Like the Julie and Julia Project but Different

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Remember when Julie pledged to cook her way through Julia’s cookbook and the Julie and Julia Project was born? Well, after reading Matt Frazier’s new cookbook, I am starting a project of my own. I am going to cook and blend my way through Fuel Your Run the Tarahumara Way.

You may know Matt Frazier better as the No Meat Athlete. Not only is he an amazing, vegetarian runner, he is also the author of a new cookbook with recipes “designed for the modern athlete”. Because my husband is a cyclist, and I have recently started trail running, I am very interested in this book. The other reason I am excited about trying these recipes, is because I am reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall for the second time. The book goes into great detail about the lifestyle of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons. They run hundreds of miles for fun and sometimes survival, and seem to be immune to many of our modern day diseases and health issues.

After reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, I am inspired to run for the love of it, and to do other things more simply and joyfully as well. Matt, the No Meat Athlete liked Born to Run too. Here’s what he said when I asked him about it:

  • Born to Run is great, isn’t it?  What I came away with, more than anything else, was a real passion for running that I never knew I had in me.  I read the book right after I qualified for Boston, after years of trying to do it.  I worked so hard for that, but the whole time I told myself that I wasn’t really a runner, that it was a means of staying fit and having a goal to chase after. I was so focused on that and never took a step back and tried to enjoy the actual running part. Right after I read Born to Run was the first time I ever went for a run purely for the fun of it.  Now I do that all the time.  Maybe even too much.”

Ok, back to my project. I am going to create each recipe from Matt’s book and come back to you with recipe reviews and more feedback on these Tarahumara super foods. While all of these recipes are healthy, I am not going to be eating them to dramatically improve my overall health, or speed up my running. I want to do this for the fun of it!

There are a few differences between my project and the Julie and Julia project that I would like to point out…

  • Julie cooked and blogged about 536  recipes and I will be working with 15.
  • Julie set a time limit of one year, my project has no time restrictions or deadlines.
  • It is unlikely that my project will turn into a movie. Maybe a book deal, but not a full length feature film.
  • I am not going to go crazy and torture my husband during the project.
  • The majority of Julia’s recipes were not veg friendly. All of Matt’s recipes are.
  • I don’t have a cool name for my project. Any suggestions?


  1. says

    Great idea! As a veg runner myself, I will be looking forward to seeing how the recipes turn out! Here’s an idea for a name for your project: “Taste Testing the Tarahumara”. Good luck!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Amy, I love the name with all the Ts, but it sounds a little cannibalistic! 😉

  2. says

    In case you haven’t come up with a name yet, here are some suggestions –

    Putting Pinole through the Paces
    The Tarahumara Test-Drive

    Someone else needs to come up with something better since I already have the book!

  3. Michelle says

    How about Tasting Tarahumara? or The Trials of Tarahumara? or you could make and test the meal only on Tues/Thursday and call it Tuesday’s Tarahumara? Totally Tarahumara?
    Runtastic Tarahumara?

    • Courtney Carver says

      Love these suggestions! Keep em coming and I will announce the winner with my first review next week!

    • Courtney Carver says

      The Chia Chronicles – one of my favorites! Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. David Dutrow says

    How about “Chia Fed,” a play on the pet rock of the plant world? :)

    Sounds like a great project. I can’t wait to see how it goes!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks David! Watch next week for my first review and the unveiling of the project name.

  5. says


    I know nothing about food, but am intrigued by the Taramuhara super foods you mention. What on earth are they and how do they work? I’m interested to hear more about the recipes and your experiences with their effects. I feel unqualified to offer you a name, though I loved the Julie and Julia project idea and movie…You have so many ideas in your theme – super foods, immunity, exercise, recipes, cooking, Matt Frazier and his book, you and your cooking techniques…which of these are your main interest/focus?


  6. Steven says

    Hello Courtney,

    Thanks for taking on this fun project. My suggestion is “Tarahumara for the Terrafirma Runner”

  7. jv says

    Great day, love the idea. The name is so obvious I can’t wait to get my copy of the book; Courtney & Chinole, your welcome. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. says

    “Cooking for Distance, Running for Fun”
    “Frazier’s Fuel: Tarahumara in the Modern Kitchen”

    Picked up my first bag of chia seeds a while back, along with some cacao nibs. Can I say that I’m already so addicted to the latter?

  9. sarah says

    Running with the Raramuri
    Be more with No Meat: cooking my way through Matt and Christine Frazier’s new cookbook

  10. says

    Hi Courtney,

    This aounds awesome! It’s so nice that you are challenging yourself in this way and we get to come along for the ride (well, run, I suppose) :-)

    I’m looking forward to your follow-ups on this fantastic endeavour.


    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Karen. I am posting my first recipe review and announcing the name of the project on Wednesday. Stay Tuned!

  11. Becky says

    Looking forward to your recipe reviews! Just a few ideas that come to mind….

    “The Superfood Project”

    “Supercharged Chia”

    “Pining for Pinole”

    “The Chia Challenge”

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Becky. Great ideas! First set of reviews will be up on Wednesday. (along with the name announcement.)

  12. says

    How about “Ch-ch-ch-choosing Chia”? (Couldn’ resist!) Sounds like a great plan. I had the pleasure of meeting Julia and chatting with her several times during her last few years. A lovely person, definitely a carnivore! So, as you noted, not a great many recipes for vegetarians and almost none for vegans (all that butter, you know!).

    • Courtney Carver says

      Yippee! Thanks Elizabeth. It should be fun. (let me know if it’s not, and I will change things up!)

    • Courtney Carver says

      Gabriela, Thanks for your comment! It’s going great. I have a few reviews up and have really appreciated new ways to incorporate chia seeds into my diet!