I was sent The Athlete’s Cookbook free for review, thoughts are my own.
If you’ve ever spent time on any message board with athletes, food is always a hot topic. Hell… food is a hot topic in this country all around. There are different opinions on which food groups to include/exclude, which diet is good/bad/best/worst and conflicting advice flying at us from every avenue. It’s enough to make you go crazy. So for the most part, I’ve learned to avoid it… but it wasn’t easy to retrain my brain in that regard. So I’m always a little leery about reviewing books that have to do with food/diet.
The Athlete’s Cookbook one is overall very good, there are a couple of things that are maybe a little questionable, but nothing too dire. (Only if the reader takes everything too literally.)
The bulk of the book is actually recipes, which I found nice. And the recipes are all normal food. There’s no instructions about the strange special ingredients you have to order from an unknown website or branded food-products. The meal plans/protocols included are pretty straight-forward goals as well; weight management, strength training, endurance. No unrealistic promises like: drop your pace by 2 min/mile or shed 4 dress sizes in a week or get ripped glutes in a day.
And while I skimmed the plans and the advice they gave on how/when to eat certain recipes, I’m never going to refer back to those. They do offer some meal plans that recommend recipes from the book and when to eat those during the day in relationship to workouts. As long as the reader takes that as a general rule of thumb and applies it to their own life (for example, you don’t HAVE to eat the exact recipe at 5 AM on Wednesdays if that doesn’t work for you!) then they are good guidelines.
With a toddler at home and a husband who’s never at home, I find it hard to fit in recipe testing. But I did find time to make a few things from this book and my favorite so far has to be the Hot Quinoa Cereal.
The great thing about this recipe is that it can serve as the foundation for several variations. So instead of the chopped nuts and mango, I’ve adapted it to put whatever fruit/nuts I feel like. Just the approach of cooking the quinoa with cinnamon and vanilla makes for a great base that can be enjoyed hot or cold. To make it super easy, throw the quinoa, water, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a rice cooker. Keep the leftovers in the fridge for a few days to pull out for easy breakfast.
The book is great in that it has recipes from several different regions, it doesn’t just try to recreate “American classics” in a healthier way. None of it feels like it’s trying to adapt to being healthier, they’re just practically healthy! And I like that they don’t feature calorie counts on the recipes, it helps with following intuitive eating cues, at least for me.
And if you’re wondering about the cute little text/icons on the pics… I got a new app: MocaDeco. I had to play with it!