Fiber, Gift Boxes, and the Four Rules of Healthy Eating with Sid Garza-Hillman

Freshh green salad with spinach,arugula,romane and lettuce

When you invite Sid Garza-Hillman, certified nutritionist and author of Approaching the Natural, onto your podcast, you never know where the conversation may lead. It could be cold showers, or even not showering at all…

Or in the case of today’s episode, poop. Well, more specifically, fiber (and the effects it has on your body).

See, it all started with a post Sid wrote earlier this week on the only healthy eating rules you ever need to follow. In it, he shared four rules, or guidelines, that if followed, will almost guarantee you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Four remarkably simple and easy-to-understand rules.

So in today’s episode, we brought him on to discuss these rules in more detail, and of course to address the stinky question I’m sure I wasn’t alone in asking…

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The Only 4 Healthy Eating Rules You Ever Need to Follow

colorful buddha bowl with grilled tofu and dragon fruit

When it comes to nutrition… we know a lot.

Yet, despite what we know, we’re getting fatter, weaker, and sicker.

With all of the information right at our fingertips — books, blogs, podcasts, etc. — why are we still struggling so much with nutrition?

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve asked yourself a version of that same question…

Why do I feel unhealthy?

Why don’t I have the energy I want?

Why can’t I maintain my ideal body weight?

The answer is not about knowing enough, but rather doing enough. All that knowledge — and the endless information making you think you need to learn more — ends up becoming a distraction from the doing.

When all you really need to follow is a few simple rules.

What You Could Know vs. What You Need to Know

A large part of my focus is helping people discover the difference between what they could know versus what they need to know.

Because in pretty much every instance, what you need to know about healthy eating to actually start eating healthily (in a lasting, long-term way) is way less than what you could know.

For example, as a speaker, author, and plant-based nutritionist I know a bunch. It’s my job to know.

But at the same time… as a 49-year-old father, husband, ultramarathoner, what I need to know is only a very small fraction of that information.

This is what led me to boil all of it down to four simple rules. Rules that streamline all the major could-knows into four easy to follow and understand need-to-knows.

Follow only these (and apply some common sense), and you’ll get the results you want. Not because you have all the knowledge, but because you you’re actually taking action on what matters.

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The Most Important Food Lesson I’ve Learned in a Decade of No Meat Athlete

Vibrant ingredients for healthy diet

When I first started on this journey, nearly ten years ago (!), it was the advice in Michael Pollan’s classic In Defense of Food that really called out to me, and still does today:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

In time, that became synonymous with the simpler advice to “just eat whole plants.” On a whole-food, plant-based diet, the “not too much” part becomes almost redundant.

As advice goes, it’s hard improve on that.

But last night, as I was chopping some broccoli to make dinner for myself and my kids (my wife, Erin, is away visiting family), I was reminded once again of another distinction I’ve learned along the way, a crucial one that made it all click.

While “eat whole plants” is the what to eat, what I had to discover for myself was the how.

It’s what removes almost every last bit of stress from the process of eating and planning meals, and, for me, makes Pollan’s advice sustainable.

Last night, broccoli was a main course, and it was simple. It was what we had in the fridge, so I just steamed until just slightly crunchy, and served with a little whole-wheat pasta (no sauce) and some chickpeas on the side.

Until writing this blog post, it didn’t occur to me that what I served and ate was a grain, a green, and a bean, my favorite formula for a quick, healthy meal.

Actually, it barely occurred to me to call this a “meal.”

What did occur to me was that those were foods we had on hand — and that this “meal” was something I could throw together fast, fast enough to get a fantasy football lineup in before the Sunday night game started.

I still feel a tinge of guilt about meals like this (not the gambling, though!). More so when I serve them to the kids. It’s not that they don’t taste good — honestly, my kids much prefer simple flavors and textures like these to complex meals with rich sauces and lots of spice. (And if you’re a parent, I don’t need to tell you that less stress at meal time = win. Trust me, food being interesting for me is the least of my concerns.)

So why the guilt?

It’s that I still forget what I discovered back in 2013, driving across the country on my DIY book tour for No Meat Athlete.

And that is this:

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Vote: New NMA Shirt Designs


A few weeks ago we put out a call to the community for new No Meat Athlete shirt designs. And let me just say…

Wow! Just wow.

We received nearly 50 amazing designs, each with their own creative take on what it means to be a No Meat Athlete.

(Have we told you how much we love you lately? Well, we do. We really do.)

The designs were so good we couldn’t choose a winner ourselves. So we’re asking for your help:

Will you vote for your favorite design for our next NMA shirt release?

Update: Keep in mind that the new designs will not replace the standard logo shirts. They aren’t going anywhere! Our goal is to continue adding to the designs already available so you can find the perfect shirt to fit your style.

The Contestants

As a team, we narrowed it down to three contenders for this first round. Now you have a chance to pick your favorite. Based on the results, we’ll select a winner for an upcoming release.

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The Nutrition Q&A Episode


It’s time for another big Q&A episode, where we answer listener submitted questions.

In this week’s edition, we focus on nutrition-related questions, ranging from eating for recovery to the value of plant-based meats.

Spoiler alert: Matt and I see eye to eye on all the answers…

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The Back to School Reset Episode

Back to school

Winter is coming…

Schools are back in session, the heat has broken, and the hype around fall races is increasing by the day.

And if your summer has looked anything like ours — full of travel, veggie burgers, and beer — it’s time for a reset. With just over three months before the holidays kick off, now is the perfect time to set fresh goals and refocus on your health.

In today’s episode we share our habit goals for the next few months, and how we’re committing to our nutrition, fitness, and mindset.

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The Anxiety Episode

Marathon Läufer

Today’s episode is a little different…

It gets personal.

If you’ve trained for a sporting event, chances are you’ve experienced at least some level of pre-race (or match, game, etc.) anxiety. You know… that overwhelming feeling the days and hours heading into a race that leads to questions and doubts on your training and ability.

In today’s episode, we talk about that pre-race anxiety, how we address it, and what we do when it’s no longer related to a race, but to life in general.

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Design the Next NMA T-Shirt


Want to see your design featured on a No Meat Athlete T-shirt?

We’re looking for a few new shirt designs, and thought there was no better place to start the search than within our own community…

So we’re holding a contest!

If you’re an artist or designer, or just have a good idea for our next shirt, we want to see what you can come up with. We’ll sort through all the submitted designs and print our favorites on the next round of No Meat Athlete shirts.

Does this mean the current shirts are going away? Absolutely not! But we hope the new designs will be something the NMA community will love to wear to show their support of the plant-based fitness movement.

What you need to know:

  • Submit your design to before the deadline of Wednesday, August 22.
  • We’ll quickly review the designs and get back to everyone with our decision.
  • The winning design(s) will receive $500, plus shout-outs on NMA’s social channels and the blog.

What we’re looking for:

For the past several years, No Meat Athlete shirts have relied heavily on the logo. Now, we’re looking for something different…

A simple, edgy, creative design that matches the energy of this community.

Other than that, it’s up to you! Let the creative juices flow. We can’t wait to check out your ideas.

If you have any questions, contact us at

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