Leslie J. Bonci is a RDN/CSSD/LDN and owner of Active Eating Advice and co-founder of Performance365 – a sports nutrition consulting company. She was a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 8 years, chair of SCAN and Professional Issues Delegate. Bonci have been a sports dietitian for 30 years, have been part of three Super Bowl wins- two with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is the sports dietitian for the 2020 Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. She also lectures, writes and teaches cooking classes for kids and has started Table for One – a nutrition and culinary education program geared towards seniors. She is also a “glamma” with three grandchildren.
What was it like to watch the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV and know you had a part in it all?
It is such a privilege and honor to work with this team. The players, medical staff, strength staff, food service staff, the coaches, and front office give it their all every single day and to see all of that effort pay off is heartwarming. Being the sports dietitian is being part of the pit crew. The players are the drivers but we are there to provide the support so they can strategize, optimize, realize and keep their eyes on the prize.
What motivated you to donate to the Foundation for the first time and what inspires you to continue giving?
Attending my first FNCE® meeting in 1996 after being selected as a spokesperson made me realize how fortunate I was, and this was a call to action to me to give back and give on. As an experienced professional I have helped to forge a path and create opportunities for the next generation of nutrition professionals, but it is also important for us to provide financial assistance to help them strive and thrive.
What excites you most about the future of our profession?
Our profession has become so diverse. Opportunities to practice in retail, industry, culinary, media, research, sports and entertainment means that nutrition can be everywhere. The next generation are go-getters, they are no afraid to take chances, explore and forge previously unknown paths. Dietitians will have a seat at the table in discussions about policy, climate, agriculture, technology, hunger and food waste. The profession has adapted to focus on being proactive and impactful in every facet of clinical care, community programming and communication. I look forward to broadening our reach as we address self and planetary health.