Lisa Dorfman, The Running Nutritionist®, is an expert in her field- Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Board Certified Professional Counselor, Diplomat of The American Psychotherapy Association; Certified- ISAK certified anthropometrist, USAT&F & USA Triathlon coach & Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (FAND). Personal nutritionist for dozens of professional athletes, including those in the NFL, MLB, PGA, USTA, US Boxing, USA Taekwondo, Lisa was the team nutritionist for the US Olympic & Paralympic Sailing Teams for Beijing, 2008 & has nutritionally coached & educated thousands of student athletes, coaches & parents on strategies for achieving optimal health in the classroom, in sport & in life.
Since 1983, Lisa has built a diverse portfolio including: a clinical career in over 15 hospitals & medical centers; corporate programs at numerous Fortune 500 & major financial, law public & private institutions; consultant with the Federal Correctional System, Metro-Dade Police, US Department of Customs, and for The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); as a culinary dietitian working with chefs and staff worldwide at Sandals Resorts, Ritz Carlton, Doral Saturnia, and Bitter End Resorts in the BVI & as an educator as former Director of the University of Miami Graduate Program in Nutrition for Health & Human Performance/Professor -Department of Kinesiology & Sports Sciences , Johnson and Wales University & Miami Dade Culinary Institute.
Lisa is the author of eight books, including her latest, Performance Nutrition for Football Athletes (www.MyFootballNutrition.com ); several book chapters, former Nutrition Editor for SoBeFit Magazine & is a columnist for Miami Sports Magazine. She has appeared on 20/20, Dateline, Good Morning America Health, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and ESPN and the NBC, CBS & ABC affiliates and has been featured in numerous publications including: USA Today, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Runners World, Marie Claire, O, Glamour, Vegetarian Times & Shape magazines.
As a competitive runner and triathlete who has competed in more than 34 marathons (PR 2:52:32), IronmanUSA Lake Placid, dozens of half marathons and 1/2 ironmans, & hundreds of running and multisport races, Lisa competed for the United States on Team USA at the ’04 World Long Distance Duathlon Championships in Frederica, Denmark . Lisa resides in Miami, Florida with her husband and 3 children.
Lisa’s dedication, passion & enthusiasm regarding fitness fuel for health, sport & life is evident by the respect & appreciation of colleagues, coaches, athletes, students & parents worldwide.
Q: What don’t you do?! You’re a triathlete, author, The Running Nutritionist™; have appeared on 20/20, Dateline, Good Morning America Health, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and ESPN and the NBC, CBS & ABC affiliates and has been featured in numerous publications including: USA Today, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Runners World, Marie Claire, O, Glamour, Vegetarian Times & Shape magazines. Tell me about juggling your busy life.
LD: When I was in my teens and I was the same then as I am now – I did everything—sports, student council, performance—and I am still the same way, juggling all kinds of really cool projects. It’s not difficult for me for balance it all because the things I do are unique enough that compartmentalization is easy.
While I’m known globally as The Running Nutritionist® and I do run a lot, I’m not just as an athlete! I’m a mom, spouse, nutritionist, & a friend. But, I don’t say yes to everything, I say yes to the things I really feel passionately about. I carefully select clients, projects, friends & experiences so that I can curate a meaningful life.
Right now, my primary role is as CEO of Food Fitness International, Inc. managing my 30 year consulting business (http://www.foodfitness.com/). I divide my time as a performance nutrition coach, professional counselor, continuing my education & training as a Reiki practitioner, Integrative & Functional Medical Practitioner at the University of Miami Medical School’s ICAMP program. Especially with grown children, I have time to juggle all this.
After the earthquake, I went to Haiti and sweated doing some grounded, meaningful work.
Q: What does grounded and meaningful mean to you?
LD: No make-up! It means one outfit and however long it takes me to help, assist, & heal others in pain. I’ve been a member of the international mental health relief team for the American Red Cross for several years now. Meaningful work means using the skills and blessings I’ve had to help individuals who would never have access otherwise. It is the meaningful conversations I’ve had with women who have been abused and taken refuge in shelters or the real conversations with real people who have experienced disasters. It’s really who I am – If I won the lottery, I’d prefer to do this full-time. I don’t need the glitz; the meaningful work is the most beautiful thing in the whole world.
Q: How do you make time for yourself? What gives you balance?
LD: I’m so about balance. If I didn’t have balance in my life, I’d be kind of crazy, I think. 5:00-7:00am has always been my time. I don’t do email or cell during those hours. When the kids were young, I had a sitter come in during that time so that I would peacefully be able to train. Those are my exercise hours.
I also set aside time for prayer, Bible study, contemplation, acupuncture, and massage. These services contribute to my balance and well-being and keep me connected. Even if you’re doing meaningful work, you need to stay connected to what’s going on inside. What you feel on the outside may conflict with the inside, so we need to keep them in sync, otherwise there’s discord.
When the kids were young, they were my priority. In recent years, it’s been paying more attention to my husband. We’ve been together 34 years, married 32 – and that requires attention! We lucked upon finding each other and our marriage has been very natural, even though it has gone through ebbs and flows.
I live far away from my family, so when my mom died two years ago, that piece of my life and my father required more attention. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to give it to him.
Q: What inspires you? What connects you to other people in a meaningful way?
LD: What inspires me is a big question! It’s a loaded question. What inspires me to keep doing what I do professionally is that I get emails, thank you’s, and feedback from students and clients. I was at University of Miami as a professor, director, and sports nutritionist. Students would tell me “you inspired me so much.” Giving students direction is inspirational to me. The impact that I was able to make on thousands of students and student athletes is one of the reasons I enjoyed my role and U of M. I make a difference and that inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing professionally.
Personally, what inspires me are really old people who have aged gracefully and have such rich lives. Living in south Florida, I have a chance to meet so many people who have aged well. And I’m getting there! I want to be that old person who inspires others. I was at a meeting with Stephen Covey (Author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and had us write our obituary. I want my obituary to say that I made a difference in people’s lives. And that inspires me to keep doing what I do. Making a difference in people’s lives inspires me most.
Q: What is something that the world should know? Maybe the best piece of advice that you ever received or the message you have for others.
LD: I think the world should know that people need to be fed. Whether that’s nutritionally or emotionally or intellectually. People need food to function – that’s apparent when you go to a country that’s starving. People need to be fed emotionally – held, loved, acknowledged. People need to be fed intellectually – to have the opportunity to be intellectually challenged. That lasts longer than most things in this lifetime. We need to globally find a way that all people are fed.