How to Eat for Maximum Energy (and Where to Find the Time to Do It)

academy-aniversaryIt’s been just over a year since we launched the No Meat Athlete Academy, where each month we dive into a new plant-based fitness, nutrition, or lifestyle topic — often with the help of a guest expert.

In that time we’ve accumulated almost 16 hours of audio seminar content, plus another 20 hours of live Q&A recordings, all of it available forever inside the Academy.

To celebrate the Academy’s birthday — and, okay okay, to whet your appetite in anticipation of a relaunch we’ll be doing soon — today I’m excited to share some clips from a few of my favorite seminars we’ve done over the course of the past year.

(Most recently, we welcomed plant-based superstar Rich Roll as our guest for an hour-long seminar and a followup Q&A. I’ve got some clips from that seminar coming soon, or you can get them now by subscribing to No Meat Athlete Radio on iTunes.)

We put these clips in the form of two NMA Radio episodes, each clocking in at 42 minutes. You can stream them right from the blog, or if you prefer, download them to your device.

Players and links are below — enjoy these interviews!

Episode 1: The Optimal Diet for Health and Energy?

In the first episode, you’ll hear in-depth clips from two of our early guests.

First, elite ultrarunner Michael Arnstein shares his enthusiasm for a diet based almost entirely on raw fruits and vegetables. A fruitarian diet sounds extreme, no doubt, but it’s hard not to be excited when you hear Mike talk about the dramatic improvements to his running he experienced when he switched from a cooked vegan diet to his current raw one.

(And before you write off an 80/10/10 diet — 80 carbohydrate, 10 percent fat, 10 percent protein — as pure craziness, you might be surprised to learn that in his most recent book, Whole, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the famed China Study, recommends exactly this ratio, though not completely raw.)

But let’s face it: most people aren’t going to eat this way, and many would argue that in the long term, a certain amount of cooked food (and more fat than 10 percent of calories) is both protective against disease and more realistic than a fully raw one. And that’s the focus of the next clip, with Sid Garza-Hillman, author and nutritionist at The Stanford Inn: a high-raw, whole-food diet that still includes plenty of cooked food and a little more wiggle room.

You can check out the clips from both Mike and Sid’s interviews in the first episode, called The Optimal Diet for Health and Energy, here:

Or download the episode here (you may need to right click and “Save link as”).

Episode 2: How to Create All the Time You Need

Understanding what to eat is one thing, but making it work in the real world is quite another.

In this second episode you’ll hear advice from Jeff Sanders, host of the popular 5AM Miracle podcast (and who happens also to be my weekly accountability partner), and Heather Crosby, author of Yum Universe, on building habits to create the time you need in order to make health a priority.

With Jeff, I discuss his “5AM Miracle” system for waking early (even if not at that ungodly hour) and blocking off time in your day that’s just for you — to work on something that brings you joy and energy, whether it’s running, cooking, or something entirely unrelated.

With Heather, we focus more specifically on food, diving into some time-saving kitchen tips and a general approach to kitchen management that will help you make healthy food a priority.

Click the button below to listen to these sections of my interviews with Jeff and Heather in this episode, called How to Create All the Time You Need:

Or download the episode here (you may need to right click and “Save link as”).

There’s more to come …

If this is the first you’ve listened to No Meat Athlete Radio and you like what you hear, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes. As you’ll hear just about every podcast host say (over and over), ratings and reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful in getting our show heard by new people, so please do me a favor and leave one while you’re there. Thanks!

And in a few days, I’ll be back with a sneak peek at our seminar with Rich Roll! Until then …

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What Supplements Do Vegan Athletes Need?

Everyone, it seems, wants to know about supplements. After almost every talk I’ve given, someone in the Q&A has asked, “What supplements do you take?”

After my talk at the Marshall Healthfest last month, someone asked it.

Earlier that morning, in the athlete panel I did with Omowale Adewale, Rich Roll, Christy Morgan, and Ellen Jaffe Jones (in the photo below), someone had asked it.

And when we did a Q&A with Rich earlier this week inside the NMA Academy (reopening soon, stay tuned!), someone asked it there, too.

[athlete panel]

The vegan athlete panel at Marshall Healthfest 2015.

The Answer?

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Discover the Secrets of the Tarahumara: Stream the New Film GOSHEN in Its Entirety, This Week Only

It was six years ago that Chris McDougall sparked a revolution in running with Born to Run, the book that made seemingly everyone want to run an ultramarathon, do it barefoot, and eat pinole and chia seeds all the while. (Or was that just me?)

These behaviors, of course, are those of the Tarahumara, an indigenous Mexican tribe of incredible endurance runners whose way of life has been largely preserved by the geography of the Copper Canyon region.

That way of life, including the extreme lack of modern diseases that plague most developed cultures, is the subject of the new film GOSHEN: Places of Refuge for the Running People. And for the rest of the week, I’m thrilled to be able to offer it for streaming in its entirety here at No Meat Athlete. (April 11th is when the free streaming ends, so watch it before then!)

[Update: Since the free-streaming period has ended, I’ve replaced the embedded video with the trailer for GOSHEN.]

 

One message that Born to Run didn’t quite hammer home is that the Tarahumara eat a diet that is largely plant-based, with only small amounts of meat punctuating traditional meals of las tres hermanas, beans, corn, and squash.

And as we all know, it’s not just the Tarahumara who exemplify that when it comes to fitness, this diet works: as Chris McDougall says in GOSHEN, “When you start to look at super-performing endurance athletes throughout history, more often than not they’re vegetarians.”

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Vegan Ironman Gene Baur on His New Book, ‘Living the Farm Sanctuary Life’

gene

It’s hard not to be a Gene Baur fan. Most will know him as the co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, author, and speaker, but unless you follow Gene closely, you might not realize that as a BQ-marathoner and Ironman, he embodies what NMA is all about.

Gene’s beautiful new vegan-lifestyle-guide-meets-cookbook, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, hits the shelves next week. In this interview on No Meat Athlete Radio we discuss Gene’s athletic accomplishments, whether eating a plant-based diet can help us live longer, the small steps approach to change, and the theme of mindfulness that runs throughout the new book.

It’s also my pleasure to share a recipe from the new book: Tacos with Salted Grilled Plantains, Salsa Verde, and Pepitas! And — gigantic bonus alert — it features homemade corn tortillas, which just this week I’ve started making (and become mildly obsessed about). You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post below the interview.

Enjoy the interview, and don’t miss Gene’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on April 6th!

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Sleep Matters: 7 Ideas for Doing It Better

bedding sheets and pillow sleep bedThis post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute, the third in a series of six I’m doing in partnership with them this year.

Back when I was in college, I used to hear the joke that of good grades, sleep, and a social life, you could have whichever two you chose … but only two.

Replace “good grades” with a job, and you’ve got a pretty accurate description of the real, grown-up world, for most people. And when “social life” now includes mostly non-negotiable activities like spending time with your kids, exercising, and taking the time to prepare healthy food for yourself and your family, skimping on those eight hours of sleep we’re supposed to get each night starts to become a pretty attractive option.

It’s not news that as a culture, we’re sleep deprived. Starbucks wouldn’t be a $15-billion/year company if we all woke up smiling and chipper every morning. (Check out this week’s issue of Brian Clark’s Further, my favorite weekly email digest about “health, wealth and wisdom,” for loads of compelling reasons to get your z’s.)

And if you’re an athlete …

… then sleep matters even more. In his ultrarunning talk from the Woodstock Fruit Festival (starting around the 18:00 mark), Michael Arnstein says that how much sleep he gets the night before a 100-miler is one of the most important factors in how he’ll perform — he even goes as far as to wear a blindfold, earplugs, and a hat to bed; sleep in isolation; and several days before the race, start hitting the sack in the early evening so that he’ll get used to the early bedtime and be able to log eight to ten hours before waking up at 4am on race day.

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The Step-by-Step Guide to Finally Making a Plant-Based Diet Last

farm fresh vegetablesThis is a guest post by Luke Jones, a plant-based blogger at Health Room.

I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for a few years now, and that change was the catalyst for a whole load of other positive changes in my life which have made me a healthier, happier human being.

Eating this way is now second nature, but it didn’t come easy at first. More than once, I nearly gave in to temptations and went back to my old habits.

I’m not alone in this regard: adopting a plant-based diet and making it last is easier said than done.

If you don’t currently eat a plant-based diet, it’s likely you’ve tried in the past, only to fall short and end up back where you started, feeling like you’ll never have the willpower to bring about lasting changes.

In that case, I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret. Here it is:

Changing your diet and maintaining it isn’t about willpower. Instead, it’s about taking the right approach.

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Check in from the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise!

Sadly, today is our last full day on the weeklong Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise.

And while that’s a shame, I’ll be leaving with a distinctly different feeling than I’ve ever had at the end of other cruises I’ve been on — namely, a renewed sense of enthusiasm for this diet and lifestyle.

Oh, I’ve been motivated to eat and live better by cruises in the past — but that motivation is always of the rock-bottom, “I can’t believe I ate and drank that much” variety. This time, it’s an inspired, enlightened motivation, owing to dozens of talks and classes from amazing lineup of speakers, and a menu much lower in oil than what we usually eat at home. Not to mention being surrounded by 1800 other people as passionate about all of this as I am.

Don’t get me wrong; we’ve done plenty of “normal” cruise stuff this week too. The massages (hot stones!), the beaches, the pina coladas, the gambling, the devouring of all five courses at dinner when three would have done just fine.

But all that has been balanced by the packed schedule of health content on the ship: my wife and I have attended talks by T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, Michael Greger, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Robert Cheeke, and Chef AJ, to name just a very few. We’ve gone to yoga, pilates, meditation, and Qi Gong classes most every day, and still found time to relax and just be.

And none of this is to speak of what we’ve done off the boat — finding an off-the-beaten-path vegan Rastafarian restaurant in Jamaica that served just one dish, relaxing at a beach in the Cayman Islands with water so clear you could see your feet at any depth, and renting scooters in Cozumel to go to another secluded beach. Today, we’re in the Bahamas, and tomorrow we’ll round out the trip with the NMA Miami running group for a few meals and a run before heading back to Asheville.

And when I get back, I’ll have some changes to make. New books to read. Blog posts to write. Podcasts to record. And lots of thinking to do. This cruise has been exactly the refresher I needed, and I hope I succeed in capturing some of that here over the next few weeks.

Longer recap coming when I get back!

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David Clark on Addiction, Recovery, and Losing 160lbs

david

Just a few years ago, David Clark was addicted to drugs and alcohol, obese, and watching his business and life crumble before his eyes. What happened?

Reality hit. And it hit hard.

If he didn’t immediately make drastic changes, David would be dead in no time. So he decided to go vegan, start running, and fight his addictions. He’s now an accomplished ultrarunner and speaker, and Doug and I couldn’t be more excited to have him on this week’s podcast episode.

David’s story might sound extreme for some, but it’s these extreme examples that inspire me the most. When faced with what must have felt like an impossible task, he fought through it. We can all learn from that type of determination.

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