My full name is Lottie Julia Bildirici. People are always asking me, “Is Lottie your full name?” Yes. I was named after my maternal grandmother, Lottie. It is a tradition in family to name your children after your parents. My mom is one of four siblings and, interestingly, despite the fact they also all had girls, I was the only one named Lottie. My Grandmother tried convincing my mother that Lottie wasn’t a “real” name and she shouldn’t name me Lottie. My mom wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so happy she stuck with the tradition. Especially because my Grandma Lottie was an incredible cook who fed anyone who walked in her door. She was a community legend in the kitchen and it is an honor to be her namesake. I hope to live up to her name and continue to feed people the way she did.What was your first job?
Not counting standard summer camp jobs, my first real job was during my senior year of high school. Part of my school requirements that year was to get an internship. At the time I loved running and music and, since those two loves saved me during a challenging time a few years prior, I decided to pursue those avenues and sent my resume to every record label in New York City. Luckily I landed an internship at Domino Records in Dumbo. This would be instrumental in nurturing my passion for food. Every day I would run 4-5 miles before work and then head to the office where I learned basic office skills and worked face to face with artists who I loved, including Arctic Monkey, Animal Collective and Hot Chip. I found out my boss was vegan so I would bring in cookies for him every week. (A little ode to my grandmother.) I quickly realized that as much as I loved the music, the highlight of my day was when everyone came to my desk and ate a cookie. I knew then that I was on to something…
Where did you go to school?
I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and, despite the name, I didn’t study fashion. I studied Advertising Marketing Communications. I graduated with an Associates Degree and at the same time I studied at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition where I got my degree as an Holistic Health Coach.
Where were you born and where do you currently live?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I try to cover up my strong Brooklyn accent but all you need to do is ask me to say “drawer” and I’m outed. I still live in New York but I travel for work. My job takes me to some incredible places where I get to cook and meet some amazing athletes.
Who takes your photos?
I develop innovative plant-based recipes that are specifically designed to fuel an athletic lifestyle. I personally don’t eat meat or dairy so you won’t find any meat or dairy recipes here. I would never create or publish a recipe I wouldn’t eat. I never use any form of concentrated sweetener like maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut sugar, raw sugar….I only use fruit to sweeten my recipes. My diet consists of mostly plants and what I like to call a “sprinkle” of animal protein, such as fish or eggs. This works for me but I always say you have to find what works for you. There is no such thing as the perfect diet. Everyone needs something different.
Did you always like to cook?
Yes, I grew up in the kitchen, thanks to my mom and large family of cooks. I didnt always love to cook healthy. It wasn’t until I started running that I realized how important the proper diet was. So I took my love for food and running and founded Running On Veggies.What are you up to these days?
Right now I create recipes for different brands/products. But I love to teach people how it’s done and how to leverage their diets as a tool to enhance their training. I travel to different retreats and training camps where I cook and lecture about a proper healthy diet. I also work at events in and around New York City where I bring homemade snacks and talk to athletes about recipes, running, training and creating a well balanced diet.