One Year, No Beer?

Group Of Friends Enjoying Drink At Outdoor Rooftop Bar

Something about those four words grabbed me instantly …

For the past few months, on the rare mornings when I woke up without having had my pretty-much-nightly beer (though just one) the night before, I fantasized about how healthy and energetic it would feel to take an extended break from alcohol.

But I could never make it happen. At the end of a workday, It was just too easy to crack open a bottle of liquid relaxation and tell myself that hey, a little bit of alcohol might even be good for me.

Now though, a challenge had been issued; now I had an excuse. “No thanks, I’m doing this One Year No Beer thing for a month.” And that’s exactly why former pro-British-footballer Andy Ramage’s project, One Year No Beer, works — and why thousands of people are signing up to join the now-international movement.

Doesn’t have to be a year (my commitment was only for 30 days, of which I’m currently on day 28). And of course, “no beer” means “no alcohol at all.” But the catchy, rhyming name of the project represents well the laid-back, no-pressure attitude that has made One Year No Beer attractive to so many people. (Hey, sort of like another rhyming-name, no-pressure site I know of …)

It’s my pleasure to publish this interview with Andy on No Meat Athlete Radio, and help to share his life-changing movement with the world.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The epiphany that never comes — why there’s never a “good time” to quit drinking
  • What if I don’t want to give up alcohol forever?
  • Changing the conversation around booze
  • Non-alcoholic craft beer, the fastest growing segment of the beer market
  • 30, 90, or 365 days?

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Cowspiracy Directors Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn on the Hypocrisy of Environmentalism

Cowspiracy

Of the three big reasons for choosing a plant-based diet — health, animals, and the environment — it was the first two that really motivated me. If you’ve been a No Meat Athlete reader or listener for a while, this is surely apparent in the content I’ve produced.

But Doug, our resident environmentalist at NMA Radio, first started flirting with vegetarianism because of the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industries.

Therefore, I like to call him a tree-hugger.

But today, Doug wins. We’re talking environment in this episode, with none other than Cowspiracy co-directors Kip Andersen and Keegen Kuhn.

Cowspiracy hit Netflix in a big way in 2015, exposing the hypocrisy within the environmentalist community and garnering interest and executive producer-level involvement from Leonardo DiCaprio.

In today’s episode, Doug, Kip, Keegan, and I explore the controversy, the positive environmental impact of going plant-based, and where we go from here.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Money, politics, and environmentalism
  • The environmentalist’s holdup when it comes to meat
  • Going vegan vs. ditching your car
  • Is “free range” meat actually worse for the environment?

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NMA’s 15 Rules to Live By

When it comes to food and fitness habits, I don’t think rules are a good thing. Guidelines, sure, but without a little wiggle room, it’s too easy to throw up your hands and give in when your willpower runs dry.

But when it comes to living a meaningful life — and ensuring that my system for managing it works — I find it’s actually easier to be less flexible … and to follow a set of real, actual rules.

In today’s episode, Doug and I share the 15 rules we live by, the firm boundaries that help us live the lives we want and find balance and happiness.

They might not all be for you, but I hope you’ll find a nugget or two to add to your own set of rules for living.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The best reason to make your bed in the mornings
  • How to make gratitude a part of your day
  • One ritual I do first thing, every single morning
  • Hell Yeah! or no
  • “Jazz Hour”?
  • How play changes everything
  • Why I intentionally ignore the news

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7 Popular Food Trends and How They Can Help Vegan Athletes

EP126

Let’s play a quick game:

Pull out a sheet of paper and jot down all the current food trends that come to mind. How many did you come up with?

Doug and I did that last week, and had no trouble pulling together a long list of popular trends. These days food trends come and go quicker than a Snapchat (that’s what the kids call those things, right?), but every once in a while one will take hold and stick around.

In today’s episode, we chose seven trends from our list that we think have staying power, and discuss what those trends mean for us as vegan athletes. And no, not all the trends that made the cut are even vegan (ahem, bacon) — but we give vegan options of even those.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Can pickle juice stop your running cramps?
  • Why even a vegan podcast can’t avoid bacon — and a recipe for a vegan version that will knock your socks off
  • A vegan version of bone broth?
  • Matt’s experience with tart cherry juice
  • Two old drinks’ return to popularity
  • The healing power of turmeric

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How to Cook Vegan for Kids, with ‘Plant-Powered Families’ Author Dreena Burton

Dreena BurtonAs any parent knows, getting your kids to eat healthy isn’t easy. Raising them on a plant-based diet? Seems a lot trickier, but it doesn’t have to be.

Which is why I love Dreena Burton’s cookbook Plant-Powered Families. She takes a simple approach to feeding your kids, with whole-food, oil-free, plant-based recipes that they’ll actually eat (maybe even enjoy!).

In today’s episode, Dreena and I talk about what it takes to raise healthy, plant-based children, with lots of ideas and tricks that even non-parents can use to streamline their cooking.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter the Plant-Powered Families giveaway!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why Dreena started writing family-friendly recipes
  • Should parents worry about oil or soy?
  • The supplements and nutrients plant-based children need
  • How to introduce healthier foods
  • When to let your kids try unhealthy foods
  • The allergy problem in schools

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Hip Hop Mogul and ‘Happy Vegan’ Author Russell Simmons

EP125I have to admit, this one was pretty fun … it’s not often (or ever) that I have the opportunity to speak to a legend in the hip-hop community. Or any other community, for that matter.

But when Russell Simmons, co-founder of the Def Jam Recordings, writes a book called The Happy Vegan, you better believe I’m going to try to get him on the podcast.

An outspoken vegan, yogi, and bestselling author, Russell Simmons has impacted far more than the music industry. In today’s episode Russell talks to me about his transition into veganism, and why he finds meditation and yoga to be essential parts of his Happy Vegan lifestyle.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • What does it mean to be a Happy Vegan?
  • How the hip-hop community has embraced veganism
  • Is the plant-based diet more expensive?
  • Meditation as a lifestyle change
  • The #1 question Russell gets asked (and it isn’t about protein)

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Health and Fitness Data: How Much is Too Much?

blond woman setting her timer before jogging

Apple Watches, GPS watches, step counters, smart phones, and fitness trackers.

Sensors in our shoes.

Sensors in the kitchen.

The sources for live health and fitness data these days are seemingly endless, and with each new gadget, data tracking becomes a bigger part of our everyday life.

But is all that data really useful? And if it is, when does it become too much?

Of course there’s no right answer, but those are the questions we try to tackle in today’s episode. We discuss the trend towards more data, how it can be helpful, and why too much data caused me to assume the worst about my health.

And of course, we poke fun of those 10,000 steps everyone is suddenly trying to hit.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why blood work left me in a panic
  • Do we really know how to interpret all this data?
  • How you should be using the information you collect
  • A case for not tracking your runs
  • A case for tracking each and every workout

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Nerd Fitness’ Steve Kamb on How to Level Up Your Life

EP123

Steve Kamb is a blogging buddy of mine from way back. We both started our sites in 2009 (damn, that seems like a long time ago!), met in person in 2010, and were even in an accountability group together for a few months.

If you think No Meat Athlete is a blogging success story, well, then you haven’t seen Nerd Fitness. The unlikely combination of superhero nerd culture and serious fitness and motivation turns out to be exactly what the internet was looking for, and Nerd Fitness has exploded in the past few years.

In this episode, Steve and I talk about forming about how Nerd Fitness got started, how to “stop relying on discipline, and start manufacturing discipline,” and of course his new book, Level Up Your Life.

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