10 Quick Things About Our Founder, Ann Garnier
Hi, I am Ann Garnier, founder and CEO of Lisa Health. I am passionate about women’s health and helping women to thrive during midlife. We’ve worked hard all our lives to become the amazing, wise women that we are, and our midlife chapter should be the best one of our lives. If you want to share your journey, please email me – I would love to hear from you. Here’s a little bit about me…
- I don’t follow any specific diet. My eating pattern can best be described as plant-based. Lots and lots of fresh plants. At meals, vegetables take up most of my plate paired with protein, usually fish, but I eat red meat about once every 10-14 days. Protein is critical to maintaining muscle mass as we age. Limiting carbs and avoiding gluten work well for me. I discovered that gluten gives me headaches, and carbs make me a bit sluggish and pack on the pounds. Thankfully, I prefer salty foods to sweet. My one indulgence is a glass of red wine with dinner. Salad is my favorite meal. I can eat salads every single day without getting bored and am always inventing new recipes. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting with good results.
- Food and cooking are activities I’ve developed a passion for over the years. Several close friends are excellent cooks and brilliant entertainers. Together, they’ve taught me so much, and I become a better cook and host every year. My recipe for success in the kitchen is to use very fresh ingredients and not do too much with them. I focus on recipes that are only four or five steps. Hard to go wrong there, especially if you’re entertaining. The few times a year when I undertake a complicated recipe, I usually regret it. The one exception I make is Paula Wolfert’s recipe for Sprinkle Pie. It is a divine tribute to leafy greens and a super-healthy vegetarian dish!
- Reading is one thing I can’t live without. My worst nightmare is being stranded on a desert island without a book. The Kindle was life-changing because it meant that when I went on a trip, books would always be accessible as long as I had a wi-fi connection. My suitcase used to weigh a ton because of all the books I carried to allay my anxiety over being without a book. When I was a child, my mother would drop me off at the town library once a week – we lived in the country without any close neighbors – and I would stock up on books for the week. Books were my friends. Now, in the digital age where new content is constantly available, one could say I am an insatiable consumer of content, and I share a lot with friends and family, and now with the Lisa Health community. It’s probably one of the reasons we put so much effort into Midday’s blog and educational materials.
- Exercising is a daily non-negotiable. If I don’t do some form of exercise, I get extremely cranky. Exercise is a huge mood booster for me. It totally relieves my stress and anxiety. In the last few years, I mostly do HIIT routines with some yoga thrown in for flexibility and stress management. There is more and more evidence that pushing yourself is what shifts the pounds in midlife and may stave off dementia. My best time to exercise is between 10am and 1pm. The longer in the day I wait to exercise, the more my motivation decreases. Also, I find that exercising before 1pm gives me lots of energy to power through the afternoon without feeling the least bit tired.
- Gardening is a love that was cultivated working alongside my mother in our very large garden when I was growing up. Out of necessity, she grew as many vegetables in the summer she could, and canned and froze much of the bounty to feed our large family in the colder months. It probably accounts for my love of vegetables and forays into canning. I still have very strong taste memories of freshly picked asparagus, corn, tomatoes, rhubarb, and apple crisp. My thumb isn’t as green as mom’s or my sister Mary and brother Greg’s, but it gets a little greener every year. I love surveying my garden, especially in the morning or evening. It brings me such joy to see things grow and to add to the beauty around me!
- I worked my way through college, supporting myself by working during the day at a large health insurance company and going to school at night. My first startup experience happened when I was 21 and still in college. Initially, it was just me and my former boss, Jan Roughan. Jan was my first mentor and an amazing role model and helped me in so many ways to become who I am today. Between the two of us, we got the company off the ground. I wore so many hats and worked crazy hours while finishing college. I loved every minute of the startup life and never looked back!
- Flash forward 25 years or so, I’ve worked as a senior executive and advisor to venture-backed health tech startups. Several were innovators in women’s and children’s health. It was inevitable that I would start Lisa Health and focus on my passion for improving outcomes in women’s health and create the Midday app to transform the menopause and healthy aging journey for women worldwide.
- I am a homebody who loves nothing better than the peace and quiet of our house. My true nature is an introvert. However, I’ve learned to be more extroverted over the years. Promoting myself on social media like Instagram and other outlets is still hard, but I am gradually getting used to it.
- Balancing out my homebody nature is my mad, passionate love for travel. I’ve visited 37 countries and am always dreaming of the next trip. On the list for the near future: Jordan, Bulgaria, Romania, Iceland, Australia, and Patagonia. My favorite city in the world is not Paris, although it is an amazing city, everyone should visit once in their lifetime, but actually my favorite city is Tokyo. I love Tokyo and can visit it over and over again without getting bored.
- Today, I live in Oakland, California, with my husband. We’ve been together for over 30 years and are best friends. No kids for us. Wasn’t in the fertility cards. And, no pets other than bees. My husband is allergic to everything. Seriously, absolutely everything! He does love his bees though, and the honey is out of this world!
Ann Garnier, co-founder and CEO of Lisa Health, is a seasoned healthcare leader, helping to create, launch, and scale innovative tech companies and products that have improved patient outcomes and access to care. At Lisa Health, Ann leads the team to create tech-enabled solutions and community to empower women to gain control over their bodies and thrive during menopause and midlife. She is passionate about women’s health and advancing research beyond pregnancy and fertility to reduce the serious and costly health risks that women face as they age and help them celebrate the start of something great.
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