Brooks Giveaway Winner and Some Great Links

A week ago today, I announced a rather awesome giveaway, if I don’t say so myself.  One winner, one pair of Brooks running shoes and one pair of Brooks running shorts.

I also asked you to fill out a survey to help me figure out a few things about the site’s audience, which 488 of you completed.  Huge help. Thank you so much for that.

My favorite criticism of all: “The design looks like the 90’s threw up.”  Tremendously helpful, actually.

Entering the survey got you a double entry, which paid off for someone.  And that someone is…

Lisa, a professional violinist!  Who said NMA readers had no class?  Lisa picked the Brooks Trance 9 to help with her overpronation.  It’s apparent that Lisa’s violin playing has contributed to some expensive tastes, because these shoes weigh in at a whopping 140 bucks!  I’m glad she won, instead of somebody who wanted the cheap old Green Silence (actually, I want those too).  Congratulations, Lisa, and thanks again to everyone who entered the giveaway and especially those who filled out the survey for me.

The Consolation Prize…

…is pretty crappy compared to running shoes and shorts.  Unless one of these links changes your life, of course.  Here are the three best posts I’ve read in the fitness world this week.

  • How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days) – from Four Hour Workweek author Tim Ferriss.  The post is an excerpt from a book that argues against eating grains for both short-term energy and long-term health.  There’s also some interesting stuff about the anti-nutrients in beans.  The funny thing is that even as a vegetarian, I find a lot of Paleo Diet arguments appealing.  How to reconcile the two different eating styles, especially as a marathoner and ultrarunner, is what I’m thinking about.
  • Clean Eating is a Scam and Why You Should Abandon It – from JCD Fitness.  The tagline of this guy’s site is “A No-BS Approach to Looking Great Naked,” which is not quite the same as “A Vegetarian Approach to Endurance Training.”  But I do agree with the main point of this post.
  • Carb Strategies for Staying Lean – from the Fitness Black Book.  As endurance athletes, it’s almost inevitable that we eat a lot of carbohydrates.  This post offers some reasonable, doable strategies for indulging in carbs in a manner that minimizes the adverse effects.

Read these, so you’re not going home empty-handed!



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  1. These links are absolutely tantalizing looking. I had to bookmark them to read later when I have time to look at them in-depth.

  2. Matt, it’s humbling to see you include my articles with the likes of the others. Thanks.


  3. I have some problems with that Paleo diet article. So many people point to gluten as the enemy… but ever think it might be genetics? People of my ethnicity (East Asian) eat wheat gluten, plain wheat gluten in large amounts– especially if vegetarian– and have rarely had a history of celiac disease. Wheat gluten is a source of protein for me that I really enjoy. There are people who thrive on pasta and people who don’t. I’m wary of any diet that claims it’s best for humans from all manners/walk of life.

    And as to one of the comments in response to the article about how “our sharp incisors weren’t made for eating tofu”, well, our long intestines weren’t made to digest meat, and our teeth are more similar to planteater’s. We don’t have fangs.

    /rant rant rant. In the end, we all have to find our own ways & find balance in what we eat ourselves… but thanks for posting these articles anyway. Stirred up a bit of an internal debate in me 😉

    • Eating vegetarian is an ethical choice one is entitled to make. But you can’t use our bodies or evolution to justify it. Our digestive system is not even remotely close to a plant eaters. We don’t have multiple stomachs, etc. And we don’t have fangs as we developed tools 2.5 million years ago to eat meat. Before then we were insectivores. The high protein and nutrition that insects provide would have been needed for us to have developed into such brainy creatures.

      A far more complete comparison of the human digestive system with a carnivore (which we are not–we are omnivores) and herbivores can be found here:

      • All I know is that the big cats (lions etc.) have really short intestines so as to digest raw meat, and we don’t.

        I don’t see koalas with multiple stomachs. I think that’s more for grass-eaters.

        On that comparison chart it says it’s “impossible” for humans to survive without eating animal flesh. Clearly that is disproved by the number of vegetarians, vegans, & raw vegans, & everyone in-between out there who thrive on meat-free diets.

        I don’t justify or promote any diet using evolution– like I said before, everyone has to find their own way 🙂

  4. Have you read the China Study? You should, it’s an amazing book, very readable and not a wonky scientist only type of read.

  5. I am not a scientist/nutritionist/or whatever expert… I KNOW this though: Since I have cut out meat from my diet, I feel better, I have lost unwanted weight, I have a more consistent and steady feeling throughout the day, and now that I have cut out dairy I don’t feel like shit every morning after my coffee and cereal, I use soy milk instead and have almost none of the bloating and gas that seems to have been caused by the dairy. Cows milk is bad for you, period. I feel better and you will too.

    • I don’t believe cows milk is bad for everyone. Is it bad for some people? Sure; it’s usually a problem digesting the lactose.

      But not everyone has this issue, like many might assume.

      I, as well as many friends and family members, have been drinking milk our entire lives with no ill effect.

    • Victor, I’m in the same boat as you are with the “it feels good” thing. I’m really intrigued by the paleo science, and I want to incorporate it more. But when I stopped eating meat, everything clicked for me with running and I felt better than I ever had, almost immediately. And I had tried paleo before too. I think it’s just an individual thing.

      JC, I’m still not sure about milk. I don’t drink it anymore, but that’s more an ethical decision than a health one. I can’t say I’ve noticed any big energy differences since I cut out dairy altogether, but I didn’t really eat or drink much of it to begin with. I’ve heard a lot of good arguments both for and against dairy as a health food.

      • So have I. I’ve read some very convincing arguments for and against it.

        I’ve actually went weeks without dairy (not on purpose, just happened – usually vacations, etc) and then had periods where I drank 2-3gallons each week.

        I’m fairly aware of what’s going on with how I feel and I’ve never had any issues with it.

        If people generally feel crappy after consuming dairy, I think it’s always a good thing to eliminate it for a while – just to see if that’s the food causing an issue.

        It’s definitely not for everyone but I don’t think it’s to be demonized. Just like everything else – moderation usually wins in the end.

        I <3 your site

  6. No disrespect to JC, or anyone else that posts or reads this blog or any other blog that touches on these subjects… however I believe that the whole moderation is okay approach is not always appropriate and we as humans have no business putting certain things in our bodies, cow’s milk is certainly one of them… what other species of animal drinks the milk of another? It’s not natural, we have just been steered into believing it is natural and wholesome through industry and ad campaigning. I think it is a disservice to pat folks on the head and say that whatever you think is best is probably what you should do, etc, etc… everyone is different, and so forth. We are all humans and as humans there are probably things that we should not consume, just because you do and you don’t get ill or drop dead or whatever, doesn’t mean that you are not doing damage to your body. People didn’t know that cigarettes were harmful a few generations ago either and we all have that story of the old as dirt aunt or uncle or grandparent that smoked and drank their whole lives and lived to be a billion years old.., but does that make it healthy? Of course not. You do what you want, but it’s bad for you.

  7. Matt, how are you incorporating the principles of the Paleo diet into your vegetarian lifestyle? The Paleo diet is very meat-heavy and I’m curious how it can be adapted for vegetarians.

    For the record, I’m very skeptical of the Paleo diet but will be interested to see if any research supports it in the future.

  8. The paleo diet need not be meat heavy. While many people practice it that way, the basic definition simply has foods either being in or out. You can be a meatless paleo. Though you do need to eat some animal products, with fish being a healthy one.

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