What’s Cooking: How Climber Sasha DiGiulian Stays Fueled

Twenty-six-year-old Sasha DiGiulian already has a storied career in the world of rock climbing.

At age 19, she was the first American woman to successfully climb one of the most difficult ascents (a 5.14c) at Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. In 2017, she set yet another record climbing Mora Mora, a 12-pitch route in Madagascar that is rated extremely difficult at 5.14b (8c) and has seen only one other ascent since it was established in 1999.

What's Cooking Sasha DiGiulian
Photo: Keith Ladzinski

Recently, DiGiulian has continued that momentum – even despite a fractured leg, which kept her confined to an air boot during the latter part of last year.

Her workouts, which she highlighted through her social handles, were adjusted to fit her restricted mobility, but she continued to push through her training routine with the same drive and tenacity she’s become known for.

We caught up with the world champion to understand how she trains and what she eats to keep her body fueled and primed for her sport.

What is your philosophy when it comes to eating? Do you prescribe to a specific mantra or way of thinking?

I believe in everything in moderation. I focus on fueling my body with a high-fiber, vegetable diet and lean protein – chicken and salmon, mainly. Though, I do enjoy red wine and cookies.

I am not very strict with myself, especially when I am training hard. I follow a more encompassing – rather than eliminating – diet; making sure I have enough protein and greens throughout the day, more than anything else.

What's Cooking Sasha DiGiulian
Photo: Ladzinski

What is your eating routine when you are training? Once you take a break from training how does that change?

I work with a sports nutritionist, Alex Pazinopolous from the Pazio Institute. One habit that I follow is having lemon, mint and warm water first thing in the morning. 

I then have green tea and a green smoothie before or after I go to yoga. When I am back, I have breakfast; typically oatmeal with protein powder, or Greek yogurt with fruit and granola. 

I tend to train in the middle of the day – about 12 to 4 p.m. After training I have a protein shake and I typically have dinner around 7 p.m. 

How important is your diet when it comes to training, and how flexible (or rigid) are you in applying this?

When I am home, I am quite regimented. Though, I do travel a lot, and keeping on top of a strict routine can be difficult.

I always travel with a ProTec foam roller and also take Green Vibrance powder or a similar product with me since it can be difficult to get all of my green needs met while traveling. I bring a personal blender with me on trips – I just recently bought a BlendJet.

I train five to six days a week for 4-8 hours and I stretch most days. I try to do yoga three times per week and I cross train with cardio about four to five times a week.

What's Cooking Sasha DiGiulian
Photo: Peter Hoang

What is your go to meal and/or snack before heading to the crag, and why? 

Perky Jerky is my go-to crag snack since it’s high in protein and delicious – it keeps me full and is satisfying.

Sasha’s Nut, Oat & Honey Bars

What's Cooking Sasha DiGiulian
Photo: Andrea Tummons/Unsplash Photo: Courtesy of Andrea Tummons/Unsplash

“I make my own bars often,” DiGiulian tells ASN. “They are nut and oat based and held together by dates and/or honey.”


– 1 cup cashews

– 1 cup oats

– 2 scoops protein powder (I’ve used Paleo Pro in the past)

– 2 tbsp lemon zest

– 2 tbsp coconut oil

– 1/4 cup coconut flakes

– 1/4 cup dried currants

– 1/4 cup dried cranberries 

– 1 tbsp maple syrup

– 1/2 cup honey


– Put it all in a food processor and pulse.

– Mash together into a pan.

– Store in the freezer, and enjoy when you need an energy boost!

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