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Jack O'Connor

Hello! My name is Jack, and I am a Performance Dietitian who specializes in nutrition counseling with a focus on sports performance, food literacy, and mental wellbeing. While I provide evidence-based recommendations to help athletes and active individuals perform at their highest level, my primary mission is to empower others to achieve long-term wellbeing by building a healthy relationship with mind, body, and food. 

From a young age my only goal in life was to become a professional soccer player; and I was willing to make big sacrifices to reach that goal. While I did find success as an athlete (NCAA Division-1 Soccer, Semi-Professional Soccer, and Ironman Triathlete), I also had first-hand experience with the struggles that come with defeat, injuries, performance anxiety, body image, irrational food behavior, and loss of identity. 

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The reason I got into nutrition was to learn how to optimize my own performance through food. At first, this led to me being obsessed with everything I put in my body; as I could ONLY view FOOD as FUEL. However, after combining my athletic background with years of formal education and professional experience in the field of nutrition, I have learned how to connect the dots between peak performance and long-term health.

And guess what? It begins in the kitchen.

Through culinary nutrition and evidence-based research, I have learned how to translate cutting-edge science using simple strategies and the power of nourishing food to develop personalized, sustainable solutions for clients. Proper nutrition will make you a better athlete, but it will also make you a better and happier human.

On a personal note, I live in beautiful Denver, Colorado and spend most of my free time in one of two ways: experimenting in the kitchen or enjoying the great outdoors. When I’m not discovering new recipes, you can find me in the mountains rock climbing, skiing, or backpacking.   

Credential & Past Experience

  • Credentialed as Registered Dietitian M.S. Sports Nutrition

  • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs B.S. Nutrition

  • California Polytechnic State University Performance Nutrition Team

  • Stanford University Tactical Nutrition Team

  • Special Forces Group, Fort Carson Farm-to-Table Culinary Team

  • UCCS Food Next Door

Dietitian

What do you love about working at INC?

It must be the passionate and intelligent team I am surrounded by. Never before have I been a part of a team that inspires me on a daily basis to become a better professional and leader.

Your top 3 favorite nutrition Podcasts/Books?

  • Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison, Body Respect by Dr. Lindo Bacon

  • The Genomic Kitchen by Amanda Archibald

  • This is Your Brain on Food by Dr. Uma Naidoo.

What does the correlation between nutrition & mental health mean to you?

For me, I follow the research, and recent studies are showing us that there is a strong correlation between what we eat and how we feel. First, in terms of food behavior, we now know that one’s relationship to food has a significant effect on our psychological wellbeing. In terms of the food itself, there are several ingredients and meals that contain specific nutrients, phytonutrients, and bioactive compounds that may reduce symptoms associated with mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD.

What is your favorite nutrition quote?

“The only way to solve the weight problem is to stop making weight a problem — to stop judging ourselves and others by our size. Weight is not an effective measure of attractiveness, moral character, or health. The real enemy is weight stigma, for it is the stigmatization and fear of fat that causes the damage and deflects attention from true threats to our health and well-being.” — Dr. Lindo Bacon

What are the values that drive you?

Kindness, integrity, empathy, being evidence-based, having a growth mindset, and prioritizing quality over quantity.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

A significant amount of my time is spent in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes. I am also a nature lover, and I take every opportunity I can get to head to the mountains for some skiing, climbing, and backpacking. Finally, I have a passion for traveling to new places to experience the diversity of food, people, and natural beauty that this world has to offer!

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