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You changed my life

Joanna Chodorowska

I have had the pleasure of working with Andrew Gillman of Boulder, Co for almost a year. We decided since he keeps telling me " you changed my life ", 'You are the best nutritionist ever" and other superlatives, that it would be a great idea to do a Q & A session via phone. So we did!

Our mutual friend Emily Wright connected us. And after countless whining about his stomach issues, she suggested he contact me....the rest is history.

andrew gillman cover shot

How I changed the world of a pro athlete :

A : "I thought I was helpless and needed surgery to fix my issues.
and you said: "no you don't just need to change the nutrition ."

J :  Can you describe life before working with me.
A : I didn't like eating. I was afraid of eating - it would bother my stomach.
I didn't understand why was getting fit but didn't look fit. I felt fat and felt like I was looking like a fat yet fit athlete.   I grew up eating well, but not for my body or for sport.

J :  Can you describe what catapulted to find me?
A :   I had continuous stomach issues . I was bitching on Facebook.  Emily suggested working with you.  She thought you were great and would work well with me.

J :  What did I say to convince you to work with me?
A :  You are an athlete.  Emily trusted you.  I knew that I needed to be not in pain and not have stomach aches all the time. You had a methodology that made sense .

J :  What was that methodology?
A :  One piece at a time. No giant changes right away . Is it the wheat? Is the spices? Or is it something bigger?
You could work with me on my level.
You had a really good grasp of what to do.  You also didn't need 35 pages of food logs. andrew gillman philly tri 2014
You were able to make the connection as to what the underlying issue was.

Like: "You're eating wonder you are always hungry."
And the cereal is causing the issue.   The cereal was wheat based -
Mom's best (malto meal). Wheat was one of the biggest parts of my diet,
but it was causing most of my stomach issues.

You also pointed out that I was also eating too much.
My portion sizes were out of control.
I was eating haphazardly.  But I did have a good dinner:  sweet potato, brussel sprouts, salad, protein was minimal.  You identified that my body was burning carbs/ sugars, not body fat.

J :  What was most helpful advice I gave you?
A :  There were many:
- Smart portion size and teaching my body to burn body fat not carbs.
- Learning what to eat at night so would not wake up at 3:30/4 to eat. (all blood sugar management)
- Adding healthy fats to diet. I was not satiated after meals, so would bonk a lot in training and take many naps during the day. I was eating way too many carbs - high sugar cereal, not enough protein, greens and fats.

J :  What was your biggest improvement from this nutrition advice I shared? andrew gillman sept 2014
A :  I had better performance .   And no stomach pain !!  None.
I have better bike times, run times, no stomach pain, no bathroom issues.
I can sleep all night.  I lost body fat especially around stomach . Now I feel like a pro and fit athlete .
I am now a top cyclist.  I no longer feel fat or look it.

J :  What was the hardest thing to incorporate?
A :  I get lazy, so I would just wash handfuls of greens vs making a salad. I eat carrots by themselves.  I would eat in pieces. I now know I need to make meals, sit down to eat them and not piece meal it.

J :  What was the easiest thing to incorporate?
A:  I can now eat copious amounts of dates. I can eat dates over cookies, pastries.  If I eat the cookies and pastries, my body rebels. I know I can take digestive enzymes, water and it seems worth it for that moment of eating it.  But what my body really wants are the dates.  Not the cookies .

I now look at "why I am hungry?" : Did I not have greens?  Why am I craving sugar?  I now have some dates and am ok.  Before I would binge on cereal and have to take nap with a stomach ache, then wake up, drink something with caffeine and go train.  And I would eat cereal all day, repeating the cycle of being sick, napping, taking caffeine. I was miserable before I started working with you .

I know now that I can be satiated with the foods I eat which is less than what I was eating before.
I was using 2 scoops of protein powder after workouts.  Now replaced it with chicken or sliced turkey or roast beef. Gluten Free bread sux....canyon ranch bakery was a find!

I love how you use real food options with me.  Going from fake food to real food has really made a huge difference.  I was using products like Muscle Milk as needed and using it in place of meals.
And I wonder why I was hungry??!  It compounded on meals were cereal. So then stomach ache. Then in bathroom all day. And I repeated it over and over.
It was hard to get anything done when I was in the bathroom half the day.  Let alone train for triathlon!

J: What was your typical day of meals before we started working together?
A : I would wake up, have cereal.... be sick .
I would work out after a nap (the cereal made me tired).  I would drink muscle milk..... with bowl of cereal.... get sick again.   Sleep, rehydrate, train again with caffeine gummies, and repeat for second workout. Be sick, sleep, wake up middle of the night. Eat more cereal. Go back to sleep, wake up with stomach ache.
It was continuous trauma.  I just didn't get it.
Until I met with you! You changed my life .

J :  What changes did you make in your foods?
A :  I have no adulterated foods in my diet anymore.
I read labels of foods.  There is a lot of crap in those processed food: special coatings in foods we eat. Coatings in supplements like titanium dioxide.  Have you read the ingredients of cheap pastries in a box - scary.

J : Did you start reading labels after we talked?
A : I have been reading them since 6th grade.  I knew all the nutrition facts and calories of everything!
I started to read ingredients after we started to talk with more awareness . Reading nutrition facts was more important than I thought.   Now I read ingredients more than nutrition facts.

What's in it is more important than what calories are in it. (you taught me this!)
Now I focus is on food quality and portion size vs calories. Calories are important if you eat the wrong kind of calories.
Now I look at what fuels me rather than what calories am I getting.

Now I look at options:  a turkey sandwich or scrambled eggs - which will I feel better on? ?
It has been very interesting and to have awareness and consciousness of it. I never had this before I worked with you.  I was not cognitive of what food did for me. Nor how it worked against me.  I just thought this stomach ache thing is how it was going to be.   And I was meant to be sick all the time.

J :  What is one thing would say about working with me??
A : " You changed my life "
... I can eat food and not be in pain ."
I feel better about myself.
I don't have pain nor do I have to be in pain.
I don't have negative self thoughts. which were a constant issue.
When you feel like crap, and you work out all the time, but still feel like feel crappy about yourself.
You completely changed my world.

Besides, your logo is on my butt :)).   People get to see your logo all day long!

You do not need to be a professional athlete in order to work with Joanna and your nutrition.
Joanna works with athletes of all levels from beginner to elite level, teens and adults.  She works wonders in identifying the underlying issues contributing to your GI and stomach issues among others.
There is never a one solution for each person.  It is individual and requires a step-by-step approach to help you heal from the inside out.
Joanna has been able to help clients who have worked with other nutritionist get to the root of the issues within 3-6 months vs 7 years of suffering.  For more information on nutrition coaching services provided by Joanna Chodorowska, please visit her website Nutrition in Motion or call 215-272-6774.


  • Andrew Gillman 4 years, 4 months ago


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