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Female Athlete Nutrition

Dec 16, 2021

In this episode, I talk with Oiselle-sponsored professional runner Rebecca Mehra. We touch on the challenging college transition period, and Rebecca shines a light on the importance of making mistakes to learn and grow from them to become a better athlete. From a disappointing freshman year that saw her plagued by injury after injury, Rebecca turned it around to have a breakout sophomore year. After making that leap, Rebecca found herself riding a frustrating plateau, and here she speaks to the importance of patience, commitment, and playing the long game. Rebecca explains her unlikely transition into professional running, feeling like she had untapped potential to realize on the track. Making the 2020 US Olympic Team Trials in both the 800m and 1500m was a momentous achievement that Rebecca credits with her consistent and patient approach.

Rebecca shares her journey with nutrition, from being blissfully ignorant in high school to first being exposed to a culture of disordered eating in college. As a reaction to seeing the negative consequences of athletes restricting, Rebecca explains how she felt compelled to do the opposite and eat whatever she wanted to. Freshman and sophomore year of college saw big shifts in Rebecca’s nutrition approach towards both extremes, before she found a happy medium that balanced an unrestricted approach with healthy habits.

Working with her college sports nutritionist, Rebecca explains how she tailored her nutrition to prioritize recovery and improve performance. Knowledge was power for Rebecca, and a better understanding of food saw her make big leaps in her training consistency, performance and health.

With all the knowledge she now has around optimal fueling for performance, Rebecca’s balanced and fun approach to nutrition, incorporating desserts in daily and alcohol in moderation, has seen her reach new levels of athletic performance. Other tips Rebecca gives include: prioritizing hydration,  post-workout fueling, and building balanced plates, alongside eating enjoyable food and listening to hunger cues and craving; no food is off limits!

Rebecca enlightens us to her love of cheese and the story behind how an off-hand comment at the Olympic Trials made for a viral tweet and pounds of cheese turning up on her doorstep. More than an athlete, Rebecca shares her work off the track working with the Mayor of Bend, her experiences abroad, being part of an all-women team and company and more.

Follow Rebecca Mehra:

Instagram @rebecca_mehra 

Twitter @rebecca_mehra

Rebecca Mehra’s Official Bio:

Rebecca Mehra is a professional middle distance runner competing in the 800m and 1500m with Littlewing Athletics, an all-women's team based in Bend, Oregon, and sponsored by Oiselle. Rebecca is also a public policy professional, having served as a special assistant to the Mayor of Bend, and most recently a Campaign Manager for a local candidate running for office. Rebecca received her undergraduate and Master's degrees from Stanford University, in international relations and communications respectively.

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