Thank you to Gu Energy Labs for their continued support of this sponsored content.
Name: Heidi Strickler
Hometown: Sandy, Utah
Current residence: Seattle, WA
Job: Registered Dietitian & Fitness Instructor at Experience Momentum Physical Therapy, Nutrition & Fitness, in Lynnwood, WA
Favorite Foods: Peanut butter (or any nut butter) with everything. It is the going joke at work, with my friends, my family – that’s what I usually get for gifts. Nut butters, bananas, dark chocolate, and good dark coffee. I also love spicy food. I carry crushed red pepper flakes in my wallet because most food isn’t hot enough for my tastes. I am a huge fan of seafood, sushi, curry dishes … winter veggies like kale, beets, and Brussels sprouts … there is not much I don’t like.
How did you get into nutrition?
I grew up as an athlete, and was a very competitive soccer player through high school, and actually went to college on a soccer scholarship. As I began playing at higher levels, I began to experience that what I put in my body affected my ability to train and perform. I was initially planning on a physical therapy degree, but switched to nutrition the end of my freshman year in college – I was sold after my first nutrition class – Food Science.
If someone asked about your top pieces of nutrition advice, what would you tell them?
Eat breakfast. Eat every 3-4 hours. Eat balanced meals and snacks. Balance, variety, moderation. Above all else I believe in limiting processed foods and eating whole foods as much as possible. I love Michael Pollan’s quote, “Eat whole foods, not too much, mostly plants.” Food is medicine – I recommend everyone to check out https://www.bluezones.com/about-blue-zones/explorations/
We know you are a runner – what is your favorite distance?
Anything on trails automatically becomes my favorite. I like the 13.1 to 20 mile range – long enough to have a story, but short enough to still be fast. I started getting into ultra-distance stuff right out of college, but many of the buddies I ran with who were a little older told me to take advantage of my speed now and save ultra-distances for later.
Do you have a favorite place to run? Or a favorite race?
Some of the running I have done in the National Parks in Utah has been epic. My favorite trail back home I think is the Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon in the fall. Nothing like it.
My favorite race right now is the Cougar Mountain Trail Series in Issaquah, WA. I have run the whole series the past 2 summers, and took 1st in most of the races. My buddy puts the series on, he does a great job. Super chill, great swag, gorgeous trails with lots of ups and downs.
Are you training for anything right now?
Victoria 70.3 and Missoula Marathon. In the past year I have really gotten into triathalons – we have a team at my work, so being an endurance junky around triathletes all the time kind of set me up from the start. I have found that I am a lot stronger runner when I train for tri’s as well – biking and swimming and CrossFit really help to strengthen a lot of the weaknesses and imbalances runners can typically develop.
What do you use to fuel during training?
Whole foods as much as possible. Justin’s nut butter (or my own version using natural nut butter mixed with local honey), dates or dried unsweetened bananas, Larabars, my own homemade flourless black bean brownies or tofu-based chocolate pudding. For salty stuff I like Omnibars, avocado mashed with soy sauce and Trader Joe’s dolmas. Dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Annie’s organic fruit snacks. If I do use a product it is usually on the bike, I use Hammer – gels, Perpetuem, Hammer bars, Endurolytes.
What do you do for fun when you are not working?
Running (especially trail running); biking, camping, hiking, or backpacking, with my husband. Skiiing if it is the season. Anything outdoors. Usually 3 out of the 4 weekends each month we are away doing one of the above, or visiting family or friends in Washington, Oregon, Montana or Utah. The other weekends we are racing in Seattle or outlying areas. We enjoy being spontaneous, and it most often involves some sort of outdoor adventure. I love to cook and really enjoy good food and fun dining experiences.