This article was published in “Book Reviews” section of the Vegetarian Journal

Scott Jurek runs and wins ultramarathons — any race longer than a marathon — on a vegan diet. He credits his success to his diet after seeing huge improvements in his endurance and energy when switching to plant-based foods. The more animal products and processed foods he cut from his diet, the more gains he made, even while his training stayed consistent.

Jurek’s inspiring memoir Eat and Run pays tribute to his racing and dietary success, taking readers from his Midwestern meat-and-potato roots to the middle of Death Valley where he struggles to overcome nausea, fatigue, and doubt about his diet in order to finish the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon. He describes his gradual adoption of vegetarianism and then full veganism, including the influential people he met along the way who inspired him to make the switch.

At the end of each chapter, readers will find one of Jurek’s favorite vegan recipes, including Minnesota Winter Chili, Chocolate Adzuki Bars, Lentil Mushroom Burgers, and 8-Grain Strawberry Pancakes. Some chapters also end with fitness tips on topics such as stretching, strength training, and running techniques.

Part memoir, part cookbook, part manual, vegan athletes from all sports will find Eat and Run to be filled with motivational athletic triumphs and doubtful inner-dialogue that reminds them to focus on the foods they put into their bodies during times of both success and failure. Vegan athletes will want to push harder in their sports and eat even more consciously.

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (ISBN: 978-0-544-00231-9) is a 260-page hardcover book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. It can be purchased at local bookstores or online.

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