herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Every so often a cookbook comes across my desk that's perfectly pitched for novice cooks, with accessible recipes that won't intimidate or confuse beginners. Sometimes they're written by experienced chefs and food writers who have years of cooking under their belts; other times they're by novices who, for some reason, have captured the public's (or a publisher's) imagination.

Every so often a cookbook comes across my desk that's perfectly pitched for novice cooks, with accessible recipes that won't intimidate or confuse beginners. Sometimes they're written by experienced chefs and food writers who have years of cooking under their belts; other times they're by novices who, for some reason, have captured the public's (or a publisher's) imagination.

Derval O'Rourke falls into the latter camp. A triple Olympian and World Champion hurdler, no one knew she loved good food until Food for the Fast Lane hit the books shops last month.

Described as someone who 'likes to eat and train, not diet and exercise', Derval is an advocate for nutritionally-balanced eating.

Her successful athletic career didn't just come through hard training: Derval realised early in her career that she would never become the athlete she wanted without the right food.

After her third Olympics in 2012 she took time out to attend a cookery school, and managed to run her fastest time in seven years shortly after that.

achievable

Recently retired from athletics, she maintains that you don't have to be an elite athlete to care about what goes into your body.

Food for the Fast Lane is a great book for anyone interested in their wellbeing and fitness, and offers great insight into Derval's lifestyle and training regime.

The recipes are easy and achievable with few ingredients and you don't need cooking experience to figure them out.

I especially like her Jogger's Stew, which is perfect for the cold weather.

"If you have 20 minutes to spare before you go out for a run, then you can make this stew. It takes very little effort and you don't have to be precise about the measurements either.

"I prepare this and get it simmering before I go to the park for a one-hour running session.

"And I love knowing that when I get back, there will be a healthy and tasty dinner waiting for me."

Food for the Fast Lane by Derval O'Rourke, €19.99, Gill & Macmillan

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