Ray Cronise and the New ‘Food Triangle’

Podcast Radio2Ray Cronise, whom you’ll know from a previous podcast episode and from Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body (where Ray is the cold-stress fat-loss guy), is back — our first repeat guest on NMA Radio.

Why have Ray on again? Because in continuing his history of disruption — first in the aerospace industry and now in the field of nutrition — Ray has just published an academic paper that he and his co-authors believe lays the foundation for a revolution in nutrition science.

The paper is titled The Metabolic Winter Hypothesis, and you should download it here before you listen to the podcast.

It’s six pages long, and not difficult reading … but even if you don’t have time to read it all right now, at least take a look at the Food Triangle — a simple visual representation of Ray and his co-authors’ new approach to nutrition.

Among lots of implications for addressing the obesity epidemic, the food triangle explains how two diets so seemingly opposite as plant-based and Paleo have achieved such success at the same time.

If you’re ready to think differently about the way you eat, download the paper and give this episode a focused listen.

Here’s what we talk about:

  • The primary cause of obesity and chronic illness in our society
  • The impact of over-nourishment and the danger of nutrition in excess
  • Restricting calories to create longevity
  • Rethinking how we organize food
  • Why the plant-based diet isn’t the only way to lose weight … but can be one of the best
  • Why protein is not included in Ray’s new food triangle

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Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology

I’m proud to have contributed to a new book called Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology.

The backstory: Martin Rowe, president of Lantern Books (and a runner and vegan), noticed the ubiquity of vegan runners these days, and asked, why? Suspecting there was something to the phenomenon beyond simply the idea that a plant-based diet is beneficial for performance, he sought to pinpoint that something.

So he asked 15 of us to answer the question, “What does being a vegan runner mean to you?”, and Running, Eating, Thinking is the result. I’m not big on the word delightful, but to me, that’s what this compilation is. A perfect bridge between the ideological and the easier-to-approach health and environmental sides of this lifestyle — presented in a series of digestible, single-sitting essays.

Today I’m sharing an only-slightly edited version of the first draft of my original submission — which, it turns out, was not what they were looking for; they used my What It Means to Be a Runner post instead. This first attempt is a little all-over-the-place, but it was an interesting stretch for me, and I’m glad to have found an opportunity to show it the light of day.

Following the essay is a link to the latest episode of NMA Radio, where editor Martin Rowe was my guest. We had a great conversation about the new anthology and what exactly it is at the intersection of running and veganism that has helped so many people find joy.

Hope you like it. And I hope more than anything that this post, the podcast, and the book inspire you to think about what’s at the core of your own identity — and that somewhere, you’ll write or speak or sing your own version of what it means to be a vegan runner.

What Being a Vegan Runner Means to Me

It takes only one word, really: this lifestyle, to me, is a practice.

I use the word in the way it’s commonly employed in the context of meditation, yoga, philosophy, or even religion — where “practice” means an activity done for its own sake, something that is not at first pleasurable (and in fact is often quite difficult) but that is unquestionably worthwhile for the foundation of character that it builds. Worthwhile, ultimately, because it purifies the soul.

Many runners run for the joy of running. Many vegans, since coming to this diet, have discovered a love for food and cooking they didn’t know existed. But neither of these describes me.

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Dominating Your Day with Jeff Sanders of the 5 AM Miracle

Podcast Radio2I’ve written a lot about accountability and how it can help you achieve big goals.

From signing up for a race before you’re even close to ready, to paying someone 25 bucks every day you don’t write (done them both), I’m a huge believer that accountability is the difference between goals that get achieved and goals that get forgotten.

Jeff Sanders, host of the popular 5 AM Miracle podcast, is my personal accountability partner. Every Friday morning, we get on Skype for half an hour to talk about our plans for the coming week — and whether we made good on our commitments the previous week.

Jeff is into waking up early, productivity, and everything else you’d expect given his podcast name, but he also eats a high-raw vegan diet and is a many-time marathoner. A big part of Jeff’s approach to staying productive and creative is having the energy to do so — which, of course, comes from the diet and lifestyle. And that’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Jeff in this week’s episode of NMA Radio.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The drastic physical and mental changes Jeff noticed after going plant-based
  • What to do when your partner eats differently than you do
  • Why early morning hours can be your most productive
  • How to set productivity habits that stick
  • Motivation and the power of accountability

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PS — Good luck to co-host Doug in his first 100-miler, this weekend!

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What Do You Listen to While You Run?

Podcast Radio2Well, it’s that time. The No Meat Athlete Academy has been live for a full week now, and that means that today, the last day of April, is your final chance to lock in the special NMA reader/listener price for as long as you remain a member, before it goes up to the normal rate tomorrow.

Inside you’ll find four hours of seminar content and almost three hours of Q&A content already available with more being added every month, perfect for listening to during runs …

… which segues nicely/awkwardly into the topic of the newest NMA Radio episode: what we listen to while we run.

Both Doug and I big fans of wearing headphones during runs. But unlike a lot of runners, we listen to more than just music. Especially if you’re putting in the long, slow miles that ultrarunning tends to encourage, that time out on the road can be an amazing to opportunity to feed your mind or to “read” those books you just can’t find time for otherwise.

Having heard from many listeners who like to listen to our podcast while they run, we figured a “meta” episode — something to listen to on your run about what to listen to on your run — would be fun.

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Engine 2′s Rip Esselstyn on No Meat Athlete Radio

Podcast Radio2You can’t get far into the plant-based world without hearing Rip Esselstyn’s name, and seeing the ubiquitous Engine 2 brand he’s created to help people eat Plant-Strong.

Walk through any Whole Foods, and you’ll see Engine 2 foods everywhere.

In those same Whole Foods stores and any Barnes and Noble, you’ll find Rip’s books, The Engine 2 Diet, which started it all, and his newest, My Beef With Meat.

And if you’ve watched Forks Over Knives, you’ve seen Rip there too, using his arms to pull himself up a firepole. (You know — “Real men eat plants, real men eat plants …”)

The Engine 2 story is well-known by now. The son of whole-food, plant-based diet advocate Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Rip challenged his fellow firefighters in Austin, Texas, to try a 28-day challenge on a plant-based diet. The results were spectacular, and the Engine 2 engine was set in motion.

What’s less known, though, is that Rip was a “no meat athlete” long before it was cool (it is actually cool, right?). Before Scott Jurek starting winning ultras, before Brendan Brazier wrote Thrive, before Rich Roll burst on the scene — and long before some chump started selling running carrot t-shirts — Rip was a professional triathlete, fueling his career with what would become the Plant-Strong diet.

I had the immense pleasure of hanging out with Rip for a day when my book tour brought me through Austin, where co-author Matt Ruscigno and I gave a lunch presentation at Whole Foods headquarters before eating E2 bowls from the store with Mr. E2 himself.

For a giant in the movement, Rip is laid back and a ton of fun, making this lifestyle seem not just appealing and energizing, but approachable. It comes through in this latest episode of NMA Radio, where he’s our guest.

Enjoy!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How Rip convinced a group of firefighters to go plant-based
  • The best way to adopt a plant-based diet
  • How the Engine 2 Diet resonates so well with men
  • Rip’s career as a professional triathlete
  • The Engine 2 food philosophy
  • How Rip is spreading the plant-based word with recipes and food products

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From Running a Marathon to Running Across the Country — Nicole Antoinette on Setting Monster Goals

Podcast Radio2I’ve been writing a lot recently about setting big, crazy, and unreasonable goals … and Nicole Antoinette certainly knows a thing or two about the subject.

Over dinner in Los Angeles two months ago when our conversation turned to running, I asked Nicole if she was training for anything. Knowing Nicole as someone who had run a marathon or two and likes a good challenge, I figured she might be thinking about a 50K or 50-miler.

Casually, Nicole told me that she had something slightly bigger in mind. She planned to run across the country — from Santa Monica, CA, to New York City. And not on some undefined, it’ll-never-happen day in the future, but starting on March 1, 2015.

Let me say that again — Nicole has run two marathons, and nothing longer. And she’s going to run across the country next year.

At a time of year when we tend to think a little bigger than usual, it was an absolute pleasure to have Nicole as a guest on the No Meat Athlete podcast. In this inspiring episode, we talk about goals, accountability, her plant-based diet, and so much more.

And before you download the episode, I have some good news: Nicole has been generous enough to offer her 15-Step Bullshit-Free Goal-Setting Formula (which normally goes for $28) completely free as a bonus for anyone who buys my 31-day program, Wake Up, before the end of the day on Tuesday, January 7th. If you could stand to have a little bit of Nicole’s optimism and ability to think big rub off on you, you can get all the details about Wake Up here before Tuesday.

Enjoy the episode!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How Nicole set a monster goal as a way to change her story
  • The essential components of an effective goal
  • What goes into running across the country
  • How Nicole plans to stick to her plant-based diet while crossing the country
  • How to stay excited about a goal that’s more than a year away
  • 3 steps to goal setting that most people get wrong
  • How to make choices now to keep your goal on track in the future
  • Why Nicole quit drinking alcohol

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Cold Therapy & Weight-Loss Expert Ray Cronise: The Optimal Diet, and Is Exercise Unnecessary?

Podcast Radio2From his appearance in The 4-Hour Body to an ABC Nightline interview to his TEDMED talk, Ray Cronise is making waves in the nutrition and weight-loss worlds.

Ray is the guy whose ideas led to what in many people’s eyes was the most memorable part of Tim Ferriss’ epic fitness bestseller The 4-Hour Body — that cold stress, in the form of cold showers, ice baths, and cold packs, can play a significant role in aiding rapid fat loss.

Back in 2008, when it was reported that swimmer Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day, it was Ray who noticed that something was amiss. Phelps might have trained harder than anyone, but he wasn’t doing the 10 hours of continuous butterfly per day that under the traditional “calories in / calories out” model would have been necessary to avoid weight gain, when so many calories were coming in.

The missing part of the equation? That the pool was cold, and Phelps’s body had to expend an enormous amount of energy just to keep itself warm.

So Ray, a former NASA scientist who himself had put on some extra pounds over the years, used his scientific training to dive headlong into the study of nutrition and health — and in the process, lost 50 pounds.

And as it turns out, the diet Ray chooses — the one he believes is optimal for weight loss in the short term, health and longevity in the long term — is 100 percent plant-based.

Like any good scientist, Ray is skeptic; indeed, his mindset of questioning long-held assumptions and dogma is what’s primarily responsible for his history of disruptiveness wherever he turns his attention.

But (warning!) this approach means that when you listen to Ray, you’ll likely hear a few things you don’t want to hear: along with his belief that some beloved health foods aren’t so healthy, Ray has recently begun to question whether exercise is really necessary — for weight loss or even long-term health.

In this interview, Ray and I talk for well over an hour to dive deep into his understanding of nutrition and health. He’s not afraid to stand apart from the crowd, and if you listen with an open mind, I promise you’ll learn something new and foundation-shaking.

Here’s what Ray and I talk about in this episode:

  • Ray’s background of disruptiveness with NASA and Zero-G
  • The role cold stress plays in weight loss
  • How Ray got started with a plant-based diet
  • What Paleos and vegans have in common
  • Why it’s utterly ridiculous to label foods as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
  • Should we avoid added oil and salt altogether?
  • The optimal diet for health
  • Do we really need to exercise at all?

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Crazy Goals, Running, and the Plant-Based Diet: A Live Recording of My Book Tour Talk

Podcast Radio2What else is there to say? The book tour is done (today is the final event), I’ve written what there is to write about the adventure, and I’m pretty well stoked for the next chapter for No Meat Athlete.

2014 holds some major changes for NMA, the biggest in the five years since I started this little blog. While there’s a lot I can’t unveil quite yet, I can tell you that one change, for me, is a big shift in what I personally do. A shift away from the roles of managing, emailing, accounting, and more emailing, and a return to the simple job of making things — blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, webinars, and a lot more that Doug, Susan, and I have in mind for the next year and beyond.

And what has brought about the desire to make that change is, of course, the experience of the past two months … meeting literally thousands of readers from all across the country, listening to their stories of change, and being inspired to focus again on the things that really matter for this blog. And for this movement.

So in this final post about the tour — and trust me, it’s been amazing but it’s with great pleasure that I move on — I’m pleased to share a live recording from our event at Bearded Brothers in Austin, Texas. You’ll hear me and co-author Matt Ruscigno give what became our standard talks, so that you can get a small taste of what the events were like, in case you couldn’t make it out to one.

Hope you enjoy it — and even better, I hope you use it.

Here’s what to expect in this episode:

  • The best parts of the book tour
  • Matt Ruscigno’s talk at Bearded Brothers in Austin, TX
  • My talk at Bearded Brothers in Austin, TX
  • The “easy” trick for becoming comfortable with what scares you
  • How Doug actually took my advice and put it into action
  • Doug’s plans for his 100-miler
  • The importance of “burning desire” when it comes to habit change

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