The 7 Supplements I Take, 2019 Edition

Healthy supplements on wooden spoon

Yep, seven. Kind of a lot for a “whole foods” guy, right?

Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

If you’re even a casual NMA reader, you know it’s been a loooong time since I wrote two blog posts in a week. We’re talking years, I think.

Well, I’m here to boldly declare that I’m back. My goal for the year, No Meat Athlete’s 10th anniversary year, is to write a blog post per week, on average. Not because I should, but because I really want to — the time away has renewed my enthusiasm. And after going for so long without writing regularly, I’ve got a lot I’m excited to share.

But writing more is just one of my goals. This year, I gave myself permission to set a bunch of them — not just one or two, like I usually tell people is best — and to make them BIG.

Upgrading the OS

It didn’t take long, though, for me to realize that in order to do more, my “operating system” needs to be better — which means upgrading my daily habits, and to pay particular attention to nutrition, since that affects just about everything else.

For several years now I’ve been careful to cover the bases: vitamin B12, vitamin D, and DHA/EPA, just to safeguard myself against common deficiencies of a vegan diet (and many other diets, too, by the way). But now I’m paying more attention to things like sleep, recovery from workouts, nagging injuries, and even long-term prevention — and because of that, I find myself both more diligent and more experimental with supplements.

Don’t worry, this isn’t the post where Matt turns into a biohacker. In general, my philosophy is still “whole foods first,” and probably always will be. (Not the store — in that case, it’s actually “Whole Foods second,” after we’ve gotten everything we can at a cheaper place!)

In fact, you’ll see that several of what I call “supplements” actually are whole foods; it’s just that I take them like a robot would take fuel. If robots ran on fuel.

So here goes. I’ve listed the daily dose I take next to each.

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Run a Race this Year: Developing Your Ideal Training Plan

colorful silhouettes of people running in the city

It’s a new year, which means new running and racing goals. But for many of us, the cold winter, post-holiday lack of activity makes running a big race feel nearly impossible.

So in today’s episode, we look at the entire year, not just the next few months.

Here’s a breakdown of how to develop the perfect training schedule for your goals, whether they’re 3, 6, or 12 months away.

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7 Books Worth Your Time for a Healthy, Happy, and Productive 2019

piles of books on table over blurred library background.

We’re two weeks into the new year… which means when it comes to resolutions, most people have hit the wall.

And that’s okay.

When we make New Year’s about a “clean slate,” our one chance to get things right, we’re going to lose. Of course we are.

But there’s tremendous opportunity in using this time of year — post-holidays, post-stress, post-busyness — to create new habits that will make this year better than the last.

So the good news is that even if your resolutions are history, the season isn’t. We’re only two weeks in!

In this spirit, I offer you the list of books I’m most excited about for their capacity to help all of us make change for the better.

Several of them I’ve read many times (often at New Year’s, in fact), a few I’ve read just once (that’s all that was needed), and a couple others that I’m reading now or have on my list for early this year.

I hope they help you make the most of this wonderful season.

41m7L8FrIzL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_1. Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Maybe the best book for reading at the start of a new year, ever. I’ve read it four or five times, and I know NMA Radio co-host Doug is a big fan, too.

Turning Pro is about growing up. Showing up. And forever giving up the excuses and rationalizations that keep you an amateur (both professionally and otherwise).

It’s written for writers and artists, but the advice is applicable to just about everyone, in whatever area of life you’re playing too small.

2. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

A few weeks ago, I listened to David Goggins on the Rich Roll Podcast.

I knew he was a ultrarunner, an ultra-distance cyclist, and a triathlete. And I knew he was an ex-Navy SEAL, one of those military dudes you just don’t want to mess with.

Usually, I don’t really relate to people like this; it’s just too big a leap. Robotic discipline and run-through-walls determination? Cool, but not really me.

But when you learn about where Goggins comes from and how he grew up, you realize he wasn’t born superhuman. He decided to be this way, and he still decides to choose discomfort and growth over what’s easy — every single day, starting at a ridiculously dark and cold hour.

I haven’t read Can’t Hurt Me, his self-published memoir, yet. I’m still riding the motivation-high of the new year and feeling plenty inspired.

But the second that starts to dip — and I know that at some point, it will — this will be my motivation to get back in the game.

41nAX7WbShL._SY346_3. The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle

One of the most inspiring lessons I’ve ever learned is that talent isn’t an accident.

That most people who are truly great in their fields are that way not because they were born with it, but because they worked hard.

The so-called 10,000 Hour Rule was eye-opening for me. Our culture wants to be believe that the outstanding performers we admire were born with the gift — because that lets us off the hook: We weren’t born with anything special, so it’s not our fault.

But when you come to believe that with hard work and lots of it — real, deliberate practice, for thousands of hours — mastery of anything is possible, suddenly you have a lot of choices. (This is especially exciting for kids, who have more time with which to accumulate those thousands of hours.)

Daniel Coyle wrote a long book, called the Talent Code, about this idea, where he shared the best practices he learned by studying talent hotbeds around the world. The Little Book of Talent is a distillation of that advice into 52 short directives — things like “shrink the practice space” and “buy a notebook” — to help you engineer your (or your kids’) practice routines for success.

613D-sCSsoL._SY346_4. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

I’ve been frustrated with journaling for a long time. I’d love to make it work — to have a record of my successes, failures, and lessons learned, plus whatever benefits come from the journaling process itself — but just haven’t been able to make the habit last.

I go through spurts where I do it every day, and then I stop for months (or years). I’ve tried it in different formats, handwritten and typed, notebook, computer, cloud, with no way to pull it all together. It’s a mess.

Worse, I keep notebooks of to-do lists and day-to-day notes, but I have no process for revisiting them. Sure, I might write down a great insight or quote, but I’ll likely never see it again without any system for making sure I do.

Well, the Bullet Journal promises to be that system, and hundreds of thousands of happy Bullet-journalers give me reason to believe that promise.

Charmingly, it’s all done in a blank, pen-and-paper notebook. You can now buy “official” Bullet Journals, but I find that idea much less appealing than the DIY version.

You actually don’t need to buy The Bullet Journal Method to learn the system; it’s all laid out for free on the author’s website. But the book provides additional context around things like goals and intentionality, and the idea that at its best, Bullet Journaling is an exercise in mindfulness.

5. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Yes, this is kind of old. I read it back in 2015, and I felt like I was late to party then.

So why include it? Because it freaking works.

I read a whole lot of books about how to make things better, and for me, none has ever delivered on its promise the way this one has.

Since my epic tidying marathon this book inspired three years ago, I’ve never gone back to my old ways. It’s life-changing, for real.

Now’s the perfect time. Ditch the clutter and make room for what matters in your life.

51xCkzASckL._SY346_6. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Maybe my mantra should be, “I haven’t read the book, but I have heard the author on the Rich Roll podcast!”

Because that’s the deal with this one, like it was with #2 above.

I talk a lot about the “small steps” approach, and also the opposite (but not entirely incompatible) idea of “massive action.” But there’s so much more to the science of changing habits, a lot of which has to do with engineering your environment for success.

I went into this interview assuming I knew most of what there is to know about practical habit change advice, but as I listened, blogger and author James Clear gave so many “ah-ha” tips that I had to add his book to my list of must-reads this year.

If you think your whole habit-change operating system could use a software upgrade, then this is the book to read.

7. Deep Meditation by Yogani

I’m slightly ashamed to admit that, despite investing quite a bit of money and time in meditation courses and apps, I’ve never made meditation into a lasting habit.

Interestingly, though, none of the fancy courses I’ve bought or attended have provided more insight than Deep Meditation, a short little volume you can buy for $4.61. It shines light on a lot of the dark corners of meditation, and provides a simple, practical prescription for creating a daily practice.

I’m not sure 2019 will be the year I make meditation last — that might never happen. But when I’m ready to try again, this is the approach I’ll go back to.

61-OwbMZwmL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_8. The No Meat Athlete Cookbook by Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine (Just $3.99 today!)

Okay, so I promised you seven books, but snuck in an eighth. And one that I co-authored, no less!

And there’s a good reason for that. The No Meat Athlete Cookbook was selected by Amazon as a Kindle Daily Deal, which means that today (and today, January 13th, only), you can pick up the digital version for just $3.99.

It’s discounted across all platforms today, so you can get it at that price regardless of how you e-read.

This book is our most successful to date, with over 50,000 copies sold and lots of accolades in mainstream press. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, the start of the new year is as good as time as any.

One final time, happy new year. Remember, it’s not about the day, but about the season, so make something happen while 2019 is still in front of you.

cookbook-facebook-2019

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Matt’s Quest for Deeper Sleep

White bed in bright bedroom

For Christmas, Matt got a sleep tracker that evaluates the type and quality of sleep he’s getting throughout the night. After a few nights of what felt like great sleep, he discovered what appeared to be extremely low Deep Sleep. Far less than average.

Concerned, Matt did what he does best… He began experimenting.

In today’s episode he shares the different lifestyle changes he’s making to try and get more deep sleep. From new food and drink choices to meditation and temperature adjustments, he’s willing to try it all.

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3 No Meat Athlete Resources for a Vegan Holiday Season

winter morning running

There’s something about this time of year that brings out the best and the worst in me.

On the one hand, it’s almost Christmas! And who doesn’t love sitting by the tree surrounded by the people you love?

On the other hand…there’s also overcrowded shopping centers, hectic travel, and endless temptations to eat this holiday treat and skip that bitter-cold run.

But this year, I’m taking control of the holidays. I’m leaving my internal Grinch out in the snow and leaning into the season with jingle bells and all.

To help us all get into this holly jolly spirit, I’ve put together a list of my favorite No Meat Athlete resources that have advice, recipes, and gift ideas to help make this holiday great.

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A Behind the Scenes Look at No Meat Athlete

cover

According to Google, the average lifespan of a blog is just 100 days — just over three months from conception to giving up.

And honestly, it’s not surprising. Having created my own blog, and now having worked with Matt at No Meat Athlete for over six years, I know that maintaining a site people actually want to read is more of a marathon than a Color Run.

Content takes time to do right, communities grow slowly, and finding a way to be compensated for the massive amounts of time and effort…

Well that’s an entirely different subject.

So it’s somewhat of a plant-based miracle that — after beginning as a little side project for Matt to document his journey of going vegetarian and qualifying for Boston — No Meat Athlete has flourished for nearly 10 years…

Thanks in large part to you, our tribe of readers and supporters who believe in what we’re doing here.

I know that if I hadn’t discovered No Meat Athlete when I first went vegetarian, I wouldn’t have had the confidence I did to keep training, and ultimately might never have gone vegan.

You might feel the same way.

But No Meat Athlete looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago (actually, the site itself doesn’t look all that different… but spoiler! An updated site is dropping very, very soon).

What started as Matt’s daily food and lifestyle journal — not sure he’d be thrilled with me calling it that, but hey, I’m the one writing this post 😉 — now consists of a team of seven, a weekly podcast, two published books, countless nutrition and fitness resources, and a community of hundreds of thousands of plant-based athletes.

Instead of just one guy posting on a blog and sharing it with his friends, NMA has grown into a team of people all focused on a single mission: supporting a growing community of plant-based athletes as they set big goals and accomplish amazing things.

How cool is that?

And we have a lot going on. To give you a quick idea of what the current No Meat Athlete looks like, here’s a peek at what was going on today, Thursday, November 15th:

  • Esther, who you may know as our customer service guru, is working with Matt’s wife Erin to finalize inventory and setup for a brand new line of shirts.
  • Will is working with the community of Academy members, Pulse, and writing this week’s Pulse newsletter.
  • Susan is keeping our social media channels active, and nudging Matt and I to do more things like our recent Instagram AMA.
  • Lead Editor Andrew is editing this very post (or is about to be, anyway 😉
  • Our partner in Health Made Simple, Sid, is hosting a live Q&A for everyone participating in the first Health Made Simple Challenge, which wraps up this week — great job guys!
  • Matt Tullman, No Meat Athlete’s business advisor, just had a baby! My best guess is that he’s cleaning up spit-up or trying desperately to figure out which position will keep the baby asleep long enough for him to drink a smoothie.
  • Matt Frazier, who we all know and love, is working on a few big announcements coming your way over the next week or two.
  • Aside from this post, I’m focused on our fifth annual Fitness and Nutrition Bundle, set to release next week.

And I’m pretty sure we’re all trying to get in a run, swim, or ride today…

team

(That’s Esther, Matt Frazier, Susan, Will, Andrew, me, and Matt Tullman.)

But that skips over the biggest driver behind No Meat Athlete:

You, the community. The people really out there showing the world what plant-based badasses can accomplish.

For that, we can’t thank you enough.

In a reflection on nearly 10 years of No Meat Athlete, Matt and I wanted to do something a little different on the podcast. This week we take a trip down memory lane and explore the history of No Meat Athlete and how it has become what it is today.

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I failed at two 50 milers. Here’s how those failures turned me into a badass.

Autumn Aspen Grove - A unpaved hiking trail, curving through a d

In the moment, I was absolutely convinced that quitting was the right decision. There was no way I was going to go on.

And nobody would fault me for dropping if they knew the battle that was raging in my mind. The first 20 miles of the Gnaw Bone 50-miler had chewed me up, and I knew this wasn’t going to be my day.

It felt good to quit. I was at peace with failing.

But that all ended when I couldn’t get an Oreo.

As soon as I told the aid station volunteer that I was dropping, she tore the race bib from my shorts, stamped a giant DNF on my forehead (at least that’s what it felt like), and told me to go sit down.

No, I couldn’t have an Oreo from the table. Not even one. The aid station food was for runners, and at this point, I was no longer one of them.

For the days, weeks, and months following that DNF, I couldn’t get it out of my head.

I had failed.

I wore that DNF around with me everywhere I went.

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The No Meat Athlete Community in Action

community-in-action

It’s election day in the U.S. (speaking of which, if you haven’t already, go vote!), and right about now your inbox is probably filled with last minute campaign notifications and news alerts.

So we thought we’d do something a little different…

I was looking back through the archives, and we haven’t posted a community update since April of 2013.

2013! A lot has changed since then…

In April of 2013, no one had yet suffered through What Does a Fox Say, we were still using the iPhone 4, and NMA Radio was only on episode 10.

Can you imagine all the marathons, triathlons, ultramarathons, and delicious plant-based treats this tribe has finished in the past five and a half years?

As a team member here at NMA, I’m lucky enough to see firsthand some of what this community is up to. From posts on our Facebook page, Pulse members sending out updates, or people just reaching out via email or Twitter to share their latest accomplishments, I’m constantly blown away by your stories.

But recently we haven’t done a very good job of sharing those amazing stories from other NMAs with you.

For example, did you hear about Terry Hagio, jumping her way into a finish at the Soldier Field 10 miler?

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