How The Athlete's Fix Works: A 3-Step Program

In The Athlete’s Fix, registered dietitian Pip Taylor will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete’s Fix offers a sensible, 3-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

So how does The Athlete’s Fix work?

1. First, you’ll clean up your diet by adopting The Athlete’s Fix Base Functional Diet. On the Base Functional Diet, you’ll avoid common problem foods, inflammatory foods, food ingredients, food chemicals, and habits that can trigger food sensitivity symptoms or make food intolerances worse. During your time using the Base Functional Diet, you will reduce your overall levels of inflammation, heal any damage to your gut, reduce your chronic load of food-related allergens, and return gradually to a base state. Don’t think of the Base Functional Diet as a cleanse, which it is not. Think of it instead as a grace period to allow your body a much-needed break from the irritants that are causing your reactions to food. Most people begin feeling better in just a few days. The Athlete’s Fix offers 50 recipes to support the Base Functional Diet.

2. Second, you’ll identify other problem foods like FODMAPs and food chemicals. If you’re sensitive to these problem foods, it will take your body longer to reset itself as they clear from your system. The Athlete’s Fix shares the protocol for testing your sensitivity to these common allergens.

3. Third, you’ll begin reintroducing foods and observing your reactions to them. Your food journal will help identify the specific foods, food ingredients, food chemicals, and habits that trigger your food intolerance symptoms.

When  you’re done, you’ll have created your own personalized diet that is free of those problem foods. Every few years or after significant changes to diet or lifestyle, you may repeat The Athlete’s Fix program to identify new problem foods or to notice that old problem foods don’t bother you as much as they once did.

My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete's Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.

What Foods Should Athletes Avoid? What Foods Should Athletes Eat?

When it comes to nutrition, mixed messages and confusion often go hand in hand.

It’s funny that we have such a hard time knowing what exactly we should or shouldn’t be eating, since it’s something we all do multiple times a day. An athlete’s confusion over food is no different. It’s widely recognized that good nutrition is an integral part of any training program and essential for helping you perform at your best, but there seems to be a lack of understanding about just what makes a good athletic diet, in addition to what makes a healthy diet generally.


The fix for athletes—and for everyone else, for that matter—is to eat as wide a variety of beneficial foods as possible while avoiding or minimizing foods that have a negative impact on health, performance, or both.

Too many diets aggressively eliminate foods as a one-size-fits-all solution to better health. It’s common to experience positive results from changing up your diet in this way, though you will not know exactly why the change is working. You might benefit even more by reintroducing some of those restricted foods to maximize variety in your diet.

I believe that there is little point in eliminating foods without reason. Food, like life, is to be enjoyed. By the same token, you want to ensure that the foods you do eat are positively adding to your ability to play, train, or race to your best ability while also supporting a long and healthy life. To identify the foods that could be to blame for the issues you face, you will need to take a more careful approach.

A key component to any healthy diet is being able to enjoy food. Far more than simply sustaining life, food is social, and it is meant to be enjoyed. Customs, traditions, and connectivity to others are all wrapped up in growing, preparing, and eating food. The extent to which we enjoy food and the rituals around it is also important to health. After all, you can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind. And there is no point in living a long, healthy life if it is not enjoyable too. Eating is something we need to do every day, multiple times throughout the day. I love food and I want to help you make your experience with food truly enjoyable, regardless of what food intolerances or sensitivities you bring to the table.

The Athlete’s Fix is designed to help you become aware of your own food intolerances, be confident in making healthy food choices, and eat the foods that are optimal for you. Once you find your best diet, better health and performance are within reach.

My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete's Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.


What's Inside The Athlete's Fix

My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete’s Fix offers a sensible, 3-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

Endurance sports stress the body, often worsening mild food intolerances and causing symptoms like GI distress, food cravings, and headaches. Many athletes aggressively eliminate foods as a one-size-fits-all solution to feel better. These special diets sometimes bring short-term improvements, but they are difficult to maintain and often leave athletes undernourished and underperforming.

The Athlete’s Fix offers a smarter, fine-tuned approach.

My book will show you how you will benefit most from a diet full of a wide variety of foods. You’ll improve your daily diet, cut out common irritants, then add back foods until you feel great enjoying your own, personalized clean diet. The Athlete’s Fix will help you isolate and identify your food intolerances while enabling you to eat a healthy variety of foods.

The Athlete’s Fix examines hot issues for athletes like:

  • Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and gluten free diets
  • Lactose intolerance
  • FODMAPs and specific carbohydrate intolerances, including fructose
  • Reactions to food chemicals such as salicylates, amines, and glutamates
  • Inflammatory foods
  • Food sensitivity testing and elimination diets
  • Popular diet programs like Paleo, Whole30, Dukan, Mediterranean, and Dash
  • Vegetarian, vegan, and raw food diets

GI issues, food cravings, headaches, brain fog, poor sleep, slow recovery from workouts—these can be more than symptoms of a tough workout. They might be caused by the foods you eat. Feel better–perform better—with The Athlete’s Fix.

Take a look at the book’s table of contents:

Introduction

The Problem of Food Intolerance
Where the Problem Starts
Understanding Food Intolerances
Athletes & Food Intolerance
Commit to Finding Your Best Foods

Fixing Your Diet
Avoid the Unhealthy Foods that Cause Inflammation
Get Your Fill of Healthy Foods
Vegan & Vegetarian Diets
Target Common Intolerances & Sensitivities
Other Types of Intolerance
Testing for Food Intolerance

Identifying Your Intolerances
Getting Started
Step 1: Adopt a Base Functional Diet
Step 2: Identify Any Other Problematic Foods
Step 3: Reintroduce Foods
Step 4: Repeat As Needed

Eating for Performance
Carbohydrates Are Vital to Performance
Fat Plays a Crucial Role
Why Athletes Need Protein
Multivitamins & Supplements
A Smart Approach to Sports Foods
Eating Is Not a Numbers Game

Eating Well for Life
How to Save Money on Healthy Foods
Time-saving Tips to Get You Into the Kitchen
How to Stay the Course on the Base Functional Diet and Beyond
Other Tips for a Lifestyle of Healthy Eating

Recipes for the Base Functional Diet
Breakfast (13 recipes)
Lunch & Dinner (16 recipes)
Sweets & Treats (7 recipes)
Sports Foods (6 recipes)
Snacks (4 recipes)
*All 46 Base Functional Diet recipes are free of gluten, grains (except rice), soy, legumes, dairy, sugar, additives, and preservatives.

Recipe Index
Food Diary Template
Notes
Index
About the Author

My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete's Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.

Take a Look at Your Diet to Solve Unexplainable Health Issues

When a fit and healthy person is facing ongoing problems that the medical world can’t explain, it’s time to take a hard look at diet.

Throughout my career as a professional athlete, eating well has been key to my performance.

My diet has always been composed of healthy foods, and for most of my life I have stuck to a healthy balance of the widely recommended low-fat foods, including grains, pasta, couscous, whole-grain bread, and tortillas, as well as lots of fruits and vegetables, fish, meats, and nuts. I ate very few processed or packaged foods, in part because I have always enjoyed cooking from scratch and shopping at farmers markets.

Despite my best efforts to maintain a healthy diet and compete professionally, several years ago I began experiencing problems. My fitness and preparation were as good as they had ever been, but I found myself not feeling as good come race day. I was experiencing bloating, greater water retention—giving me a heavy, puffy feeling—increased lethargy, and shortness of breath. There was no reasonable explanation, at least in my mind—my fitness, health, and mental preparation were good going into the races. Per sports nutrition recommendations, I did change up my healthy, clean diet in the days leading up to a race by eating less fiber and fat to reduce the potential for gastrointestinal issues. Instead, I ate more refined carbohydrates: sweets, breads, and sugared sports drinks.

Because the most acute problems were happening when I raced, I figured they might be related to the carbo-loading I was doing prior to race day—which was often heavy on gluten-containing breads or cereals. So I cut gluten out of my pre-race diet.

Right away, I felt like I could breathe better on race day—it was somehow easier.

Because of the improvement, I didn’t see a need to make additional changes to my daily diet; I simply focused on eliminating bread, pasta, and wheatbased cereals. I still ate some packaged foods with trace amounts of gluten, but I wasn’t overly strict. In other words, I was confident I did not have celiac disease but understood that a low-gluten diet seemed to work better for me. As time went on, I continued to notice a difference, although it wasn’t as pronounced as it had been at first. The difficult breathing episodes seemed to abate, but my on-again, off-again habits were bringing new issues to my attention. If racing was going to be my livelihood and profession, I knew I needed to figure out exactly which foods were leading to setbacks.

I began researching food intolerances and their effects on the body, eliminating specific foods in a more conscientious way, and taking note of the different impacts those dietary adjustments had on my body, mind, and athletic performance. This wasn’t an entirely random process, as I drew on my scientific nutritional education and knowledge in combination with personal experience. By strictly avoiding all inflammatory foods and my own identified “trigger foods,” such as gluten and grains, and by reducing my reliance on carbohydrate-heavy foods, I found that my body weight was easier to maintain. The headaches I had endured for years lifted, along with the brain fog, which did wonders for my mood and encouraged me to continue to make better food choices. I focused more on proteins such as fish, poultry, and meats and included plenty of healthy natural fats along with an abundance of vegetables and fruits. The improvements were obvious.

To my surprise, I didn’t miss eating grains, and I found myself to be less hungry in general. I felt physically and mentally strong when I ate the right foods.

Looking back, I believe there were other signs of my food intolerances and sensitivities, starting with those headaches I had endured for years. I assumed everyone experienced a headache at some level from time to time, so unless the severity ramped up, headaches really didn’t bother me. At one point they were so frequent, almost constant, that I couldn’t remember not having one. Because I tend to hold tension in my neck and shoulders, tightness through these areas would cause my headaches to worsen. But even with massage, stretching, physical therapy, and strict attention to postural habits, the headaches persisted. I had my eyes checked, my hearing and balance checked; I even had some other scans and tests done just to make sure the headaches weren’t the result of some other medical issue, but all the results came back showing nothing was wrong.

Despite relatively low running mileage, I suffered from multiple stress fractures. As I met with success on the track, I took a more conscientiously focused approach to my training, but the stress fractures only increased. The problem persisted as I started competing in triathlon, despite no identifiable cause.

I have always had access to extremely good doctors, but they had no satisfactory explanation for my stress fractures, iron deficiencies, or any of my other symptoms. When a fit and healthy person is facing ongoing problems that the medical world can’t explain, it’s time to take a hard look at diet.

For me, this exploratory journey became both personal and professional. Through formal study, including a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, as well as credentials in sports nutrition and dietetics, research, and experience working with others, I have found that changes in diet can have profound effects on health as well as performance. I have also discovered that sometimes the results of dietary changes can’t be confirmed through definitive tests. But the proof really lies in the individual’s response, whether it is a significant change in body weight and composition, reduction or complete elimination of long-term troubling symptoms, or the results chalked up on race day.

My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete's Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.

Feel Better, Perform Better with The Athlete's Fix

Gut issues, headaches, food cravings—these can be more than symptoms of a tough workout.

They might be caused by the foods you eat. My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your allergy foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform best.

Dietitian Pip Taylor offers a smart, three-step program to help you fuel workouts while isolating specific problem foods or ingredients. You’ll improve your diet, cut out common allergens, then add back foods until you feel great enjoying your own personalized clean diet.

Feel better—perform better—with The Athlete’s Fix.

Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.