Is it Possible to be 100% Vegan?

Vegetables and fruits, text space.

It all started with a Facebook comment, where a non-vegan proudly proclaimed, “It’s impossible to be 100% vegan.”

My first thought was, “whatever, I’m 100% vegan!” But then it got me thinking.

Am I? Is Matt? Are you?

I subscribe to this label, but what does it even mean?

In today’s episode Matt and I break down that question. We start with the definition of veganism, then explore how realistic it is to follow a 100% vegan lifestyle. And finally, is that even important?

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • What does “vegan” even mean?
  • Ordering at non-vegan restaurants
  • My leather wallet (and other non-vegan clothing)
  • Representing the movement

Click the button below to listen now:

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Real Food on the Run: 10 Homemade Running Fuel “Pouch” Recipes

Raw Organic Red Beets

Note from Matt: This post was written by Stepfanie Romine, co-author of the new No Meat Athlete Cookbook. Unlike other recipes we’ve posted, this one isn’t from the book — but it nicely captures the practical, real-food spirit of the Fuel & Recovery chapter (my favorite part of the book).

Experiment and enjoy this one, and when you have a minute, check out Sports Illustrated’s recent article about The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, in which they condensed the first few chapters into a nice piece that I think is perfect for helping this movement reach mainstream awareness, plus shared a substantial and delicious lentil-mushroom pasta dish from the book.


You know those runners who can eat or drink whatever they want during a workout or race? The ones that scarf down anything and everything, and never seem to have any trouble?

Yeah, I’m not one of those runners. Chances are you aren’t either.

Whatever the reason — a finicky digestive system, a food sensitivity or allergy, or simply a preference for knowing what’s going in your body — most of us have to pack our own food and drinks during rides and runs.

And if you’re anything like me, you’d much prefer to make your own fuel than buy processed gels with ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Awhile back, while discussing the “Fuel & Recovery” chapter of the new No Meat Athlete Cookbook, Matt shared with me one of the quirky foods he ate while training for an ultra…

Baby food.

More accurately, fruit-and-veggie-based squeeze pouches for toddlers that he discovered at Starbucks (yup, Matt and his then six-month-old son were pretty much eating the same food). While they were made with real food and served their purpose, the disposable pouches and hefty price tag made them less than ideal for regular consumption.

But it got me thinking: Could I create a cheaper version on my own? A homemade, real-food, energy-packed running fuel that’s easy to eat on a long run?

Turns out it’s simple, and since I’ve started using reusable silicone pouches there’s much less waste, too. But if all you’ve got on hand is plastic baggies, that works too — just bite off the corner and squeeze when you’re ready to eat, just like you would with an energy gel.

Introducing the Homemade Running Fuel Pouch

Since Matt first discovered the pureed food pouch several years ago, several other companies have gotten on board. Most notably CLIF, who has a line of squeezable pouches they call Organic Energy Food (I hear Scott Jurek fueled much of this Appalachian Trail speed record with them).

This type of fuel has taken off because it’s easy to consume — no chewing necessary — and consists of real fuel instead of the junk in energy gels.

And as I discovered, they’re really simple to make. You either mix or puree the ingredients together with enough water to achieve your desired texture, then use a funnel to pour them into your pouch. That’s it.

It’s not haute cuisine, but it is good, simple fuel to mix into your regular rotation of mid-exercise eats. Below I share the versions I love most, but you’ll notice that these are not detailed recipes and, in some cases, offer ranges rather than exact amounts.

That’s not us being lazy. It’s because we know that each athlete is different, and you’ll want to customize these to your palate and that day’s workout.

Tips:

  • Use a mini blender if you have one since these are made in such small batches.
  • If you have leftovers, freeze them in ice cube trays and add to your next smoothie.
  • Speaking of smoothies, each of these makes a delicious but simple smoothie (especially the beet-ginger one).
  • reusable silicone pouch is your best bet for bringing these on your run, but like I said above, plastic baggies work too.

10 Easy to Carry Running Fuel Pouch Recipes

1. Salty Sweet Potato

If your palate prefers savory to sweet, start with this simple sweet potato version.

Puree ½ cup roasted or steamed sweet potato (peeled) with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ cup water until smooth. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Season to taste with additional salt. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to three days).

Optional: Add 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast to change up the flavor and give yourself a boost of B vitamins.

2. Date-Espresso

Dates are a classic form of homemade running fuel, but carrying and chewing them can be a hassle. This pureed version removes that hurdle, and the added espresso powder gives you a boost of caffeine.

Soak ½ cup pitted dates in water for 30 minutes. Puree the dates and soaking liquid with 1 teaspoon espresso powder until smooth.

Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to three days).

3. Banana-Date

Prefer to tone down the strong flavor of dates? Pair it with banana in this mild, sweet puree.

Puree 1 large banana with 3 dates (soaked in ¾ cup water for 30 minutes) and soaking liquid until smooth. Add a pinch of salt if desired.

Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

4. Pina Colada

Feeling adventurous? Turn your workout into a tropical getaway with this one. Pineapple, banana, and coconut water keep you fueled and hydrated.

Puree 1 banana with 1/2 cup frozen or fresh pineapple, 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, and ½ cup coconut water until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

5. Apple-Banana

The original baby food pouch Matt told me about inspired this flavor. It’s a classic taste and easy on the stomach.

Puree 1 cup unsweetened applesauce with 1 large ripe banana and ¾ cup water until smooth. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

6. Beet-Ginger

Beets have been shown to support stamina by boosting oxygen uptake during exercise. They’re sweet on their own but still a bit earthy, so we paired them with ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory that can help curb nausea) and banana for sweetness.

Puree 1 medium steamed or roasted beet (peeled, about 1 cup) with ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, 1 medium ripe banana (or ½ cup unsweetened applesauce), and 3/4 cup water.

Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

7. Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Turn leftover breakfast into running fuel. One of the great things about endurance exercise is the excuse to go a bit crazy with the sweet stuff, like maple syrup, since it’s a time when your body really needs those quick-burning simple carbs.

Start with ½ cup plain cooked oatmeal, cooled. Mix in 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or more to taste or for additional carbs), a pinch of cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt with ¼ cup water.

Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

8. Apple Maca

This is one of the simplest pouch recipes we tried. Maca — a favorite among Inca warriors — adds a hint of nutty flavor and provides a boost of energy.

Stir 1 teaspoon maca powder into 1 cup unsweetened applesauce.

Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

9. Banana Maca

Another simple recipe, this blend of banana and maca offers a burst of energy with flavors that will be easy on the gut in the middle of a long run.

Puree 1 large ripe banana with ½ cup water, and 1 teaspoon maca powder (for a boost of energy) until smooth.

Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired texture. Pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two days).

10. Chia Switchel

The grape version of this homemade sports drink is Matt’s favorite. It requires just five simple ingredients and tastes delicious. Adding chia seeds thickens it to help you retain water (in a good way)!

Start with 1 cup of our Switchel recipe. Whisk in 1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds, stirring every few minutes until the Switchel thickens. After 15-20 minutes, pour into your pouch(es), and refrigerate until ready to use (up to three days). (Chia can make a bit of a mess, but this recipe is worth it. Soak the pouches, then use a brush to remove stuck-on chia seeds.)

Bonus: We have two recipes for Slow-Cooker Brown Rice Porridge in the cookbook, one savory and one made with coconut and matcha. Those, once cooled and thinned as desired with water, could also become mid-workout eats.

For the savory variation of the porridge, omit the scallions, nori and sesame seeds. For the coconut-matcha version, skip the toppings, but do add the maple syrup.

Making Your Own Real-Food Running Fuel

If you’re a plant-based athlete who has spent months and years training for a goal, all the while prioritizing the food that goes onto your plate three times a day (or more often), then reaching for unidentifiable ingredients during the main event can feel like a letdown. And can impact your hard-earned endurance and stamina.

It’s empowering to be able to eat real food during your workouts, the same way you do when you sit down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These simple purees are creative, cheap, and the perfect way for you bring that whole-food mentality to your run.

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The No Meat Athlete Cookbook Release Week Episode

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It was a big week for hosts Matt and Doug. Doug ran a 100K ultramarathon, and Matt released his second book, The No Meat Athlete Cookbook.

In today’s episode we discuss the ups and downs for both, and the surprising sell-out success of the new cookbook.

Click the button below to listen now:

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The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, In Stores and Online Now!

It’s finally here! Yesterday marked the official release of The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, and it far exceeded everyone’s expectations by debuting at #34 (out of all books) on the Barnes & Noble Top 100, and #43 on Amazon.

Doing the mom thing at Barnes and Noble. :)

Doing the proud mom routine at Barnes and Noble. 🙂

I’m so proud and grateful, already. This is a huge win for our plant-based fitness movement, and I’m so thankful to everyone who has supported the book so far (and if that’s you and you want to do even more, it would be awesome if you’d leave a rating and review!).

My friend Robert Cheeke, one of my original inspirations for going vegan and someone I’ve looked up to for as long as I’ve been doing this, posted this message on his personal Facebook page, which meant the world to me:

And of course everyone else involved with the book, especially Stepfanie Romine, deserves a ton of the credit.

Unfortunately, when I say “exceeded expectations,” that also comes with some drawbacks.

Namely, that a lot of online retailers went out of stock on release day (and even before, in some cases), which made for one emotional roller coaster of a day. It’s a good problem to have, I know, but nonetheless one that has caused me a lot of stress and will continue to do so until the book is back in stock at all these places.

But here’s the good news. While a lot of places are temporarily out of stock, you can still get the book in several places:

  • In person at many bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and local independent stores (before you go, I’d suggest calling ahead to make sure they have it)
  • Online at Books-a-Million
  • Online at Indiebound (which supports your local bookstore as well)
  • Online at Amazon (where you can place your order now to make sure you receive a copy as soon as it comes back in stock in a few weeks)
  • In ebook format, just about anywhere ebooks are sold

And because there’s been such unexpectedly high demand for the books, the book is already into its third printing, and it won’t be long until those new books will arrive and everyone can restock.

So that’s where we stand: if you’re determined to get the book, you absolutely can with any of the options above … and I really appreciate your putting forth the effort to do so, to help keep it strong.

And of course, you can always go try out the sample recipes I posted last week or grab the Kindle or Nook version to hold you over.

In other NMA Cookbook news, last night Stepfanie and I did a book event at Malaprops, a great local bookstore here in Asheville, along with Heather Crosby of YumUniverse (whose book YumUniverse Pantry to Plate also hit the shelves yesterday!), where we did a panel discussion and Q&A led by Julie Wunder, a friend and fellow Asheville-based blogger, who writes Running in a Skirt.


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With Heather Crosby, whose work I’ve long admired

Tonight, we all head to Plant, Asheville’s best restaurant (in my humble, vegan opinion), to keep the party going with a special event featuring a three-course meal based entirely on recipes in the books, including Switchel cocktails and mocktails!

Once again, thanks for being a part of all of this, and really, for making it possible at all. I’m so excited about all that is to come and the bright future for this book and our movement, and it none of it could happen without your help.

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How to Nail Race Day: 4 Keys to a Successful First Ultramarathon

Sunrise trail run

Five months ago, my wife Katie gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Let’s call her Eliza (that is her name, after all).

For months leading up to Eliza’s birth, Katie and I attended birthing classes, read books on having a healthy pregnancy, and wrote birthing plans, all with the focus on getting that baby out of Katie as easily and naturally as possible.

And it went great. Two days later, we pull into our driveway from the hospital with a tiny, wrinkly, healthy, baby Eliza.

Exhausted, Katie immediately gets in bed for a nap while I grab Eliza and snuggle up on the couch.

That’s when it hits me.

“Holy shit. Now what?!”

We had spent so much energy trying to successfully get through the pregnancy and birth that we didn’t focus on how to actually raise this child — an actual human, I might add — for which we are responsible.

Over and over, I see runners doing the same thing during their first ultramarathons. They pour an enormous amount of energy into getting through the training, and they neglect the race — an actual ultramarathon — for which they set a goal to accomplish.

Even the best-trained runners can blow it on race day, because training is only the first step.

The real work begins after you cross the starting line.

4 Rules to Executing a Successful First Ultramarathon

Training for your first ultramarathon is a big deal.

It means running farther than you’ve ever run before, getting comfortable running trails, and testing your mental and physical limits.

Like I said … it’s a big deal.

But it’s not the training you set out to accomplish. It’s the race.

For the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of coaching runners through their first ultra-distance races. After witnessing what works on race day and how runners struggle, I’ve developed a set of hard and fast rules all new (and experienced) ultrarunners should follow.

These aren’t rules for how to train, but rather how to prepare for whatever race day throws your way and attack those challenges head on.

And it all starts with avoiding that “Holy sh*t! What now?” moment …

Rule #1 — Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into

A few weeks ago, at the finish line of the Mendocino Coast 50K, I started chatting with a runner (and NMA Radio listener) who ran the race as his first ultramarathon. He loved it, but crossed the finish line a full hour and a half later than expected.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I just had no idea what I was getting myself into,” he told me. It didn’t surprise me.

With road marathons, variation between courses is limited unless a race specifically promotes a unique challenge. It’s generally safe to assume that city marathons are city marathons, and a traditional marathon training plan will suffice.

Ultramarathons, on the other hand, can vary wildly depending on the location. It’s not just the extra five miles you need to train for, but the terrain as well.

And knowing what you’re getting yourself into is key to optimizing your training.

How to do your research:

  • Study the course map and elevation profile to evaluate the amount of elevation gain and descent.
  • Read previous years’ race reports and look for videos of the course to learn about the terrain.
  • Prepare for typical weather conditions in that area on race day, which could be a lot different than what you’re running in at the start of training.
  • If the course is known to be muddy or wet, train your feet (and mind) to handle those conditions.
Rule #2 — Have a Plan

Ultramarathons take a long time to complete. Seems obvious, I know (go ahead, roll those eyes), but it’s so obvious a lot of runners neglect to think it through. A 50K could take six, eight, ten hours to complete.

That’s a long time to be on your feet, outside, in the elements, running.

Which means, you need a plan for just about everything:

  • Have a nutrition plan — Think 250-300 calories per hour either through gels, sports drink, or real food. Know ahead of time how much you need to carry, and what you can collect throughout the race at aid stations or from your crew.
  • Have a gear plan — Weather, terrain, and distance between aid stations will dictate your gear. Always have options and backup layers available.
  • Have a plan for your crew — If you’re lucky enough to have a crew supporting you on race day, treat them right. Make a plan so they don’t have to guess. Tell them ahead of time where to meet you, what to have available, and what you expect from them.
Rule #3 — Lock In Your All-Day Pace

I’m not sure where I first heard the term “all-day pace,” (I wish I did so I could give them credit) but it has stuck with me ever since.

Your all-day pace is the magical sweet spot where it’s just fast enough that you feel like you’re racing, but comfortable enough that you can maintain it hour after hour. I’m not going to lie, the concept is a little hard to wrap your head around in front of a computer, so go out and practice during your long runs.

You’ll know once you’ve hit it.

Consider this:

Pace is a misleading term in this situation. Unlike a road race, where mere seconds per mile count, ultrarunners run more often by effort than splits. As you approach a hill, slow down to maintain a consistent effort — which can be monitored by breath, heart rate, or general perception — and as the terrain levels out or drops downhill, speed up.

You’re aiming for a consistent, manageable effort level, maintainable throughout the race.

How to monitor your pace on race day:

  • With every new hill, trail, or surge of energy, check-in with yourself and your effort.
  • If it feels like you’re working too hard, you almost certainly are. Slow down.
  • When it feels too easy, trust yourself and put your training into practice.
Rule #4 — Stay Positive

I consider running an ultramarathon a microcosm of life …

… You face big highs, and major lows.

… You make friends, and encounter miles of solitude.

… You rely on others, but ultimately it’s up to you to do the work.

And just like in life, your outlook will dictate the result.

Positive thinking can boost energy and confidence, both of which could completely turn around a race once you’ve hit a rough spot.

How to stay positive:

  • Focus on a short, inspiring mantra.
  • Distract yourself by chatting with others.
  • Smile and cheer on other runners … even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Take deep breathes to keep anxiety down.
  • Use each aid station as a reset button.

These Rules Aren’t Meant to be Broken

I love a good rule-breaking rebel, and the ultrarunning community is known for its off-the-beaten-path (figuratively and literally) attitude, but there are times when falling in line pays off.

This is one of those times.

You just poured countless hours and miles into training for this race. Now all that’s left is a smart execution and crossing that finish line.

And maybe a beer.

About the Author: Doug is an ultrarunner, coach, and the co-host of NMA Radio. Pick up his free eBook, Why Every Runner Should Be a Trail Runner (And How to Become One).

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The No Meat Athlete Cookbook – Sample Content & Recipes

This post contains a sample from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, which hits the shelves in just over a week! But first, a quick intro.

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It’s been almost four years since my first book, No Meat Athlete, came out.

That first book wasn’t a cookbook, but it did include 50 of the recipes I’d picked up as a marathoner who was still fairly new to a vegan diet.

Today, over 30,000 copies later, I’m so proud of what that little book has become.

And at the same time, a lot has changed since then. Enough that I decided it was finally time for another.

I’ve learned so much in these past four years. About nutrition, mainly, but also about cooking and, with two high-energy young kids who also eat this way, the importance of practicality. I’ve undergone a ruthless streamlining of my own routines … and that includes those in the kitchen.

More than just about anything else, this focus on practicality is what sets The No Meat Athlete Cookbook apart.

Sure, it’s one of the only 100% vegan cookbooks that’s geared towards athletes.

And yes, it’s almost exclusively based on whole foods, including (and I fought hard for this one) an oil-free option for every single recipe, so that you can choose your own adventure when it comes to oil.

But more than anything else, the difficult conversations my co-author Stepfanie Romine and I had during the process of developing and testing recipes for this book centered around the issues of simplicity and ease of use.

I say “difficult” because we both have incredibly high standards.

For both of us, whole-food nutrition was paramount, of course. To Stepfanie, a plant-based chef, it was also crucial that every recipe be delicious. And I, a dad in that phase of life where trying to do to way too many things is par for the course, wanted to make absolutely certain that our recipes made sense for busy, athletic families, and people who can’t easily get to specialty health-food stores to do their grocery shopping.

That “Quick, Easy, and Family Friendly!” burst at the top right of the cover? Well, we mean it.

With few exceptions, if an ingredient couldn’t be found in a regular grocery store (and I’m not counting Whole Foods as “regular”), either it didn’t make the cut or we made sure to provide a substitute.

Similarly with cooking techniques: if a recipe was difficult or required equipment most people don’t have — spiralizer, potato ricer, etc. — then we changed it.

In trying to balance all of that emphasis on simplicity and practicality with the need for top-nutrition and of course, food that makes you actually want to keep eating this way, this was a project. But we did it, and I’m so happy with how it has turned out.

I’m pleased to share some sample content with you today, but before we get to that, I want to remind you of just a few things:

We’ve put together a really great packages of bonuses for anyone who pre-orders the book (meaning you’ve got to order before Tuesday, May 16th and forward us your receipt). The bonuses include a 30-day meal plan, an ebook of my favorite quick staples and condiments that make it way easier to be vegan, my 46-minute presentation on the 7 Foods Worth Eating Every Single Day, and a special video series on oil-free and microwave-free cooking (a bonus offer that was so popular we’ve brought it back). You can see all the details about book and pre-order package here.

Although this sample content is from our chapter on real-food recipes for before, during and after workouts, the actual book includes lots of food that’s for the rest of the day — breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts. (See the Quinoa Primavera featured on the Forks Over Knives blog.) On that note, I did go ahead and include our recipe for Olive-Chickpea Waffles into the sample since it would work as long-run fuel, even though it’s technically not in Chapter 7.

We’ve had a ton of great press on this book, including making Sports Illustrated’s and People’s lists of “The 7 Best Health & Wellness Books of 2017,” and already being included in VegNews, Vegan Health & Fitness, and Publisher’s Weekly … with features in several other mainstream fitness magazines slated for the summertime. Keep an eye out for lots more as the release date approaches!

And so, if I may make a direct request: If you’ve gotten something out of No Meat Athlete — the free blog and podcast content every week, the running groups, and everything else we’ve done over the past 8 years (!), I’d really appreciate if it if you’d consider adding our new cookbook to your collection. It has the potential to make a huge splash for this movement, but that won’t happen without your help. Thanks for thinking about it.

With that, enjoy this sample bit of Chapter 7, including four recipes!


Chapter 7: Fuel & Recovery

REAL FOOD FOR BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER YOUR WORKOUTS

Don’t undermine your workout by fueling it with processed junk that barely qualifies as food! Instead, let our recipes for natural, homemade versions of sports nutrition staples take you further so you can get the most from every workout.

To Eat or Drink Your Carbs? That’s the Question

As you read in Chapter 1, you should usually only consider using added sugars and quick carbs to fuel before, during, or after a workout. For years, the only “sports drinks” on the market were loaded with refined sugar and designed to replenish carbohydrates as well as electrolytes. But for various reasons, more of today’s athletes are choosing instead to eat their carbs or to forgo them altogether during workouts. As such, more lower-carb, electrolyte-only sports drinks have hit the market.

We think there’s a time and a place for both types of drinks. Our new favorite sports drink, switchel—which actually isn’t new at all—embraces that flexibility. Our base recipe for switchel uses just 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (100 calories, 27 g carbs), so it has about half the sugar of a traditional sports drink.

For lighter training days when you don’t need an immediate energy source to get you through the workout, reach for the lower-sugar versions of switchel. On long run days, when you need more fuel, we have other switchel recipes suitable for your increased carb needs.

Our base recipe also contains 481 mg sodium from ¼ teaspoon sea salt (that’s slightly lower than table salt, which has 560 mg per ¼ teaspoon), plus 129 mg potassium. It’s right in line with commercial sports drinks, which typically provide 427 g sodium and 120 mg potassium in 32 ounces.

Need to customize a drink recipe? Here’s a quick guide:

SODIUM:

¼ teaspoon sea salt = 481 mg sodium

1 teaspoon umeboshi (salty-sour Japanese plum paste) = 340 mg sodium

CARBOHYDRATES

1 tablespoon maple syrup = 50 calories, 13 g carbohydrates

1 tablespoon sugar = 45 calories, 13 g carbohydrates

If you prefer another sweetener, such as dates or agave, feel free to experiment with those as well.

As you read through this chapter, you’ll notice that we call some beverages “sports drinks” while others are “electrolyte drinks.” The former are akin to what you’d buy at the store; the latter are designed primarily to hydrate, rather than to fuel.

Sports Drinks: Designed to be carb replacements with electrolyte

Electrolyte Drinks: Lower in carbs than traditional sports drinks

Check out this list to get started (with grams of carbs per 16 ounces):

Cucumber-Lime Electrolyte Drink: 14 g

Lemon-Lime Electrolyte Drink: 14 g

Switchel: The Original Sports Drink: 14 g

3 Switchel Mocktails: 14 g

Umeboshi Electrolyte Drink: 18 g

Miso-Maple Electrolyte “Broth”: 21 g

Cranberry-Citrus Electrolyte Drink: 22 g

Fruit Punch Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 22 g

Very Berry Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 31 g

Orange Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 32 g

Grape Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 33 g

With any of these sports drinks, feel free to adjust the sweetener-to-salt ratio as needed to suit your needs and palate.

In addition, we offer recipes for solid-food fuel that contain mostly carbohydrates, or a combination of protein and carbs for extremely long workouts.

FUEL

Solid food that contains mostly carbs or a combination of carbs and protein (used during very long workouts to prevent crashes)

Calorie Bomb Cookies (page 219)

Chocolate-Coconut-Pecan Chewy Bars (page 220)

Green Energy Bites (page 215)

Key Lime Pie Rice Bites (page 217)

Piña Colada–Almond Butter (page 213)

Sesame-Tamari Portable Rice Balls (page 214)

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Bites (page 216)

Vegan-Edge Waffes (page 51)

Switchel: The Original Sports Drink

Good for: hydration • before, during, and after a workout

Makes: about 4¼ cups (1 L) // Time: 5 minutes to prep, plus resting overnight

Switchel is the original sports drink, what farmers drank in the fields to stay hydrated during the summer. It’s a clever combination of simple, real ingredients. Maple syrup contains magnesium and potassium, which help to prevent cramps, and the apple cider vinegar prevents nausea, stomach upset, and indigestion. (You really want raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar here, so you get the min­erals and other good stuff.) The ginger adds flavor and also helps with nausea. The drink is refreshing, mildly sweet, and tangy and, when made with fruit juices, tastes surprisingly like the convenience store sports drinks we grew up with. You’ll want to refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to mellow and mingle. This recipe makes an entire pitcher; it’ll keep for a few days in the fridge.

  • 4 cups (960 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Shake all the ingredients together, refrigerate overnight, strain, and drink.

Nutrition info (for the entire recipe): Calories 110 Total fat 0 g Sodium 481 mg Potassium 129 mg Total carbohydrates 28 g Dietary fiber 0 g Sugars 24 g Protein 0 g

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Calorie Bomb Cookies

Good for: fuel • before (as treat), during, and after (as treat) a workout

Makes: 12 giant cookies (or 24 regular cookies) // Time: 15 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to bake

These cookies fueled the BSM cycling team (cofounded by Stepf’s husband, Sam) through a ten-hour road trip and epic adventure ride a few summers back. They’re hefty yet easy to eat and digest in the saddle or driver’s seat; they’re also packed with as much real food and as many calories as possible, hence the name.

  • 4 cups (385 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1½ cups (225 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup (200 g) raw sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut oil (Oil-Free: coconut butter)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (225 g) dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (120 g) raw walnut pieces
  • ½ cup (75 g) raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place 2 cups (195 g) of the oats in a food processor or blender and pulse until they are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining oats.
  3. Combine the bananas, sugar, oil, water, chia seeds, and vanilla in the blender or food processor. Add to the oat mixture and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until combined. Add the chocolate chips, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and coconut.
  4. With wet hands, form about ½ cup (60 g) dough into balls for giant cookies, about ¼ cup (30 g) dough for regular cookies. (There should be 6 balls on each baking sheet if making giant cookies.) Flatten them to ¾ to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Wrap in parchment paper for on-the-go eating.

Variations: Use coconut extract in place of the vanilla. Swap carob for the chocolate. Dice mini peanut butter cups and add to the mix.

Nutrition info (for the entire recipe; with shredded coconut): Calories 5,893 Total fat 291 g Sodium 1,371 mg Potassium 2,471 mg Total carbohydrates 819 g Dietary fiber 97 g Sugars 359 g Protein 97 g

CalorieBombCookies

Green Energy Bites

Good for: fuel • before, during, and after a workout

Makes: 36 energy bites // Time: 15 minutes to prep

The distinct flavor of spirulina is somehow masked in this simple energy bite—and that’s no easy feat! Inspired by the green bites sold in bulk at health-food stores, these chunks are intended for on-the-go snacking and mid-race fueling.

Spirulina is blue-green algae that’s incredibly high in protein (by weight). More than 60 percent of it is protein! In lab studies, it has been shown to boost probiotic growth. It can absorb undesirable heavy metals from the water where it grows, so choose a reliable source that tests for such things.

  • 1½ cups (220 g) pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained
  • ½ cup (75 g) raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup (60 g) roasted, unsalted cashews
  • ¼ cup (40 g) carob or chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons spirulina powder or another greens powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Pulse the dates in a food processor until they form a paste. Add the sunflower seeds and cashews. Pulse until roughly chopped, then add the carob and spirulina. Pulse a couple of times, then process until thoroughly combined.
  2. Transfer to a rectangular glass dish (we used a 6-cup/1.4 L glass storage container) lined with parchment paper. Press down, using a small piece of parchment to keep your fingers from sticking to the bars. Sprinkle with the coconut and salt.
  3. Pull the parchment out of the container and slice into 36 pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition info (for the entire recipe): Calories 1,729 Total fat 79 g Sodium 6 mg Potassium 1,951 mg Total carbohydrates 231 g Dietary fiber 18 g Sugars 160 g Protein 33 g

Olive-Chickpea Waffles

Makes: 4 to 6 waffles // Time: 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook

Soccas are Mediterranean flatbreads made with chickpea flour. But although they are quick to make and full of nutrition from the chickpeas, they typically call for quite a bit of olive oil to add flavor and richness. Inspired by socca but seeking something lighter, we created these savory waffles.

  • 2 cups (240 g) chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary or thyme
  • 1 teaspoon GF baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup (90 g) pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup (15 g) sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (Oil-Free: omit)
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) hot water
  • Hummus or Weeknight Marinara (page 81)
  1. Preheat a waffle iron. (Oil-Free: See page 49 for baking directions if your waffle iron isn’t truly nonstick.)
  2. Combine the flour, rosemary, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the olives and sun-dried tomatoes, then whisk in the oil followed by the hot water. The batter should be thick but thoroughly combined.
  3. Spread about ½ to ¾ cup (120 to 180 ml) batter onto the waffle iron, close the lid, and cook through, according to waffle iron directions, about 6 minutes.
  4. Top with hummus and serve.

Variation: Substitute ½ cup (30 g) chopped flat-leaf parsley for the olives and fold in ¼ cup (40 g) chopped red onion.

Credit line: Recipe from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts and the Rest of Your Life © Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine, 2017. Photographs copyright © Ken Carlson, Waterbury Publications Inc. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek! To pre-order The No Meat Athlete Cookbook and take advantage of our great pre-order bonus offer (or just to learn more), click here.

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How to Lose 5 Pounds Without Changing Your Whole Life

Young healthy girl on home scales.

I want to lose five pounds. Not because I need to for health reasons, but because for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a little extra weight that I just can’t seem to drop. Even with a regular running routine, plant-based diet, and all-around healthy lifestyle, those pesky few pounds stick around.

So the question is, how can I lose five pounds without totally changing my life? I’m not interested in a crash diet, and I want to drop the weight in a sustainable, healthy way.

In today’s episode I pose that question to Matt, and together we formulate a plan for how to lose those final few pounds without completely disrupting my life and eating habits.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • Intermittent fasting … what is it?
  • Why counting calories (for a few days) might help
  • Should I stop drinking beer?
  • Reducing oil intake
  • Nuts … and why I want to keep them in my diet

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27 Books that will Change Your Life

Pile of books on table

Over the past few years, we’ve talked a lot about our favorite fitness, nutrition, and mindset resources — including how-to guides, tutorials, and blueprints.

What we haven’t done, however, is share our favorite non-resource books under those same categories. Books that will inspire you to take action, but ones you can listen to on the run as an audiobook or enjoy while lounging the beach. No note taking, studying, or memorization required.

Here are our 27 favorite inspirational casual reads … some of which just might change your life.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • What makes for a good casual read?
  • Why Matt hates running books (but Doug loves them)
  • The simplest nutrition book you’ll ever read
  • BONUS: Cookbooks

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