Book Review: The Runner’s World Cookbook

The Runner’s World Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose Weight, Run Better, and Race Faster
by Joanna Sayago Golub rating: 4.17/5 stars 

          In just a few short months, the city will be shut down as tens of thousands of people in a state of pre-dawn, masochistic euphoria grind out 13.1 or 26.2 miles on the streets of our great city for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Like any long-distance travel, there needs to be plenty of fuel in the tank. I learned about this when I decided to train for half marathons. I was on the struggle bus for those long runs. People talked about nutrition, but I was completely bewildered. I mean, I ate three meals and not a lot of fast food. Isn’t that good enough? Good fats versus Bad fats? No carbs versus some carbs? When to eat protein? What’s a macro? Why so much kale? What will really help me on the runs as the miles start adding up? Anyone out there feel me?

        My sister-in-law is a running coach (Relentless Runners), so I thought I would see if she had any good advice. She referred me to The Runner’s World Cookbook by Joanna Sayago Golub. I ordered it during one of my late-night binges on Amazon. I anticipated bland recipes and more kale. Upon receipt, I skimmed through the pages and saw that the recipes were relatively easy to make. There were no overly complicated dishes nor specialty ingredients that cost the GDP of a small country. I often come back to these recipes when I’m not training because they are actually tasty.

        This cookbook is unique because of how each recipe is labeled. Each page has a color-coded key at the top showing the type of recipe it is. The color keys include: pre-run, recovery, fast, vegetarian, vegan, low calorie and gluten free. With so many diets and health sensitivities, this helps target your goals and your grind. There are different proteins and a good variety in the fruits and vegetables. The cuisines represented cover a variety of palates and cultures. Each recipe includes a brief intro paragraph by professional runners or nutrition experts contributing comprehension about how this particular food relates to my body, how different nutrients can focus on a specific need.

        Using this cookbook, for me, has been about targeting fitness needs, resulting in eating healthier as an athlete, albeit an older one. I need every advantage I can get! And by eating healthier I mean in a healthy way for my body to function on 8 miles runs or 90-minute soccer games. I don’t mean eating a lot of salads.

        I love eating. I run so I can eat. From this cookbook I live on the maple-pumpkin pie smoothie for post run fiber and protein. My absolute favorite dinner is the spicy sausage and mushroom soup because it’s warm and I can make a pot of it and have it all week. Some of my other favorites are jerk shrimp with sweet potatoes and black beans, apple crumble and chocolate berry crisp (must have my desserts), hummingbird muffins, awesome granola (my breakfast for 6 months straight), banana oat energy bars, chicken-quinoa soup and Asian noodle salad with eggs and peanut dressing.

           And yes, I made all these recipes mentioned above and more from it.

The Runner’s World Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose Weight, Run Better, and Race Faster
by Joanna Sayago Golub, Runner’s World
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Rodale Books

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