NMA Radio: Sid Garza-Hillman on Meal Planning, Ultrarunning, and Why We Shouldn’t Take Showers


Last week, author and nutritionist Sid Garza-Hillman was in Asheville to work with me on a new project (more on that in today’s episode).

Considering he’s been one of our most popular NMA Radio guests to date, Doug and I couldn’t resist bringing him back on the show, and today’s conversation with Sid did not disappoint.

Sid’s natural approach to food, fitness, and life is contagious, and his small step philosophy makes big changes seem possible.

In today’s episode, we catch up with Sid on what he’s been up to, his recent ultramarathon, and why he quit showering. Yes, Sid Garza-Hillman quit showering.

We also discuss the value of meal planning, variety in our diets, and the mindset you need to start eating more healthily.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • Sid’s first ultramarathon, and why he’s now directing one himself
  • What we’ve have been up to in Asheville the past few days
  • Are meal plans actually helpful?
  • Pros and cons of eating the same meals every single week
  • The healthy-eating mindset
  • Why Sid no longer takes showers
  • A natural cure for jet lag

Click the button below to listen now:


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  1. Hey, for whatever it’s worth, I was listening to the podcast and thought I’d weigh in on the non-showering hair care issue. My hair is very long. I haven’t used shampoo in over 2 years; I don’t have dreadlocks and my hair has adjusted. I do shower, so I rinse my hair with only water then comb. I occasionally rinse with baking soda (rarely – maybe monthly). So I think Doug’s concerns about hair care are unfounded – people seem to think my hair looks lovely. Of course, if I didn’t shower at all, maybe the dreads would form 🙂

  2. Patsy Arnold says:

    I don’t use soap either but for my hair (and my daughter’s long hair) we use all natural, home made shampoo & conditioner made from a local woman at the Naples Soap Factory. It has no chemicals, parabeans, etc. Our skin and scalp is one large organ that absorbs everything we put on it (that’s how we get vitamin D from the sun) so I’m a lot more mindful what I / we put on our skin :o)

  3. I’ve been reading and listening to NMA close to four years, and I’m getting closer to my goal of running an ultramarathon. I’ve got this site to thank for helping to motivate me to be a better runner and vegetarian, but this post was a problematic one. For one, Sid seems like a charming, nice person, but the place he and many other bloggers/lifestyle coaches operate out of is one of immense privilege. While he talks about not showering and spending his life seeking out foods for optimal health, there are those who would give everything to be able to take a shower once a week, or to have a consistent meal (whatever it may be). I would be less weary of his message if he was doing all of this as a community service, by speaking at schools and community centers, pro bono, than by having people pay hundreds of dollars for his services either at his website or the very exclusive (and expensive) Stanford Inn.

    The other problem is Sid’s credentials. He is a nutritionist and NOT a medical doctor. Please remember that, readers. A doctor needs to go to medical school, whereas a nutritionist can get certified by paying a fee and passing an exam. I don’t disagree with the idea that the food we eat is incredibly important to our health, energy levels, and quality of life, but when talk turns to “balances” and “grounding” techniques, it all sounds like a snake oil salesman peddling pseudo-science.

    I’m not trying to troll or to be negative towards just this one person, nor am I saying that having him on the show means an endorsement. I think it’s really important to remember that our whole no meat athlete lifestyle is one of incredible privilege, and we need to be careful of people who dispense “expert” advice about things they may not be qualified for.

    • Hi Jason, Thanks for commenting, but I take exception to your ‘immense privilege’ comment…I, in fact, don’t operate from this place at all. Yes, I expect to get paid for the services I offer which take a huge amount of my time (the model I crafted for my private practice is minimum of a month). However I often speak for free (including a recent talk to underprivileged teenagers in my community working for a local garden non-profit), work informally with many people free of charge all the time in the community and in response to podcast listener e-mails, and even the classes I teach at the Stanford Inn are very reasonably priced and open to the public (i.e. not just inn guests). By the way, the Stanford Inn offers housing, food, and education for interns from around the world, and often provides honorariums or salary as needed to facilitate this education (primarily in cooking and gardening). My nutrition certification took a year and a half and was at the end of almost 20 years of reading/researching on the subject of nutrition. I am not an MD, nor claim to be, and, as a result, do not speak to medicine or drug therapies (I do wish doctors, who are not trained in nutrition, would do the same when they consistently weigh in on nutrition). The physical effects of touching skin to the earth are well documented (and has been for years) and do not fall under Medical Doctor training–just as nutrition doesn’t. Incidentally I work a full-time job (actually work two jobs), as does my wife, and we’re raising three kids. We struggle financially to say the least. My message (in my free podcast–which takes me minimum 3-4 hours to produce each week and which is helping people all over the world) is that healthy living is accessible and for everyone. Period. My book (intentionally priced inexpensively by me and the publisher) is about bringing in, by degrees, what is most natural for us as a species. The fact is we didn’t used to bathe the way we do now. Showers/baths were infrequent and the daily showering with soaps etc. is actually part of the developed world privilege that most people enjoy. But, that’s neither here nor there…Part of my job is to continue researching and often to experiment with myself so that I can share my knowledge with my audience. That we are too clean as a population is having documented negative effects on our health. How recommending bathing less is coming from a place of immense privilege is flawed logic.

  4. Such a fun episode! Long time listener, friend of Sid’s and plant-based chef. I like the idea of not following a recipe and cooking simple meals fast. Looking forward to your busy people meal plan. And thanks for making me feel better about my ‘no time for a shower’ days. Thanks guys. Be well.

  5. StephenEamonn says:

    I really enjoyed this pod! It’s nice to have another voice chime in on the free flowing, easy conversation that can sometimes be the best parts of NMA Radio. There are so many sterile and boring pods out there!
    Sid has some interesting viewpoints, not all of which I agree with, but it was a pleasure to listen to it and it sounds like you guys clearly get on very well which is nice.

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