soccer

108 : Your Link To Nutrition And Becoming A Normal Human After Retirement From Sports w/ Lauren Link

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Lauren Link is a former Purdue soccer player and she currently serves as the Director of Sports Nutrition at Purdue University.  Most recently, Lauren authored the book Athlete to Normal Human for former elite athletes struggling in their transition to life after sports.  Lauren was inspired to write this book based on her own experience with the athlete transition and because of what she has observed professionally while working with the athletes at Purdue.

Nutrition is often something that is neglected in an athlete's transition to life after sports for a variety of reasons.  A couple of these reasons include the lack of experience grocery shopping and cooking in general.  In addition, retired athletes adjusting to a new schedule or lack there of can make, quick, convenient and sometimes unhealthy food options their first choice when looking fuel up.  Lauren and I dive deep into the ways retired athletes can combat these struggles and make prioritizing your health and nutritious eating as easy as pie. 

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Below are some additional topics of discussion in episode 108:

  • What you can find in the book

    • Nutrition advice

    • Fitness advice

    • Social advice

  • Why making new friends can feel like dating.

  • What to do with all that time when you aren’t a collegiate athlete anymore.

  • Finding a new fitness program that works for you/finding the motivation without a coach.

  • Looking for other outlets of camaraderie when you no longer are part of a team.

  • Lauren's experience with nagging knee pain from overuse injuries.

  • Exercising for longevity.

  • The best parts of being a retired athlete.

  • Necessary nutritional changes in the athlete transition.

    • Managing your calorie intake.

    • Ways to keep calorie expenditure up after athletic career.

    • What your plate should look like at each meal.

    • Examples of nutrient dense foods.

    • Grocery shopping (Video below)

    • The benefits of cooking in bulk.

    • Making a grocery list.

  • How new NCAA regulations can be enabling athletes to never learn how to cook.

  • Lauren's thoughts on food delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.

  • Why football players tend to struggle nutritionally in their transition to life after sports.

  • Appropriate approaches to weight-loss.

  • Muscle’s role in metabolism.

  • Nutrition recommendations for injured athletes.

    • Anti-inflammatory foods.

    • The role of sleep in injury recovery.

    • Foods that cause inflation.

  • What inflammation looks like at a cellular level.

  • Lauren's thoughts on Netflix documentaries like What The Health.

  • Why retired athletes should be conscious of their sodium intake.

  • Tips for athletes who transition to desk jobs.

Where can you buy Athlete to Normal Human?

WHERE CAN YOU FIND Lauren link?

InstagramTWITTER | FACEBOOK

Download Episode 108 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

101 : Everything You Need To Know Before, During & After ACL Reconstruction w/ Jenna Minecci, Author of "Surviving 7"

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Jenna Minecci is the founder of Jennactive, an ACL prevention company/support network, and the author of the book "Surviving 7, The Experts Guide to ACL Surgery, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Prevention."  I came across Jenna's story on Instagram and it didn't take me long to figure out that I needed to have her on the podcast.  Jenna suffered her first ACL tear while playing soccer when she was just 13 years old.  Both Jenna and her family lacked knowledge in the area of ACL rehab at the time and she ended up making some decisions that in hindsight, turned out to be mistakes. Some of these mistakes include the type of graft used and an insufficient amount of physical therapy post-surgery due to exceeding the number of paid visits from her family's health insurance provider. 

Jenna would chant “Patience and Persistence” to keep her spirits high when she was feeling down.

Jenna would chant “Patience and Persistence” to keep her spirits high when she was feeling down.

Close to two years after tearing her right ACL, Jenna tore her left ACL while goofing around with some friends.  This time she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus.  This injury was much more painful than the first, but her surgery and rehab process was more of the same.  Both of her surgeries ended up failing and her revision surgeries were also unsuccessful. To date 1/3 of Jenna's life has been spent recovering from surgeries stemming from her two ACL injuries and she is undoubtedly an expert on everything that has to do with this type of recovery.  Jenna has since dedicated her life to preventing other athletes from suffering what she has gone through. Her knowledge on all things related to the knee and keeping it healthy is incredible and all this information can be found in her new book.  I picture Surviving 7 being in every athletic training room in the country to serve as a guide for athletes who unfortunately experience a knee injury.  Below are a few topics we touch on during our conversation:   

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  • Jenna's experience with all surgeries to date, both repairs and revisions.

  • Advice for choosing the right surgeon.

  • Interview questions for prospective surgeons.

  • The pro's and cons of the different graft options.

  • What defines a failed surgery.

  • The loneliness experienced during recovery.

  • The stigma of the brace.

  • How Jenna has improved her productivity through journaling positive affirmations.

  • Mastery skills Jenna has developed through all of her surgery recoveries.

  • The roles that hormones play in ACL injuries and how to combat some of these changes.

  • Goal setting strategies.

"Don’t fight the process"

WHERE CAN YOU FIND Jenna?

Website | INstagramFACEBOOK | TWITTER | Youtube

Where can you get your own copy of Surviving 7?

Download Episode 101 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

97 : The Power of Saying "No" During PCS Recovery w/ Brittni Souder

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A native of Frederick, Maryland and a former collegiate soccer player at Hood College, Brittni was forced to finally retire from her playing days in 2014 after what she estimates now to have been her 9th concussion.  After spending the majority of her college career battling injuries, doctors, and her family to get back onto the field she now fights to raise awareness among “invincible” athletes and uneducated family members: two things she herself has been in the past.

Brittni and her family now realize she likely suffered three concussions before even reaching college when her struggles with them really began. After suffering from nagging ankle injuries her freshman and sophomore years she sustained 3 concussions during her junior season: approximately a two-month span.  Although she continued to fight to play for the next two seasons she would never really be the same after that fall of 2012.

After two surgeries on her head and taking a semester off, she returned to school for her final semester and season in the fall of 2014.  She suffered two minor hits that she played through, determined to finish out her final season.  On October 25th, 2014 in the final seconds of a game her hopes came to a grinding halt.  The buzzer sounded and her teammates surrounded her, lifting her off turf and then held her up as they celebrated their big win.  She was helped off the field for the last time.

She managed to finish college from home with the help of her professors and officially graduated in May of 2015.  Since then she has fought to manage her Post-concussion symptoms and live as normal of a life as possible.  She coaches college soccer and hopes her story will serve as an example of what can happen.

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Brittni and her family now realize she likely suffered three concussions before even reaching college when her struggles with them really began. After suffering from nagging ankle injuries her freshman and sophomore years she sustained 3 concussions during her junior season: approximately a two-month span.  Although she continued to fight to play for the next two seasons she would never really be the same after that fall of 2012.

After two surgeries on her head and taking a semester off, she returned to school for her final semester and season in the fall of 2014.  She suffered two minor hits that she played through, determined to finish out her final season.  On October 25th, 2014 in the final seconds of a game her hopes came to a grinding halt.  The buzzer sounded and her teammates surrounded her, lifting her off turf and then held her up as they celebrated their big win.  She was helped off the field for the last time.

She managed to finish college from home with the help of her professors and officially graduated in May of 2015.  Since then she has fought to manage her Post-concussion symptoms and live as normal of a life as possible.  She coaches college soccer and hopes her story will serve as an example of what can happen.

The bio presented above was taken from our episode 18 guest, Jay Fraga's blog called the Knockout Project. For anyone reading this or listening to this episode, I encourage you to check out Jay's website where Brittni's story is showcased along with the stories of many other athletes who have dealt with and are dealing with post concussion syndrome (PCS).  During my interview with Brittni, she talked about the importance of finding the PCS community during her recovery. I will save you the time searching because the community is right here ( the Knockout Project ). Jay has done as tremendous job creating this safe-place and resource for those suffering with PCS.

"Suffering with PCS makes you feel like you are the weakest person in the world."

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Below are other topics of discussion from our interview:

  • The influence that growing up as a "farm kid" had on her views of sucking it up and powering through injuries.

  • How Brittni managed to stay concussion free for her first couple seasons of college soccer.

  • The sequence of events and subsequent recoveries from all debilitating concussions suffered throughout her career.

  • Internal dialog and the imagined perception of others in not wanting to be known as the "weak girl."

  • The various treatments Brittni tried to alleviate her symptoms, which included:

  • The importance of getting a second opinion.

  • Developing hobbies outside of your sport.

  • Dealing with the isolation throughout recovery.

  • Trigeminal neuralgia, "The suicide disease."

  • How Brittni now approaches her coaching style to prevent athletes from playing through injuries like she did.

  • The importance of staying physically active during your recovery from PCS.

"I’ve really had to Commit to not committing to things."

  • The power of saying No in managing your PCS symptoms.

  • Navigating relationships while suffering from PCS.

  • Another PCS community specifically for female athletes call Pink Concussions.

  • The inspiration Brittni has gained from the work of Brené Brown, particularly her book called Rising Strong.

WHERE CAN YOU LEARN MORE ABOUT PINK CONCUSSIONS?

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

WHERE CAN YOU FOLLOW BRITTNI?

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN

Download Episode 97 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud