Jennifer Graham Spanier, PhD, MSLIS

Book review: Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.

Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky (2016)
I love this cookbook by NYC marathon champion Shalane Flanagan and fellow runner, friend, and chef Elyse Kopecky. Although I’m not currently a runner, fitness is a major interest and hobby of mine and I want to cook and eat food that is both nourishing and delicious. Shalane and Elyse encourage readers to put aside obsessions with macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbs and stop counting calories. They endorse a method of eating that they call “indulgent nourishment”. This method emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods, including generous portions of healthy fats. Sample daily menus help you learn to eat like Shalane. In the ebook edition, items in the menu are linked directly to recipes in the book.
Included is a chapter on Pantry basics as well as chapters with recipes for drinks, breakfast, snacks and appetizers, salads, soups, main courses, side dishes, sauces and dressings, and yes, desserts! There are so many recipes that I want to try. So far I’ve made the Fartlek Chili (named after a type of training rather than digestive issues) and the Double Chocolate Teff Cookies. Both were easy to make and delicious! The chili is gluten-free and dairy-free with a vegan option. A bit of cinnamon adds a unique touch. The gluten free, vegan cookies were intensely chocolately. They were slightly crumbly perhaps because they were made with teff and almond flours and I didn’t follow the recommendation to let the batter sit overnight to soften the whole grain. A little crumbliness didn’t take away from the flavor in any way. Maple syrup rather than refined sugar added the perfect amount of sweetness.
A chapter on Runner’s Remedies points to nutritious food remedies for a variety of common ailments such as anemia, athletic amenorrhea, stress, low energy, cold and flu, and digestive distress. The book concludes with two appendices, one with Culinary Tips and Tools, and one with a list of Resources.
I highly recommend this book to those who want to fuel their workouts and their busy lives with super nutritious foods, without sacrificing flavor and enjoyment.

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