The First 10 Days of the No Meat Athlete Book Tour

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Speaking at JackRabbit NYC. Photo courtesy Ben Ko.

Wow, what a week! It’s been 10 days since I started my book tour, and I’ve had two events each in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Ohio, plus Boston and New York City.

If all that weren’t enough for 10 days, I took a two-day “break” to run the RAGNAR Relay in DC on an ultra team … which meant running 40 miles of our team’s 200 total. In 90-degree heat. From a smelly, crowded, always-moving van. Over the course of 28 hours. Fun times!

Actually RAGNAR was a lot of fun, even if doing it in the middle of the book tour wasn’t my best idea ever — see Doug’s RAGNAR recap if you’re interested in more about how our team did and Doug’s do’s and don’ts.

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The No Meat Athlete RAGNAR DC team. 28 hours, 199 miles, 1 seriously disgusting van.

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The No Meat Athlete Book is Out Today (Saying Thanks)

bookphotoToday, the first day my book is officially available in stores and online (serendipitously, World Vegetarian Day), is a surreal one indeed.

I’m typing this post from the passenger seat of a car, driving to Boston for the second stop on my book tour, in just a few hours. Even that phrase — “my book tour” — feels very odd to actually say or write.

But it’s underway, and the faces, names, and stories of the people I met last night in the small town of Media, PA made it feel very real, reminding me why I decided to take on this tour in the first place.

The book is at the top of several categories on Amazon. All morning I’ve been doing phone interviews and email interviews and scheduling new ones, amidst excitedly reading early reviews of the book on blogs — some of my favorite blogs, no less. It’s like a dream, and one that I’m doing everything I can to appreciate while it lasts.

It is beyond incredible that all this has happened. And while I’m feeling lots of different emotions right now — giddiness, nervousness, excitement, fatigue, missing my wife and kids — the one keeping me centered and integrated is gratitude.

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No Meat Athlete Radio: How to Find the Time to Do Everything You Want

Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be. — Peter Gibbons, Office Space

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Shortly after I started this blog back in 2009, long before I added ultramarathons and kids into my life, a lot of people started asking me: How do you find time to do it all?

Back then, “it all” meant marathon training, eating a vegetarian diet, not flunking out of grad school, writing a blog, and being a husband.

I never thought it was that much, honestly … I always had plenty of time to do nothing; time to just be.

But now that two young kiddos are part of the picture — along with a 100-mile ultra, a new book, and a 40-city tour to go with it — this year there hasn’t been so much time to do nothing. I have a new understanding of “busy,” something I’m never proud to be.

So with that understanding — and the skills and tricks I’ve learned for accomplishing a lot of different goals without going insane — I’m ready to take a decent shot at answering the How do you find the time? question.

That’s what this episode, number 17 of No Meat Athlete Radio, is about. Doug and I sat down and talked about how we manage to balance fitness, healthy eating, and family life (because that’s all pretty important, you know) along with all the extraneous stuff we want to do.

Here’s hoping you’ll  find a nugget or two that’ll help you handle what you’ve got on your plate, or maybe even add something more — even if that something more is just some precious quiet time to yourself, with which to do nothing.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The classic time management tip: important vs. urgent
  • Is multitasking really any good?
  • The power of turning “shoulds” into “musts”
  • Choosing to spend time on activities that create more time
  • Being efficient with your workouts
  • My plans for running on the book tour
  • Time-saving tips for eating a healthy plant-based diet
  • Meal planning strategies when you don’t have much time

PS — We had some audio issues this time around that made the sound a little bit distorted at times. Sorry about that!

Click the button below to listen now:

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How Joe Took 55 Minutes Off His Marathon to Qualify for Boston — at Age 51

If ever a season has punched me in the face to say, “Hey idiot, notice me!”,  fall did it today.

With planning for the release of the book and the cross-country tour to accompany it, the past month has been the busiest of my life — I’m ashamed to admit that I’m far beyond out-of-touch with the weather and the season and so many things that matter. I take no pride whatsoever in being busy, but without any experience in the book-launch-and-tour department, it happened.

But today — coincidentally or not, the same day as the autumnal equinox — I looked out the window and noticed that fall had arrived. Erin roasted some sugar pumpkins from our garden using this method from Oh She Glows, and tonight I’ll use some of the output to make risotto (without the butter or cheese, though — that recipe is from before I was vegan).

Football is on, an evening run is planned, and pumpkin ale is in the fridge … fall, I am noticing (and appreciating) you.

But what does fall have to do with the title of the post? Quite a bit, actually.

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Announcing No Meat Athlete Book Tour Dates & Locations!

Leaving your college dorm at midnight, to drive seven hours each way. For a sandwich.

Using your dishwasher to create a floor-to-ceiling foam party in your (carpeted) living room.

Planning a 40-city book tour all by yourself.

All things I’ve done that seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight weren’t my best ideas ever.

But when it comes down to it, I can’t honestly say that I regret any of them. Not even the foam party, which resulted in moldy carpet and four sick roommates.

As for the book tour, I definitely don’t regret the decision to do it … just the heroic attempt to plan it myself. Thankfully, my mom (yep, my mom) stepped in and saved me from a nervous breakdown last week, and I’m pleased now to announce that the schedule is just about set.

No Meat Athlete’s big splash this weekend

After I announced the bonuses for pre-ordering my book (which comes out October 1st, less than two weeks away), things got crazy.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the No Meat Athlete Book (Plus 6 Fantastic Pre-Order Bonuses!)

no meat athlete book coverMy goal today: Write a “My book is almost out!” post without being sappy, self-indulgent, and giddy like a schoolboy.

Believe me, that’s not easy, because with all the work that has gone into the book, it’s impossible not to be pretty amped up and emotional that it’s finally here.

The official release date is October 1st, just three weeks away. And a few days before that, I’ll be hopping in the car to start what has somehow turned into a nearly two-month long tour of the U.S. to support it. It seems things are about to get interesting.

Although I’ve mentioned the book here several times, I haven’t yet taken the time to explain who it’s for, what’s inside, and why I’m so proud of it. So that’s what I’m going to do today.

Oh yeah, and I’ve also got some amazing bonuses that I’ll send you when you pre-order before the official release on October 1st. And that’s not just marketing-speak — I really do think these bonuses are pretty darn special, and I think you’ll agree.

So here goes. If I get too deep into the self-gratification bit, punch me in the forehead.

The Big Risk I Took that Might Totally Backfire

Early on in the writing process, I made a decision that I knew could blow up in my face. But it’s a decision I stand by, and I want to share it with you.

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Vitamin B12 and the Case For (and Against) a Plant-Based Diet

The other day, Jeff D. asked some great questions in the comments section of my post 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan:

What are your thoughts concerning the inability to get B12 naturally on a vegan diet? It’s necessary for the body but a vegan diet only seems to get B12 through fortified foods and supplements.

Also, what about grains? It seems that a vegan diet relies on a lot of grains (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.). Recent research and acknowledgement of our anthropological history point to the idea that our bodies were not meant to process grains (especially gluten-based ones).

Grains are a topic for another post (check out The Paleo Diet Debunked?, by my friend Steve — a Paleo proponent but whose view on grains is almost identical to mine).

Right now, let’s stick to the B12 question; it’s a common one. Often, it takes a more argumentative and challenging tone, like this:

If we were really meant to be vegan, then why would we need to supplement with B12?

There’s little doubt about the presupposition: a vegan diet, without supplementation or fortification, is deficient in vitamin B12. Some will argue that you can get B12 from chlorella or “dirty produce,” and that before modern agricultural practices there was more B12 in the soil, but that’s not the discussion I want to have here.

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No Meat Athlete Radio: Farm Sanctuary Co-Founder and Ironman Gene Baur

Podcast Radio2Gene Baur would be pretty darn cool if he were “just” the co-founder of Farm Sanctuary.

Through his work there, Gene has become a published author and speaker, and a respected leader in the vegan, vegetarian, and animal advocacy worlds.

But when I go from admiration to downright jealousy is when you add, to all of Gene’s other accomplishments, the fact that he’s also a marathoner: after speaking at our pre-race No Meat Athlete dinner before the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA marathon and half, Gene proceeded to run the marathon faster than anyone in our group, en route to qualifying for Boston on his first try.

Oh yeah, and now he’s an Ironman, having completed his first one last month, in under 12 hours — breaking four hours in the marathon, following the 112-mile bike and 2.4-mile swim. No big deal.

It was a pleasure to have Gene as a guest on No Meat Athlete Radio. In this episode, we talk a bit about Farm Sanctuary and its mission, then compare how we trained and fueled our recent races — Gene’s Ironman and my 100-miler, which coincidentally took place on the same weekend.

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