Scott Jurek’s book, Eat + Run (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) was a very pleasant surprise. While Scott has long been an inspiration to me, not just finishing but succeeding ultra-endurance feats, he has done so as a vegan, which allayed any fears I might have had about becoming a vegan. The book is truthful, funny, inspirational—it even includes recipes!
We, in fact, tried the rice milk recipe from the book. Very simple: 1 cup brown rice, 4 cups water, 1 TBSP oil, pinch of salt, place in blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Super easy, but, unfortunately, none of us liked it. Oh well. :)
Scott grew up as a hunter and woodsman, and definitely without a lot of extra money. He never considered himself an athlete growing up, but became a strong cross country skier and, to build endurance, started running. Over the years, he became attracted to veganism, but resisted, initially because he thought he needed animal protein to succeed, but becoming more sure it was the right path for him as his successes in ultrarunning mounted.
There is plenty of philosophy as well, a lot of which I agree with and found useful. I especially liked: “But whether you get what you want isn’t what defines you. It’s how you go about your business.” With cheating so rampant in sports, this sort of thinking could go a long way to fixing those problems. Naive, maybe, but one can always hope.
Though known for being a successful ultrarunner, Scott is primarily known for being a vegan—he shies away from the term as he feels it’s preachy, but it’s pretty well understood by everyone at this point, so it will probably stick. Through the book, the process over many years of his move towards plant based nutrition is presented in a clinical manner, with support for his decisions as he moved along. It might not inspire you to give up all animal products, but will definitely make you think about it.
This is a well-written, inspiring, and enjoyable book—I’d recommend it to anyone who has an interest in ultrarunning, veganism, or both.
(Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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