Our Story… 

Welcome to FWDfuel! We teach functional sports nutrition to fix fatigue and improve recovery in active individuals.  This approach helps increase energy as well as reverse chronic health symptoms to help everyone from superstar professional athletes, youth athletes, to busy parents. Why? Because we’ve experienced the ups and downs first hand as former fatigued athletes and working professionals. If anyone knows the confusion that can come with undiagnosed symptoms and unexplained fatigue, it’s us!

Here is a bit of our story.

Growing up, Kylene was a sprinter who struggled with constant hamstring strains, poor recovery, less than optimal body composition and acne.  Surviving on a diet of sugary sports drinks, fruit snacks, and chicken tenders, she often wondered if changing her eating strategy could lead to improved performance.

Michael struggled with acne for years as well. This lead to prolonged use of antibiotics at the recommendation of his dermatologist. Next? His shin splints while playing football in college were so bad, that it led to daily use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories at the recommendation of a medical professional on his performance staff. He took Ibuprofen as if it were candy.    

Kylene’s sugar-laden, heavily processed diet improved after going to school to be a dietitian, but she still struggled with fatigue which worsened as she began work as a staff dietitian at a world-renowned hospital. She found it strange though as she was happily drinking diet soda and consuming low-fat snacks like all the textbooks say!

Her fatigue only worsened as time passed which left her feeling groggy each morning and too exhausted to workout each day. Not surprisingly, feeling this way left her no choice but to rely on coffee in order to function.. Finally, it was time to seek a little extra help. Feeling fortunate to be working at a world-renowned hospital (or so she thought) she sought the consultation of a highly recommended primary care physician.  At the visit, she was told her symptoms “did not match your lab results so it must just be depression.” The best part? After the physician walked out, the treatment room door as still open and she heard the physician tell a resident physician, “she’s making everything up, don’t worry about anything she says.” She was then told in the after visit summary to get a chest x-ray and seek a consult with Rheumatology.

Feeling incredibly shocked at what she heard, and knowing her issue was nowhere near depression (oddly enough, it was actually one of the happiest times in her life living down town and just meeting her future husband!), she felt extremely defeated.  

Looking for further answers, however, she did seek the consultation of the head of Rheumatology who told her that if she is running half marathons she couldn’t possibly have any serious autoimmune issues and encouraged her to complete the chest x-ray.

Trying to be a compliant patient she did get a chest x-ray which came back negative along with a large panel of standard blood tests.  

Not long after getting married, Kylene’s husband Michael started to take note of her struggles. Feeling angry that his new wife sought the advice of several highly regarded medical professionals and came away with zero answers, he tried to assist and began to dig for a solution. They both knew there had to be a better way. 

In addition to the chronic fatigue, Michael also knew that Kylene was unhappy in her job. She was overworked seeing patients in a basement with no windows. Both Kylene and Michael had a feeling this was greatly contributing to her fatigue but they were not sure where to turn. 

And this is where Kylene and Michael strike gold.

One day, a dietitian from this hospital’s Center for Functional Medicine came into Michael’s office to be seen as her PT patient. She casually mentioned how they were looking to hire another dietitian. 

While Kylene had actually been reading about the emerging world of Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition, she wasn’t convinced it was all it was cracked up to be. After all, many of its core nutrition strategies and principles were the opposite of what she had been practicing all these years. However, she knew many of the greatest professional athletes in the world were following this approach so she thought it was at least worth a job interview. 

Thankfully, it was love at first bite. (Bite of knowledge, that is!)

Kylene loved that functional medicine worked to get to the root of a patient or athlete’s problem vs. putting a bandaid on the issue. Plus, the nutrition component was very individualized and there was a great emphasis on eating whole foods- not artificial sweeteners and low-fat snacks! Nutrition was the focal point of the entire model and doctors and dietitians each spent 60 minutes with each patient! The results were incredible. Kylene saw more progress with patients in two weeks than she had seen in years practicing conventional nutrition. 

Its true: food is medicine. 

After seeing the amazing results of her own patients, she thought it was finally time to partake in some of the individualized testing herself.  Feeling frustrated with the health system and years of fatigue, it was finally time for real answers. 

To her surprise, her physician (and colleague) was able to accurately identify that she was suffering from severe micronutrient deficiencies, numerous food sensitivities, and candida overgrowth. Once discovered, she was placed on an elimination diet and an individualized supplement protocol.   While the diet was strict and friends laughed when she would say no to any form of sugar or alcohol for months (they coined the phrase, “don’t feed the ‘dida!” when she explained the sugar feeds candida overgrowth), she was determined to fix her fatigue and to her amazement, it worked. She just couldn’t believe it. After all these years her fatigue was nearly gone and she was forever sold on the patient-centered, whole-food approach of functional medicine.  

Oddly enough, while Michael was able to indirectly help Kylene find the answer to her issue, she returned the favor by helping him solve his increasing difficulty to recover from marathon training, and constant stomach pain accompanied by increasing difficulty with swallowing food.  While he thought his worsening body composition and workout fatigue was just part of getting older and not getting enough sleep, Kylene convinced him it absolutely was not just age (though sleep and stress were a component).  

So, Kylene facilitated a consultation in functional medicine with one of their top doctors for Michael.  Learning his cortisol levels were through the roof and he wasn’t digesting fats or proteins well, he added meditation, modified his diet as directed, and took a supplement routine to help digest his food.  Within two weeks he felt like he was starting to recover like a high school kid and could finally lift his legs in the gym and go for a long run a couple of days later. He felt like a new man except for when his stomach pain and throat issues would creep up.

To fix the throat and intermittent abdominal pain (as well as to rule out the scary stuff floating around in his head) he sought consultation from his PCP, an Otolaryngologist, and Gastroenterologist which led to abdominal CT scan, endoscopy, and colonoscopy – all with negative results- and not one provider could give any guidance on treatment other than to “try Pain Management”. Kylene convinced him to complete LEAP MRT food sensitivity testing to remove food aggravating his immune system and use an individualized supplement protocol to treat possible gastroesophageal reflux. To his astonishment, his gut pain resolved, and throat symptoms slowly improved for the first time in a year.  

Together through their personal journey, Kylene and Michael have developed understanding and respect for those who’re frustrated with the traditional health system and having gone through long roads trying to find answers to their health issues only to be told its “aging”, “life with kids”, “depression”, and so on.  Kylene and Michael are incredibly thankful for having found the world of Functional Nutrition which has not only changed their lives, but so many of those around them who they have come in contact with. Through mentorship from some of the best experts in the world, Kylene has been able to help achieve unprecedented results with clients through teaching a functional approach to nutrition.  Furthermore, being passionate about sports and seeing that the world of functional nutrition mostly missing from the sports nutrition approach in the United States (much more popular in the UK and Europe!), she has helped bring the cutting edge world of functional nutrition into the world of sports nutrition here in the US.    

Michael and Kylene’s ultimate goal is to teach the world about the powerful effects the whole food, individualized approach known as functional sports nutrition.  It helped change their lives, and they’re excited to help you too.  

    Our Professional Side

    Welcome to the New World of Sports Nutrition

    Let’s cut to the chase. We were unhappy with one-size fits all approach to sports nutrition so we decided that it was time to push a few boundaries.  We knew from our experience as former college athletes that this cookie-cutter approach was far from the best that can be offered. A more progressive method must be out there, right?  Just as each player thrives on different forms of coaching, we knew our bodies needed an individualized approach to nutrition.

    Lo and behold, we soon discovered the wonderful world of Functional Medicine. This form of medicine centers on addressing the root cause of a problem vs. treating an isolated set of symptoms. For example, an athlete may be dealing with fatigue, constipation, and acne. A conventional practitioner would tell the athlete this is to be expected because they are “a teenager”, “highly active” or “stressed and aging”. A functional practitioner dives deeper to uncover the root of the issue. A functional approach may find the athlete to be deficient in B vitamins (fatigue), have poor gut health (acne), and be eating something they are intolerant of thus resulting in constipation. Needless to say, just because an athlete is performing well with excellent body composition does NOT mean they are of optimal health status.   Functional Sports Nutrition highlights the importance of an athlete-centered-approach in order to identify the treatment and nutrition changes needed for long-term success. Short-term “band-aids” will only lead to greater issues down the road. In the world of Functional Sports Nutrition, we understand that each individual is unique.  Some athletes have food allergies, others food sensitivities or intolerances. Some athletes may have autoimmune disorders, genetic differences, variations in digestion and metabolism of nutrients. Additionally, an athlete’s needs will differ based on the demands of their sport, lifestyle, and much more. We believe the only way optimal health and performance can be achieved is by great attention to detail. We are here to help you develop a deeper understanding of your unique physiology. Our team is led by a sports dietitian trained in Functional Nutrition who serves professional, collegiate, high school, and recreational athletes as well as numerous corporate and private clients. We have the experience you need to maximize your potential.

    What is Functional Sports Nutrition?

    Functional Sports Nutrition blends the science of Sports Nutrition with the individualized, patient-centered approach of Functional Medicine.  The systems-biology-based model of Functional Medicine is the best model available for analyzing health status in order to form a successful protocol to foster long-term health. 

    Functional Sports Nutrition (FSN) takes a step beyond conventional Sports Nutrition and seeks to understand the individuality of the athlete. Instead of focusing on a general approach based on textbook guidelines, FSN asks “why” and helps you discover the root of why you are not feeling or performing to the best of your ability. By understanding the systems of the body on a deeper level and believing that all these systems connect, we help athletes reach new heights of energy and performance. Defining concepts such as the role of the immune system (of which approximately 77% can be found in your gut!) and how it can play a role in fatigue, focus, and performance, is the foundation of a FSN approach.  FSN believes it is imperative to have a well-functioning gut when you are trying to improve performance, reverse disease, and decrease inflammation. After studying this concept extensively, we believe this is why “standard guideline” approaches have failed many individuals. A functional approach to nutrition dives deeper by utilizing specialized testing to uncover nutrient deficiencies, gut health, and food sensitivities. FSN also takes into consideration genetics, lifestyle, environment and health concerns when helping you reach the next level of sport. By correcting imbalances today, we can not only improve your performance but potentially help you to avoid health complications down the road. So, are you ready to take your performance up a notch? Perhaps you are desperate to end the cycle of chronic fatigue or pain.  Either way, FSN will take you to new levels of success you never thought possible!

    What Results Can I Expect From a Functional Approach?

    • Increased energy and improved performance by means of strength, speed, endurance
    • Improved quality of sleep
    • Injury prevention/faster return to play
    • Strengthened immune system
    • Rapid recovery post workout
    • Improved body composition
    • Less stress around cooking and grocery shopping
    • Cessation of digestive issues i.e. bloating, pain, diarrhea, constipation
    • Improvement in migraines, joint pain, IBS, mood
    • Clearer skin: potential reduction in acne, psoriasis, eczema

    What We Offer

    Individual Sports Nutrition Consulting

    Individual consultation with an emphasis on understanding your body.  What are your food sensitivies, what are your micro and macronutrient deficiences, what foods do you enjoy or find disgusting, how do you like to shop & cook, what are your greatest needs, and how would you like to see your performance improved?  You’re the center of all that is done here.  There is nothing generic about a FUNCTIONAL sports nutrition approach.  Let us know how we can help.

    Work With Us

    Interested in taking the next step and working with us? Click below and let’s get started.

    Team & corporate consulting

    We have experience working with a wide variety of teams including professional sport teams and major corporations. We offer presentations, basic cooking demonstrations, group nutrition education classes, and more! Please contact us today and let us know how we can take your team to new heights.

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    Helping athletes achieve their dreams one bite at a time.