There’s WHAT in My Rice!? How to Kick Arsenic’s Arse

One of the truly wonderful byproducts of going vegetarian or vegan is that it nudges you to expand your culinary horizons and venture into the vast world of delicious ethnic food.

But what if that ethnic food is doing more harm to your health than good?

Indian, Thai, Chinese, Latin-American … all these cuisines feature amazing flavors which rarely show up in American food. But something else they all feature is rice. Lots and lots of rice.

As a result, many of us eat way more rice than we used to, especially as endurance athletes with high-carbohydrate diets. We choose brown rice, of course, and many of us consider it a health food (not to mention a gluten-free one).

But last November, Consumer Reports published findings that rice contains disconcerting levels of inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen “known to cause bladder, lung, and skin cancer in humans, with the liver, kidney, and prostate now considered potential targets of arsenic-induced cancers.”

Even worse for health-conscious consumers: our beloved brown rice was found to have much higher arsenic levels than white rice.

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It’s Officially Spring … Is This the Year You Run Your Marathon or Half?

This Wednesday was March 20th, marking the first day of spring … which means if this is your year to run a marathon or half marathon, then it’s time to get serious.

Training programs are generally 12 weeks for a half marathon; 18 weeks for a full. And you might want to plan for a few weeks of base-building mileage before you start.

And that — 12 to 18 weeks for a half, 18 to 24 for full — means you could be wearing that finisher’s medal around your neck by the end of summer or beginning of fall … but only if you get started now.

There’s nothing like running your first marathon or half …

… but doing either requires the foresight to give yourself the time you need, by starting early.

(You know, instead of realizing your town’s race is in 3 weeks, and then thinking, “Next year!”)

To celebrate the start of spring — and to give you a little nudge to actually start — I’m running a quick sale on both the No Meat Athlete Marathon Roadmap and Half Marathon Roadmap.

Right now, both entirely downloadable programs are available for 35% off the normal price — but just through Monday, March 25th. 

The Roadmaps offer complete training programs for your first marathon or half, along with 100+ pages of information (including a goal-setting section), plant-based nutrition guidelines, and recipes fit for the training you’ll be doing — along with 6 audio interviews with elite vegan and vegetarian athletes, like Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll, to give you more insight and inspiration (not to mention something to listen to while you run!).

Click here to learn more about either program and decide if a Roadmap is right for you — and even if it’s not, I hope you’ll take advantage of the hope that this season brings to find a program that is!

Spring has arrived, and there’s no better time than today to get started.

Have a great weekend!

 

The 8 Biggest Triathlon Myths … Busted!

Post written by Susan Lacke.

iStock 000004234157XSmallAs a triathlete, I’m always interested to hear how others perceive the sport. Judging by the reactions of most people, there are more reasons not to do triathlon than there are compelling arguments to give the sport the old college try.

The “facts” I’ve heard about triathlons, however, are mostly untrue. From simple misunderstandings about the distances involved to exaggerated claims about the safety of the swim, there are a lot of triathlon myths out there. Here are the eight most common misconceptions about the sport I’ve heard, along with why you shouldn’t let such pish-posh stop you from becoming a triathlete.

Myth #1: Triathlons are longer than marathons.

 “I heard about those triathlons … they start really early in the morning and are still running at midnight!”

When people think “triathlon,” they sometimes think “Ironman,” a long-course triathlon that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. Though Ironman is one kind of triathlon, it’s not the only triathlon.

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7 Greens You’re Probably Not Eating (But Should Be) [Infographic]

St. Patrick’s Day, of course, is all about the green. Green clothes, green beer, and green tofu scrambles (though I haven’t actually tried this last one myself).

But today, we’re celebrating another kind of green — the healthy kind. Our NMA infographic team (which sounds way more legit than “Susan and Doug over a couple of beers, with Matt stepping in at the end to screw things up”) put together this St. Patrick’s Day infographic to help spread the word about seven tasty, healthy greens that don’t always get the attention they deserve.

(This after their breakout debut hit, “11 Vegan Egg Substitutions” —  check it out here if you haven’t seen it yet.)

With kale and spinach always hogging the spotlight, these seven greens often play second fiddle (or no fiddle at all). On this St. Patrick’s Day, we’re raising our glasses to changing that.

7greens 623x1024Click the image to view full-size.

(Feel free to share this infographic on your own blog or on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.)

Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day! And don’t forget to eat (not just drink) your greens.

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How to Make the Leap from Runner to Ultrarunner — with iRunFar.com’s Bryon Powell

Podcast Radio2It’s been a busy few months, with wrapping up the No Meat Athlete book and our recent trip to the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, but No Meat Athlete Radio Episode 9 has finally happened — and it’s worth the wait.

The focus of this episode is ultrarunning — but not superhuman, I-run-a-marathon-every-day-before-breakfast ultrarunning.

Instead, the purpose of this episode is to help marathoners or half marathoners (or even runners who aren’t there yet, but have big aspirations) take the plunge into the sometimes-intimidating world of ultarunning.

To add some expertise the conversation (my co-host Doug and I have each done 50-milers, but still consider ourselves relative ultra newbies), we asked author Bryon Powell of iRunFar to join us for an interview. Bryon has completed dozens of ultramarathons, including several 100 milers, and is the author of Relentless Forward Progress, a guide to ultramarathons that Doug and I have both used extensively in our training.

After talking to some listeners in NYC, it sounds like most of you are listening to the podcast while you run, and like it when the episodes last for miles and miles so you don’t have to fiddle with your iPods. So we didn’t hold back — this one is about 85 minutes long, and packed with information. And a small disclaimer: my mic’s audio during the interview section is a little funky, so I apologize for that. But hang in there, Bryon’s knowledge is worth it!trans

Click the button below to listen now:

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Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Doug and Matt’s introduction to ultramarathons (5:00)
  • Interview with Bryon Powell of irunfar.com (14:10)
  • Difference in training plans for marathons and ultras (16:00)
  • Fueling for an ultra (23:20)
  • The mental side of ultrarunning (25:00)
  • Differences between road and trail running (28:00)
  • Where to start (33:00)
  • Matt — How can I run 100 miles after only training up to 50-100k? (35:00)
  • Doug — Advice for running up mountains (Mount Mitchell Challenge) (39:00)
  • Relentless Forward Progress (40:30)
  • Doug and Matt recap (45:45)
  • Matt’s standup comedy (46:10)
  • Trail running (46:30)
  • Upping mileage and where to start (56:45)
  • Running your first 50k (1:05:00)
  • Running your first 50 miler (1:10:15)
  • Wrap-up and news (1:18:00)

Links from the show

Races we discuss

PS — We’re running a quick “Hurry Up, Spring” sale in the No Meat Athlete Store to make room for more tanktops and shortsleeve shirts, so now through Friday, March 15, all long sleeve shirts (men’s and women’s, in both the carrot and stamp logos) are marked at 20% off. Get yours before they’re gone!

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The 17 Weirdest Things I Do Now That I’m Vegan

We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

-Dr. Seuss

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The cover of We Are All Weird, by Seth Godin. Good book.

Let’s face it. Being vegan (or even vegetarian) is pretty weird.

But that’s okay — weird is the new cool. It’s also the new normal, according to Seth Godin (whose post I borrowed the Dr. Seuss quote from).

It seems weird begets weird, though, because in the two years my family has been vegan, bit by bit we’ve gone a little nuts-o in our other habits — many of which have nothing to do with veganism.

And yet, in a way, they’re all tied back to that fundamental choice to be different from 98 percent of the rest of the world in our food choices. Being weird, I’ve found, is not just fun; it’s addictive.

And so — since my brain is fried from book writing and moving and NYC-Vegetarian-FoodFest-ing — I figured I’d write a fun post today about the kinky things we do since going vegan.

1. Live microwave-free. I thought I could never give up my microwave, but it turns out it was a lot like going vegan — I used it less and less over time as it became less appealing, and eventually it was just a matter of making the decision to go all the way. It’s great — lots of counter space, one less big, ugly box in the kitchen, and food that feels better for us (whether it actually is or not, I’m not sure). It’s slightly more work to steam or bake or simmer our leftovers, but it’s work that is somehow joyful.

2. Hand-grind our coffee. More oddly joyful work. After reading Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Chef late last year, I got a hand-crank burr grinder and an Aeropress, and it’s the only way I’ve made coffee since. The combination not only makes the best coffee I’ve ever had; it’s also convenient enough to bring on a plane. I did have a bit of disaster when I spilled the grounds all over my lap on a flight home from San Diego, though. [FYI, links to Amazon here are affiliate links.]

3. Have a freezer full of broccoli stems and strawberry tops. Why? To feed to our Blendtec, of course. Might as well waste one less thing and get some more green in our smoothies. Speaking of which …

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