2 New Tart Cherry Drinks for Optimal Workout Nutrition


For the final post in this ambassador series with the Cherry Marketing Institute, I set out to solve a problem in deciding how best to incorporate tart cherries into my diet.

What problem, you ask?

Well, we know that tart cherry juice has been shown to reduce recovery time and inflammation in athletes, as well as help with sleep (which itself plays a big part in athletic recovery, of course).

But the apparent downside is that, like with typical fruit juices, most of the calories in tart cherry juice come from sugar. How can you get the benefits of tart cherries without adding too much sugar to your diet?

Turns out there’s an easy solution for athletes: drink tart cherry juice at the one time during the day when lots of sugar is precisely what your body needs. And this time, of course, is around workouts.

But how do we do it most effectively?

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NMA Radio: What We Eat on a Typical Day

Note from Matt: If you’re keeping score at home, then you probably noticed we published two podcast posts in a row this week. Don’t worry, this week’s second blog post is still coming, just in a little different order due to travel schedules. We’ll back on track next week!

Over the past 95 episodes, we’ve talked a lot about the ideal diet, and ways Matt and I try to find it. Between the two of us, we’ve experimented with fruitarian, nutritarian, raw, juicing, oil-free, and minimal processed foods.

But while experimenting and talking about an ideal way of eating is fun and inspiring, it isn’t always practical. So today Matt and I get real — we share exactly what we eat throughout a typical day (i.e. not a day when we’re trying a crazy food experiment).

We don’t pretend that the way we eat is perfect, but we hope to provide a framework and give you some confidence in creating your own meal plan. And, hopefully, to demonstrate that a whole foods plant-based diet isn’t all kale and shots of wheatgrass.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Typical breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Should you snack throughout the day?
  • Why Doug doesn’t eat before a typical run, but Matt does
  • Eating healthy at the office

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: How to Save Money While Eating Healthy and Vegan


It’s no secret that local, organic, healthy food can get expensive. Add in all the fake meats and fancy spices or oils, and suddenly the choice to eat plant-based becomes the choice to spend more than ever on groceries.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even if you insist on shopping at the hippest of grocery stores, you can find ways to save money — without sacrificing your family’s health.

In today’s episode, we discuss our strategies for saving money on food, which foods are worth it no matter how much they cost, and which foods we avoid because of their hefty price tags.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Simple meals to save money without cutting corners
  • Farmers market strategies to save you money
  • Cheap but nutrient-rich foods
  • Matt’s grocery store struggles
  • Should you avoid tempeh and tofu?

Click the button below to listen now:

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Join Us on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise in 2016


(And get a discount when you register before October 10th, plus an onboard credit. Details below.)

If you’ve read and listened to No Meat Athlete this year, then you know what an influence this year’s Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise has had on my family’s lifestyle.

It was Chef AJ’s talk on the cruise that inspired my wife, Erin, to lose 20 pounds and rediscover her passion for running and fitness. And it was the food on the ship and the talks by T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Michael Greger that convinced us to finally stop eating oil at home.

I’m excited to announce that next year I’ll be back on the cruise again, this time as a presenter. In addition to a giving a talk about setting big goals and developing the habits to achieve them, I’m also part of a panel discussion and Q&A with vegan fitness stars Robert Cheeke, Derek Tresize, and Marcella Torres.

Erin will be back as well, and we hope that you’ll join us February 27th through March 5th, 2016.

Why come on the cruise?

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14 Things We Wish We Knew Before We Went Vegan


A few years ago Matt wrote a post called 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan.

It was a reflection on his first two years as a vegan, and all the things he wished someone had told him before he made that change. Now that I’m inching towards my two year anniversary, we revisit that topic together and compare lists.

In today’s episode, we discuss those lessons, how they’ve impacted our experience so far, and why some of Matt’s have changed since his original post.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • This is the joke that never ends
  • Pizza … is it ruined forever?
  • How our cooking has adapted
  • Why it’s more than just a change in diet
  • The community is bigger than we thought

Click the button below to listen now:

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Stop Waiting for a Guarantee

Every few weeks, I get a message on Twitter or other social media like this one:

@NoMeatAthlete Curious about a plant-based diet, but worried about how it will affect my recovery from long rides. Thoughts?

Yes, I have some thoughts. And they don’t fit into 140 characters. Here goes.

Sometimes, you just need to try things. Without a guarantee that they’ll work. 

I’d actually be more sympathetic if you were worried about dropping dead on the spot from a lack of protein. Sudden death isn’t reversible and isn’t gradual, so you’d be right to want to confirm that it’s not a risk before diving in.

But feeling a little sluggish when you get on the bike? Noticing, after a month maybe, that your times are dropping off? Unless you’re a pro athlete, none of this is cataclysmic.

I’m not saying that will or won’t happen. Nobody can say that for sure. A lot of athletes choose this diet precisely because of what it does for their recovery … but it’s totally possible that for whatever reason, it just won’t work out for you.

And what then?

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How to GAIN Weight on a Plant-Based Diet

Seems like everywhere you turn, somebody’s got a new solution to help you lose weight. But what if your problem is the opposite: instead of wanting to lose weight, what if you want to put it on?

If you’re sick of being the stereotypical “skinny vegan,” and want to look as strong as you feel, then what do you do?

Even before I was vegetarian or vegan, I had trouble gaining weight. But with enough focus, I eventually figured out how to do so, through a combination of nutrition (hint: lots of peanut butter sandwiches!) and lifting weights. And a few years later, having lost the weight as a vegan and ultrarunner, I set out to gain weight once again — and I succeeded in putting on 17 pounds in six weeks.

In today’s episode, co-host Doug and I discuss why someone might want to gain weight, whether or not it’s healthy in the long run, and exactly how to do it on a vegan diet.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The not-so-complicated calorie formula for gaining weight
  • A vegan “fat shake” — the recipe
  • Why you should stop running to bulk up
  • Supplements I’ve used to build muscle
  • Are there health benefits to putting on weight?

Click the button below to listen now:

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Is This What’s Missing from Your Healthy Lifestyle?

If you’re like me, you’re always looking to improve … and maybe a little too much.

Whether it’s your diet, your mindset, your fitness, or your work, you know you can do better. And even if “be better” is illusory as a goal, the growth that occurs as you chase it is what life is all about, isn’t it?

But I’ve come to realize that you reach a point where the harder you try to do better and be healthier, the more you sabotage your own efforts.

A lesson learned

I’ve been traveling this month, and it’ll still be a few more weeks before I get home. From the 4th of July at the beach, to a vegan Italy tour, to a friend’s wedding in Cape Cod, it’s been a whirlwind of a trip.

And in the process, my habits have gone to hell.

Running has been spotty at best. I’ve eaten far more white flour and oil than usual, and far fewer salads and smoothies. Not once have I found a quiet 30 minutes for meditation or reading. And the amount of wine I drank in Italy … well, you get the point.

And yet I feel healthier. Happier. More fulfilled than ever.

In a word, content.

So what gives?

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