Local Athlete Series: Part 5

Chris Latham is a functional nutritionist in Santa Barbara, CA. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition and is a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Chris is a member of the American College of Nutrition, American Nutrition Association, and Institute for Functional Medicine. She specializes in digestive health, hormones, metabolic detoxification, sports nutrition, and overall health. For more information about Chris and what she does, visit Chris’s website at www.healwellnutrition.com.

Chris is an avid endurance athlete. She is a past president of the Santa Barbara Triathlon Club and was triathlete of the year in 2013. Chris has successfully competed in Ironman triathlons and the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Chris is a member of the Rabbit Racing Cross Country team which placed third in the nation this year. In addition, she competed with her team and won the 2016 Are You Tough Enough 65-mile endurance race.

Q&A with Chris Latham

  1. What supplements do you take and why? When/how do you take them? (i.e., morning/night, with/without food)Sole (replenish minerals and electrolytes), Omega-3 fish oil, high-quality multivitamin, and adaptogens. I also include others based on what my body needs at the time.
  2. How would you characterize your diet? Keto, vegan, or vegetarian, Paleo, Mediterranean, restricted eating, or ‘I do my own damn thing?’ Elaborate, if needed.
    I follow a modified Paleo/Mediterranean type diet. This is the age of personalized nutrition, so you have to find what works for you.
  3. Do you fast? If so, what kind of fast? 5-day? Intermittent? How long and how often? 
    I practice intermittent fasting or time restrictive eating. I aim for 12-16 hours of fasting each day. Doing this allows the immune system to calm down. This doesn’t always happen. I tend to listen to my body.
  4. Do you drink coffee? If so, how much and what do you put in it? (Cream, half and half, butter, MCT oil, sugar or artificial sweetener?)
    When I do drink coffee, I drink decaf bulletproof coffee. I use Organic Purity Coffee. It’s free of mold, toxins, etc.
  5. Do you have a morning ritual? What do you do the first hour you are awake?
    I get outside in the sunlight and take the dog for a walk.
  6. Do you train on your own or with a coach/trainer?
    I train on my own and with friends. I workout with my husband Steve
    Shlens if doing a strength training workout.  
  7. Describe your weekly training regimen. (Lift weights, run trails, track, cycle trails or road?) How often? How far/long?
    In the fall and winter:
    It varies. I workout based on how I feel. I typically swim 1-2 days/week, and run 2 days/week. It’s winter so my focus is on skiing and surfing.
  8. What do you do for recovery after training? Stretch, roll/smash, ice, cryo, compression, eat a glazed donut with those little pink sprinkles? Nothing?
    I take electrolytes first and foremost (before and after workouts). I like to stretch and foam roll, ice if need be, and take Epsom salt baths. I also use Normatech compression boots when my legs are tired and
    visit the infrared sauna a couple of times per week.
  9. How many rest/recovery days do you take per week?
    I often take about 2 or more. I listen to my body. If I need more I take them. I’m recovering from mold and lyme so my body needs more attention right now.
  10. Athletes hate injuries. What do you do that helps you avoid getting hurt?
    Recover – and I listen to my body. I also take collagen protein, since most athletic injuries occur at tendon sites because they are the weakest link. I use high quality collagen (not all collagen is created equal) as foundational support.
  11. Do you meditate? If so, do you attend classes, use an app like Headspace?
    I try to and need to do it more often. I use Headspace when I’m feeling stressed.
  12. Do you practice yoga? If so, what kind of yoga?
    I haven’t been practicing yoga lately, however, my body/life needs more balance so I’m getting back into it.
  13. Do you have a nighttime shut-down routine? If so, what’s that look like?
    I put on Swannies (blue light blocking glasses) at least an hour before bed to induce melatonin in addition to staying away from all blue light. The infrared sauna and Epsom salt bath are great pre-bedtime as well.
  14. 3 books you wish everyone would read about fitness or health?
    There are SO many. Probably these: The Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried, What the Heck Should I Eat by Mark Hyman. I’m also a fan of biohacking and Dave Asprey, but haven’t read his books. That’s next on my list!
  15. What’s your favorite sports movie of all time?
    American Flyers
  16. Health/fitness advice you wish someone had given you when you were 21 years old?
    Don’t stress out over life, enjoy it. Life will lead you down the path you are supposed to be.
  17. Do you wear a heart rate monitor during cardio exercise? If you don’t, why?
    I’m not that much of a data geek, so only during certain times.
  18. How often do you get your blood/urine/saliva work done?
    At least every 6 months.
  19. What’s still on your bucket list of fitness goals?
    I’d love to do Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race and the Maui Xterra World Championships, and last but not least the Granite Man.
  20. Who inspires you the most?
    Those who try to fail and do so over and over again.
  21. In the world of sports and fitness, who is your hero, guru, or mentor?
    My husband Steve Shlens
  22. Top 3 favorite health or fitness podcasts?
    Michael Ruscio, Kara Fitzgerald, and Mark Hyman
  23. Favorite Santa Barbara trail for running and/or mountain biking?
    Camuesa, Tequepis, and McMenemy for mountain bike riding. San Ysidro or Cold Springs for trail running.
  24. On average, how may hours do you sleep each night?
    I aim for 8 hours of quality sleep. After all you can’t make it up!
  25. Who’s your favorite fictional superhero and why?
    Wonder Woman. Because she’s a female wonder 🙂
  26. You compete. Or used to. What drives you? Or drove you back in the day? If “Because I love it and I’m good at it” is your answer, great! But if there’s more to it, and you’re willing to divulge, we’d love to know.
    I love the challenge of competing. It brings me adrenaline and endorphins. I constantly have goals for myself whether it be athletic (decreasing my 5k PR) or personal (meditating more). Pushing myself takes me to new levels, places, and adventures that makes life worth living.

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