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:



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  1. Ha. Did you just flag down a stranger to get that shot with Dave?

    It’s always cool to find out that someone you’ve looked up to for a long time is as nice as you hoped they’d be.

    • Well, we heard the Foo Fighters soundchecking and saw their limo outside, so we figured we’d hang out for a few minutes. Somehow, nobody else had the same idea, so it was just us and two other guys. He was so cool!

  2. Thanks so much for your support Matt! It was great finally hanging out. 🙂

  3. Thank you for all these great links! I’m excited to read Scott H. Young’s blog. Sounds right up my alley.

  4. Wow! Sounds like a great time in Austin!

    • It was great! Next year, I’m not sure that I’ll buy a badge, as most of the fun was had outside of the talks. But I probably will, and just choose more carefully what I go to.

  5. Iron Clad Ben says:

    Matt, great to meet you in person. If you do want to see which beers are vegetarian/vegan there is a great resource called

    • You too Ben! Thanks for all your help (again) in getting that meetup going and for telling me about all the great places to eat!

      I’ve heard of barnivore but haven’t checked it out much yet. Now that I’m vegan though, I’ll need to get on there!

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