College racing broke me down, whole food nutrition built me back up.
I started running competitively at age 12, and for nearly 20 years I suffered from athletic amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation). Team doctors told me I would never run again, I suffered from amenorrhea, low bone density, stress fractures, compartment syndrome, anxiety and IBS. My OB GYN told me I would have trouble getting pregnant. Not one doctor told me the simple solution: eat healthy fats. Changing my diet, changed my life. Now at age 42, I enjoy running more than I ever did in my 20s. Dedicating time in the kitchen healed my body and mind.
What inspired me to change my diet?
When I turned 30, I had the chance to work abroad in Switzerland, and my diet changed drastically from low-fat yogurt to whole milk yogurt, from bland white meat chicken breasts to whole roasted chicken, from processed spreads to real butter, and from frozen veggie burgers to full-fat grass-fed ground beef.
This indulgent diet that I had learned to label in our country as unhealthy actually made me stronger, happier, and healthier than ever before.
For the first time in my life, I got my period naturally, and I didn’t have to give up the sport that I loved.
My time in Europe taught me that food should be celebrated and enjoyed. I discovered a passion for cooking and was eager to learn more about nutrition. The experience was so life-changing that I left behind a successful marketing career at Nike and moved to NYC to attend culinary school.
When I finished school and reunited with my husband in Portland, we were ready to start a family. To our sheer delight, we got pregnant our first month trying. The joy my daughter, Lily, brought into our life inspired me to take the plunge and follow my dream of writing
Run Fast. Eat Slow. I knew my story could help thousands of women.
Lucky for me, my college teammate and best friend, Shalane Flanagan, was up for co-authoring the cookbooks with me.
Revamping Shalane’s diet and teaching her about the importance of nourishing fats helped her go on to win the NYC Marathon and become one of America’s most decorated distance runners.
Fast-forward 10 years and all three of our cookbooks made the NY Times Bestseller list. We’ve inspired hundreds of thousands of athletes of all ages and levels to cook more. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to give back to the sport that I love.