Make Time for Yourself (And Make Yourself Happy)

Game of chess

Matt is a wanna-be chess nerd.

That’s right, when Matt isn’t working on No Meat Athlete, hanging with his family, cooking, or going to the gym, he’s geeking out on chess.com tutorials.

And that’s probably exactly what he should be doing.

It’s easy to get so caught up in work, family, and other obligations that you never make time for yourself, and when you don’t make time to do things that bring you joy, it’s hard to bring joy into the other things you do.

In today’s episode, Matt and I discuss the importance of hobbies, what makes for a good hobby, and why we think they’re so important.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The most important habit
  • What makes for a good hobby?
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Why coffee kept Matt from meditating
  • The deal with disc golf

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Our 12 Favorite Quick and Simple Plant-Based Meals

hot mexican burritoFor a long time, I thought eating healthy meant following strict, labor intensive recipes. Maybe because while growing up, quick meals were processed, oily, and generally included at least one box.

But over the years — as I started cooking plant-based food on my own — simple, fast, healthy meals became a weekday staple in my diet.

I now only use cookbooks when I have the extra time to cook something special, and I find that the best meals often feature only a few ingredients and take just 20 minutes to prepare.

Matt, with two kids and a busy schedule, has a similar story.

In today’s episode, we share our go-to quick and easy plant-based meals. The meals that we rely on week after week.

And the best part? Most of them are completely adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Plant-based pizza as a health food
  • Why we flock towards southwestern flavors
  • The humble potato
  • Can a salad be your dinner?

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Tony Robbins, Human Needs, and Reshaping the Way You Think

This party's on fire

When I hear the name Tony Robbins, I think of a giant dude, dancing crowds, and walking on coals. And I think of Matt, who for as long as I can remember, has been singing his praises.

After all, it was a Tony Robbins event that inspired Matt to go vegetarian and start this blog (which has gone on to became his business).

But even after reading the posts and hearing the stories, I’m still not convinced Tony does anything more than put on a show. In today’s episode, just a few weeks after Matt and his wife Erin returned from a 6-day Tony Robbins experience, we hash that out.

Can a Tony Robbins event help you become your best self, or is it nothing more than an expensive pump-up session?

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why walking on coals is a big deal
  • Matt made his wife cry, sorry Erin
  • The six human needs
  • Opening yourself up to change
  • Can Tony Robbins really change your life?

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Is It Ever Okay to Not Do Your Best?

mixture frozen vegetables

“If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all.”

That’s the code Matt and I both try to live by most of the time. But throughout December, with Matt sick and me “functioning” on new-dad sleep, our healthy habits … well let’s just say they haven’t been on point.

In today’s episode we discuss when — if ever — it’s okay to not do your best, and when it’s better to simply let a habit, hobby, or routine go completely.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • We’re back! Updates on babies and illness
  • The habits that slide when you get busy
  • How perfection becomes an excuse
  • Why healthy eating should always be a priority
  • How to eat healthy when time is limited
  • Jazz drumming?

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New Year’s Resolutions, the Bigger Picture

Notepad to write New Year's resolutions

New year, new you? It’s a nice concept.

Personally I love the idea of a clean slate on January 1st. While there may be no real difference between the end of December and the beginning of January, it feels different.

And sometimes that’s all you need to make a health or fitness improvement.

The problem lies with how you go about making those changes. In today’s episode, Sid Garza-Hillman, author of Approaching the Natural and co-author of Health Made Simple, and I discuss how to go about making resolutions, how to make sure they succeed, and what to do if they don’t.

Matt’s out sick this week, but we’ve got you covered.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • What makes New Years special
  • Going big … is it a big mistake?
  • Doug and his new-dad brain
  • The problem with failure
  • Using a short challenge to start a lasting change
  • Goals vs. systems

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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

ep167

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

ep166

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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