Women’s History Month Interview Series: Q&A with Sports Nutritionist Meg Mangano
Meg Mangano works with the Los Angeles Clippers organization as a sports nutritionist.
Meg Mangano is a very successful dietitian nutritionist. She works with the Los Angeles Clippers organization and also has her own practice where she helps stars achieve their nutrition and fitness goals. Her ambition and drive for excellence has propelled her career to one of admiration. In support of women empowerment in the sports world, I did an interview with Meg to get a look inside her life achievements, adversities she’s had to overcome and her successful career.
-What’s one word of advice you would give to young women trying to become successful like yourself?
Know that you CAN! Believe in yourself, listen to what feels good to you, have a vision and take consistent action.
-What habits helped to make you successful?
A lot of the habits that have helped me to be successful are those that I learned through sports. These include setting goals, being both a team player and a leader, determining the steps I would need to take to get to my goals, taking action, re-evaluating along the way, continued growth and expressing gratitude!
-What has been your greatest achievement over the last year of your work?
One of the greatest achievements over the last year of my work has been my client’s success. Having already high-performing clients feel better, perform better and improve their health, while having them tell you it has changed their life is very rewarding. To be able to take science, and apply it practically to different lifestyles and needs, with a balance of challenging and understanding each person, is a great achievement.
At an early age I knew that what I put into my body would effect how well I could play and how I would feel. I thought it was pretty incredible that our very own health and athletic performance was a science and was influenced by what we ate and drank. From there, I knew I wanted to be able to help other people feel and perform their best, too.
-What is most important about having a nutritional diet?
Food is fuel and it is functional! Having a balanced diet that meets your needs not only effects how you feel on a day to day basis, but will help to keep you healthy, energetic, focused and decrease your risk of future disease.
– When did you realize you wanted to become a nutritionist for a professional sports team?
I always knew I wanted to be a sports nutritionist for athletes at any level. Throughout my career I have worked with individual athletes and a variety of teams. Each level, individual and team has been fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding. I have always played team sports and love being part of a team. This naturally lead me to having a goal of working with a team. Both with the team of athletes, but also the medical team, coaching team and support team around the athletes.
-What’s most exciting about your job?
The most exciting part to me is when my athletes and my clients are able to develop skills around nutrition and apply it to their lifestyle, which literally makes them feel and perform differently and better. In addition to that, this increases their awareness of the importance of nutrition and they are able to further inspire the people in their lives.
-What are some of the adversities you’ve faced being a woman working in the sports industry?
Most of my career has been working with male athletes, teams and their support staff both nationally and internationally. Often times, having a female as part of the team, in the locker room or at practice was a first for many. It can be an adjustment for everybody, but a great step forward and an important adversity to overcome, because what are most important are knowledge, impact, personal connection and professionalism.
-Favorite Sports Movie?
A League Of Their Own
-If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Maya Angelou – As far back as I can remember I looked up to Maya Angelou. Her words, wisdom, strength and courage always inspired me. I would love to have dinner with her just to be in her presence and have a conversation about her personal journey and perspective on life.
Angelina Jolie – Although Angelina Jolie is most known for her acting career, what inspires me about her is her interest and impact in this world as a humanitarian. I would love to learn more about her experiences and what has lead her to be so involved in children and world affairs.
Nelson Mandela – It would be incredible to meet a man who has endured and overcome incredible adversity and still developed to be a leader of peace and love, influencing people worldwide.
-March is Women’s History Month. What type of legacy do you hope to leave, not only through your career, but as a woman?
As a woman and professional, the legacy I hope to leave is that there is no one to hold you back. Everybody has a great story to tell, because it is their own. Everybody has one life to live in this lifetime, make it yours. It may not always be a smooth road, but it will be worth it and it can be done with love and integrity.