Monday, October 2, 2017

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook

Barbara Youel | Towpath Member & Cookbook Author

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts – and the Rest of Your Life
by Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine (The Experiment, 2017) 

One of my favorite doctors is Michael Greger, who highly recommends The No Meat Athlete Cookbook – “a must for active people and athletes at every level who want to perform at their best, while protecting themselves from disease with whole, plant-based foods.”  Dr. Greger is an internationally recognized physician, author and researcher (How Not to Die), who relies on the science for his recommendations ( How refreshing! He is not beholden to any industry – no dairy, no chickens, no big pharma. Yippee!!!

Co-authors Matt Frazier & Stepfanie Romine re-
invent the athlete's diet with this plant-based cook-
This book is a real primer in learning how elite athletes do extraordinary things without animal protein or oil.  Yes my friends, sayonara to chicken wings, Thanksgiving turkey and cheeseburgers. And, adios amigos to olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil and all oils.  To escort you through what may be a painful journey is the authors’ very easy labeling system; each of the 125 vegan recipes is clearly identified:

            FF – fast food
            SF – slow food
            SC – slow cooker
            CL – carbo loading
            GF/GFO – gluten- free/gluten-
            free option
            OF/OFO – oil-free/oil-free option
            XS – soy-free

The spectacular color photography made me want to walk, no run to my kitchen and get going. I am particularly interested in the beet (yup, beet) bourguignon (page 125), Greek chopped salad (page 139), cumin-citrus roasted carrots (page 166) and chocolate-coconut-pecan chewy bars (page 220). Yummmmmm. OK, one more I can’t resist mentioning, the sesame-turmeric oven fries (page 173). Woo-hoo!

Chapters are clearly divided into morning meals, hearty meals, greens and dressings, small plates and sides, recovery foods, flavor boosts and desserts.  Helpful guidance on nutrition, stocking the plant-based kitchen and meal planning are interspersed in this cookbook, just right for those of you newbies to plant-based foods.  

The book’s forward by Rich Roll, a vegan-strong and ultra-athlete, and co-author Matt Frazier’s introduction are worth reading before you dive into the mouth-watering recipes. The two make a solid case for the benefits of a plant-based diet for ALL athletes. If it works for the pros it can work for us amateur tennis players; it is at least worth considering, despite our devotion to the all-meat sub sandwich (which contains such awful nitrates and nitrites, I cannot even go there).

Co-author chef Stepfanie Romine is a plant-based yogi and runner. She has expanded her original repertoire of stews, stir-fries, and bean-based meals to more root vegetables, spices and healthy treats for this cookbook. Her creative recipes have been tested on pros and amateurs alike. Food stylists, registered dietitians and new cooks have all vetted these recipes, giving them a “thumbs up!” Who wants to eat food that tastes like packing peanuts? We all want great taste, satisfying mouth feel, and yes, the visual pleasure of anticipation of a delicious treat coming our way.

The recipe format is readable and easy to follow (most fit on one page) but I am not a fan of the informational colored pages with their mixtures of fonts; however, this is really a minor drawback. Overall, I highly recommend The No Meat Athlete!

* Co-author Matt Frazier is an ultra-marathoner. The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts – and the Rest of Your Life (The Experiment, 2017) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores and public libraries. 

Barb Youel, author of First
Serve Cookbook
Towpath Tennis Member Barb Youel author of First Serve: 40 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for a Year of Tennis Grand Slams & Club Matches, (Lean Green Living LLC, 2017). Copies are available exclusively at Towpath Tennis Center for $15.95 or 2 for $30. You can order yours today at 330-928-8763.

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