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  • Home  > Articles on Health  > Nutritional Edge

    Nutritional Edge

    Finding the Nutritional Edge

    Debbi Lawrence has twice been a member of the U.S. Olympic race walking team. Will she — with the help of AIM products — make it three times this summer?

    We all know of the Olympics. Every four years, the best athletes in the world meet to compete and share the joys of competition. We watch their efforts to do their best and admire them, whether they are on the podium receiving a gold medal or simply in the locker room with a personal best.

    But how do they get there?

    Unknown to many, the Olympic trials — competing for a place on the team — may be more competitive and more stressful than competing in the Olympics. Just ask Debbi Lawrence, who competed in the U.S. Olympic race walking trials in 1992 and 1996 and both times made the Olympic team.

    "The Olympic trials are pretty much a very intense competition. It’s sometimes even more intense than the Olympics because in the United States, you need to place first, second, or third to even make the team. To place in the Olympic trials, I really had to gather my mind, my body, and my spirit and put them into top performance."

    "But it’s worth it," Debbi continues. "When you cross the line and you say to yourself 'top three make the team' and you’re one, two, or three … as you’re actually racing, you’re saying, 'oh my gosh, I’m going to be an Olympian!' When this happened to me, it was the first Olympic experience of my life. The joy was just overwhelming."

    It was even more special for Debbi because not only did she make the team but 1992 was the first time that women were 'allowed' to race walk in the Olympics. Although men had been race walking since 1908, many believed that women couldn’t handle it.

    We know, of course, that women can compete just as hard as men, and push themselves just as hard. And to be an Olympian, both men and women need focus and good health. Paramount to this is a good training program and good nutrition.

    This is something that Debbi knows well.

    Although she did well in her first Olympics, placing 26th in the world in 1992, she improved to 20th place four years later, despite, as she says, "being four years older." The difference may well have been that she learned the importance of nutrition.

    Debbi says, "In these four years, I learned a lot. I learned how important nutrition is, and I learned how valuable the mental state is to an athlete. I put myself on a better nutrition program, and I realized that to perform better I needed a little bit less anxiety and stress."

    In preparation for the upcoming July Olympic trials, Debbi has a strong training program that incorporates good nutrition. Her rabbits (she has ten of them) wake her up around 6:30, and that’s when her day begins.

    "When I get up, I have two large glasses of water and then a light meal—this is about two hours before I actually start my workout. One hour before I start training, I have two scoops of AIM BarleyLife. I believe that AIM BarleyLife helps me equalize my system. Exercising results in acid being produced, and AIM Barleygreen™ helps me balance this. Then I work out anywhere from one to three hours, and when I’m finished, I immediately take some more AIM Barleygreen™. This helps me neutralize all the acids I’ve created."

    Debbi then does some stretching and takes a break. Although you would think that rest would come easy after an intense workout, it does not. Debbi believes this is because the AIM BarleyLife gives her so much more energy.

    "It’s really interesting," she says. "Since I’ve been taking AIM Barleygreen™, I have to force myself to take a nap because I have much more energy than I have had in my entire life."

    After her break, Debbi has a second workout or does some weight training. She ends every day with some relaxing yoga. Debbi carries out this program six days a week.

    Diet is also a big part of her routine. Over her years of competing, she has continually modified her diet. She now feels that she 'knows her body' and that a vegetarian diet is the best for her.

    "A few years back, many nutritionists were telling me that I really should not be a vegetarian as that would make it hard for an endurance athlete to recover. But what I have found is that I’m actually recovering a lot better. What I’ve come down to is a vegetarian program based on a lot of greens, soy protein, and live foods. This is one of the reasons I use AIM products. They really match up with me and my program."

    "I’ve used AIM Barleygreen™ for a number of years and have just recently increased my consumption and am feeling more energy. I believe this has taken me beyond a plateau to the next level. I also incorporate AIM Just Carrots™ and AIM RediBeets™. I think this is helping me get some of the nutrients that nutritionists say I’m lacking because of my vegetarian diet."

    "I have also been reading about how coenzyme Q10 can be a performance enhancer for endurance athletes, and I sometimes take two or three capsules of AIM CellSparc 360™ before an endurance walk. The results have been amazing."

    Debbi is now in training for the July 16 Olympic trials and hopes to be in Sydney, Australia, as an Olympic competitor this summer. She will be competing in the 20-kilometer race walk, 10 kilometers more than in either of the past two Olympics. This means that Debbi is doing twice the training.

    This article is reproduced from Partner's Magazine with the permission of AIM International

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