I’ve strived to be open about the work I’m doing to continue improving my health and performance. Seeing a dietitian was a huge decision! I’ve heard many questions about why I would do it, as well as concern from friends who feared I was seeking to become even thinner.
Here’s the thing: Dietitians and nutritionists aren’t just for people seeking to lose weight. They’re for people who want to gain weight, athletes, people with health problems, and others who just want to be healthy. In short? It’s something anyone can benefit from.
Resting Metabolic Rate test
So far the single most beneficial finding from my experience so far has been learning my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR.) RMR is the amount of calories a person burns at rest, and in this case my dietician (Manuel Villacorta of MV Nutrition) set me up on a machine that measured my oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output. It took 10-15 minutes as I breathed into the tube, grateful I’d thought to bring my Kindle with me. The sitting and waiting for the test to begin was the most challenging part! (I walked in expecting to get started promptly. Turns out a 15-20 wait period is necessary to bring your body to a true resting state before the test can be done.)
What did we determine? The metabolism I once thought of as slow is anything but! My body burns 1440 calories a day just at rest. Add that to the active life, we find I posses a body that needs a lot of nourishment. 2300 calories a day worth. Since my goal isn’t to lose weight, it also means now I know how much more to eat on days I actually exercise.

Purple corn lucuma pancakes with veggie scramble- recipes from – recipe from Peruvian Power Foods and Manuel Villacorta
Hmm. Think my lack of energy to exercise more frequently and sluggish cardiovascular improvement may be due to nutritional deficit?
Now comes the joy of fine-tuning, and learning new skills for working with my own growth.
On the bright side, I can eat a TON of insanely delicious healthy food in one meal and still have plenty of caloric space for more. Good motivation to stop wasting time with food that isn’t so great!

Chicken Sausage and Mixed Bean Soup- recipe from Peruvian Power Foods