The Big Holiday Episode of 2016

Christmas festive homemade decorated sweets

Thanksgiving is now behind us, which can only mean one thing …

Time for another holiday extravaganza! Last year we shared our favorite recipes, gift ideas, and more.

This year, we’re doing something a little different. The episode is a little less structured, but just as much fun.

In this week’s episode Matt and I talk holidays, babies, wine, and what we’d do during the holidays if stranded on a desert island. (Also listen out for a few big announcements in today’s episode.)

Happy holidays!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The third NMA Black Friday Bundle
  • Do you really like Doug’s Did You Knows?
  • What we’re asking for this Christmas
  • How having a baby will change your life
  • Board games and made for TV Christmas movies

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Examine.com’s Kamal Patel on Which Supplements Vegan Athletes Should Consider

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When it comes to nutritional advice and information, there’s a lot of noise on the internet. Read one thing and you may find yourself nodding along, only to be equally convinced when reading a counter argument.

So how do you sort through all that noise?

For starters, you have to get rid of the biases — your bias, the bias of the site, and the bias of the research.

While Examine.com can’t get rid of your own bias, it strives to eliminate the other two, making it one of Matt’s favorite resources for objective information on supplementation and nutrition.

In today’s episode, we chat with Kamal Patel, an editor at Examine.com and nutrition researcher with an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University. He shares his research on which (if any) supplements vegan athletes need, and breaks down many of the most talked about vitamins and minerals.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How to be unbiased on the internet
  • Do vegans need supplements? Don’t assume anything
  • Looking at minerals, not vitamins
  • Protein supplements and plant-based athletes
  • Creatine and your brain
  • How to sort through the noise of nutritional research

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Matt’s Dad on How Going Plant-Based at Age 63 Has Drastically Improved His Health

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Me and my dad with Dr. Greger at Remedy Food Live Toronto, 2016

Over the years, my dad has made several appearances on No Meat Athlete …

Well, he did. It took a few years and a heart-health scare, but he finally read that book — among many, many other books, talks, and interviews he’s consumed in these first few months of his plant-based journey.

And in just that short time, he has transformed his health.

Motivated by a laundry list of health issues, of which the heart scare was only the most recent, he hasn’t only gone plant-based … he’s been so thorough about eating healthy, micronutrient-rich food that he has motivated me to do better in my own diet. And his dietary changes have been led to the reversal of nearly all of his health issues, including the atrial fibrillation that first motivated the change.

More visibly than all of  that, he has regained the energy levels I remember him having when I was a kid … and now my own kids get to benefit.

All of this is wonderful, and I’m endlessly thankful that he found this lifestyle and that it has worked so well. But it’s hard not to ask:

My dad has watched me and my family do this for almost eight years, with the blog, the book, the podcast … so why did it take so long for him to give this a try?

In this episode of No Meat Athlete Radio, my dad, co-host Doug, and I sit down for an interview to talk about why and how he made the change, and just as importantly, how a typical NMA Radio listener might motivate his or her own parents to give a plant-based diet a try.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The interview he listened to that sparked the change
  • My dad’s daily routine: what he puts in his smoothie, and much more
  • Small steps, or massive action?
  • How an immersion event in Toronto helped him turn the corner
  • His cardiologist’s reaction to his improvements
  • How a trip to Italy actually brought back his old symptoms (and how they disappeared again when he resumed his healthy diet)
  • Why did it take so long to get here?
  • The books and movies he recommends to interested friends
  • His advice for plant-based adults who can’t seem to reach their parents with this message

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Dr. McDougall and the Healthiest Diet on the Planet

Brown rice and Grains crop

Dr. John McDougall is a giant in the plant-based nutrition community, but his approach is surprisingly different from that of many of his colleagues.

Instead of focusing on micronutrient-rich whole foods, he looks to the humble starch as the key to a healthy diet. As Dr. McDougall says in our interview,

“All large, successful populations of civilized people have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch.”

For that reason, according to McDougall, it’s not leafy greens or fruits that should make up most of our meal, but potatoes, rice, and other starches.

In today’s episode, we chat with Dr. McDougall about his approach to nutrition, his new book, The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, and how in his opinion, the Paleo Diet got it wrong.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • What percentage of our calories should come form starch?
  • Why Dr. McDougall says eating micronutrient-rich food is akin to taking supplements
  • … and why (aside from B12) he doesn’t like supplements
  • Is the Paleo Diet sexist?
  • How athletes should adapt his diet

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What to Do When You Can’t Stay Motivated

Female athlete suffering overtraining

We’ve talked a lot about motivation over the past 163 episodes … how to find it, how to keep it, and what to do when you have it.

But what happens when no matter what you do, you just can’t stay motivated?

When even after all the tricks — like accountability and establishing a routine —  you simply don’t have the motivation to run, eat healthy, or keep up whichever habit you’re trying to maintain?

That’s what we discuss in today’s episode.

SPOILER: We might not land on the solution you’re expecting.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why Doug “quit” racing (for now)
  • Embracing life’s seasons
  • Should you always have another goal race scheduled?
  • When it’s better to fight through a lack of motivation

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Robert Cheeke on Staying Motivated, Changing Course, and Embracing Imperfection

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In an effort to keep the show fresh, Matt and I rarely invite a former guest back on to No Meat Athlete Radio. To be asked back for a third episode puts vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke in rare company.

But with a new book, a move to a different state, and the transition away from speaking and traveling (as frequently, anyway), we knew this conversation with Robert would be different. And it was.

In this episode we talk to Robert about how his lifestyle and career have shifted as more plant-based bodybuilders hit the scene, and what that transition has done for his motivation levels. He also shares why he’s embracing imperfection when it comes to nutrition, and how he’s gained more muscle than ever before.

If you liked the first two episodes with Robert, you’ll love this new one.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How Robert gained more muscle than ever before
  • Robert’s food confession
  • Why stepping away may provide more inspiration
  • Muscle mass and longevity … what’s the connection?

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Dr. Pamela Fergusson on Practical Vegan Nutrition, Speedwalking Ultramarathons, and Living Intentionally

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Pamela Fergusson lives in Toronto, where she runs a nutrition consulting practice as a registered dietitian and nutrition PhD. And that’s as normal as Pamela’s story gets.

She’s an ultramarathoner — sometimes running, but sometimes speed walking (different from power walking, as she explains in our interview). And this past summer, she did her own unsupported, self-styled iron-distance triathlon … no clocks, no crowds, just 140.6 miles to cover in a day, by herself.

Pamela has four children who eat like she does and have their own busy lives … but Pamela’s family chooses not to own a car.

Oh, and now and then, she pulls her kids out of school for a month to homeschool them in other countries.

When it’s so easy to let important things slide until it feels like you’re just getting by, Pamela seems to be so on top of everything. How does she find the time?

That’s what I wondered when I met her this summer in Toronto at a meetup of our No Meat Athlete group there, and it’s why I’m thrilled to have her as my guest on this episode of No Meat Athlete Radio.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Pamela’s advice on plant-based meal planning
  • Potential deficiencies in a plant-based diet … and how protein isn’t one of them
  • How to help your kids love eating healthy and being vegan
  • The Zen of speed walking
  • The joy of owning no car
  • Pamela’s experiences with homeschooling her children in foreign countries

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Summer Running Camp, Part 5: Race Day Walk-Through

A man in a sports uniform is running along the shore of the lake

With this week’s Equinox came the end of summer … and the official closing ceremony at the NMA Summer Running Camp.

If you missed the first four weeks of camp, here’s what we covered:

  1. Building consistency
  2. Running form
  3. How to prevent running injuries
  4. Advanced marathon training and racing with coach Jason Fitzgerald

After much consideration, Matt and I felt there was no better way to wrap things up than to head to the races.

In this week’s episode we share a complete race day walk-through. From port-o-potties to pacing, we present the whole picture and how to manage it.

Oh, and there’s a special treat at the top of this episode, so crank it up.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The days leading up to your race — what you need to know
  • What to eat on race morning
  • Port-o-potties … how to handle the lines
  • Are pacing groups helpful?
  • Dealing with the marathon bonk

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