The (Fourth) Big Q&A Episode

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My favorite part of being the co-host of No Meat Athlete Radio is the connection Matt and I make with listeners.

Writing for the blog is great, but being inside your earbuds feels different. It’s as if you get to know us better, and in return you reach out and we get to know you better.

Win, win.

And one of the best ways we get to hear from you has been through the Big Q&A Episode series. If you’ve missed them, check out parts one, two, and three now.

Today we’re back with another edition, and this time we answer questions on long bike ride nutrition, blood pressure, protein, and knoxing.

Don’t know about knoxing? We didn’t either …

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Benefits to running on an empty stomach?
  • The big supplements question
  • Losing and gaining weight on the vegan diet
  • What to do when your sport requires non-vegan equipment
  • How to fuel for a long bike ride

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Summer Running Camp, Part 1: Building Consistency

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

Summer has officially arrived, which can only mean one thing:

Summer Camp … No Meat Athlete style.

Today’s episode is the first in a new summer series on the fundamentals of running. First topic, building a consistent running routine.

As Matt and I planned this series, it quickly became clear that before we can talk about running form, speed, or nutrition, we have to start with consistency. Running and training consistency is at the core of any progress within the sport, but is often ignored, specifically by beginners.

In this first week of Summer Running Camp, we discuss why consistency is so important and how to develop a sustainable routine, even before you begin training for a goal race.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Consistency as a running fundamental
  • Why the time of day you run matters
  • The habit side of running routines
  • Writing your own training calendar
  • Does running damage your knees?

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18 Recipes for the Ultimate Vegan-Friendly 4th of July Cookout

BBQ Grill and glowing coals. You can see more BBQ, grilled food, fire

The 4th of July weekend is upon us, and you know what that means …

Cookouts, cheap beer, fireworks, and American flag undies.

Let’s ignore the underwear for now and focus on my favorite part of the independence holiday, the cookout.

It’s no secret that options at a non-vegan cookout are often limited. The host may throw a freezer-burned Boca burger leftover from the last cookout you attended on the grill — and that’s if you’re lucky.

But I don’t let that stop me. Cookouts are one of my absolute favorite summertime activities, so if I’m not hosting my own, I’ll offer to bring a few dishes to share when invited out.

In preparation for this year’s holiday weekend, I reached out to my fellow No Meat Athlete team members, Matt, Susan, and Esther, for menu suggestions.

Cookout food is all about keeping things simple, fresh, and easy to share, and together we’ve developed an absurdly delicious menu with options you can prep ahead or throw on the grill at the last minute.

Here’s what we’re grilling up this holiday:

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The Simplest-Ever Guide to Your First Triathlon

bicycle waiting at triathlon

It’s hard enough to master one sport. But three? No way.

Making the leap from running to triathlon, which consists of a swim, bike, and run, sounds complicated. More often than not, the complexities of multisport hold people back:

“I don’t have enough time to train for three sports!”

“Don’t you need a lot of gear for triathlon?”

“All I have is a crappy commuter bike.”

“No way could I learn to swim.”

Complicated, right? Except it’s really not.

If you can do a 5K, you can do a triathlon.

The sprint triathlon, which consists of a 750-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run, is well within reach for most people, especially those who are already reasonably fit.

Of course, you should ease into this type of training — just like any other athletic endeavor. If there are health issues, talk with your doctor before embarking on any sort of fitness journey. But if you’re well, your basic fitness most likely allows you to ride a bike for 30 minutes and run/walk for 30 minutes. If you can swim, you can probably make it from one end of the pool to the other.

That’s where you start … taking small steps to gradually work your way up.

If you’re already running on a regular basis, it’s easy to adjust your training to incorporate time swimming and cycling.

Important Note: I said “incorporate,” not “add.” Most people can prepare for a triathlon with the same amount of training hours as they would a 5K, believe it or not.

How to Adjust Your Training for Triathlon

Ready to get started? Here’s your five-point checklist to becoming a triathlete:

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Vegan TV Chef Jason Wrobel on Eating for Longevity and Finding Inspiration in the Kitchen

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People seem to get upset when I say this, but it’s true, so here goes: I’ve never enjoyed cooking as a vegan or vegetarian the way I used to before I started eating this way.

That’s not to say I don’t love being vegan … the benefits in virtually every other area of my life far outweigh whatever passion for cooking I’ve traded in.

But does it have to be a tradeoff at all?

Jason Wrobel, our guest on today’s episode, doesn’t think so. His passion for cooking didn’t start until he went vegan, and he turned that drive into the first ever vegan cooking show on a major TV network.

And he does it by focusing on how to eat for health and longevity, one of my favorite topics of all.

In today’s episode we discuss how Jason went from failing actor to celebrity chef, his new book, how to ignite your passion in the kitchen, and using food as a tool for healing.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How Jason went from actor to celebrity chef and host of the world’s first vegan cooking show on mainstream TV
  • Why his approach to spreading the plant-based message is on health
  • Raw foods, nutrient density, and can they help you live longer?
  • How to reignite your passion for cooking
  • Plant-based food as a healing tool
  • Oil and alcohol … okay in moderation?

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Aaron Alexander on Optimal Movement, Standing vs. Sitting, and Making the World Your Gym

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We run, we lift weights, we do yoga, and we put each of the associated movements into individual boxes. But how do we get those movements to work as a whole, to help us become stronger, better athletes and create the foundation for long, healthy life?

According to Aaron Alexander, host of the Align Podcast and an expert in movement therapy, the answer is to stop looking at individual exercises and positions, and begin to understand movement as a whole.

And as for sitting versus standing? Aaron says it’s not that one is better than the other … what matters is how we do both of them.

In today’s episode, one which left me personally inspired to address the way I move day-to-day, I chat with Aaron about how all of us can better integrate movement into our daily lives for better health and stronger muscles.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Gaining full function over your movements
  • Why every runner needs a kettlebell (and an exercise band)
  • How “sitting is the new smoking” misses the point
  • Is it possible to sit well?
  • Your first step towards optimal movement (it might not involve movement at all)
  • How to escape the rigid exercise routine

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The Vegan Athlete’s Guide to Running and Eating in Portland, Oregon

Beautiful Vista of Portland, Oregon

Rose City. Rip City. Bridgetown. PDX. Whatever you call it, it’s all Portland, Oregon.

And people love it.

Portland is an eco-conscious, walkable, bikeable, city with an excellent public transit system. And while it may be better known for its professional sports teams — or perhaps the hilarious cult-classic Portlandia — it’s known locally for its vibrant vegan and active lifestyle community.

It’s a mecca for vegan foodies and athletes alike, and our appreciation for quality vegan food and the outdoors is a major reason for why my fiancee and I were drawn to this city in the first place.

Experiencing Portland as a Vegan Athlete

When you’re planning where to stay and what to do in Portland, it’s helpful to think of the city in quadrants.

Portland is divided into four quadrants by the Willamette River (which splits East and West Portland) and by Burnside Street (which splits the North and South sides). Whether you’re planning a running route or looking for somewhere to dine, consider which quadrant of Portland your destination will be in.

With that in mind, I’ve organized my Portland running and vegan food suggestions in this guide by area of the city.

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4 Factors in a Successful 100-Mile Ultramarathon

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The 100-mile distance ultramarathon is a tough one to crack. Even when things goes right, you can still count on experiencing low points and doubts.

And with the race being so long, it’s difficult to practice or mimic those circumstances throughout training.

So when I crossed the finish line of the Thunder Rock 100 feeling stronger and faster than expected, I was ecstatic. On my third 100-mile attempt, it felt like I finally took control of the distance.

In today’s episode Matt and I discuss four factors I believe contributed to the success of this race. Factors or lessons I’ll begin applying to ultramarathons of every distance, and even many non-ultramarathon races.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Will running make you sick?
  • How Doug mentally prepares for an ultramarathon
  • Why it’s better to stop and adjust than to keep running
  • Sticking with your race strategy (even when you feel great)
  • The basics of ultramarathon nutrition
  • How to let go of what you can’t control

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