If you could only give three health tips, what tips would you give?

1. Limit highly processed foods and replace them with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

2. Get your body moving every day. Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than none!

3. Manage stress, anxiety, and other metal health issues in a healthy, productive way that works for you. A poor mental health status affects sleep, dietary behaviors, gut and overall health.

Is it helpful to eat gluten-free foods if you don’t have a gluten intolerance?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barely. Only those who have celiac disease must avoid all gluten. Others who have a sensitivity to gluten may feel better eating less gluten. Otherwise, gluten-free does not mean healthier for the average person because those foods could be missing necessary nutrients your body needs and may contain added sugars, salt, and fats.

What about drinking almond, soy, or plant-based milk instead of true dairy milk?

Non-dairy milk alternatives are great for those who are lactose intolerant, those who are following a vegan diet, and those who just don’t like the taste of true milk. The pluses and minuses for each type of milk are varied. I recommend reading the nutrition facts labels and choosing a product that aligns with your dietary and health needs.

What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss because it limits the amount of time you have to eat each day, so you consume fewer calories. There have been limited studies that suggest intermittent fasting can improve some health markers but are overall inconclusive. I do not recommend intermittent fasting for golfers, or any athlete, because you can’t play your best if your tank is empty. Golfers need adequate intake of food to sustain them through practice, workouts, and tournament rounds.

Can you over do it on healthy fats?

If you are overeating healthy fats, it means you are probably not getting enough of all the other nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Fat has more than twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates, so you are likely to gain weight if you go overboard.

What would be a good post-workout recovery snack?

A good recovery snack should combine protein to help repair muscles and carbohydrates to replenish what you burned off. Some options are peanut butter sandwiches, Greek yogurt and fruit, low fat chocolate milk, hummus and pita bread, a cheese stick and an apple, trail mix, or a smoothie.

What should golfers specifically keep in mind regarding nutrition?

It seems like a lot of golfers forget to eat while they are on the course. Or, they don’t want to stop practice to eat a whole meal because they will feel too full. Golfers need to consume a steady intake of food and hydrating beverages, so they have enough physical and mental energy to get through all those hours of practice and play. Carrying a good variety of healthy foods to the course and eating small amounts at regular intervals can help accomplish this.

Do our nutrition needs change as we get older?

Yes. It isn’t fun to hear, but our bodies don’t need as many calories as we get older because our metabolism naturally slows. You can’t fight biology, but you can help it by continuing to do aerobic exercise, build muscle, and consume a balanced diet of lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

What is the most common mistake you see the LPGA Pros make when it comes to nutrition?

The most common mistake is not eating enough before and during long hours of practice and then consuming most of their calories later in the day. If they don’t eat for a long time, their energy stores get depleted and they can get tired and lose focus. And then their practices and workouts aren’t as effective as they could be.

I have been drinking a vitamin supplement packet every morning, Emergen-C Immune Plus. Do drinks or supplements like that really do anything?

The predominant ingredient in Emergen-C is Vitamin C. There are lots of vitamins and minerals involved in immune health, and the best way to keep your immune system strong is to eat an overall healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. There is not one supplement that can prevent you from getting sick. Will you benefit from taking Emergen-C? Possibly, if your diet is lacking essential nutrients. Do I think taking it is necessary? No, not for most people who consume a generally healthy diet.

Let us know your favorite nutrition or meal prep tips in the comments below, and share this with a friend to help everyone stay on track with healthy eating habits.