Everyone Welcome (Even “Hipster Vegetarians”)

Leslie, Cathy and Jon at the No Meat Athlete tent after Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona

“So … are you guys, like, real vegetarians? Or just the hipster kind?”

It was 5 AM on a Sunday morning and I hadn’t found a cup of coffee yet. It was far too early for this shit. I looked the stocky dude at the next-door tent up and down.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Well, you know how vegetarians are. You guys probably say you don’t eat meat, and then you go home and eat a whole steak but don’t tell anyone.”

“Well, I don’t know about that, but …”

“Yeah, you just can’t resist bacon, right?” he interrupted.

I smiled politely and walked away in search of coffee.

I shared this story several times on Sunday, January 20, as I congregated with No Meat Athletes at our VIP tent at Rock & Roll Arizona. The response was always the same: an eye-roll and a chuckle of “oh, yeah, I’ve heard that before!”

To outside observers, our tent may have looked like any other team tent. There was a cooler full of water and juice, fruits and breakfast burritos on the table, and a lot of happy people in matching shirts. But for the 47 marathoners, half-marathoners, and mini-marathon finishers in No Meat Athlete shirts, it was something much more.

It was a community.

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The Paleo Diet for Vegetarians: Your Questions Answered

Post written by Susan Lacke.

Almost immediately after I published my last post, How I Survived for 8 Weeks as a Paleo Vegetarian, my e-mail inbox was flooded with questions.

Though I knew paleo-vegetarianism was topic with few resources, I had no idea of the vast gap between supply and demand! There’s a lot of thirst for knowledge on this very topic of hybridizing the Paleo and vegetarian lifestyles — a thirst I feel slightly inadequate to quench. I’m not an expert on a Paleo diet, by any means, and I’m certainly not the be-all, end-all when it comes to adapting the diet to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

However, a dearth of information sometimes means an overgrowth of misinformation. It seems that many people believe that it’s impossible to combine the Paleo and plant-based lifestyle, solely because there isn’t any information out there on it.

To those naysayers: It’s possible. Here are the answers to some of your questions about my 8-week experiment as a Paleo Vegetarian.

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How I Survived for 8 Weeks as a Paleo Vegetarian (and Lost 19 Pounds)

Post written by Susan Lacke.

I’m never one to back down from a challenge. If you tell me I “can’t” do something, you’ve guaranteed I’ll set out to do it.

So when my buddy Joel Runyon bragged about a new diet plan of his, I was intrigued and wanted to give it a shot for myself.

“Aww, that’s cute,” Joel smirked, “but you can’t do it.”

“Why?” I retorted.

“It’s based on the principles of a paleo diet plan. You couldn’t do it. You’re one of THOSE people. You know…” Joel leaned in and whispered, like a parent saying a dirty word in a preschool, “vegetarian.”

“Eff you, Runyon. It’s possible for the paleo diet to be adapted to the vegetarian lifestyle.”

“Prove it.”

“Fine. I will.”

The principles of paleo

If you’re unfamiliar with the paleo diet, it’s a diet that encourages “eating like a caveman.” In other words, only foods that our ancestors would have hunted or gathered. It’s what we’re “meant” to eat, say proponents, and for many, that idea translates to the notion that we’re “meant” to eat meat — lots of it.

A quick search for “vegetarian paleo” doesn’t yield much of use, other than Matt’s long post about three ways to make it work. In fact, an overwhelming majority of sources said it’d be almost impossible to sustain a paleo-vegetarian lifestyle. Some even claimed that, like our cavemen ancestors, a person would die of nutritional deficiencies if they didn’t get their hands on animal protein.

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16 Easy Strength Exercises & Stretches to Help You Run Faster & Injury-Free

Maybe you’re plagued by injuries.

Maybe it’s too cold/icy/windy/[insert excuse here] to run outdoors today.

Maybe you’re burned out and want to shake up your routine a little bit.

Or maybe you want to finally break past a plateau to become a stronger, faster, more efficient runner.

While there’s certainly something to be said for hill repeats, speedwork, and long runs, there’s more to running than … well, just running. Strength training and stretching have not only been found to improve overall running performance, they can also help you prevent injury.

Yes, I know it’s time-consuming. It’s boring. You have places to go and people to see. But if you can take fifteen to thirty minutes after each run to perform some simple exercises and stretches, you’ll reap the benefits faster than you might expect. It also may prevent you from being forced to stop running (injuries beat stubbornness every single time).

And before you say you “can’t” because you can’t afford a gym membership or fancy equipment, I’ll tell you that none of that is required. You have no more excuses.

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28 Ideas to Help You Afford Those Pesky Running and Triathlon Habits

Post written by Susan Lacke.

#1: Skip the big city, big brand races and go for smaller, local ones.

“Running is becoming so … elitist.” sighed a friend recently. “It used to be so cheap to just put on a pair of shoes and do a 5K, but now it’s ridiculously expensive. And triathlon, ha! Don’t even get me started on triathlon.”

The statement gave me pause. Is it really that expensive? In my head, I did the math:

A marathon entry fee can be pricey, sure. According to FindMyMarathon.com, at least 41 marathons in the United States charge more than $100 to enter. The New York City Marathon, for example, has a $255 entry fee.

Of course, you’d need the proper running shoes, socks, shorts, shirts … let’s throw in a hat, too. We’ll say, ballpark … $200. And a watch, for $35 — unless you want GPS, then we’re looking at a couple hundred dollars. You eat more, too, so there’s an increase in your everyday food budget. Speaking of food, I need to go buy a box of gels ($34).

That’s just for running. My friend was right – don’t even get me started on triathlon.

But is it elitist? I’m not quite buying what she’s selling. It really doesn’t have to be that expensive. Over the past few years, I’ve found a few tricks for saving cash as a runner and triathlete. Here are 28 tips that will have you paying like a pauper, but running like a prince.

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Thinking about Your First Ironman? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start

Hi Susan. I read your blog on your fabulous finish at Ironman Wisconsin and I was really inspired! I’ve been googling around about the race for awhile, just finished my first half Ironman, and am flirting with the idea of IMWI 2014.

 I guess I worry about how much investment I need to make–do I have to buy a tri bike, hire a trainer, etc?


About once a week, I get an e-mail like Margaret’s. Every time, I have to exercise restraint.

If it were up to me, I’d register every triathlete for an Ironman. Heck, I’d probably register non-triathletes for an Ironman, too. After all, I’m the one who says Anyone Can Do an Ironman.

And so, with every e-mail like this one, I suppress the urge to respond with an OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC MESSAGE! BECAUSE! IRONMAN! IS! SO! RAD!!! (I, ahem, use a lot of capital letters and exclamation points to convey said enthusiasm. Also, 90’s-era words like “rad.” Told you I had to exercise restraint.)

If you’re considering taking on an Ironman triathlon, consider these questions first.

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Could Going Vegan Help with Exercise-Induced Asthma?

Post written by Susan Lacke.

“Are you okay?”

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that while training with a friend or teammate, I’d be rich. When I’m active, I cough. A lot. Every time I run or ride my bike, you’d think I spend my free time chain-smoking Pall Malls.

For the past few years, I’ve tried to pinpoint the cause of this cough. It’s rarely debilitating – only a nuisance. In slow, easy workouts, it’s actually not that bad. But during interval workouts or tempo runs, the cough is a constant, annoying companion who I wish would just go the hell away.

Only recently have I gained an official diagnosis: exercise-induced asthma.

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3 NMA-Friendly Kickstarter Projects You Should Get Behind Today

Think of a time you had a great idea but you just didn’t act on it. Perhaps you’ve wanted to change careers for a while, but you just haven’t pulled the trigger. Or maybe you’d like to give triathlon a shot, but your bike is still collecting dust in your garage.

What happened? What’s the difference between ideas and reality?


Fear of being laughed at. Fear of difficulty. Fear of not doing it right. Fear of the unknown. Fear of standing out. Fear of failure.

Imagine if you were to put your idea — say, a vegan-friendly running shoe company, or a way to get fresh produce into urban “food deserts” — into a national spotlight and asked for help to make it happen. You would have no clue if people would jump at the opportunity to help your dreams come to reality, or if you’d just hear crickets.

It’s a scary prospect, right?

There’s a whole website for people who have done just that — taken their big ideas and put them out for the world to see, hoping they’ll become a reality. And they’d like your help.

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