My First Vegan Grocery List (and a Must-Make Recipe)

I can’t believe I’m actually going to post a  list of what I bought at the grocery store.

When my wife, Erin, suggested that we save the receipt in case people wanted to know what we bought, given that it was our first full-on vegan trip to the store, I told her no way.

“Are you serious?  Who gives a rat’s ass what we buy to eat?” I responded.  (Actually, I was nicer than that.  I may have even offered a foot massage in return for the suggestion.  Not really.)

I mean, I posted my grocery list and all sorts of other boring things about myself when my blog was new and nobody read it, but surely we’re past that now, right?

Nope.  As soon as I wrote something about my first vegan food-shopping trip on Twitter (my current repository for all things personal, petty and childish; follow me there if you want), people asked for the list.

You win, Erin.

So, with the hope that maybe it will help somebody realize that being vegan doesn’t mean just eating lettuce all day, here goes nothin’.

My first vegan shopping list

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The Best Stuff I Read Last Week

Well, it’s only my second “weekend links” post, and already I’m running late on it.  But technically, it’s still the weekend for four more hours, so I can only consider this a win.

Here we go…get those clicking fingers ready.

Vegan 101: The Ethics of Veganism – JL Goes Vegan

When I went vegan last week, I told you that I really wasn’t into writing about ethical issues on No Meat Athlete.  Thankfully, other people are into that, and Gena from Choosing Raw is one of the best I know at doing it in a casual, non-preachy manner.  There’s a lot to think about here, but if you’re intrigued about veganism or even vegetarianism, this guest post of Gena’s on JL Goes Vegan is a great place to start.

Why Your Fears Won’t Come True — Raptitude

Ever since I read Poke the Box a few weeks ago, I’ve been really big on this idea of giving fear the middle finger and just doing stuff that scares you.  After all, when I look at people who are in a place I’d like to be, it appears that’s the difference between them and me.

David, the author of Raptitude, commented on my “going vegan” post last week and had some interesting stuff to say about his own experiment with (and subsequent adoption of) veganism.  His posts are very well thought-out and well written, which I really like.  (Unlike the trashy linkbait you’ll find gracing the pages of NMA. :))  Read his stuff; it’s good.

Business Funding Through Kickstarter (Bearded Bros Organic Treats Inside!) — Ridiculously Extraordinary

This is a video where Karol interviews the guys behind Bearded Brothers, a brand new raw vegan energy bar company.  Caleb, one of the two guys who started the company, has been an online friend of mine for a while now, and I finally got to meet him in Austin when he came to my little vegetarian meetup.  He’s good people.  (I tried a few of the energy bars too — also good people.)

A lot of you mentioned wanting to start businesses in your comments on my Poke the Box post; Kickstarter is a really innovative option to check out for funding.  It worked for Bearded Brothers!  You can get a good overview of how it works in the video, plus a Bearded Brothers coupon code in Karol’s post.

These 150 Calories Go Straight to Your Bulging Belly…at the Rate of 1 Pound Per Week —

I wish this post would have been called “What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Can of Soda,” because it probably would have gotten read more that way (though I guess 187,000 views isn’t so bad).

Nobody will be surprised to learn that soda is horrible, but if you’re having trouble kicking the habit, maybe reading this will increase your perceived grossness of it.

DC Blogger Meetup

I drove down to DC yesterday to catch the end of the National Marathon and Half Marathon, and hung out afterward with a few bloggers at Sweetgreen for lunch.  Evan, Anne, and Sana all ran; Gena and I just sort of ate.  There was a much bigger meetup at night, but I had to get home for a beer-brewing date with some pals.  Here we are at Sweetgreen!



New Minimalist Shoe – The ‘Nada’ by Somnio

To me, the “Nada” sounds like the name of a fake product from one of those Saturday Night Live commercials.

I can imagine the marketing meeting now…”Well, we can’t call it the ‘Nothing,’ guys, because who wants to pay for nothing?  I know, how about we just use the Spanish word?  Then ‘nothing’ will seem seductive and spicy and awesome!”

So the name is kind of dumb, but then again, a lot of their names are funny (Hot Sauce?), so maybe it’s a joke.

Regardless, Somnio won me over on the Nada.  How?

With (a) some really nice packaging, (b) a DVD “owner’s manual” with exercises and a plan to help make the transition to minimalist running gradual, safe and painless, and (c) a pair of shoes that truly delivers on achieving a balance somewhere between practicality and barefoot running.

I decided that a video review would be more helpful than a written one, so here you go!  I used the Vibram Five Fingers and Brooks Green Silence to give some context.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

(And just to be clear, Somnio sent me these shoes for free to review on my site. I think I’m supposed to tell you that so I don’t get locked up.)

Thanks to Somnio for sending me the shoes to review.  Check out the Nada at Somnio’s website if you’d like to learn more — you can even apply to be a tester for their stuff!

P.S. Let me know what you think about video posts so I can decide whether to do more of them.  Yay or nay?



My Decision to Go Vegan (Which Has Absolutely Nothing to Do With Oprah)

Not veganish, whatever that means.  Vegan.

I’ve tried it twice before, each time for 30 days.  By the end of both trials, I found myself sprinting to the nearest Domino’s for a slice of greasy pizza.

And now I know why — I was forcing it.  I was doing it because I wanted to feel bad about eating cheese and eggs.  And yet on a gut level, I didn’t mind those foods, and that’s why I so quickly grabbed a slice of ‘za when those 30 days were up.

But this time it’s different.

The single comment that brought about the change

You’ll have to excuse me for talking about cruelty and ethical issues in this post — that’s not what No Meat Athlete is about, and I generally focus on health and athletic performance over those things that stir up controversy.

But for me this time, the change isn’t about health.  A very tiny percentage of my diet recently has come from animal products over the past few months, with that percentage decreasing as I lost some of the taste for dairy products after each 30-day trial (I don’t like eggs anyway unless I can’t taste them).

So it won’t make a difference for my health or for my running.  (I guess pizza is one less junk food I can eat on lazy days, but I’m sure I’ll find some vegan junk food if that’s what I’m in the mood for.)

Instead, this change is about animals, and not taking stuff from them or otherwise being a dick to them.  And you know what did it?  A blog comment someone left me.  This one, from someone named “Yoga Gurl”:

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Sunday Links! (Awesome SXSW Edition)

The weekend link post seems to be a popular thing these days.  And since I’ve been finding a lot of good stuff recently that doesn’t always tie in directly to what I’m writing about, I’m going to give it a try.  Maybe Sundays, maybe Saturdays.

The links in this first one are from people I met last week at South by Southwest Interactive.  These people, and the others I hung out with for five days in Austin, Texas, are an amazingly inspiring bunch who are squeezing everything there is to squeeze out of life.  Vegans, travelers, minimalists, entrepreneurs, athletes, risk-takers.  And above all, really warm, friendly people.

Please visit their sites and take a minute to leave a comment to say hi.  These guys made my trip a blast, and for me to get to meet the people I’ve learned so much from was really special.

No Meat Mondays — Karol Gajda and Robin

Karol Gajda is a guy I’ve looked up to for a long time, for both the way he does veganism and the way he runs his website, Ridiculously Extraordinary.  I had the pleasure of meeting him when he came to the NMA meetup at SXSW and then later on for a few more vegan meals.

No Meat Mondays is Karol’s new project — he’s not the main author, but he’s doing the marketing for the site.  It’s a brand new site with only three recipes so far, but I love their non-preachy attitude towards introducing people to vegan food.  Plus the recipes are for interesting, authentic-looking ethnic food, which (in my opinion) is the best kind of vegan food.

Check it out and subscribe; I’m sure there’s lots more good that will come out of this one.

How to Survive as a Travelling Vegetarian — Fluent in 3 Months

I met Benny the Irish polyglot and knew immediately who he was.  (Must have been the accent.)  Benny is a super-high-energy vegetarian who travels the world meeting people and speaking to them in their language.  He speaks 8 languages, and teaches others to learn languages mind-blowingly fast.

Benny’s site isn’t about vegetarianism, but this particular post is a great one.  Apparently, “vegetarian” and its translations don’t mean the same thing in every country…

An Idiot’s Guide to Living With 417 Things — Man Vs. Debt

Sell your crap…pay off your debt…do what you love.  That’s what Adam Baker and his family did when they decided to sell all their stuff and spend the year traveling abroad.  They’re now touring the country (with a two-and-a-half year-old daughter) in an RV.  I got a chance to tour the inside of it, and I think my son’s stuff would take up the entire thing!

I like this post because it’s kind of an “everyman’s minimalism.”  It’s not 50 or 100 things like the hardcore minimalists do, but 417.  Still not much room for junky crap though.  This is the type of minimalism I could see myself doing.

The Badass Project — Johnny B. Truant

Johnny B. Truant runs a popular site that’s an “internet made awesome” approach to business, and he writes every week for Copyblogger, one of the best blogging blogs in the world.  But he’s also a powerlifter who is training for his first marathon, and that’s how I got hooked up with him (he found my site searching for pinole and chia recipes).  Johnny and I went for a nice run at Town Lake in Austin last Saturday, along with Tyler from Advanced Riskology.

Johnny also has a new site called the Badass Project, and it’s one you’ve got to check out.  It’s a completely not-for-profit project highlighting the incredible achievements of people who refuse to let disabilities (if you can even call them that) keep them from being total badasses.  I love this kind of stuff.

You’ve Won the Lottery. Didn’t You Get the Memo? — Advanced Riskology

Tyler Tervooren is another unique and inspiring guy.  He ran with Johnny and me at Town Lake, and this year he’ll be running two international marathons and climbing two huge mountains (I think Kilimanjaro was one).

Tyler’s site is all about taking risks and daring to live life outside the bounds of what’s considered “normal.”  This post is a nice reminder of the huge advantages we all (yes, all) have in this world.  Given this, there’s not much excuse for settling for mediocre.

7 Tips for Morning Alertness Without Caffeine — Scott H. Young

Scott Young’s tagline is “Get more from life.”  No better way to describe his site than that — it’s about everything from productivity to speed-reading to philosophy to entrepreneurship to health and fitness (Scott is vegetarian, by the way).  Scott came to the NMA meetup and we got lunch later with Karol Gajda and some others.

I’m sort of back in the coffee rut.  Which is sort of a shame and sort of not.  I’ve kind of embraced and enjoyed it, for the time being.  But I realize that long-term, I don’t want coffee every day.  This post from Scott offers some alternative approaches to waking up.

‘Unrealistic’ Athletic Goals How and Why to Pursue Them – The Blog of Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is the guy who wrote 4 Hour Body and 4-Hour Workweek, both of which were huge hits.  He did a book signing at SXSW, so that’s how I got to meet him, but I was pretty surprised that he recognized my name and website.  (Tim had tweeted and Facebooked my review of 4 Hour Body, but these guys are busy, you know?)

This post is actually a guest post on Tim’s blog by Pavel Tsatsouline, a Soviet Special Forces instructor who’s featured in 4HB.  It’s a long post, and the focus is on deadlifting, but the ideas are fascinating.

And to close it out, one non-South-by-Southwester with a post I just had to include…

The Gray Area: Are Marshmallows Vegetarian? — Healthy Tipping Point

I’m sure you all know who Caitlin is, and you might have even seen this post.  It’s an interesting discussion about foods that aren’t technically vegan (or even vegetarian, in some cases) like Guinness, some cheese, and marshmallows.

Caitlin asked readers to leave comments on what their “gray area” is, and I wrote that when it comes to beer and wine, I’m still not quite sure how to proceed.  After I find out that something like Guinness isn’t vegetarian-friendly, I stop drinking it.  But I’m not yet at the point where I research every beer before I order it at a bar.  I’d be interested to know how you guys are with this.

Random Bonus: Dave Grohl Photo!

On my last day in Austin, I ran into Foo Fighters lead singer and guitarist and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl!  (I used to be big into drumming, and Dave was an idol of mine.)  Dave was really cool and found the opportunity to make fun of Baltimore accents, though he was nice enough to note that my friend and I didn’t have one.  The fact that someone this successful was so friendly to two random dudes on the street stuck me as pretty damn cool.

Couldn’t resist posting the picture we got with Dave:



Not Sure What To Do? Try Starting

At South by Southwest Interactive (the conference where I’ve been for the past week), there’s a lot of “free shit” to be garnered.

Mostly, “free” takes the form of tacos and empanadas from the scores of food trucks in Austin.  And it sometimes shows up as beer (usually Miller Lite but often Shiner Bock, which tastes alright back home but somehow much better in Texas).

So when I saw a stack of copies of marketing genius Seth Godin‘s newest book at the Man Vs. Debt meetup (more free — coffee and espresso, food, and RV tours), I got excited because (a) I love Seth Godin’s stuff and (b) I figured it was free.

It was.  Sort of.

On certain conditions

After I had the book in my taco-greased hands, I discovered that I actually had to earn it.  How?

By agreeing to read it within five days, write a one-sentence review in the back, and then pass it on to someone else who could use it.

Having read the whole thing on the plane ride home (not such a feat — it’s only 83 pages), I’m doing that last part now: Maybe you’re the one who can use it.

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Can Pearl iZUMi Really Help You ‘Run Like an Animal’?

Post written by Susan Lacke.

“We want you to RUN LIKE AN ANIMAL.”

When I got an letter from Pearl iZUMi with this statement, I had to double-check to make sure it was actually my name in the header. It was. Surely, the company made a mistake. I don’t run like an animal. At best, I suppose I could run like a lobotomized duck, but even that’s pushing it.

I’ve been a fan of Pearl iZUMi’s cycling gear since I began triathlon training. On long rides, I swear by their women’s cycling shorts. Without them, my ability to feel my bum after 60 miles would be non-existent. No other brand will do for me.

In spite of my ass full of gratitude, I was a bit apprehensive when Pearl iZUMi asked me to test out their running gear. Typically, when a company with a strong reputation in one discipline tries to expand into a multisport role, they flounder.

My curiosity outweighed my skepticism. This lobotomized duck took their running gear for a spin. If you want to Run Like An Animal, too, here’s what you need to know.  (Disclosure: Pearl iZUMi sent me this stuff to try out for free.)

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Last-Minute Austin, TX Meetup

Okay, really last minute post here, but I guess that’s how it works when you try to plan a meetup in a city you’ve never been to, around a conference you’ve never attended, and you’re really indecisive…

Anyway, I’m at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas, learning lots of cool stuff and meeting lots of cool people.  I went for a run early this morning with Johnny B. Truant and Tyler Tervooren, both of whom are doing kick-ass things on the internet and are totally worth checking out if you haven’t heard of them.  Go say hi!

Kerbey Lane Cafe Meetup

Austin is a a super veggie-friendly town and has lots of vegetarian/vegan restaurants.  Yet given the number of options and the fact that I’m indecisive and a procrastinator, it took me until very recently to firm up the plans of a place to meet up with anyone who wants to hang out.

So here’s the deal: A couple readers of No Meat Athlete and I are going to get together for a bite to eat tonight (Saturday, March 12) at Kerbey Lane Cafe (the one at 2606 Guadalupe) at 5:30 PM.  If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come say hi, and eat what seems to be some pretty good food, based on the huge number of recommendations I got on Twitter for Kerbey Lane.

Sorry for the late notice, but I hope you can make it!  Have a great weekend and get outside for a run!