We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I think that outsiders are mostly unaware that nutritionists do not only work in weight loss. In fact, many do not work in weight loss at all. Further, most nutritionists and dietitians have a topic or niche that they specialize in (we don’t work with every nutrition issue under the sun!) For me, that’s performance nutrition and women’s health for outdoor athletes. When you “niche down” into specific areas of interest, you’re better equipped to help your clients with their particular issues or roadblocks. The nutrition field is huge and always changing since it’s a relatively new science, so being specific about which topics you work in allows you to stay up to date on research.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Emily Smith Nutrition helps outdoor athletes and fitness enthusiasts perform and feel their best with personalized nutrition. I think what sets me apart is that I not only blend performance nutrition with clinical nutrition, but I’m also able to help outdoor athletes with their unique needs. These individuals are often multi-sport athletes that find themselves training for 2-4 hours per day expending a high amount of calories and are frequently going on camping trips, during which they’re also expected to perform well whether it’s climbing, mountain biking, hiking, or something else.
In fact, I ended up diving into this population because during graduate school, despite learning so much about nutrition, I was falling short and not supporting my own health and performance. I was unintentionally under-eating calories, which generally made me feel like I was hit by a bus, exacerbating digestive and women’s health issues while contributing to chronic injuries. I found that others experienced the same symptoms and could benefit from more personalized nutrition to support health, performance, and recovery. I took what I learned in school, sought out research more specific to outdoor sports, and connected with mentors to shape my practice into what it is today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When I first moved in with my now-husband, we lived on a 36′ sailboat in Ventura Harbor. We were constantly at the Channel Islands whether it was a quick overnight trip just to wake up and have coffee in a beautiful place or a 5+ day trip to really disconnect. The Channel Islands have so much to offer including hiking, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking, and it’s so interesting because each island is a bit different. Even Santa Cruz Island can really differ depending on the anchorage. We have loved taking friends out to see our islands and favorite anchorages for the first time. Sometimes they sail out with us, but we’ve also had friends meet us via the ferry. If you choose to visit the islands, we always recommend reading “Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife” for a little history lesson about Santa Cruz!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father is an entrepreneur, so I grew up watching him grow his business and seeing the hard work and dedication he put into it. This is so important because, truly, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It was inspirational for me to see him do this, and in the back of my mind, it was always a given that I would do the same thing. Beyond the inspiration he didn’t know he was providing, he has always been nothing but supportive throughout my many years at school and in these first few years of growing my business.
Photo 1 of dog in orange bandana: Rachel Moore