SportFuel® is an integrative nutrition consulting firm based in the Chicagoland area. While we are most known for our work as Team Nutritionists for the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs, as well as other professional and elite athletes, we have a wide range of clients from busy parents to traveling executives.


We help our clients of all ages with their goals in weight management, energy management, adrenal and thyroid health, digestive disorders, food sensitivities, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disease such as Celiac and Hashimoto’s, injury recovery and prevention, prenatal nutrition, and hormonal imbalances.


Our customized nutrition programs revolve around the knowledge that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. We include nutrition assessment and testing, lifestyle recommendations, and the use of homeopathic, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and personalized supplement formulation when needed to help you reach peak health and performance.

Meet the Team

Julie Burns, MS, RDN, LDN, CCN

Founder, Lead Integrative Sports Nutritionist & Nutrigenomics Consultant

Julie H. Burns is an integrative sports nutritionist, a licensed and registered dietitian, and a board certified clinical nutritionist. She is the Founder of SportFuel, Inc., an integrative sports nutrition and wellness consulting firm, and the Managing Member of Eat Like the Pros®, which acts as a highly effective resource hub designed to help you integrate the SportFuel, Inc. philosophy into your life.

Julie has provided team nutrition services to the Chicago Blackhawks for nearly 30 years, and works individually with athletes in the NFL, MLB, NBA and other elite sports teams. However not all of her clients are athletes, Julie works with everyone from high-level executives to busy parents. She has seen first-hand that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, and has developed a highly personalized program using integrative nutrition and lifestyle medicine to help clients discover their maximum potential so that they can achieve better performance and optimal health.

Julie is a member of the American Nutrition Association (ANA); the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND); the AND practice groups, Dietitians in Functional Medicine (DIFM) and Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN); and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She served three terms on SCAN’s Executive Board, was the Cardiovascular Editor for SCAN’s Pulse quarterly publication for 5 years, and served on the Gatorade Sport Science Institute’s Sports Nutrition Advisory Board from 1995-2003. Julie was in the first graduating class of the Kresser Institute’s ADAPT program in December of 2016.

To balance her passion for continued learning, Julie enjoys golfing, gardening, cooking, yoga, meditating, volunteering for charities and causes close to her heart, walking her sweet dog, and watching and attending all sporting events with her husband and adult triplets!

Alexandria Cotie, RDN, LDN

Senior Integrative Sports Nutritionist

While studying at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Alex Cotie met Julie Burns and was subsequently introduced to SportFuel, Inc. After graduating in 2011, she interned with SportFuel until she was given a full-time position. Since then, she has worked to continuously engage with new knowledge to find new creative and integrative methods to help her clients reach their fullest potential.

Along with supporting the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and her private clients, Alex is often asked to give presentations to groups such as Nike, Jordan, elite hockey camps, athletic trainers, and youth and high school teams. She has also participated in various panels discussing real-food nutrition and performance.


Alex believes, and science supports, that great nutrition can have an astounding impact on strength, speed, mental clarity, and digestion, while it can also reduce injury and improve overall health and wellness. No matter if you’re an athlete or not, no matter if you are 8 or 80, and no matter how small of a change, Alex encourages you to start with one thing—something that speaks to you—to begin nourishing your health.

In her free time, Alex enjoys spending time in nature, all forms of activity, and volunteering.

Margaret Nicholson, RN, BSN

Integrative Health Coach

Margaret Nicholson is a registered nurse who arrived in the nutrition field out of interest and necessity. When health issues also began to appear for Margaret and her family, she decided to dive deeper into understanding how nutritional changes can majorly influence one’s ability to achieve optimal health and wellness. Her science background and natural intuition for cooking real food has become of vital importance as she works to help clients discover what works best for them.

Margaret’s role at SportFuel involves meeting with clients and their families to assist them in implementing their food and supplement recommendations into seamless and simple lifestyle changes. Margaret is the liaison, working with various chefs who support the Blackhawks and Ice Hogs during the season. She is also involved in development programs for the athletes’ nutrition and cooking skills.


In addition to being an RN, Margaret is a certified holistic health coach (Institute for Integrative Nutrition), and she is always continuing towards new certifications in functional nutrition, including culinary genomics and interpretation of genetic testing, to increase her scope of practice.

When not working, learning or preparing meals, Margaret enjoys interior design projects, all types of exercise, travel and being outdoors. However at her happiest, she is spending time with her husband, 4 young adult children, and extra large dog.

Alicia Kalinich, MS, RDN, LDN

Integrative Sports Nutritionist

Alicia Kalinich is a licensed and registered dietitian nutritionist who also holds a Masters in Exercise Physiology.  As a SportFuel Integrative Nutritionist, Alicia believes in the power of food as an important piece in managing health conditions such as weight struggles, digestive disorders, and inflammatory conditions, including joint pain and autoimmunity.

Healthy living from both a nutritional and functional perspective is her primary focus in helping clients achieve success. Alicia is an active member of the Academy of Dietetics, along with the Practitioner Speciality Group-Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine.


To balance her work life, Alicia loves nature and any activity that allows her to indulge, including biking, kayaking, hiking, and skiing.

Chloe Dwyer, MS, RDN, LDN

Integrative Sports Nutritionist

Chloe is a licensed registered dietitian nutritionist. When Chloe realized her personal health journey could fuse with her love of athletics, she decided to pursue a career in integrative sports nutrition. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and then went on to receive her M.S. in Nutrition from The University of Illinois at Chicago.

Chloe firmly believes in SportFuel’s personalized nutrition approach and incorporates this philosophy into her work with her private clients. In addition to working with clients, Chloe has had the opportunity to showcase her love of public speaking at a number of youth hockey camps, including the Blackhawks Youth Hockey Camps and the Kendall Coyne Hockey Camp. Chloe engages her wide range of nutritional experiences to help you reach your optimal health and performance goals.


Chloe is an active member of several AND practice groups including Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM), and Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN).

During her free time, Chloe likes to workout, fish with her husband, spend time with family, and go hiking, whenever she can get to the mountains!

Gay Riley, MS RD CCN FMN

SportFuel, Inc. , Nutrigenomics Consultant

Julie Burns met Gay over 30 years ago when they began their functional and personalized nutritional medicine training. Gay’s skills and experience span 3 decades and have been focused in weight management, environmental nutrition, sports performance, energy medicine and chronic illness. Gay has studied nutrigenomics for the last 15 years and has a root cause approach to healing. Gay has consulted with professional sports teams, elite athletes, National Academy of Sports Medicine, the gym industry (Golds Gym, 24 hour Fitness, Apex Fitness, and Dotfit).

Gay has been married for 43 years, has 18 nieces and nephews, and enjoys people, nature, travel, music, painting, yoga, swimming and the outdoors.

Kathleen Burns

Operations Analyst

Kathleen has worked as SportFuel’s bookkeeper, editor, and primary customer service representative for the last 4 years. She has also recently begun taking on a more creative role designing graphics for SportFuel’s social media.

She studied anthropology, writing, and design and loves seeing how these interests are interconnected in the nutrition world and the world at large. Having dealt with her own set of chronic health issues, she knows how important SportFuel’s integrative approach to health and wellness can be.


In her free time, Kathleen likes painting, sewing (fashion design), and watching TV and movies, preferably by candlelight.

Hannah Gilroy

Marketing Manager

The newest addition to SportFuel, Hannah joined the team in March of 2020. Upon returning home after spending two years in France, she was excited to engage with SportFuel as their Social Media Manager. Knowing Julie for years, Hannah felt passionate about bringing Julie’s key insights to a greater audience through the means of social media.

Having studied Public Health, Hannah is very interested in the intersections of nutrition and the environment, thinking of the body as our “most proximate environment.” Currently, she is studying to be a Health and Wellness Coach, for which she will be certified in the summer of 2021.


Away from her computer, Hannah likes playing volleyball, exercising, learning new languages, and spending time at the beach.

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