Dr. Ann Grandjean

Dr. Ann Grandjean

Ann Grandjean, a world-renowned nutritionist for U.S. Olympians, professional athletes and organizations across the globe, died Jan. 6 in Plano at 77 years old.

Before moving near the Carrollton/west Plano border in 2013, she spent the majority of her career in Omaha, Nebraska, where she ran the International Center for Sports Nutrition out of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Grandjean’s career led her to six Summer Olympic Games as lead nutritionist. Her expertise allowed her to meet celebrities and work with Major League Baseball teams like the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and professional NFL teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs.

She spent a significant part of her life at the top of her field, developing nutrition studies, consulting a variety of organizations and always educating others. But to her daughters, Cassie Grandjean-Moody and Nicole Grandjean, she was always “Mom” first.

“She was a great wife. She was a great mom,” Cassie said.

Growing up, Nicole and Cassie said they led a typical life. Wake up. Grab breakfast. Head to school. Head home. Dinner with the family. But while their mom was at work, Ann would consult the Yankees at noon, publish a study on infant formula nutrition, educate Native American Nebraskans on nutrition, and head home in time to get dinner on the table.

Aside from giving out raisins and popcorn on Halloween, Ann’s career never interfered with their home life.

“She always made Cassie and I the most important. No matter where she was, no matter what she was doing,” Nicole said. If she or Cassie called on the phone, their mom dropped everything to answer their call.

Ann had a lot of career success, but both Cassie and Nicole agree their mother never bragged much about her accomplishments.

“My mom was probably the most humble person I know,” Nicole said.

“My mom has met a lot of people. She worked with Mike Tyson and athletes and Bruce Willis,” Cassie said. “When people would ask her about that, she was just so humble. That’s not what was important.”

Since she died, Cassie and Nicole have gotten to know their mother all over again, through uncovering her studies, her poetry and countless awards that she never boasted or bragged about. Cassie and Nicole said they discovered most of their mother’s successes between bites of hot fudge sundaes or through word of mouth.

Nicole learned Ann was a creator of Powerade years after she was hired as a consultant to Coca-Cola.

Ann was adamant that she was not a dietician, but a nutritionist, mainly because she could explain the nutrients in a seed and what causes that seed to grow. She could diagram how different foods create energy, and how the mouth digests food and transforms it and moves it throughout the body.

“Can you see how she can almost see the whole world in sense of nutrients?” Nicole said.

And with all her years in nutrition, Ann held on to two nutritional truths: caffeine is not a diuretic, and there is no bad food. “It’s all about moderation,” she’d said.

Cassie remembers her mother as a woman with a sense of humor and a strong sense of self. She also remembers her mother’s advice that still sticks with her today: “You’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin,” and “Don’t work all the time. You’ve got to have fun.”

Today, Cassie and Nicole rediscover their mother through stacks of awards she never talked about or published research they never knew about. And despite their loss, what remains of their mother is what she left behind – a legacy of health and love for her girls.

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