Regina Hammond, MS, RD
Certifications:Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD)Registered DietitianServSafeⓇ certificationCITI Training (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative)CPR/AEDUSAT (USA Triathlon) Level 1 CoachISAK Level 1 (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry) Memberships:Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsCAND (California Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics): 2016 – PresentCAND (Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics): 2010 – 2016SCDA (Southern Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics): 2010 – 2016DIFM (Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine): 2009 – PresentFood and Culinary Professionals: 2012 – 2013Nutrition Entrepreneurs: 2011 – 2012SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular, Wellness & Nutrition) and SD-USA (Sports Dietetics-USA): 2010 – PresentACSM (American College of Sports Medicine): 2010 – PresentACSM Rocky Mountain Chapter: 2010 – 2015CDSPA (Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietetics Association): 2011 – 2015PINES (Professionals in Nutrition, Exercise and Sport): 2010 – 2015 Education:Bachelor of Science – Ithaca College, Ithaca, NYMaster’s of Science: Sports Nutrition at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CO Awards:2013 Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics – Outstanding Student Award2013 Colorado Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics – Outstanding Dietetic Student Award & Scholarship
My Passion for Nutrition & Wellness
Looking back, I realize that my interest in real, whole food and holistic nutrition isn’t a surprise, but a result of the interest of my grandparents. They were first generation immigrants from Poland, who lived in NYC and then started a farm in upstate New York. As a teenager, I spent most weekends exploring their farm and the surrounding hills and fields. Since they have passed on, I have found books such as “How to Be Healthy with Natural Foods” published in 1976, by Edward E. Marsh. This small book includes notes and shopping lists written by my grandmother in pencil along the margin.The only way my grandmother knew how to make food was from scratch, along with soap, hair products (flax seeds to style hair), and cleaning products. There was no such thing as “paraben-free” because nothing they consumed or used contained any synthetic chemicals! Memories of my grandfather who passed at the age of 96, consist of constant reminders of how valuable apple cider vinegar, iodine, and sulfur are to our diet. More recently, I found the book, “Rx Prescription for Dietary Wellness” by Phyllis and James Balch published in 1992 and given to me by my father in 1996. In the front of the book, a note from my father reads, “Gina, Here’s to Lifelong ‘Wellness.’ Bon Appetit!” Love, Dad. Even though I was raised in a house focused on health and physical activity, my personal interest in holistic nutrition wasn’t sparked until I went searching for answers to feeling unwell. I was a competitive runner in grade school through college, and in my mid-20’s became a competitive road cyclist. I raced several times per week, which over time led to a deep set fatigue, referred to as overtraining, due to insufficient rest and recovery. This began my quest to better understand physiology and nutrition related to exercise. It was a non-licensed nutritionist who picqued my interest and opened my eyes to the world of gluten and inflammation. She placed me on an elimination diet – which is not a good idea if you exercise 15 – 20 hours per week!In 2003, there was no such thing as Gluten Free anything! I already avoided dairy, but avoiding gluten was an entire job unto itself. I spend hours after my corporate job, searching the bodega’s in China Town and Japenese grocery stores in Manhattan, trying to find tapioca starch, rice noodles, 100% buckwheat noodles and brown rice. There were no pre-mixed flours, cookies, or breads. I already cooked my own meals and was familiar with millet and quinoa, but as an athlete, carbohydrates, and simple ones, are actually good for training. I lost weight due to the simple fact that I did not eat enough. This experience of learning about digestion, inflammation, gut health & bacteria, became a passion of interest for me.Since I was already on a career path that was excelling, I had to place this passion on hold. It wasn’t until a few years later, post 911, when the job market was struggling in NYC, and my current job was downsized as the company I worked for, caused the second biggest crash on wall street in history. It was then, that I decided I would take on the arduous task of going back to school and pursuing the four year goal of becoming an RD. Becoming an RD wasn’t my initial focus because the curriculum did not take into account a basic tenant of health that I find most instrumental to overall nutrition, digestion and health of the intestines. However, becoming involved in the DIFM practice group (Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine) has provided me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in this area while maintaining the ethics and integrity of a licensed dietitian. I firmly believe that to be a professional in any field of medicine, where your recommendations can help or hurt someone, a practitioner (nutritionist/dietitian) must be held to standards of licensure that require ongoing education and certification. This is the only way for a nutritionist to be held accountable for their actions, and be expected to provide the best service possible. In order to provide the most comprehensive assessment of a client and plan of outcomes, a nutritionist must be able to combine professional experience with evidence based outcomes from research. To do this, a nutritionist must be motivated to stay abreast of research and have the education to be able to decipher, translate and apply the research in a practical setting. I support the fields of integrative medicine and am happy to see the expansion in the number of accredited programs since I began my search in 2007. However, programs that fail to educate a person how to write and present research unbiased and professionally, only do the public a disservice.
Regina grew up swimming and running competitively and knew she’d compete in triathlons someday. She started swimming competitively in fifth grade, but fell in love with running in seventh grade and competed in track and cross country through high school. Regina competed on a national level in cross country while setting school and divisional records. She continued running competitively while at Ithaca College, where she graduated in 1996 with a degree in Television and Psychology. After college, Regina participated in her first sprint duathlon in 1998, placing first in her age group. She placed in her age group in each Sprint and Olympic triathlon she did thereafter.Taking a break from triathlon, she turned to competitive cycling in 2000. She competed on local New York City bike teams, as a Category 3 road cyclist, and raced all over New England with a focus on stage racing and criteriums. She also raced Cyclocross across the Northeast region and competed in the National Championships on the east and west coasts. In addition, she raced on the track, enjoying the pursuit and madison.After racing non-stop for five years on her bike, Regina turned to long course triathlon. She competed in her first half and full Ironman in 2006, and has improved ever since. She competed in her third Ironman in Lake Placid in 2009. With a solid background in all three disciplines, Regina provides her clients with a very well balanced and knowledgeable approach to triathlon training. She designs highly personalized workouts and assists her clients in improving each area of triathlon. Regina focuses on the whole athlete and the entire season combining innovative and steadfast methods of triathlon coaching. Regina feels it is imperative not only to be trained well but also to know how to fuel while training and racing. As an athlete for most of her life, she knows how to make training a priority and incorporate it into a busy schedule.Regina took a break from racing long course triathlon to obtain her Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition. Her passion for sports nutrition evolved during her time as a bike racer in which she was habitually overtrained. In an effort to learn more about food and how to eat for training, racing and recovery, she pursued a holistic path of nutrition education. However, she realized this route did not provide the background in science required to understand biochemistry, metabolism or the intricacies of hormonal balance and blood markers of nutrition deficiencies. She completed her thesis research on the effects of dietary intake and energy balance on elite cyclists and the subsequent impact on bone density. Regina’s primary nutrition interests are: hydration, ultra endurance training and racing (IM race plans), carbohydrate metabolism (fasted training), metabolic efficiency, energy balance, bone density, and the metabolic effects/changes one experiences from weight loss. Her goals are: to provide practical application of nutrition research combined with real-life proven results to her clients; empower weight loss clients with tools for behavior change and goal setting; debunk popular diet myths; and help clients weed through the overwhelming amount of nutrition and diet recommendations found in the media to determine the best eating plan for them.Regina resides in Colorado Springs, CO where she enjoys running up and down the trails of Pikes Peak and competing in local trail races.