York City and Pennsylvania as well. “I’m a person who likes change,” she said. One summer, Evans came to Vermont to hike and fell in love with the state. A 1998 return visit sealed the deal. It was Halloween and a stroll along Church Street in downtown Burlington with everyone dressed up in costumes provided the final nudge for a move here in 1999. “It stuck,” Evans said. “The more I travel and the more I see, I realize that Vermont is a special place.”

Talking with Evans, one becomes aware of the juxtaposition of care with knowledge, theory with practice, composure with passion and the desire to reach to the center of another’s needs. “Vermont has allowed me to develop myself as a professional in the world of health and wellness.” In her chosen field, Evans is required to maintain her accreditation as a registered dietitian with rigorous continuing education layered on top of her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and health care administration.

“I’m a person who loves to learn,” Evans said. As an RD, she is tasked to continually develop. Evans would have it no other way. What makes the academic practical for Evans is her personal history of movement, sports and an active lifestyle.

Evans began to dance at the age of 3 and didn’t stop until 37 years later. “Because I was a dancer, I wasn’t allowed to run,” she said. “I was always that kid in high school who couldn’t run a mile, always a ‘bun head’.” As soon as the dance chapter of her life closed, the running chapter opened. Perhaps the discipline of dance, the order, the attention to form and technique, the willingness to put in hours of practice, helped transform Evans into a runner and a cyclist. Evans now claims that she is not an adrenaline junkie, but wants to “role-model for her children and her community.” She does so, and well.

Evans is indeed passionate about her family, community, work and clients. More significantly, she embraces a deep feeling of responsibility with respect to her own health and body, and shares that sense of responsibility with others in pursuit of health and well-being as well as performance. “Eat well and move your body,” she said. “You are what you eat.” Be responsible, honor emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

Evans is co-owner (since 2010) of Whole Health Nutrition in South Burlington, as well as Peak Physical Therapy Sports and Performance Center in Williston. “I am excited to be a part of an integrated wellness practice,” she said. “The model is exciting. We wrap a team around people striving to reach their goals.”

Welcome Kimberly Evans to the “Active Vermont” page. She will periodically share insights on relevant topics of nutrition related to recreational and competitive sports as well as individual pursuit of balance, strength, health and vibrant daily life.

FUEL FOR THOUGHT. Active people need to include nutrition in their training.

Eating can be complicated. Let’s face it, there are almost as many opinions about nutrition as there are people who eat. That’s a lot of opinions. Eating to fuel athletic performance can be even more confusing. Think about it. Where, as an athlete or an active person, did you learn about nutrition specific to fueling your activity? Do you have set fueling practices? If you are like many athletes that I know the answer would be ‘no.’

Typically, when an athlete comes into my office, they often have a detailed plan about their workouts and training, and gadgets to support the plan. Yet when I ask them about their nutrition plan, I get a blank look. Nutrition is simply overlooked. Here is the thing. Whether you are an endurance athlete or a recreational athlete, a newly active person or an experienced competitor, your nutrition practices need to be at least 50 percent of your training effort.

Proper fueling increases lean body mass, making strong performance more attainable. Regularly adhering to good nutritional practices helps to reduce the risk of injury while shortening recovery time between exercise and managing hormones, such as cortisol, associated with exercise.

Meeting nutritional goals translates to meeting training and sports performance goals. When performance declines, there can be several reasons, such as lack of sleep, overtraining or inadequate fuel. Nutrition supports the mental and emotional aspects of sports performance as well. Fueling appropriately keeps your head “in the game,” improves mood and helps prevent fatigue.

But here’s a favorite reason to underpin your playing, training or competing with good nutrition: You have another reason to eat. This is always a plus for me.

Let me share my story. I have been a registered dietitian for 27 years, and yet I learned about sports nutrition the hard way. I grew up dancing ballet. Dancers have their own ideas about nutrition. When I turned 40, I decided it was time to hang up my pointe shoes and tutu and take up running. This is where trouble began.

Very early into training for my first half-marathon, I realized that something was not going according to plan. My first impulse was to also hang up my running shoes and dismiss my troubles as me just being a “bad runner.” But I am determined and when I set my mind to something I am going to do it.

I decided to engage in my own medicine and began tracking and analyzing my eating in relationship to my training expectations. The results were staggering.I was eating too few calories, very little carbs, and was woefully deficient in vitamin C and iron, amongst other things. I am a quick learner. I made some adjustments to my own eating, ran that half-marathon (and many more after) and my quest began to learn as much about nutrition in relationship to various physical activities as possible.

GET STARTED. In a nutshell, here are my top three tips to get you started thinking about your own sports nutrition practices.

1. Meet your energy needs. All bodies require fuel and athletes need even more. The more you move, the more you need. Fuel demands are made up of your basic metabolic needs, daily activity, digestion and exercise. Most of us need a bit more fuel than we think we do. Consider getting your resting metabolic rate assessed. RMR is a measurement of how many calories a day your body needs as a bare minimum, just to breathe, digest, function and stay alive.

2. Don’t fear carbohydrates. Endurance athletes and athletes in the “push” phase of their training have a particularly high demand for carbs. Match your carb intake to the intensity of your activity. Choose quality carbs such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown and wild rice, beans, sweet potatoes, and the ancient grain farro.

3. Time your eating with your exercise. Strive to calorically balance your day, including energy expended during exercise. What you eat before, during and after exercise will help to maximize performance and improve recovery times.

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from applying the science of sports nutrition. Small changes and attentiveness to eating will surprise you with big changes in health, energy, stamina and performance.

If you are wondering how to get started, check out some of my favorite resources for athletes:

Visit a registered dietitian who specializes in sports dietetics. This professional will have an RD after his or her name, and sometimes CSSD.

Sign on to Nutritiming to see how it can help with personalized, specific information. The website is

Runner’s World Magazine is a valuable resource for training and nutritional information that applies to all athletes, not just runners.

Finally, move more, eat better. Eat better, move more. Enjoy.

Kimberly Evans, MS, RD, is co-owner of Peak Physical Therapy Sports and Performance Center in Williston and Whole Health Nutrition in South Burlington. She can be reached at or visit her website: