Liz Applegate, the popular UC Davis nutritionist, has written a book, "Eat Smart, Play Hard," specifically for people who exercise regularly, whether a beginner or professional athlete.
"The premise behind it is that each person is different," she said on Monday. "No one person exercises the same as another," she added.
So her book offers customized food plans for all sports and fitness pursuits.
Let's say, for instance, that you are a weekend golfer.
"The problem with golf," she said, "is that it's not taken seriously. But you can put in five or more miles walking the course, carrying your clubs, and use a lot of calories."
Applegate said many people who have early tee times don't bother to eat a light breakfast. Neither do they remember to carry a sports drink with them on the links. And they don't bother to eat an energy bar along the way.
She says golfers should pay attention to the fact that they are engaging in a sport.
"They should look at themselves as athletes," she said.
Applegate also has advice for the serious athlete, like Aggie football players at UCD.
"I gave two talks to the team recently," she said. "In early August I gave a talk to the team about hydration." This was just after Pro Bowl offensive lineman Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings died of heat stroke during an unseasonably hot practice.
"And I gave them information on what to eat before a game and after practice," she said.
Coach Bob Biggs asked Applegate to design a pregame breakfast for his players.
She recommended a hefty meal of pancakes, fruit or fruit salad and juice, toasted bagels and scrambled eggs with just a little bit of bacon or sausage. The meal should provide 800 to 1,000 calories.
"They eat at 8 a.m. for a game at 1:30 p.m.," she said. "I advise them to eat an energy bar at 10:30 or 11 a.m. They tend to want to skip the energy bar but I tell them it will help with concentration and energy."
Applegate herself swims every morning and cycles just about every afternoon to stay trim and fit.
"I talk to athletes and I need to relate to them," she said.
It must be working because Applegate, who has been teaching at UCD since 1985, may be older but she doesn't look that different from her students.
"I don't feel I'm a whole lot different from the students," she said.
Applegate got her undergraduate degree at UC Davis. She took a nutrition class, nutrition 10, in 194 Chemistry. But when she took the class she didn't do very well in it. She was paying more attention to the guy sitting next to her than she was to the lecture.
That guy was Mark Applegate, a UCD student firefighter. They got married in 1978, her senior year. The Applegates decided to stay in Davis, and Liz went to graduate school at UCD, earning her Ph.D. in nutrition.
Now she teaches nutrition 10 in 194 Chem. It's the biggest class on campus with 550 students and a waiting list of 200. She also teaches a nutrition writing course on current topics in nutrition.
She teaches more students than any other lecturer or professor on campus; more than half the students at UCD have taken an Applegate nutrition course.
"I love communicating about nutrition," she said. "There's something new in the news each week. I tell my students: 'This is the only body you have, treat it well.' "
The Applegates have two children, Grant, a senior at Davis High School and Natalie, a sophomore at DHS.
"Can you imagine having a nutritionist as a mother?" she asks.
But Applegate's attitude is "everything in moderation." That includes ice cream and chocolate as well as fruit and bean sprouts.
"They are just like any other teen-agers, but they are into fitness," she said.
And the family does tend to take active, high-energy vacations. Mother and daughter went mountain biking in Canada over the summer and the family plans a winter vacation in Costa Rica in order to hike in the rain forest.
Reach Liz Applegate at firstname.lastname@example.org
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