The Surprising Results of My Tart Cherry Juice Challenge

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with tart cherries as a workout recovery aid, as part of 7-Day Tart Cherry Juice Challenge and series of posts sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. Well, the results are in.

When I wrote “surprising” in the title, I meant it. But not for the reason you might expect (which, come to think of it, is what surprise means).

In case you missed the introductory post, here’s how my experiment set up:

  1. Run every day for a week, including several hard running workouts.
  2. Drink one tablespoon of tart cherry concentrate twice a day — once in the morning and once immediately post-run. (This is half the amount I wrote in the first post, where a reader pointed out my mistake and I corrected it before I began the challenge.)

It’s important to note that this running was supposed to represent a challenging week. While I’ve been running a fair amount this summer, my typical week prior to this experiment has been pretty relaxed … about four runs, 30 to 40 minutes each, and all at easy pace.

The point of my experiment, of course, was to put myself through a training week that would normally create a lot of soreness and fatigue. In this way, I’d be able to tell whether or not the tart cherries lived up to claim that they aid in recovery.

Everything went to plan, with one exception: I traded a planned long run on the last day for a second interval workout. This had nothing to do with how my body felt, and everything to do with a renewed interest in speedwork (and a renewed boredom with slow runs) that my return to interval training brought on.

So did the cherries help?

Read more »



On the Subject of World Domination (and a Super Summer Sale)

NMA_cover_finalOkay, so by domination I mean making a tiny, tiny dent in the universe (for now, that is … muhahaha). But let me have my fun.

Last Friday, the German version of No Meat Athlete was published. My extensive knowledge of German tells me the title should surely be Nein Meat Athlete, but alas, that is completely wrong. And only one-third German.

This is a big deal — apparently Germany is a hotbed for veganism in Europe, the last such place I would have imagined. The stereotype of sausage, bratwurst, hamburgers, weiners and schnitzel is just that, a stereotype. Part of the heritage, maybe, but not the modern everyday. (I’ve never been to Germany; this is just what I’m told.)

So it’s awesome to be a part of that movement. Even more awesome to know that there’s the potential, these days, to start something silly on your laptop that ends up across the sea.

Read more »



Introducing the No Meat Athlete Community Site (Plus a Handful of New Speaking Events)

NMA-badgeLast month, No Meat Athlete quietly turned five years old. I’d have loved to have planned a big hoopla giveaway extravaganza, but alas, I’ve been working on something better.

In five years, we’ve done some pretty neat things, not the least of which are putting some 20,000 “Runs on Plants” shirts out into the world, a book, and a book tour.

But without a doubt, my favorite moments in these past five years have been the stories: Wendy’s story, Tom’s story, Katie’s story, Susan’s story, to name just a few.

But these are just the ones that have made it onto the blog. During the book tour, I heard dozens, maybe hundreds more, in person. And of course many, many more on social media. (My favorites are when people randomly run into each other wearing NMA shirts and then become friends.)

What’s really remarkable, though? All these stories and connections have happened without a place for them to happen.

But finally, we’ve built that place.

Read more »



40 Cities, 50 Days: My U.S. Book Tour Recap

A 3-foot tall poster my wife and kids used to keep track of me. :)

The 3-foot tall poster my wife and kids used to keep track of me. :)

Just like an ultramarathon, it was both exhilarating and exhausting. There were times when I looked at how far I had left to go before I could sleep again in my own bed, and — feeling completely overwhelmed — I did what dozens of ultras and marathons have taught me to do.

Focus on the next step. And then the next. And then the next.

And, just like that, I went from city to city for a month and a half. Instead of aid stations, they were hotel rooms. Instead of long hikes up hills, they were 8- and 12-hour drives. And instead of downhills, the fun parts that ended too quickly were the events themselves, where I met hundreds and hundreds of No Meat Athletes and felt anything but alone.

I’ve been back home with my wife and kids for two weeks now. I’ll hit the road next week for two more events nearby (Raleigh and Charlotte, NC), but it sure feels like I’m done. And like every ultra I’ve finished, while I’m glad to be done, I’m especially glad to have done it.

Read more »



The First 10 Days of the No Meat Athlete Book Tour


Speaking at JackRabbit NYC. Photo courtesy Ben Ko.

Wow, what a week! It’s been 10 days since I started my book tour, and I’ve had two events each in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Ohio, plus Boston and New York City.

If all that weren’t enough for 10 days, I took a two-day “break” to run the RAGNAR Relay in DC on an ultra team … which meant running 40 miles of our team’s 200 total. In 90-degree heat. From a smelly, crowded, always-moving van. Over the course of 28 hours. Fun times!

Actually RAGNAR was a lot of fun, even if doing it in the middle of the book tour wasn’t my best idea ever — see Doug’s RAGNAR recap if you’re interested in more about how our team did and Doug’s do’s and don’ts.

2013_fall 073

The No Meat Athlete RAGNAR DC team. 28 hours, 199 miles, 1 seriously disgusting van.

Read more »



The No Meat Athlete Book is Out Today (Saying Thanks)

bookphotoToday, the first day my book is officially available in stores and online (serendipitously, World Vegetarian Day), is a surreal one indeed.

I’m typing this post from the passenger seat of a car, driving to Boston for the second stop on my book tour, in just a few hours. Even that phrase — “my book tour” — feels very odd to actually say or write.

But it’s underway, and the faces, names, and stories of the people I met last night in the small town of Media, PA made it feel very real, reminding me why I decided to take on this tour in the first place.

The book is at the top of several categories on Amazon. All morning I’ve been doing phone interviews and email interviews and scheduling new ones, amidst excitedly reading early reviews of the book on blogs — some of my favorite blogs, no less. It’s like a dream, and one that I’m doing everything I can to appreciate while it lasts.

It is beyond incredible that all this has happened. And while I’m feeling lots of different emotions right now — giddiness, nervousness, excitement, fatigue, missing my wife and kids — the one keeping me centered and integrated is gratitude.

Read more »



Announcing No Meat Athlete Book Tour Dates & Locations!

Leaving your college dorm at midnight, to drive seven hours each way. For a sandwich.

Using your dishwasher to create a floor-to-ceiling foam party in your (carpeted) living room.

Planning a 40-city book tour all by yourself.

All things I’ve done that seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight weren’t my best ideas ever.

But when it comes down to it, I can’t honestly say that I regret any of them. Not even the foam party, which resulted in moldy carpet and four sick roommates.

As for the book tour, I definitely don’t regret the decision to do it … just the heroic attempt to plan it myself. Thankfully, my mom (yep, my mom) stepped in and saved me from a nervous breakdown last week, and I’m pleased now to announce that the schedule is just about set.

No Meat Athlete’s big splash this weekend

After I announced the bonuses for pre-ordering my book (which comes out October 1st, less than two weeks away), things got crazy.

Read more »



Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the No Meat Athlete Book (Plus 6 Fantastic Pre-Order Bonuses!)

no meat athlete book coverMy goal today: Write a “My book is almost out!” post without being sappy, self-indulgent, and giddy like a schoolboy.

Believe me, that’s not easy, because with all the work that has gone into the book, it’s impossible not to be pretty amped up and emotional that it’s finally here.

The official release date is October 1st, just three weeks away. And a few days before that, I’ll be hopping in the car to start what has somehow turned into a nearly two-month long tour of the U.S. to support it. It seems things are about to get interesting.

Although I’ve mentioned the book here several times, I haven’t yet taken the time to explain who it’s for, what’s inside, and why I’m so proud of it. So that’s what I’m going to do today.

Oh yeah, and I’ve also got some amazing bonuses that I’ll send you when you pre-order before the official release on October 1st. And that’s not just marketing-speak — I really do think these bonuses are pretty darn special, and I think you’ll agree.

So here goes. If I get too deep into the self-gratification bit, punch me in the forehead.

The Big Risk I Took that Might Totally Backfire

Early on in the writing process, I made a decision that I knew could blow up in my face. But it’s a decision I stand by, and I want to share it with you.

Read more »