She started caring for you even before you were born. Eating the right foods, avoiding the bad ones. Monitoring every step of her pregnancy to ensure you were a happy, healthy baby. And that didn't stop once you were born. As is often the case, her life likely became a whole lot more about yours. So now that it's her big day, Mother's Day, how do you say thank you to mom?
Stevie Lyn Smith is an athlete and registered dietitian who jumped at the chance to give more than flowers. Stevie is always worrying about her mother’s health, thanks to a bit of sub-par family health history, and she decided that giving InsideTracker to the woman who gave her life was a good way to show how much she cares about her.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Stevie to discuss all things InsideTracker and triathlon training, her bond with her mom, and how they laugh their way through it all.
It's true. She's a total bad ass. A resident of Buffalo, New York, Stevie is 32 years young. She is registered dietitian at InsideTracker, runs her own small business, and is a proud dog mom. She’s also finished 10 Ironmans, 10+ Half-Ironmans, 17+ marathons, and once completed a 50-mile ultramarathon.
Her mom, Lisa? An age group triathlete who didn't always lead an active lifestyle, but was inspired by her daughter's endeavors and decided to get out to swim, bike, and run her way to crossing her first Olympic Triathlon finish line this summer.
So, what inspired you to get started with InsideTracker?
In her own words: “I was scrolling through twitter and stumbled across @jwlevitt and @InsideTracker. I had just raced Ironman Maryland, and throughout all of 2016, I was able to get most of my training in, but it wasn’t the best quality. I was tired. I wasn’t feeling quite like myself. It was a whole year of somewhat mediocre races. It was frustrating. So I looked into it and thought to myself, this seems like a really good thing for me to do.
“Being a dietitian, I’m a lover of science, and preach that ‘every individual is different.’ And even though I knew how to adjust things in my diet, did I really know what to adjust for? Did I really know what was going on inside? No, I didn’t.”
Were you surprised by any of your test results?
“I was actually very surprised by my first round of results. I was really expecting to see a calcium and vitamin D deficiency. Both were optimized. So that was awesome.
“What wasn’t so awesome? My vitamin B12 level was very low. It became my biggest focal point. And I’m happy to report that as of my last test, my B12 is now optimized! In the not so surprising category? My inflammation markers were pretty high. So trying to figure out what the best way to adjust those was key.
"As you guys always say, ‘your doctor can tell you this is high or that is low,’ but having all the recommendations in front of me, even though I know what foods reduce inflammation, the simple presentation of the information was probably my favorite thing about it.”
What changes have you made as a result?
“Well, as I continue to test, the platform continues to change and challenge my eating habits. During my off season, for example, I dove into time-restricted feeding to help keep things optimized. But it’s also made me try some different recipes to keep things in line.
“In the past, I never would have said to myself ‘gee, maybe I’ll buy a pork loin and cook that up.’ But now it’s something I can’t live without since discovering that my DHEAS was very low. And being a long-course triathlete, that puts me a bit more at risk... It’s hard to get in enough protein into your daily diet. When you’re out on the bike for 5-hours, most race foods (gels, drinks, tabs), are super high in carbs, so carbs it is. Then post-workout, it’s hard to find that balance.
“Testing has also really helped me increase my fat intake. I never avoided it in the past. I know it’s good for me, but now I literally can’t go a day without eating an avocado. Plus, I always make my own trail mixes with varied InsideTracker recommended nuts as the base.”
And how are you feeling as a result?
“I can tell you my energy is A++ with these changes! It’s made me pay a lot more attention to my sleep schedule. I make sure I’m getting myself to bed on time to give myself that chance to succeed and recover. And my sleep quality has definitely improved with the changes I’ve made with InsideTracker. I noticed it big time and right away as a result of the changes I made after my first test.
"After having completed an 18-hour training week, plus working full-time, plus having a healthier social life than most long-course triathletes, I’m putting in big weeks, and feeling better than I ever have before in my Ironman training.”
How’d your mom get involved with InsideTracker?
“Well... she has FOMO [fear of missing out] real hard. So when I started testing, she got interested. She’s super healthy, but as I mentioned, we don’t have the best family health history. My bones aren’t the best, and hers are significantly worse than mine. So it was really about taking charge of her health that piqued her interest. On top of that, I got her into all of these crazy sports (swim, bike, run). Naturally, she now wants to optimize her training, and she’s doing that by what she’s eating and what she's learning from InsideTracker.
“She really wanted to train to the best of her ability. She’s always been a healthy person. She taught me my love of salad. But ultimately, I think she really wanted to optimize what she’s eating to fuel her training. She really did have FOMO!”
That's awesome. Tell me more about your training.
“Well, unfortunately we live in different cities, so we don’t get to train together much. But, I’ll tell you about the times we do. Whenever I go home, we always joke that it’s like training camp. We schedule training sessions. I’ll say, ‘Hey Mom, I gotta go to the pool on Monday.’ And she'll respond: ‘ok, what time are we going?’
“Then we’ll go for runs together, hot yoga sessions, you name it. And of course, come race day, she’s my number one cheerleader and race sherpa. She typically knows more about the course than I do!
“But this year, she is also going for big goals. She’s getting ready for a century ride (over 100 miles) by putting in 4-5 hours on her bike over the weekend, and is training for her first ever Olympic triathlon!
And how do you share InsideTracker with each other?
“Well, being a registered dietitian and just being really curious, I said to her ‘just give me your login. I want to see your results. Don’t even try and tell me.’ In fairness, she has mine too, but I don’t think she ever looks.
“Now, we share recipes and different ideas since some of our Focus Foods coincide. So I’ll say ‘Hey Mom, do you remember when I used to complain about that pork you used to cook all the time? Can you send me the recipe?’ Funny how that worked out.
“Other times, she’ll be out to dinner with my step-dad and she'll text me a photo of a foot-high pile of mussel shells that says ‘looks like I did well with my Focus Foods today.’ We make it fun. We joke back and forth like that all the time.”
Finally, what’s the one thing you would want to tell our readers about InsideTracker?
“Honestly, in the spirit of Mother's Day, or any other day for that matter, I think of it as giving the gift of health. I care very much about my mom, and I also tend to worry a lot. I think a big part of that is being a health care provider and dietitian. I know how important a healthy diet is, not only when we’re sick, but also in preventing illness and injury. Even if someone’s not an athlete, I strongly believe that ‘food is medicine.’ So to me, InsideTracker just makes sense."
Want to follow Stevie's adventures in triathlon training? Give her a follow on Instagram.
Some other blog posts we think you'll love:
- Tired of Being Tired: How I Optimized My Iron Levels
- Getting Back on Track: Laura Ingalls' InsideTracker-Fueled Journey Back to Holistic Health
- Avoiding The Crash: How Monitoring Iron Levels Can Save Your Season
- Stress Fractures: The Relationship Between Biochemistry, Nutritional Screening and Biomechanics