Whether you are brand new to the instructor saddle or a seasoned expert on hills, jumps, and climbs, chances are you’ve been asked a question about your diet. How do you usually answer? While many instructors aren’t necessarily trained dietitians, that doesn’t mean you don’t have some useful information for your riders. In fact, doctors, who historically receive little to no formal nutrition education, are finding ways to help their patients improve their diets. “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives – Caring for Our Patients and Ourselves” is an initiative spearheaded by Harvard University and the Culinary Institute of America to help healthcare professionals learn how to cook healthfully, and hopefully encourage their patients to do the same.
A letter from the researchers, commenting on the power of this type of role modeling, was published in the Journal of the American Association of Internal Medicine last week. The Chicago Tribune quotes researchers as saying that “practicing a healthful behavior oneself (eg, exercise, wearing a seat belt) is a powerful predictor of counseling patients about these same behaviors.”
So while you may not be able to help your riders with a concrete diet plan, you can share your own methods for healthful living, especially if spending some quality time in the kitchen is part of the equation. Happy cooking!