Sunday, October 23, 2016

Run Fast Eat Slow

I was given the book "Run Fast Eat Slow" to read and review as part of being a Runner's World Festival ambassador.  

Last year I was given the "Run to Lose Book" to read and review.  As you may recall, it really helped me to focus more on my nutrition and eating habits.  While things have been going well this year on that front, there's always room for improvement.  I also tend to get stuck in nutrition ruts where I just eat the same thing over and over.  I find something that's good for me and that I like to eat and then I get stuck on it.  It's not an awful problem but then I kind of get into boring patterns as far as dinners for the family.  I go through phases pretty frequently.  For a few months, I will be all into finding healthy recipes and making different things to mix it up.  The whole family loves it.  But then I think I get tired of having to search online for recipes and then figuring out what ingredients I do or don't have.  As a marathonmom, things can get pretty hectic around here so I don't always have the time that can take.  I suppose I could have invested in a cookbook or two but I have yet to find one that has the healthy meals I'm looking for and also that the majority of recipes are things I would actually make.

Then I saw "Run Fast Eat Slow" which is written by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, being advertised and I was intrigued.  Before I had a chance to look into it, it arrived on my doorstep as one of my gifts for being a Runner's World Festival influencer, Thank you Rodale! 

At first glance, I was a bit overwhelmed.  It seemed like some of the recipes were complicated and time consuming.  I'm not sure why I got that as my first impression because they when I sat down again and went through it to show Emir, I realized that many of them were pretty easy. 

Things have been pretty hectic around here the last few weeks with Emir's 100 miler, him traveling for Trailfest, me for Runner's World and him traveling for work.  So I haven't really been cooking a whole lot lately but I was able to try making a couple recipes from the book. 

I really enjoyed that Shalane and Elyse took time to write a chapter about their views on nutrition for running and the thought process behind their recipes.  I also love all the pictures throughout the book not just of food but of them ruuning.  Obviously a real runner's cook book! 

Once I took a more in depth look at the book, I realized that many of the recipes can be adjusted to fit your own personal cooking style.  For example there are recipes that include sauces, dressings or other types of ingredients that you can either make yourself (they include these recipes as well) or you can just buy at the store and use in the recipe.  There's also sometimes different ways to make a recipe so that it can be less time consuming.  For example the Flu Fighter Chicken and Rice Stew I made, could be made on the stove but could also be made in the crockpot.  I chose to make it in the crockpot.  I put all the ingredients in the pot the night before, threw it in the fridge so all I had to do was turn it on before work in the morning.  And it only took me about 15 minutes to get everything ready and in the pot.  The stew turned out really great.  Emir, Niko and I, all really liked it (Una is in a "I will only eat chicken nuggets and pizza phase).  It also was so hearty that it lasted for two nights dinners which is AWESOME! 

The other recipe I made was the Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos.  Now these are REALLY GREAT!  It only took me about 20-25 minutes to make the recipe which you end up with 6 burritos.  I'm sure you can adjust to make even more if you wanted.  The recipe specifically tells you how to wrap them up and freeze them.
It also tells you how to heat the frozen burrito when you are ready for one.  The burritos turned out delicious.  They are also soooo convenient.  I love just grabbing one out of the fridge and microwaving it at work instead of going down to the cafeteria.   Emir apparently loves them too because he was disappointed I didn't have more made up when he returned from his work trip. 

Even though I have only made two recipes myself so far, I did have a chance to try about 5-6 other things from the book at the Runner's World Festival.  We had an influencer lunch with Dean Karnazes which featured all foods from the book.  We had the fish tacos, the mango avocado sauce, the pita chips, beet hummus and a desert from the book.  I was shocked that I liked the mango avocado and the beet hummus.  I really hate mangoes and beets but both things were really delicious.  I'm actually going to get the ingredients for the hummus at the store today. 

At the pasta dinner, we had a pasta sauce, the bison meatballs and butternut squash topping for pasta that all were really good.  Once again I was surprised by the butternut squash because typically that's something I would not eat but I really, really liked it.  So it showed me not to shy away from recipes that have ingredients that I typically wouldn't eat because chances are, I will end up liking it. 

Overall, I think it's a great book, well put together and a really great cooking/nutrition resource for runners.  It will definitely be something I use a lot. 

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