BFF Bikes Book Club Book Review

By Sara Laurino

BFF Bikes hosts a monthly book club during the fall and winter. This is a book review of the November book selection: Roar: How to match your food and fitness to your female physiology for optimum performance, great health, and a strong, lean body for life by Dr. Stacy T. Sims

I know, I agree, it’s a ridiculously long subtitle.  So long in fact, I was turned off before even cracking the cover.  I’ve struggled through bike racing training manuals, knowing that there was useful information meant for me somewhere in there, but unable to find it as I wandered through the pages, charts, graphs and illustrations with a finite amount of hopefulness.

I recently moved away from Chicago and miss my friends, my lifestyle and my team (BFF) a lot.  I wanted a tangible way to feel I was participating in the team, and book club was it. I buckled down and placed my hold through the library on a copy of Dr. Sims’ book.  

All of the copies in the huge library system where I live were checked out.  That’s a good sign, right?

Dr. Sims doesn’t mince words: You are not a small man. Stop eating and training like one. Her mantra for herself, her clients, and the entirety of the book.

Immediately I understood: she isn’t writing a book, she is talking to me as a friend of hers. Her sincere voice, honest commitment to provide the reader with the best and most accurate information possible, and her genuine desire to help me be the best athlete I can be all came across loud and clear.

I’m a woman, I’m an athlete and Dr. Sims wants me to know what she knows.  What has taken her to her PhD in Environmental Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition, to being a co-founder of OSMO, and serving as an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist at Stanford University until 2012.  

Her genuine interest in sharing her life’s work to benefit active women is inspiring and humbling.  She covers everything. I read both the chapter on pregnancy and menopause (neither of which I am currently experiencing, but both of which I someday might) with genuine interest, and several takeaways.  

I really do mean everything: your menstrual cycle, gut bacteria, bone health, nutrition, hydration, recovery, performing in extremes (heat, cold, altitude) and “brain training”- allowing yourself to view yourself as a true athlete!

This book is perfect for anyone from a beginner to a tri-athlete or an Olympian (many of whom are her clients), it also is not sport specific, so any athlete of any skill level can take something away from this book.

You don’t have to buy fancy GUs or gels to perform, in fact, you’ll perform better if you avoid them all together! She includes favorite recipes, goal specific meal plans and help recognizing your own body type and nutrition needs, knowing it varies woman to woman.  There are also several pages of suggested strengthening exercises that can be completed at home, with no equipment, making them accessible to anyone, at any price point! (because they are free!)

I am so glad I read this book, and have purchased my own copy, returning the library copy so another woman can learn and benefit from Dr. Sims’ words. This is a must read for any female athlete!