Q&A with Natalie Coughlin
Tell us about SheRa…
My Border Terrier, SheRa, is equal parts feisty and athletic and...as cliche as this might sound, she’s really smart. She is now 14 human years old and just got a clean bill of health from the vet! She was my 22nd birthday present from my (now husband) and the ring bearer at our wedding. She is such a big part of our lives and has been by our side through most of life’s biggest moments, most recently the birth of our daughter, Zennie Mae.
Why partner with Nulo?
I believe in holding the same standards of nutrition for your pets as you would for yourself. Like Nulo, I feel that you invest in their health through good nutrition and regular exercise.
With your background as a competitive athlete, how do you find that what you eat influences your performance, both physical and mental?
Focusing on my diet allows me to recover better and regulate my energy throughout the day. This is even more important now that I’m a new mom.
Your book Cook to Thrive just launched this week!.. What inspired you to write a cookbook?
I absolutely love food and sharing food with my friends and family. I’ve always cooked and taken nutrition seriously and I’ve picked up so many tips and learned of new ingredients through my travels. As a competitive swimmer, I’ve been lucky enough to see the World and experience new cultures and I wanted to share those stories in some way. I thought that a cookbook was the perfect vehicle to combine my love for nutrition and my memorable adventures.
Where can people find/buy your cookbook?
Why is home cooking so important to you?
Cooking was always a way for me to relax and share something that I love with my friends and family. After a long day of training, some athletes might decompress in other ways but I always retreated to the kitchen to relax, prepare fresh meals and nourish myself. Home cooking was, and still is, my comfort.
What are your go-to grab-and-go snacks for you and SheRa?
A green smoothie for me and a few pieces of Nulo’s Raw Duck & Pear Freeze-dried for SheRa.
One ingredient you absolutely can’t live without?
Eggs! For both of us. I have chickens that I raise for their eggs and the whole family eats them as a great source of protein.
Who are you following right now?
My bestie @michashaw She’s a former professional swimmer who shares her life as a fitness enthusiast, Mom, yogi, model and more.
What did you and SheRa have for dinner last night?
I had Spicy Calabrese style pork ragu while SheRa enjoyed Nulo’s Senior Grain Free mix.
Here's a recipe to try from her new cookbook: Cook to Thrive, in stores now...
MISO-ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
Miso paste is one of my favorite ingredients. Its savory, salty, sweet characteristics add a ton of flavor to a variety of dishes beyond the ubiquitous miso soup. I particularly love how miso contrasts so well with the slight sweetness and earthiness of sweet potatoes. This dish is fantastic served simply as a side to grilled meats, though I also love pairing the cooled potatoes with peppery wild arugula for a colorful salad or tossing them into a grain bowl.
SERVES 4 TO 6
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
If the coconut oil is solid, heat it up so that it becomes liquid; about 20 seconds in the microwave should do the trick. In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, ginger, and cayenne. Put the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the oil mixture, and toss to coat them evenly. Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1⁄8 teaspoon salt. Roast until partially cooked, about 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the miso paste and maple syrup.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, drizzle the miso mixture over them, and toss until they are evenly coated. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and browned in places, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the white sesame seeds over the sweet potatoes and serve.