I wrote a story a little bit off the beaten path today, taking a look at Virginia Tech’s sports nutrition staff and what its aims are at getting the Hokies fueled up for practice by eating healthier foods.
Here’s how it starts:
BLACKSBURG — A mass of humanity filed through the buffet line for dinner a few hours before a preseason Virginia Tech practice, one football player after another. It was Mexican night, a popular cuisine among the Hokies, so the trays of food didn’t last long.
At the end of the line stood Jennie Schafer, Tech’s director of sports nutrition, keeping a watchful but not overbearing eye on proceedings. She’ll make the rounds throughout the dining area during the meal, checking in to see how players are eating.
It’s not confrontational. It’s supportive. She wants them to enjoy what they eat. In fact, players come up to her to show off their meal. The more color on the plate — created best by adding multiple fruits and vegetables — the better.
“I tweet some of my favorite plates of the night,” Schafer said, keeping a camera phone handy. “They just like the attention. And somehow that has made a world of difference.”