Perfecting Athletes®

Making Weight and Feeling Great!


In 2003, while working in my private practice, I had my first competitive martial arts athlete come in for treatment. That patient was Paulina. She was competing as a full knockdown fighter in Kyokushin tournaments and came to me for acupuncture, herbs and nutrition advice to help her feel and perform her best.

After experiencing how the quality of her life had been changed by acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition and seeing how other athlete’s lives had also been positively affected, Paulina began apprenticing with me in my private practice.

Fast forward to 2008, Paulina was the co-owner of a martial arts school and met MMA fighter Dan Cramer. He had just completed The Ultimate Fighter Season 7. Dan was walking around at 200 pounds when he got the phone call that he was going to make his UFC debut in 3 weeks…at 170. He needed to cut 30 pounds in 3 weeks in order to make weight. Dan was told by countless physicians, athletic trainers and nutritionists that it was impossible for him to achieve that kind of weight loss, despite his intensive training schedule. Paulina called me and asked if I could help. I took one look at him and knew that not only could I help him lose 30 pounds in 3 weeks, but I could do it in a way that improved his overall energy, endurance and stamina.

Rather than restricting Dan’s food intake, I actually increased it. I replaced his high calorie, low nutrient foods (like fast food) with low calorie, high nutrient dense food (vegetables & proteins). Dan not only lost the weight easily, he felt so good while doing it that he decided to maintain the healthy lifestyle program I had created for him.

As fighters around him were struggling to make weight, starving themselves, getting sick and gassing out quickly, Dan continued to eat full meals every few hours, have endless stamina and remain healthy. He always made weight easily and recovered from injuries quickly. Fighters started asking Dan how he was able to make weight so easily, what was he eating, how they could do it. Paulina and I started getting phone calls, emails and text messages requesting that we create nutrition programs for other athletes, of different weight classes, with different workout schedules, sleep schedules, food preferences and cooking abilities. And so we created Perfecting Athletes®.

Very quickly, Perfecting Athletes® became the first phone call athletes, coaches and sports managers made when they needed to make weight. This was especially true if they needed to drop a division. With our help, athletes were finding out that they could go down a weight class and have an easier time making weight than they did at a higher weight class. All because of the power of nutrition.

And that’s how the Perfecting Athletes® nutrition program began. We have spent many years working for private clients, creating customized menu and supplement plans, but they are all based around the basic principles of fueling the body with the best quality nutrients to help it perform at it’s best.

-Michelle Melaniphy Ingels AP/LAc