One of my biggest struggles throughout two decades of frequent travel has been proper nutrition. In theory, I
know think I know what I’m supposed to be eating to maintain optimal health. In reality, its a lot more difficult to do even at home. Now throw me in a situation where chaos can occasionally frequently rule the day and I’m lucky to grab a can of Pringles and a ginger ale off a coach beverage cart and call it dinner.
I’ve been excited to work one-on-one with a great nutritionist who has helped me tweak a lot of things that were within my control to make travel easier – but breaking 15+ years of bad habits has not been easy and has required that personal focus from a coach. I shared one day that everyone should be so lucky to have such a service. That’s when she let me in on a little secret that I’m about to tell you about – Rise.
Rise bills itself as a private nutrition expert in your pocket. And that’s exactly what it is. Rise is an iPhone application that allows users to sign up for private one-to-one virtual nutrition counseling from a professional, the same thing I get in real life but at a virtual cost of around $15 per week (actual cost can vary based on the time package selected). Full disclosure – Heather arranged with Rise for me to have a complimentary two-week trial working with her directly so I could test drive the service.
Here’s how it works:
Complete a profile. You’ll fill out a short bit of information about yourself and what your goal is. Then Rise will offer you a short list of available professionals they think will best be able to coach you to reach that goal. (I was already paired with Heather per our initial setup request but I read through the other bios and would have been happy with many of the coaches!)
Interact with your coach. Heather started out our conversation with a list of questions for me to answer. I shared with her more information about my goals and challenges.
Upload your meals. The app allows you to upload photos of your meals or menus and text descriptions of your meals a long with comments.
Get feedback. Your coach will log on at least once a day (although in my case it was sometimes more often) to “approve” your meals and give you feedback on them related to your goals. One some days, I did really well. On others, she gave me encouraging but thoughtful advice on things I might be able to approve or areas to watch out for.
Communicate one-to-one. You can always chat one-to-one with your coach as well.
I shared my frustration with Heather about being away from home for a week and having a few meals where I had no control over timing. I told her I was getting “hangry” (so hungry I was angry) at times because of travel companions eating on a different schedule than what I needed. She gave me some great coping advice to deal with situations out of my control. She also helped advise me on various things including the best snacks to keep in my bag for travel days to avoid getting “hangry” again!
The service has a money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy, they will work with you to try to make you happy – switching coaches or allowing you to terminate early.
I loved this service because it took traditional food tracking apps several steps further by offering the one-to-one coaching. This was tough for me at times when I really wanted to cheat… but knew I’d have to be accountable. I am sure Heather would have noticed if I’d stopped posting photos all of the sudden and just told her that I was eating chicken breasts and green salads. So you do get out of it what you put in – the app alone is going make you succeed. But it is a strong tool for increased success due to the accountability factor.
I also had challenges at times wanting to listen to advice that I wasn’t ready to hear. Heather gently urged me to trade in my daily Starbucks soy chai latte for straight tea, something I was not willing to do since that’s where I blog each day! But she’d be happy to know that I have cut it down to a smaller size and I’m also making sure to eat something at home first so that I’m not relying on it to be a meal replacement.
All in all, I’d recommend Rise to anyone who needs a bit of an extra push but doesn’t have the time in their travel schedule to have in-person nutritional coaching. It’s also a great way to test-drive such a commitment to see if you can keep up with what it requires (food journaling, taking constructive feedback) before trying a longer term coaching relationship.
Rise is available for download in the AppStore via iTunes.
Now… the good stuff. Rise has given me a FREE one-month membership to give away to a blog reader. AND, I’ve gotten Heather to agree to do some guest blogging for Jetsetter’s Homestead so we can dive deeper into travel nutrition (so that we all win!) Her first guest post will appear here tomorrow (yay!) but we want to be sure she is hitting on topics that you want to see covered.
***** So to give this membership away, we will draw from one comment here on this post that is left between now and midnight CT on Monday 8/18 – tell us what your toughest travel nutrition situation/dilemma is. We’ll draw one lucky winner from the entries to win the free month with Rise AND we’ll work to address your situation in an upcoming blog post! *****
I’m looking forward to reading your comments!