How to Maintain Your Healthy Habits When You’re Traveling

Fruit stall in the Italian city market

We’ve all be there … traveling in a new city, thrown off from our regular routines, and struggling to maintain a healthy habit.

How on Earth can I keep a daily meditation practice in a crowded hotel room?

Should I even bother running when I’m off my training?

Isn’t it impossible to eat healthy food on the road?

While on a recent vacation to Florida, Matt’s family found themselves asking questions just like these. Hopping from place to place, their healthy eating habits were put to the test.

In today’s episode, Matt shares a few of the lessons he put in place during that recent trip, and we discuss when it’s acceptable to let your habits adapt.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • A Grapple? Seriously?
  • The effects of routine change on your habits
  • Planning for the challenges
  • Why something is better than nothing
  • How to embrace the new experiences

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3 Valuable Lessons Learned from 4 Years with No Meat Athlete

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Criss-cross applesauce everyone, it’s story time!

It’s the summer of 2010, and I’m a new vegetarian training for my second marathon. Obsessed with protein and iron levels, I stumble upon a (then) small oasis in a sea of meat-eaters … a blog called No Meat Athlete.

Fast forward a few months and I’m walking through my first DC VegFest. After being physically pushed by my girlfriend (now wife), I awkwardly approach a guy in a running carrot shirt and ask if he’s Matt Frazier. Here, picture this:

Me: “Umm, hello. Are you, uhh, Matt Frazier?”

Matt: “Yeah!”

Me: “The Matt Frazier?!”

Erin (Matt’s wife): *eye-roll*

Matt’s confirmation and the conversation that follows is as awkward as my approach, making it clear he’s not quite used to the fanfare he’s known to receive today (picture Justin Beiber level attention, and divide that by roughly 1,000,000).

But it’s that clumsy encounter that leads me to help organize the first No Meat Athlete Marathon Training Group in 2011, and ultimately alter the direction my life takes. Since 2011, I’ve played varying roles in this company, growing right along with the brand.

I’ve learned a lot in those four years. Practical information like:

  • How to use Photoshop and edit a podcast,
  • The difference between vegan and plant-based,
  • Why I should never use phrases like “the meat of the story is…” in an email newsletter,
  • And that Matt is only human like the rest of us.

But beyond that, my work with No Meat Athlete and the people I’ve gotten to know through it, have taught me a lot about healthy living, acceptance, community, and fear.

Allow me to explain …

What I’ve Learned from No Meat Athlete

Over the past several years, I’ve worn many hats in this company. Hats that have required me to spend time in the NMA email inbox each morning, interact with readers and listeners of the podcast throughout the day, and assist in interviewing some of the biggest names in health and fitness. I’m not going to lie, it has been a lot of fun.

And starting this week I’ll have the privilege of writing more frequently on this blog, and working directly with readers to shape the content — but more on that later.

As I transition into a new role at No Meat Athlete, I find myself reflecting back on my time here, and focusing in on three major lessons which I’d like to share with you today.

Let’s start with the first:

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3 Health and Fitness Goals to Avoid?

Woman lifting  weights and working on her chest at the  gym

Is there a right way and a wrong way to set health and fitness goals?

That’s the question Matt and I were asking ourselves after reading a recent article on the site Precision Fitness. The author, John Berardi, challenges the reader to structure your goal setting with his formula.

But after reading through, there were a few major points where we all disagreed.

In today’s episode, Matt and I discuss John’s model, and lay out or own strategies on how best to set health or fitness goals that prime you for success.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Should you set a big outcome goal?
  • Success through small habits and changes
  • Matt’s lead and lag measure theory
  • Does your brain understand negatives?
  • The pros and cons of dabbling

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Things We Wish Vegans Did Even More

Vegetables

A few weeks ago we published an episode called “Things We Wish Vegans Didn’t Do.” It was Matt and I’s attempt at pointing out the trends, or aspects of our community that we’re not crazy about. I’m not going to lie, it got a little negative.

So we couldn’t leave it there.

This community awesome. It’s inspiring, welcoming, and is constantly up to outrageously cool things that Matt and I wish happened more often.

In today’s episode, we flip the conversation and focus our attention on those — the wonderful trends, accomplishments, and approaches we want to see even more.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Big, tough, strong, and vegan
  • Plant-based restaurants and dishes going mainstream
  • Inspiring others in less obvious ways
  • How Gene Baur does it right
  • The sneaky approach to spreading your message

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More on How to Start Your Movement

Microfono tenuto in mano conferenza

A few months ago we published episode on how to start your movement. In it, Doug and I shared the lessons we’ve learned from spreading our messages through a blog and podcast. It’s a blueprint if you ever decide to take a similar leap.

While that episode wasn’t the most downloaded, it garnered such a big response that I dedicated an entire month to the subject in the No Meat Athlete Academy.

I’ve selected portions from two of those Academy seminar interviews to share with you today. These guests take a completely different approach, spreading their messages through physical products.

The first is with Leanne Hilgart, founder of the vegan clothing line Vaute Couture.

In the second interview, I speak with Andy Levitt of the vegan food delivery service The Purple Carrot.

My hope in sharing these is to ignite a spark, or give you the small push you need to start your own movement. Whatever that may be.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Using a business to make an impact
  • The psychological hurdle of going from from idea to business
  • Finding your first customer
  • Playing an infinite game
  • Promoting the activism side of your movement

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Why Making That Change May Be Easier Than You Think

Changes Ahead

There was a time when I thought running a marathon, going vegan, and cooking without oil would each be impossible feats.

But if you listen to this podcast or read this blog, then you know that all three of those — and a ton of other big changes I’ve made — were not nearly as hard as I thought. And you’ve probably noticed the same with any big changes you’ve made in your own life.

… Your body “learns” to run, and what it feels like to run a mile changes, becomes far more pleasant.

… Your taste buds change, so that what used to seem bland becomes delicious, and overly flavored processed foods taste like junk.

… The cravings you feared only last for a few weeks or months, and then they vanish completely.

Sometimes, before you attempt it, a change will feel so radical you’re afraid to commit. But once you do — and more importantly, once you get over the initial hump and your body and mind adapt — you realize those fears were unfounded.

In today’s episode, Doug and I discuss this phenomenon, and why your next big change might not seem so big once you just start.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How your brain and body adapt to changes you make
  • Why Doug’s first-ever 13-mile run was a letdown
  • The 30-day challenge (and why it works)
  • When are you ready for a big change, and how do you know when you’re not?

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Things We Wish Vegans Didn’t Do

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We’re vegan. We love vegans. We promote veganism.

So it might seem strange for us to take a few digs at our fellow plant-based animal lovers … but that’s exactly what we’re about to do.

Just because you’re part of a community, doesn’t mean you have to love everything about that community. And in today’s episode, Doug and I decided to put all that out there.

We strap on our boxing gloves and get a little punchy.

I’m sure this isn’t going to please everyone, but that’s not the point. The hope is that our beloved vegan community is open to dialogs like this … even if when we don’t always all agree.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Can vegans compromise?
  • The problem with unscientific claims
  • Fake meats vs. real foods
  • Shaming vegetarians
  • “Vegans don’t get sick.” Or do they?
  • Doug’s chicken coop dilemma

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The (Second) Big Q&A Episode

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Matt may be sipping non-alcoholic cocktails — mini-umbrella and all — on the vegan cruise right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t address your questions!

Several months ago we published an episode of NMA Radio called the Big Q&A Episode, where Matt and I answered (or attempted to answer) common questions directly from listeners. That episode turned out to be one of the most popular we’ve published, I believe in part because it’s reassuring to hear the questions and struggles from others.

Today we’re at it again, this time with 7 hand selected questions we hope will also answer some of your own. Ranging from running to meal prep, we tried to cover all the bases with these questions.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The truth about pre-race pasta dinners
  • How often should new runners run?
  • A high calorie plant-based diet
  • Raw vegans and energy levels
  • Meal prepping for an entire week

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