Thursday, 25 July 2019

On Running Fast And Eating Slow {Book Review: Run Fast. Eat Slow. by Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky}

This post is not sponsored or paid in any way. All opinions are my own.

If there's one thing I'm almost just as passionate about as running, it's eating. I love wholesome, nourishing, good-for-you grub! I'm also a huge believer in the healing and preventative power of a healthy diet, not to mention the mental and emotional perks of knowing that you're fuelling your body with foods that will optimise both its functioning and performance. [And by "healthy diet" I mean a lifelong commitment to eating and enjoying wholesome, natural, nourishing foods as opposed to sugar- and chemical-laden processed ones. Plus I'm definitely not a fan of restrictive, unbalanced fad diets!]

Enter Run fast. Eat slow. by Olympian Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky. I'm super late to the party (the duo already has a second cookbook out, called Run fast. Cook fast. Eat slow.), but man am I glad I didn't miss the bus completely! After humming and hawing about buying this book for almost a year, I finally got my hands on a copy via our library's inter-library loan system about three months ago. And then I shamelessly hogged it for a full nine weeks until all of my renewal privileges ran out, after which I still went ahead and ordered myself a copy online. It's that good! 

Full disclosure: I haven't made all of the recipes in the book. Not yet, anyway. But I have made a whole bunch of them, most of which I've made many times over. And not a single one disappointed. From sweet potato (kumara) fries and Brussels sprouts, roast chicken and fish en papillote, to burgers, meatballs and banana bread. They were all flavourful, satisfying, and totally delicious.

And while all of these recipes are really great, the book is probably best known for Flanagan and Kopecky's signature Superhero Muffins. It was one of the last recipes I tried before (very reluctantly) returning the book to the library, and I can confirm that it totally lives up to the hype. They're filling, delicious, and full of flavour, and I can pop them into Miss K's lunchbox knowing that she has something nourishing to sustain her throughout the school day. J Bear is sadly not a fan, but Will declared that they taste just like carrot cake, so I'll keep on making them. [Note that two of the ingredients used in this recipe - almond flour and maple syrup - are quite pricey, but I've seen a few bloggers successfully substituting half of the almond flour with other flours to make it more affordable. Also, try replacing the courgette with half a peeled, grated apple and half a cup of shredded coconut for an extra scrumptious treat - my personal favourite variation!]

My spin on Flanagan and Kopecky's Superhero Muffins.

But perhaps my favourite recipe of all is the one for Ginger-Molasses Granola. Holy. Moly. It's slightly salty, deliciously crunchy and the ginger shines through just enough to give it a subtle kick. It's SO much better than anything I've ever bought in a store. (And coming from someone whose been eating granola for breakfast every day for 20 years, that says a lot...!) I top it with coconut yoghurt, sliced banana, and a handful of mixed, natural nuts and voila! A feast for the taste buds that I look forward to every day.

In short, Run fast. Eat slow. is based on the principle of "indulgent nourishment", i.e. maximising nourishment through wholesome, natural ingredients in order to help your body perform at its best, but without sacrificing flavour or satisfaction and fun. And that's a food philosophy I can firmly stand behind. To me, eating is one of the simple joys of life, and if I can do it while at the same time boosting both my own health and running performance, I'm all for it. So if you share a similar viewpoint regarding food and fuel, I'm sure you'll love this book just as much as I do. Bon appétit!


  1. Thanks for sharing. Getting older I have learned to eat only healthy food and many fruits and vegetables. My only sin is a bit of Coca Cola every day. Next lesson to learn: eat slower.

    1. I'm also trying to embrace the whole concept of "eating slow" with my family, Stefano, i.e. viewing mealtimes as a relaxed opportunity for feasting and togetherness. The kids don't always appreciate our rule of "no TV or electronics during mealtime", but hopefully they'll one day look back and relish the memories!

  2. Ek het al baie gesien mense praat van die boek, nogal gewonder watter tipe goedjies daarin is. Dankie vir die share, Saar! Miskien kan jy in n vlg post vertel hoe jy daai muffins maak? (maar ahem, los maar asb die spRuitkoolReseppies eers...)
    Dankie vir n lekker post!
    Ps. Weeeeens ons had so 'n lekker bib!!!!!

    1. Ek is sooooo dankbaar vir ons bib, Saar! Ons eie plaaslike ene se (hardloop-) verskeidenheid is nie so groot nie, maar wat lekker is, is dat ons boeke vanoor die hele streek se biblioteke (gratis) kan aanvra en uitneem. So ek hou daai streekskatalogus soos 'n valk dop en slaan toe sodra daar 'n nuwe geskrif is, hehe! Hopelik kry hulle binnekort vir Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. En Jonathan Beverly se nuwe ene (spesinjaal vir veteraan-atlete)...! xxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Great post! I'm interested in healthy food as I have to look after my cholesterol levels. I sometimes try eat alcaline food, such as cabbage, bananas, cucumber, almonds, peas, etc.

    Completely agree on "no TV or electronics during mealtime" (I've just read your reply to Stefano's comment above).

    1. Thanks, Giorgio! I really love alkaline foods too - not just because they're good for me, but because my body often craves them! I've always been a big fan of especially dark leafy greens.

      I feel very strongly about our "no TV or electronics during mealtime" rule - it's our one chance to sit down as a family and just chat and enjoy each other's company. And what better way to do that than around a glorious feast of wholesome, nutritious food!


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