Nutrition Lessons from my Dog


Those of you that know me, know that I’m obsessed with my little yellow lab-dog, Molly. She is my best friend and favorite adventure partner (if my husband is reading this: I’m sorry and I hope you understand).

Molly is the kindest soul, and has taught me a great deal about love and life. But most recently she’s made me reflect more on nutrition and how clients may view certain things. Molly’s been injured for the last month (favoring one paw). We have done a bunch of testing, and still aren’t quite sure what’s wrong. She’s been naturally less active because we’re trying to help her paw heal.

Ok, so I know by now you’re saying: Coach Abby, what the heck does this have to do with me?

Lessons from Miss Molly dog.

Here are 3 parallels to what I typically see in my nutrition coaching practice: 

  • If you’re injured, your body will let you know and you should LISTEN + decrease activity/cross-train to support healing and recovery. I see this with active people all too often. They think that if they take 1 or 2 days off from working out, they will lose all of their “gains.” Or that completing a workout is more important than quality sleep. In reality, taking a few days or weeks off because you feel like trash could mean greater longevity in the sport. It took me a couple of years to learn this one. I kept pushing thru all of the alarms that were going off in my body until I was finally forced to step away from ultra-endurance running. Taking a few months off could have saved me a few years of agony. Today, I’m so much better at listening to my body. I know when to push, and when to throttle things back.
  • Even when you’re less active, you still need to give your body adequate fuel/calories to support basic metabolic functions + recovery. If your pet/child was sick/injured, would you restrict their food? I hope not (we haven’t done that with Molly). And depending on the injury, you might even need MORE calories/protein than what you’re currently doing. But again, anytime a client gets injured or misses a workout they automatically assume they need to scale back on their eating, fear gaining weight, or restrict to compensate. Also consider this if you’re injured: are there other activities that you can still participate in? Can you walk, bike, swim, do less volume/weight? Maybe you injured your lower body. Could you still do upper body or just avoid certain lower body movements? Bottom line is this, just because you’re injured/miss a workout doesn’t mean you should reduce calories. Remember that success (or failure) is the result of consistency (or lack of). So one day of NOT working out or doing less activity out isn’t going to cause you to gain weight.
  • You might eat more at one meal, but that doesn’t mean you should restrict your next meal. This was a big thing I noticed with Molly that prompted this blog. Some days Molly eats WAY more food. She’s already a picky eater, so when she’s hungry, we feed her because we know she might not feel like eating later. BUT if she eats more food at one meal, what we don’t do is restrict her food at the following meal. It’s business as usual. As it should be for you. Treat each Macro (Carb, Protein, Fat) as a separate business or entity. So if you over-consume carbs I encourage you to still hit your protein + fat macro goals. The reason for this is to support energy + performance + to eliminate the binge/deprivation cycle that many people are on. A common thought process for a lot of people is this: I went over in carbs so I am going to eat light or skip meal/snack the rest of the day. Again, this is an unhealthy mindset + instead we need to focus on food as fuel + re-frame the brain: I went over in carbs but still need the protein + fat today to support my goals.

So there ya have it! The top 3 food + fitness lessons from Coach Molly dog. My mission is to help create greater freedom + flexibility with your food + fitness. That means choosing to eat well + workout because you love and respect your body and feel good in the process. Not restricting food and using workouts as punishment.

Be sure to check out my Reel:
My goal is to be able to complete a Pup-Pull-Up. This means being able to compete a weighted pull-up @ 45 pounds (equivalent of Molly’s bodyweight).

Schedule a Discovery Call to discuss your goals + my programs.

Let’s see if you are a good fit!

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