Suzanne Hollander, MS, RD

As a dietitian, home cook, and enthusiast of all-things-delicious, I'm often asked, "so what do YOU eat?" Here's a blog to answer that very question! My hope is that you'll find (even just a little) inspiration from some of my favorite recipes, restaurants, party-ideas and food musings for your own happy, healthy, food-loving lifestyle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: Born to Run

I'd heard a lot about Christopher McDougall's Born to Run. The book is a talented journalist's account of growing his own amateur athletic career by adopting the running stylings of Mexico's Tarahumara tribesmen. And all the adventures that come along with sticking a bunch of Americans in the depths of isolated canyons in Mexico to brave ultra-marathon distance runs.

While I wasn't moved to run barefoot or take up 100 mile distance running, I did notice a difference over my past few runs in the way I think (or better said, don't think) about my stride. McDougall was encouraged by his coach's study of the Tarahumara's way of running to  run like a kid again, a lesson in both gait and attitude.

The Tarahumara subsist on a close-to vegan diet, with nights spent getting drunk on corn beer--a diet that most of us would assume detrimental to the body and inadequate considering the ultradistances the Tarahumara run every day. Their lifestyle of living off the earth and enjoying multiple uphill marathon runs daily supports minimal rates of injury, great longevity, and a population that knows virtually no chronic disease.

So what exactly do they eat? One passage sums it up better than I ever could, so thought I'd share in case anyone out there feels ready for a dietary experiment:

 "Anything the Tarahumara eat, you can get very easily," Tony told me. "It's mostly pinto beans, squash, chili peppers, wild greens, pinole, and lots of chia." ...the traditional Tarahuma diet exceeds the United Nations' recommended daily [protein] intake by more than 50 percent. As for bone-strengthening calcium, that gets worked into tortillas and pinole with the limestone the Tarahumara women use to soften the corn.

Now I'll just need to remember to register for limestone tortilla flats.

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