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Nutrition at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center

Regularly eating the right amount and kinds of foods is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Whether you are seeking personalized nutrition coaching, tips on healthy eating, or seeking to gain or enhance cooking skills, the Rec has something for you.   

Nutrition Minute | Nutrition for Peak Performance
Personalized Nutrition Coaching | Vandy Cooks

Nutrition Minute

Nutrition Minute is held once a week at The Rec in the main entrance and offers quick tips and free samples of nutritious food to help support healthy eating habits. Open to all!

Upcoming Events:

Protein Energy Bites
Tuesday, October 9
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

Stop by the nutrition table near the Rec's Welcome Desk to grab a sample of this delicious snack along with the recipe. Protein bites are a great, high-protein snack that will satisfy that post-workout hunger. In addition, protein bites can also be substituted for a healthy dessert option to give you a nutritionally dense sweet treat!

Nutrition for Peak Performance

Wondering what to eat before a competition that lasts all day? Do you want to know how to recover faster after a tough workout? Schedule a presentation for your club sports team with a registered dietitian to learn about fueling cutting edge athletic performance through nutrition.

The Rec provides team presentations based on your group’s needs, interests, and schedule. We can tailor messages to what your group is most interested in. Topics can highlight the following:

  • Pre and post workout foods
  • Healthier snack ideas
  • Eating on the road
  • Supplement use
  • Maximizing calories on a campus meal plan

Please contact Marilyn Holmes to schedule a team presentation. 

 Personalized Nutrition Coaching

The personalized nutrition coaching program provides the Rec students, faculty, and community members the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a nutrition expert. Sessions include an initial assessment, diet analysis using professional software, individualized nutrition education, and goal setting.


First hour session $90
Follow-up sessions (limit two 30 minute sessions) $45 each session

Who conducts the counseling sessions?

Marilyn Holmes, a registered dietitian at the Rec, facilitates counseling sessions along with Vanderbilt dietetic interns who have been trained in nutrition coaching.

Topics available for discussion:

  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Sports nutrition
  • Maintaining energy
  • Meal planning
  • Dining out
  • Healthy eating on campus
  • Vegetarian/vegan diet
  • Eating smart
  • Healthy cooking

What to expect:

Nutrition coaching participants can expect to meet with a coach for a minimum of two sessions and a maximum of three sessions per topic. The initial appointment is one hour and following appointments are 30 minutes.

The nutrition coach will help you complete a personalized road map to healthy living by empowering you to make lifestyle changes that interest YOU.


For more information, email Marilyn Holmes.

Vandy Cooks

Vandy Cooks healthy cooking demonstrations are offered in The Rec’s teaching kitchen and provided by the Rec and Health Plus. Demonstrations are free, open to all and led by Vanderbilt's celebrated chefs, registered dietitians, and expert guests. Tasty samples and recipes with nutrition analysis are provided at each session. 

Upcoming Events

Vegetarian Cuisine
Wednesday, October 10  |  Noon - 1 p.m.
Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center Teaching Kitchen


Presenter: Austin Irvin, Sous Chef – Vanderbilt University Campus Dining

Join us at Vandy Cooks for a demonstration of Vegetarian Cuisine with Sous Chef Austin Irvin!   Take away ideas and recipes for foods to share at all your upcoming gatherings with family and friends.

Chef Irvin is currently the chef for the Vanderbilt University Campus Dining where he has rapidly moved through the ranks.  Less than five years after being hired at Vanderbilt as an Assistant Cook, he was promoted to Sous Chef. This speaks volumes of his dedication to cooking and his passion for creating excellent food. In his position as Sous Chef, Austin is responsible for developing and maintaining a fifteen-cuisine menu rotation, highlighting a different style of cooking each of the fifteen nights. This menu complexity allows Austin to continually refine and develop flavors from around the world. Austin is constantly looking to broaden his palette and understanding of different cuisines, he is open to new ingredients and methods, and he loves to incorporate cooking techniques and flavors that inspire him with recipe development.

Several noteworthy facts and accomplishments of Sous Chef Austin Irvin are:

  • Ten years of experience in the food industry
  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Tennessee (2011)
  • Awarded the American Culinary Federation (AFC) silver medal in the 2016 Chefs Taste of the World
  • Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee


Vandy Cooks is a free cooking demonstration provided monthly by a partnership with the Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center and Health Plus to support healthy eating through cooking presentations featuring the many aspects of food preparation. Attendees will receive samples of foods prepared and their recipes.


For more information about this program, please contact:

Marilyn Holmes, Associate Director & Registered Dietitian
Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center
(615) 343-2638