Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Choose Your Winter Reading Giveaway

We have been getting in the festive holiday spirit over the last week and a half. The house is decorated, the gifts are starting to arrive in the mail to be wrapped up for our families, and the holiday parties have started. I even have a snow day today. Mother Nature actually brought snow to DC, making it feel even more like Christmas!

As I was planning the gifts for family and friends I realized that I ought to give a gift to a lucky reader of this blog.

I love reading. I also love food. And running. Therefore, I have put together some of my favorite books that I read this summer and will be offering a reader a book of their choice. These books aren't books to take you away to a dreamland. They aren't quick reads. But they will help you improve in one area of your life, or at least give you something to ponder if you are considering a change.

Option One (For the Runner): Hanson Marathon Method

This is the training plan I love and firmly believe in. Tom and I both lived by this book this summer and fall as we trained for our own marathons. Neither of us bonked when we got to miles 18-22 of our races. It works. If you plan to run a marathon I seriously urge you to try this plan. It's a lot of hard work (what marathon plan isn't?), but it pays off on race day.

Not only does this book give you a plan, but it gives you specific splits to aim for during every workout depending on what your goal time is. It goes into details regarding the reason why their plan works, talks about nutrition and stretching, and does a great job getting the runner prepared for race day.

Option Two (for the Foodie): Cooked by Michael Pollan

I already loved Michael Pollan when I picked up Cooked. This book made me reconsider how our society prepares meals. Humans have cooked for thousands of years, but now we're cooking less and less.

This book takes a look at four ways to prepare food: with fire, with liquid, by baking bread, and through fermentation. I am a fan of Michael Pollan's writing: every section has a different focus and describes his personal experience with that topic. As a Science teacher, I love how he incorporates the Science behind the cooking and how it affects the outcome and us.

This book has made me re-think the word BBQ. I now take extra time when cooking onions on the stove. Since reading the book in July I have switched to fresh, bakery bread (I hate to think about eating the gummy bread that is sold in stores and he explains why that might be). And I now look at pickles and cheese with a little more understanding about how they arrived at their current state.  

Option Three (for the athlete that wants to perform and feel better): Thrive: The Vegan Guide to Optimal Performance, by Brendan Brazier

This summer I experimented with the types of foods I put in my body. I read a few books written by vegan athletes, and considered the possibility of switching over to veganism. For a while I reduced the amount of meat I was eating, decreased the number of processed foods, and tried to eat more fruits and veggies. Every morning consisted of a smoothie when I got back from my runs. And wouldn't you know - I started to have more energy and recovered much faster after my workouts.

Just like with Pollan's book, I love the information that Brazier provides the reader. He goes in depth about what specific foods do to our body. Ideally we want to have an alkaline body, but most of the foods in the typical American diet make our bodies, acidic. Acidic bodies take a longer time to recover. This book is filled with recipes and a meal plan for athletes. Even if you don't want to become a full-on vegan, this is still a terrific resource to help you fuel yourself better, thus recover easier and be able to perform better during every workout. Heck - you don't even need to be an athlete to get the benefits from this book.

To Enter: Leave a comment below that tells me which book you would want to receive if you win. 

Bonus entry: Follow me on Bloglovin and leave a comment saying that you have done so

A winner will be chosen on December 18th by a random number generator. All entries are due by December 17th at 11:59pm


  1. ohhhhh.... Hanson plan of course, but they all look good! Thanks for the giveaway whoohooo

  2. A holiday giveaway! What fun! I would LOVE to win the Hanson book! That way I won't have to have it overnighted from Amazon!

    Merry Christmas season!

  3. I don't have any of Michael Pollan's books, so I'd choose that one!

  4. I love Michael Pollan and would love to read Cooked!

  5. I've read the Hanson's book and would love to read Cooked! I've read other Michael Pollan and want to read this!

  6. The Vegan book, for sure!! I follow the blog "No Meat Athlete" and the author is a huge proponent of Brendan Brazier. I've heard great things! Thanks for doing an awesome giveaway. May the odds be ever in...uh...my...favor?

  7. AHhh such a hard decision between the Hanson's book and the Vegan book. My fiance and I are both really interested in the whole vegan-athlete thing but I don't think it's something I am ready to tackle right now. The Hansons method has been of interest to me for a while now and have definitely considered using it. SO I guess I will say the Hanson book because I feel like it is something I will use sooner than the other.

  8. I can't decide!!! I would love any of them, but I think I would enjoy Brendan Brazier's book the best!

  9. I would really like to have Michael Pollen's "Cooked."
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  10. I follow you on Bloglovin as MsCarolsueA
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net