Tag Archives for " the plant-based althlete "

Peak performance as a plant-based athlete with Matt Frazier and Robert Cheeke

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Endurance athletes, powerlifters, bodybuilders, and even professional wrestlers are using a plant-based diet to improve their performance. We find out how and why with Matt Frazier and Robert Cheeke.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, I am really glad to have Haka Life Nutrition as a sponsor. Omega-3 is one of the few supplements I take regularly. But even with years of experience and having interviewed hundreds of experts in the health and fitness field, I have struggled to find a great solution, until now.

We all know farm raised meat doesn't give us the right balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6, and that Omega three helps reduce inflammation, which reduces joint pain and is heart healthy. Getting enough omega-3 isn't as straightforward as it should be from the mercury in the fish to poor production controls, it's really hard to find a high quality product that gives you what you're after. That is until GLX3.

Made from green-lipped mussels from New Zealand. This is the only natural source of ETA. I'm not even going to try to pronounce the full name. This version of Omega-3 is particularly effective at reducing inflammation and therefore reducing joint pain. That's why my wife is taking it now. I take it for heart health. Go to Hakalife.com/40plus and use the discount code 40plus to get a buy one get one free deal on your first order which gives you a two-month starter supply. GLX3 is my go to Omega-3 supplement going forward. It can be yours too by going to Hakalife.com/40plus and be sure to use the discount code 40plus for the BOGO deal.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:27.350] – Allan
Hey Raz.

[00:02:27.350] – Rachel
Hey Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:29.360] – Allan
I'm doing good, I'm doing good. We're getting close to getting Lula's wrapped up and open although we won't really open open until probably October. But at least the work part will be done. The place will be cleaned, it'll be ready. And then you know, that just means, yeah not as much dust.

[00:02:48.770] – Rachel
Yey. That's so exciting.

[00:02:51.080] – Allan
Yeah. And then we'll have our little owner suite area down there. So a little more space for us because we've been staying in one of the rooms, so it's just a room and a bathroom. So, you know, probably less than I don't know, less than maybe two hundred square foot, you know, just a standard hotel room with the bathroom. So we'll be moving into a little suite that we'll have downstairs. So that'll be nice.

[00:03:13.040] – Allan
And then a fence and it's basically concrete because we don't really have a yard but fence in the area around the back. So the dogs have kind of area that can roam around and run and not feel so stuck. But yeah. So it'd be cool and then that'll be separate from where the guests would stay. So we'll have our space, they'll have their space and

[00:03:33.170] – Rachel
Wonderful. Can't wait to see it. I have to come down and visit you sometime.

[00:03:37.070] – Allan
Yeah, you need to. You and Mike. You can bring Mike.

[00:03:40.820] – Rachel
Thanks. I don't travel well. I need a travel companion.

[00:03:45.190] – Allan
All right. So you ran a long, long race.

[00:03:51.020] – Rachel
I did.

[00:03:52.310] – Allan
Fifty three miles.

[00:03:53.660] – Rachel
It was. Yeah. Ran a little long. It was the best experience. Definitely a huge challenge, but so very rewarding. It's surreal. I still am kind of on cloud nine actually.

[00:04:09.050] – Allan
Well, good. And I mean, your legs aren't hurting nearly as bad as mine were.

[00:04:14.300] – Rachel
No, no. I felt pretty good.

[00:04:16.630] – Allan
Yeah. And we talked about this a couple of weeks ago when we went into, you know, recovering from injury and illness. And, you know, while in the sense you didn't injure yourself at all and it's not really an injury, I mean, illness as we would go. But this is a situation where you're doing post rehab, post healing. You're taking it easy, if you will, but you're not stopping because I saw you also did a 5K.

[00:04:46.070] – Rachel
Yeah, I can't sit still for very long.

[00:04:49.940] – Allan
Well, I did a recovery run 5K the next day. So I mean it's not unheard of. It's just probably felt you didn't have the spring in your legs that you would normally have. You're working on doing some things to recover that, right?

[00:05:04.040] – Rachel
Absolutely. Yeah. So right after we finished the run, it was about 2:00 in the morning because we started at noon. We finished and just shy of 14 hours. It was about 2:00 in the morning or so. And on the way home, we I drank a lot of water and finished my hydration, that electrolytes that I had in my pouch and finished up a snack I was working on. And when I got back, drank a little bit more and went to bed.

[00:05:33.170] – Rachel
And the next day we went to do some more sightseeing. We took some friends to a special part of Michigan up at Mackinac Island. And so we had a short drive to get there. And we walked a lot around the fort and we did a little bit of sightseeing on the way home. So a little bit of driving, a little bit of walking and just kind of cut loose that way. And that felt really good. So we did that for about two days actually after the run and continued with a lot of hydration and a lot of good protein. Healthy protein.

[00:06:07.200] – Allan
Well, good. So what's next for Rachel Everett?

[00:06:13.700] – Rachel
well, what people should be doing after a big race like this is what I call a reverse taper. So since I didn't have too much carnage, my legs were not too shredded after that race. I'm in pretty good shape. So I'm going to do a lot of walking and a little bit of running. And so it's exactly what it is, a reverse taper. So I might aim for maybe ten or twelve miles this week and maybe fifteen the next and maybe twenty the next, and just kind of ease my way back into running.

[00:06:45.920] – Rachel
It'll be an every other day kind of thing. I won't be running every day. I'll be walking a lot in between. So it's just easing back into a basic foundation of running again.

[00:06:57.680] – Allan
OK, and your next long race?

[00:07:01.400] – Rachel
It could be another 50 miler.

[00:07:04.190] – Rachel
You know, I do have a 50K, so I'll be running a little over thirty miles in October and then I might be planning another fifty miler or maybe a 100K which is sixty miler. So, we'll see what I can squeeze in.

[00:07:21.830] – Allan
50K works out to a little more than thirty one miles and a 100K works at a little more than sixty two miles.

[00:07:30.470] – Rachel
and then you never know what the race decides to throw at you. So with this fifty miler we actually started at the forty eight mile mark because it's one hundred mile course so we started at mile forty eight which anybody can math that out, you know we're going to have two extra miles to get to the one hundred mile finish line. So yeah, races like to do tricky little things like that. So you know where.

[00:07:55.760] – Allan
You had fun. Right?

[00:07:56.960] – Rachel
It was, it was a tough day but a wonderful day and a lot of fun too.

[00:08:02.510] – Rachel
It was great to run with my good friend Christa and my other wonderful friend Patrick, who was ahead of us. But he did great, too. And it was just nice to see all these people doing amazing things.

[00:08:12.800] – Allan
Cool. Well, let's get Matt and Robert on the phone.

[00:08:17.420] – Rachel


[00:08:45.170] – Allan
Matt, Robert, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:49.070] – Matt
Thank you. I'm looking forward to talking.

[00:08:50.360] – Robert
Thank you, Allan.

[00:08:51.260] – Allan
You know, I've been in the health and fitness field for over six years, and it's been fairly common to hear on the endurance athlete's side where many of them are going plant-based. It's almost, as I said earlier, Keep hand in glove thing that they feel better, their inflammation is lower and they perform really, really well. A lot of plant-based athletes or some of the best endurance athletes on the planet, bar none.

[00:09:19.490] – Allan
And you profiled so many of them. But I think what was really cool is I got into the book is you didn't just stop there. It's like, OK, yes, this is great nutrition for the endurance athlete, even the extreme endurance athlete. But you went into bodybuilding and you went into Olympic sports and you even threw in a pro wrestler, which if you watch them, they're very athletic. They've got to do some pretty crazy things and hold a lot of muscle mass.

[00:09:47.030] – Allan
So, you know, the plant-based diet has come a long way in that we now understand from a human performance perspective that it is a nutritional strategy that works very, very well for a lot of people. Can you talk a little bit about why plant-based might be the route you want to go if you're looking to improve your athletic performance across the board?

[00:10:09.230] – Robert
Yeah, thanks, Allan. That's a great question. I'm so glad you asked it, because I interviewed 60 world class athletes just for this book, the plant-based athlete. And one of the things that I came across was that there was a common theme here. All of these different people came from almost all of them came from an omnivorous eating pattern before a few of them were actually vegan since birth, which is another topic we'll get into because some are Olympic athletes as a result.

[00:10:34.790] – Robert
But the fact is, dozens and dozens and dozens of athletes all shared the same thing, that they saw their energy go up and they saw their recovery get better. They saw a decrease in inflammation and they sped up the recovery process with which improved their performance. So whether it was a world champion boxer and Olympic skier, a world class power lifter or a marathon, you know, record holder, they experienced the same things. And one of the things that's really, really exciting is that I come from a bodybuilding background. Matt comes from a long distance and ultra running background.

[00:11:11.210] – Robert
We have a different body types, different sports. And what we found was that the same diet, the plant-based diet, high in complex carbohydrates with modest amounts of proteins and fats from good quality Whole Foods sources supply the nutrition required, whether you're a bodybuilder or an endurance athlete or whether you are a NHL hockey player or NFL football player or NBA star like Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan and Hedgesville McGee and go down the list or you're an Olympic figure skater because a plant-based diet gives you naturally gives you energy, the very high energy diet.

[00:11:49.400] – Robert
It is easy on digestion. It's a low calorie but high nutrition. So high nutrient, a calorie ratio and it is super antiinflammatory. And you're not eating pro inflammatory foods. So you reduce inflammation, you recover faster, you improve, your endurance gets better, your muscle soreness often gets reduced and you just continue on. And one of the great byproducts of that is longevity. You know, some of the athletes in the book are in their 50s, almost 60, and competing at world record pace like Rip Esselstyn set a world record at age fifty-nine, I believe, in the 200 meter backstroke and swimming.

[00:12:27.020] – Robert
John Joseph is competing right now, like maybe literally next weekend or within weeks at another Ironman triathlon, full Ironman distance at age fifty-nine, almost Sixty. Fiona Oakes has multiple Guinness Book of World Records and marathons. And she wasn't even supposed to run in the first place because she was born without a kneecap and a right leg and was not even supposed to run and has set multiple records. And she's in her 50s, Christine Vardalos in her 50s. So many athletes are forty-plus and still performing at a world class level.

[00:13:00.440] – Robert
And have to be honest with you, Allan, to me now in my 40s, that was one of the most exciting things for me to read about, to connect really emotionally with Rich Roll, Scott Djuric, Brendan Brazier, John Joseph, Rip Esselstyn, Christine Vardalos and Fiona Oakes, just to name some of them. It's just so inspiring to me that the benefits of a plant-based diet have contributed to incredible longevity in addition to athletic success, whether it's strength.

[00:13:32.270] – Robert
Endurance, power, whatever your sport is, the benefits are there to be had.

[00:13:36.230] – Allan
Now, and we've always thought of those. It's so funny. We've always thought that there's this three completely separate things. You train very specifically for your sport. And so you're you're not a power lifter out there doing, you know, 30 mile distance runs on the weekend just to, get your miles and you train very specific for your sport. And so we've always just assumed, OK, well, you're going to have to eat very specific to your sport.

[00:14:00.200] – Allan
And the eating now is I'm kind of wrap my mind around the book and everything was on. We're looking to lower inflation in the body and we're looking to give it the nutrition that it needs to heal well, and with it healing well and not having the inflammation, you're therefore able to train harder and longer. You recover better. And you perform better.

[00:14:25.220] – Matt
And not to mention the longevity benefit. You mentioned, information, healing your body, healing yourselves. That's what preserves you as you get older too. So to me, it's amazing that you have these three different sport disciplines and the longevity benefit often the same thing. And in fact, it seems that it's the same exact mechanism. It's recovering faster and it's having lots of nutrients in relatively few calories compared to other diets. And it makes it easier on your body.

[00:14:51.590] – Allan
And one of the things it's funny because if I said the word vegan or vegetarian to somebody, they immediately know what it is. I'm going into the produce section when I walk in the grocery store because they just know they're going to be at the farmer's market, they're going to be the frozen section at the grocery store. And so, in a sense, I think those two diets, more than most of the others, maybe paleo, but those diets, more than anything else, kind of drive you to better food quality.

[00:15:20.120] – Matt
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's all there is. I'm I probably spend 80, 90 percent of my time in the produce section. You know, the number of packaged foods I bought that actually in a box is so few now. It's maybe pasta. Sometimes I buy things in cans, but even that you get in the box so, yeah, that's one of the great kind of things. It's been like a journey. This has been, I've done this for 12 years now and every year I get a little bit better at eating more and more real whole foods and less and less processed foods.

[00:15:48.590] – Matt
You don't need to be playing to do that. Like you said, you could be eating a different diet. Paleo will sort of encourage that move towards very Whole Foods in the book, The Plant-Based Athlete, we write a couple of pages where we talk about how much paleo is in-plant they have in common, we're the weirdos out of a group of people, the ones who insist on eating whole foods, not for packages, don't eat dairy.

[00:16:09.530] – Matt
We disagree on the meat, but they're not. They're more alike than they are different. So, yeah, lots of guys can push you down that road. And that certainly plant-based diet does do that for you.

[00:16:17.390] – Allan
Yeah. And I've interviewed now well over three hundred people for this podcast. And it's kind of that's the thing that when you say why is your diet better? Well, it's Whole Foods. It's OK. And that's it. That's actually why it's better in most cases.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, you know, the benefit of Omega-3 reduced inflammation, which helps with joint pain and heart health.

And, you know, you're probably not getting enough from your diet, but then you read about the mercury in fish or how the fish oil supplement you bought at Costco or Wal-Mart might be oxidized and rancid. Not good. Then you look into a plant-based solution and find it isn't very bioavailable or krill oil, which is much more expensive and isn't really sustainable. GLX3 is very different. It's from sustainably farmed green lipped mussels in New Zealand.

The 17 omega-3s found in green lipped mussels include ETA, which is not found at any fish oil. What is ETA? Not to bore you with the science, but it has been shown to be very effective at reducing inflammation and pain. Haka Life Nutrition has paired this oil with New Zealand olive oil and vitamin E to make a very unique Omega-3 supplement. I think it's brilliant. Mussels are at the bottom of the food chain and have a short lifespan so they aren't as susceptible to mercury contamination and they don't starve out other species when they're farmed in open water.

Haka nutrition is meticulous about their sourcing and encapsulation of GLX3. Each bottle is traceable all the way back to the place, date and time of harvesting to ensure you get the best quality Omega-3 product on the market. They offer a full 90 day guarantee. Go to Hakalife.com/40plus and use the discount code 40plus to get a buy one get one free deal on your first order, which gives you a two month starter supply.

GLX3 is my go to Omega-3 supplement going forward. It can be yours too by going to Hakalife.com/40plus and be sure to use the discount code 40plus for the BOGO deal.

[00:18:45.620] – Allan
You know, one of the things I think someone's going to be concerned about is they go over OK and see the kale that scores very well as a high nutrition, low calorie density food. Of course, then this cruciferous vegetables, all the leafy greens, all of that, they're always going to wonder, OK, well, am I getting enough protein?

[00:19:04.980] – Allan
Now,I know myself that there's protein and all of that in various ways and you compare it together and get all of the amino acids you need. But can we talk just a few minutes about why a plant-based diet and how a plant-based diet can provide the protein needs not just for a normal person walking down the street, but we're talking professional bodybuilders that are trying to put on, you know, 10, 20 pounds a year as they're bulking up and becoming these super these great athletes that you see on the stage.

[00:19:36.790] – Allan
How can they get the protein and do that? How does that work?

[00:19:39.910] – Robert
Yeah, well, first starts with the fact that plants have all the essential amino acids that we need. The amino acids are the building blocks of protein. You eat a variety of food. You're going to get the amount of amino acids you need and the amount of protein you need if you consume enough calories based on your real calorie needs. That's a big thing, right? So if you're a figure skater, you weigh one hundred and five pounds, you're going to have a different protein needs than a power lifter who is 240 pounds.

[00:20:05.970] – Robert
and so you have to understand and I like that we talked about that a few minutes ago, Allan, it's the same essentially the same diet for all sports. It's just a different calorie intake and maybe a slightly different macronutrient breakdown. A little more protein here with more fat here, a little more carbohydrate here, depending on the type of sport. But it's the same diet. It's still sweet potatoes and blueberries and lentils and oats and potatoes and kale, like you mentioned, and walnuts.

[00:20:33.210] – Robert
And it's all the same foods. It's just getting the right quantities. And so for protein, yeah, you can eat more foods that are considered more protein rich, like nuts and nut butters and tofu and other soy foods and legumes tend to be higher in protein, though still very much a carbohydrate food, beans and lentils and such and leafy green vegetables. But there's also some tricks you can do. I mean, everybody knows in different types of athletics that you can do things like smoothies.

[00:21:02.160] – Robert
Right. You can put nut butters and smoothies. You can put a bunch of greens in there. You can even believe it or not, and we mentioned in the book, you can even put like tofu or white beans in smoothies because you're adding raspberries or blueberries or peanut butter and chocolate and you're making you're giving it a flavor that is enjoyable and palatable. Well, it's packed full of like, you know, imagine if you just put it in a bunch of pumpkin seeds or cashews or whatever.

[00:21:29.940] – Robert
Nuts and seeds are your favorite or use a powder, a powder supplement if you want, but you can do it totally whole Foods. And so a smoothie is a great way to add extra protein, if you like. You can also just make a conscious effort. So let's say you're having oatmeal. Well, why not put some walnuts on it or something else? Protein rich, you know, with your oatmeal. If you're having a salad, why not put garbanzo beans all over it?

[00:21:53.790] – Robert
You know, in addition to the leafy greens and the peppers and the mushrooms and whatever else you have in your salad, why not add some of those things? One thing I like to do, even just with a rice and vegetable dish, is add cashews on top, add peanuts on top, sometimes other nuts. And so you can you can make this conscious effort to get one more protein here and there in very tasty, very accessible. I mean, a peanut butter sandwich is as simple as it gets, right?

[00:22:19.830] – Robert
It's not difficult. And one of the messages I really like to make as clear as possible is that if you know what your calorie needs are and you can use the Harris Benedicts calculator, Harris Benedict equation to figure that out and use chronometer, my fitness pal, to determine what your intake actually is. If you meet your calorie needs, you are almost absolutely sure to reach your protein needs because nobody, not a single person, you know, eats only celery or only grapefruit or only oranges during the day.

[00:22:50.130] – Robert
We all eat a variety of stuff. We all eat to some form of variety, maybe a little bit of legumes here, a little bit of grains, a little bit of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds or omnivores, some meat or dairy, whatever. We all eat a variety. And that's how you get the amino acids and then your body pools all those amino acids and uses them throughout the day. You don't need to have like a complete protein in a single meal.

[00:23:15.300] – Robert
And because we don't do anything in a single meal, you don't reach all your nutrient requirements in a single meal. You don't reach your hydration requirements in a single meal or your fiber intake in a single meal. Very, very rarely. It's accumulation of everything that we consume throughout the day and on an ongoing basis, on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis. And so that is how you reach your protein needs by having adequate calories based on what your calorie needs are, finding foods you enjoy.

[00:23:44.140] – Robert
And then eating them on a regular basis and seeing the results.

[00:23:49.180] – Allan
So if someone was training, let's just say for one reason or another, they do find that they're doing this heavy training. They're trying to accomplish something special and they're not quite getting there with protein. Be one of the things that they should maybe take a look at just to make sure that they are hitting that. Or do you just really feel if they're hitting their calorie needs, it's done?

[00:24:12.640] – Robert
Yeah, you could you could take a little bit of close look at protein, but I really don't think it's as big of a factor as people think. I think it's the total calories. And also, you have to look at the other aspects are baggage that comes with any kind of macronutrients or foods that focus on a singular macronutrient. And so what you can find is the benefits actually of complex carbohydrates are increase of carbohydrate intake as you might find more anti-inflammatory properties there.

[00:24:40.720] – Robert
You might find foods that help with aiding and recovery. There you can focus more on things like turmeric and ginger and Tartary juice and beets and nitric oxide, rich leafy greens. And you can find some increased circulation and increased blood flow, increased nutrition to cells throughout the body. So there's other things besides just that one macro nutrient that I think are worth considering, even when you are that body builder or power lifter who's looking for that, just that little edge.

[00:25:08.090] – Robert
I really don't think a few extra grams of protein is the key. I think you have to look at it holistically in its totality and you look at the utility of all the other aspects, all the other components of nutrition. And you could even say something as simple as this, like, well, if they would have just had a little bit more caffeine, maybe in supplement form, they would have had more energy to get the lift better and got stronger and built more muscle.

[00:25:29.980] – Robert
Or if they would have just, you know, use this for anti-inflammatory properties and had reduced soreness, they could have pushed it further. So there's a lot of different ways to look at it. And I really, you have to do in this for quarter century, I just don't think it's protein alone that needs to be the focal point here. I mean, what if they would have got a little more sleep, you know, rested a little bit better and nutrition can help with that or had better digestion, you know, those kind of things.

[00:25:55.270] – Robert
So and Matt, I'd love to hear your thoughts on expanding on that.

[00:26:00.160] – Matt
Yeah, I mean, I, I the very first thing I would look to is total calories. I encounter a lot of people who try have these diets and they come back a month later and say, well, you know, I did it for a while, but then I didn't have the same energy. And the thing is that it's so easy. I mean, if you're really thinking about this carefully and you're looking at all the nutrition, the macro nutrient numbers like Robert has suggested, then you're not going to run into this problem.

[00:26:19.090] – Matt
But a lot of people who just dive into something new. This, by the way, is one of the reasons I really like gradually starting something new. And that's how I went vegan over the course of four years, actually. But people they just removed the animal products and they don't think about replacing it with fairly calorically dense sources because lots and lots of plants are not calorically dense. And that's a great thing for the most part because they have lots of nutrients and relatives, few calories, like I mentioned earlier.

[00:26:42.880] – Matt
But if you just replace all the meat and dairy and everything with leafy greens, for example, you could drop 30 percent of your calories from your diet. And so I think more often, especially for people who are new, that's usually the bigger problem. They just didn't eat enough calories. I've got two young kids who do this. They're both athletes. My son trains. He puts in twenty training sessions a week, it seems like. I mean, he's crazy and I don't I just don't think about working with him.

[00:27:06.160] – Matt
We eat so many whole foods like you mentioned earlier, like so many vegetables. And I'm confident that protein is in all of these things. And he eats almost entirely Whole Foods. So I'm not worried about the processed foods that have the protein remove like a bunch of added oils or processed sugar. So I just don't think about protein. I think about calories. I always urged him to eat more calories. But protein is really one of the last things on my mind.

[00:27:27.370] – Matt
It's just it's about getting the fresh stuff that I know is going to help. And the antioxidants, the anti inflammatory contents, all these things are going to help him recover for the next workout. And protein is just one of many things.

[00:27:37.870] – Allan
Yeah. And I think, again, that was the kind of the takeaway here was that as we as we look at these things, we can fine tune. I mean, you guys do a great job as you went through the book of looking at, OK, let's look at protein. Let's look at fat. Let's look at carbs. You know, they're in there and just recognizing that we can get all that we need from them and, you know, kind of push this way and that way a little bit to fit our needs.

[00:28:02.110] – Allan
But beyond that, there are some things that as a vegan, we're just not going to get. We're not going to get the B12 because it's just not in any plant-based food. A lot of folks that go vegan also have some issues with their vitamin D, and there's a few other supplements that you talked about in the book. And I think it might be also worth talking about lysine, because that is one of the amino acids that's not as common in plant foods as it is in animal-based foods.

[00:28:31.480] – Allan
Can you kind of talk through some of those supplements and considerations for those?

[00:28:35.470] – Matt
Yeah, I can take a shot of that. So I have a supplement company and I'm only saying this not to advertise, but to make a point that we make a vegan supplement and it's actually has seven nutrients in it. And people think, well, you've got to get, there must be something wrong with your diet if you have to get those seven nutrients. But we made that so that we didn't have to take this full megadose multivitamin that I was taking before I went plant based.

[00:28:56.740] – Matt
Because a lot of people do that sort of mindless. You just pop a multivitamin to cover all the bases. But as I started to think more about food and as we talked about earlier, start gravitating more towards Whole Foods and thinking more about what I was eating, I realized that I was getting tons and tons of these common vitamins because they're in so many different fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, beans, those things are loaded with micronutrients.

[00:29:18.000] – Matt
So I said I don't I don't need to be overdosing on all these and taking megadoses of these vitamins. So we made a more mindful that doesn't have all those. It's called complement. And because that is like it's a complement. It's not a supplement. It's something less than that. But the point is, like, I think vegans who are eating varied diets probably need to supplement just as a whole less than someone who's eating a standard American diet.

[00:29:42.120] – Matt
You're not going to have tons and tons of areas where you might be running into trouble. Now, as you said, there are some things that are actually, you know, like a B12, for example, can become a serious problem if you don't supplement when you're eating a 100 percent plant-based diet. I'm not at all trying to deny that. And that's why we have this. That's why there's this reputation of all a plant-based diet must be incomplete or unnatural if you've got to supplement it. For me,

[00:30:03.570] – Matt
I just look at the empirical evidence. You look at the long term studies on people who live the longest without health problems, the longest health span, the best number of active years. And if that's a plant-based diet plus a B12 supplement or a B12 and a few other things supplement, then it doesn't matter to me at all whether or not that's quote unquote natural according to someone's theory. I'll I'll take the diet that helps you live the longest, even if it means I have to take a suplement with it.

[00:30:27.940] – Matt
So that's where I come out of it. As far as lysine you mentioned, Allan, that's a great point. And that that is a nice bit of nuance that you should think about as you think about protein. People know that as the limiting amino acid on a plant-based diet. And the idea is that you don't have to worry about protein at all as long as you're meeting your lysine needs, because if you're meeting your lysine needs by default, you're going to be getting plenty of other kinds of protein.

[00:30:50.970] – Matt
But lysine is just one that doesn't show up in all that many plant-based foods. And if you want to supplement with it, if you want to go take a protein powder, that's a very, very easy solution to make sure you're meeting your lysine needs. But you don't have to do that. You could also go to more of an in between way where you take eating some say satay, which is like a wheat gluten that people use to make a lot of meat substitutes that if I actually love the taste of Satay and Robert doesn't like it that much, he gets a digestive problems I think and they get a lot of people don't, but a lot of people do.

[00:31:17.550] – Matt
And it's more and more common these days as the meat substitutes are showing up all over the place in grocery stores and fast food restaurants and everything. So that's loaded with lysine. So is tofu. And Teppei, those are two also like kind of halfway processed foods, although I don't really even think of those processed because they're so nutritious. And then if you want to really be pure about it and say, I'm just not going to take anything processed or supplement, you can you can get it by trying really hard with with lentils, with quinoa, with amaranth.

[00:31:44.130] – Matt
I mean, it's in foods. It's just you got to be more mindful the more and more you're kind of insisting on the purity of one hundred percent Whole Foods.

[00:31:51.000] – Allan
And you said something, I think that was really important there, is this is also about being mindful. It's about knowing the food that you're putting in your mouth and and thinking about it, not just eating what's there. Actually saying, OK, I'm going to have a plan and I know what I like. But and I think for a lot of people, we tend to eat simple. I think most people actually do. We probably pick five or six meals and that's it.

[00:32:19.830] – Allan
That's 90 percent of the calories that we're going to get are going to come from just a very small select foods. But I think as a vegan, you really have to be mindful about the selection and the organization just to make sure you're getting the calorie load, because it is very easy to say, OK, I'm going to have this big salad and I may throw some beans and nuts on it or something like that. But you still to get the calories you need, you kind of need to have a plan.

[00:32:45.480] – Allan
And once you have a plan and you know what you like, you guys have broken it down. I think Robert has his three hours, OK, for the shopping. And I think, again, it's just the better you lay these things out. You guys do great job in the book of giving some structure. If someone is considering transitioning to vegetarian or vegan, you give them a very good structure to say, OK, here's how you can structure your meals so you can make sure you're hitting your bases.

[00:33:13.530] – Allan
And again, we're not just talking about everyday vegan, but it works for them and it works for somebody who's also focused on performance because you don't necessarily want to take a couple of seasons off to get your nutrition right. You're doing this on the fly. So do you guys mind talking a little bit about meal planning and then your approach to shopping for food to make sure that you're getting the variety to hit your all your buttons and bases the way you need to?

[00:33:39.150] – Robert
Yeah, I want to. I think it's an interesting thing. You talk about mindset, or being mindful about it, because I think it's a common idea that we've got to have this mindful approach to plant-based eating. And I think it's obviously good to have a plan. But it's also I think if we think about it, most people are not super mindful in general. It's that there's a fast food restaurant on the corner that I'm craving something oily and salty and meaty.

[00:34:09.030] – Robert
And I want to shake with it as well. And then maybe. Have some pizza later on or I want some cheese on this or that, and, you know, and we could probably be more mindful there, you know, with fountain sodas and with standard American diet food. And so I don't want to say across the board we have to have just elevated levels of mindfulness with plant-based eating compared to where we're coming from with.

[00:34:32.540] – Allan
Oh, no, no, I didn't mean that at all.

[00:34:34.240] – Allan
What I what I meant was that I think we're where most people approach this way of eating is that one that a lot of people are doing it for not just selfish reasons of saying I want to feel better and perform better. And they're actually they have some more emotional ties to how we're handling our meat production and eating something with a face concept. And so I think know a lot of people are going at this saying, I want to be a more responsible ethical person.

[00:35:04.990] – Allan
And so I'm going at it for those ethics reasons. And so I think they're already starting from a I need to be mindful of this. And then that kind of balances into a, so now when I go forward, really focusing on the variety and the quality of the food that I'm eating so that I am nourishing my body, and particularly if you're looking at it from a performance perspective.

[00:35:27.880] – Robert
Yeah, absolutely. And that's what I was just about to get to, is that most times we're not super mindful, you know, plant-based or not. We're just until we get into performance related aspects. Because when you're working so hard for something, Allan, like you're working so hard in the gym or running, I mean, you're putting in this effort, this work, and you want to get a good return on investment from that. Right.

[00:35:49.930] – Robert
You want to be rewarded from that. And that's where I was going to say that's where the mindfulness comes in with a plant-based diet where you want to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. And that's why we have this certain approach, like I write in the book, that you've got to list your favorite foods in every category, your five favorite fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, because you want to have those readily available.

[00:36:11.410] – Robert
You want to have them for pre workout, for post workout, for snacks. And so you make these mindful decisions like I'm working so hard athletically and for some people, training hours a day, I want to get the most mileage out of my diet as well to support that. And so and some people just may not be aware of what their favorite foods are like. Maybe they have a couple they go to. Like you said, we eat the same kind of five or six meals, and I totally agree with that.

[00:36:36.880] – Robert
But if you could just add a few more things in there, add some seasonal berries, add some seasonal stone fruit and some, you know, some other seasonal crops, you know, winter squash or whatever the case is and have your staples as well. You don't have your whether it's brown rice or tempeh or tofu or lentils or black beans or whatever the case is, your oats have your staples. And then from there, that's where the very particular or specific or mindfulness approach comes.

[00:37:03.670] – Robert
You and that's one thing that I like to talk about and write about is that if you have your staples there, whether they're batch cooking and you have them for the whole week or whatever the case is, you can always call upon that. So when you're craving something, when you're hungry, like sometimes I, I often finish workouts that are two or three hours if I'm doing weights plus cardio plus sauna or whatever the case is, I come hom, man, I am hungry, but I've got to make the most intelligent decision and I can't just say, OK, I want, you know, hurry, order something from the local Thai restaurant which is going to be loaded with oil and all this stuff, because I've got something already prepared at home that I know is going to serve my needs post workout.

[00:37:42.250] – Robert
It's going to help replenish carbohydrates that were burned through exercise, gonna help bring in amino acids and repair muscle that was damaged through exercise. It's going to replenish electrolytes, lost through sweat and then hydration, you know, those lost when you sweat. So I actually I we have an entire section on that. I think Matt and I both agree that mindfulness apart is really, really key. And that's how you also get into habit building and developing behaviors that can be something that you can build on.

[00:38:11.680] – Robert
And then and then it takes the willpower away. Like Matt talks about, you know, when you're trying to follow a really sound nutritional approach for your sport, at first it's a lot of willpower. Like I almost like a burden or a requirement. I have to do this to get this return. And that's for pro athletes and amateur athletes alike. But you do it enough times. You develop these habits and it takes the guesswork out. So I just want to make that early point that I think mindfulness in eating is just not exclusive to plant-based.

[00:38:39.220] – Robert
It's for anybody. And then it just gets accentuated when you get into the athletic world.

[00:38:44.140] – Allan
Yeah, because you're really trying to nail it. But you guys, like I said, you put a structure out there and then you had that really cool the hours, you know, so you're going to get three seasonal vegetables and three seasonal fruits and then you're going to get the kind of your standard things, your apple, your pear and your orange, because that's always there. You call them annuals or.

[00:39:04.720] – Robert
Yeah. Like the rule of three of three different foods, packaged goods, beverages, things that. It's designed to add diversity because diversity is diversity of amino acids, diversity of antioxidants, diversity of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional components, and that's what it's designed to do.

[00:39:24.310] – Allan
Yeah, and then Matt you had a whole different approach to shopping. Do you mind going into that a little bit?

[00:39:29.930] – Matt
Yeah. So I'm much more of a recipe maker. I tend to like cooking, so I will look up recipes. I will almost never go to the store and just pick out the staples that I'm missing. It's more like I make a little bit of list of what the recipes I'm going to make this week are and then I'll go get those things. But I do have a framework that I started to apply over the past eight years, begun just eating like when I'm eating at my best, I find myself falling into this pattern, which is that I will eat a smoothie in the morning, which is loaded with nuts and seeds, flaxseed walnuts, especially bananas, berries, frozen berries, some of the best, most antioxidant rich foods you can have add some greens in there as well.

[00:40:08.120] – Matt
So I have a smoothie in the morning. If you don't like that, you can do an Oatmeal version of that and just don't like smoothies. And that's totally fine. You can do almost the same thing with the same things in your oatmeal and now you get an extra serving with whole grains as well. For lunch. I do a big giant salad with beans on it, either oil and vinegar for dressing like a nice extra virgin olive oil or a nut based dressing which will eliminate the oil entirely, which is one less somewhat processed food in your diet.

[00:40:32.390] – Matt
The beans on there, a great danger to such a healthy food that if you can get a big serving of those every day, you absolutely should. And putting them on a salad for lunch is one way to kind of ensure that you do. And then finally, for dinner time, I always do a grain, a green and a bean. And so many of the foods that we're used to eating turn out to be a grain, a green and a bean.

[00:40:52.070] – Matt
You think of tempeh or tofu, tacos or any kind of bean. Refried beans on a taco. If you have some vegetables on top, you have a grain, a green and a bean. The green being the shell of the bean the filling. And then you get your toppings stir-fry, you got the rice, you have either beans or tofu. If you want that, you've got vegetables on top. So it's very, very easy to make a grain, a green and a bean. Stews, soups.

[00:41:15.140] – Matt
These often take that form. It doesn't have to be this big, mushy, big bowl of vegan sadness that people think of when I think grain, green and bean. And to that simple, like when I look at the cupboard and I have a bunch of stuff, but I have not planned a meal, it's like it's very hard to think of even when you so many choices, it's hard to get your mind to focus in on a meal. But if you can apply a little bit of a constraint that says grain, green and bean, which of those do I have here and how can I make those do well?

[00:41:41.150] – Matt
What condiment can I put in there to make a style of food or a certain cuisine? That structure works really well for me. And what it does enables me to get the seven or ten most important foods I mentioned beans, berries, nuts and seeds, greens, the foods that I'm trying to get every single day. They very naturally fit into that framework. So that's the one that I will typically eat when I'm at my healthiest.

[00:42:01.730] – Allan
And you've made a little easier for us in that you've put some recipes in the book. So we've got a head start.

[00:42:08.000] – Matt
Yes, absolutely. And those recipes, in fact, many of those were contributed by the athletes themselves that we interviewed, which I think is so cool, because to me, like ten years ago when Scott Jurek was doing this, he was ultra endurance athlete. I was an aspiring ultra endurance athlete. And I remember like there was a book, Tim Ferris's for Our Body came out, and I had a few of Scott Jurek's recipes in it, or maybe his grocery list.

[00:42:29.030] – Matt
And then Scott's book came out and to me those recipes were like gold back then. I was like, wow, this is one of the this is a legend in his sport, at my sport. And this is exactly what he eats. And he eats a plant-based diet like. I just could not get enough of having that. So to be able to put sixty recipes in here from elite Pro olympian plant-based athletes, I think that's a really special part of the book, not to mention the day in the life section at the end where they all twenty five of them list exactly what they eat like I just did.

[00:42:54.530] – Matt
They list how their day looks. And what's interesting about that is there are really very different approaches. Some of them really do focus on the meal planning and the macronutrients and they make sure they hit those numbers. Some of them like Dotsie Bausch, Olympic medalist, they just listen to their body. They just and I think as you do this longer and longer, you can get back to the mindfulness and you can actually start to just do it naturally without thinking so much about it.

[00:43:15.020] – Matt
So it's really neat to see that there are so many ways to make this work and not just work, but work for extremely high level performance in sports.

[00:43:21.050] – Allan
Yeah. So it's not like flipping a switch, but figuring you're way out, going through it and getting what works for you, finding the food you like, the food combinations, you know, putting those things together in a way that works. And then over time you just you make it better, you make it work better for you. And then particularly with performance athletes, they're always tweaking. You're always tweaking. So because we've got to find that half inch, we're got to find that half a second we've got to you know, we've got to do those things.

[00:43:50.390] – Allan
And that's the same way with the food. And so just taking your time, going through this book, like I said, gives a really good structure for someone that's looking to go this way, figuring out how to put it together, how to make it matter and do it without harming their performance. In fact, probably most likely going to see performance improvement, definitely if they're moving away from a standard American diet. They're moving away from inflammation, and so the recovery and their pain, that's all going to get better with this way of eating.

[00:44:19.270] – Allan
So, Robert, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:44:29.320] – Robert
I think you've got to find what your passion is in movement and exercise, and it doesn't have to be something super hard core or something that everyone else is already doing. It could be hiking. It could be taking your dog for a walk. It could be being out in nature. But I think you've got to find what you love to do. And when you find your passion or something you're enthusiastic about, you're going to find ways to make it happen.

[00:44:50.590] – Robert
It's less of a burden. It's less of a chore. It's something you look forward to. And I and I love that you said that because that's one of my signature lines, too, is to be healthy, happy and fit. And I think it starts with doing the things you're spending the one thousand four hundred and forty minutes we have each day doing what you enjoy. And the more you can smile, the more you can get enjoyment out of your exercise, then I think the better.

[00:45:14.470] – Robert
And that's what I would encourage everyone to do, is to get out there, move, find what you have to do and just keep doing it.

[00:45:20.850] – Allan
OK, Matt, again, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:45:30.040] – Matt
Great question. So my first one is, I guess kind of I'll go from broad in there. Broad one is take really small steps when you're creating changes. Typically diving in overnight change. Flipping a switch is not the best answer. It might seem like it for the first five days while everything's cranking along and your willpower is not been taxed yet, but it is getting that. And then the day is going to come along when your friends are going to the happy hour or whatever it is, and your perfect setup that you've been this fantasy you've been living, that everything has changed and you're now different, that will come crashing down because that's what happens.

[00:46:01.970] – Matt
But that's what happens with willpower. When it when it goes, it goes. And then because you've lost your perfectionist fantasy, you now think, well, I'm done now. Now it's not worth even having this next meal because I already messed up. So I took four years to go from omnivorous to vegan. Nobody has to take that long. But I tend to think that if you take a month to do it, you give yourself maybe a week like where you just having your breakfast

[00:46:23.140] – Matt
It's plant-based another week or it's now breakfast and lunch and so on or go you go try a few weeks where you're plant-based at home and you're still omnivorous out and then after that, make it so you're only omnivorous out on the weekends and so on and so on. These small steps to me, they give you a chance to learn the new habit. They give you a body, a chance to adapt. They let you learn how to handle things socially.

[00:46:44.290] – Matt
Obviously, I'm speaking right now about going plant-based, but it could also apply to running. You don't have to go out and run a mile five times a week to become a runner or to become fit. You can start with two minutes a day and you're not going to get the progress in the first month. It's going to seem like you're really not going anywhere. But if you look a year down the road, I think the person who starts with two minutes a day is much more likely to be someone who has now run consistently throughout the whole year at increasing amounts.

[00:47:07.000] – Matt
Obviously, because progress is an important part of this. You can't just stagnate at two minutes a day, but starting small and having the patience to accept that you're not going to see physical results, but you are building this invisible habit in your head. I think that's probably the most important tip I have for wellness. So that's my general. A very specific small steps approach for me that I really like is to drink a smoothie and eat a big salad every single day.

[00:47:29.740] – Matt
That's a pretty small step. It might be too big of a step for most people or for most for some people. And if you think that seems like a lot, if you find yourself struggling with even a couple of days of that, then just do one of those things. Just have this really just have the salad, do the oatmeal instead of the smoothie if you want. But those two meals to me, they help keep me on track, because if I kind of just mess up, if I go out and have whatever kind of vegan fast food I happen to have, if later I get back to have a salad, like it just kind of gets me back on track.

[00:47:54.880] – Matt
So I like that as my small one and then my very most specific habit. This is just something that has worked for me paying attention to my sleep, like getting a sleep tracker. I'm not really into trackers and data and stuff like that, but I've realized in the past few months that paying attention to my sleep, it's one of those habits that I think of it as like an anchor habit sort of pulls everything else in the right direction, just like the smoothie in the salad.

[00:48:14.560] – Matt
Like I said, once I started paying attention to my sleep, I started paying attention to how I ate and how I drank in the evening hours before I'd go to bed. So suddenly there was this benefit. I started noticing that when I worked out in the day, I would sleep better. So then I have this extra reason to actually work out in the day. And so it just one of those things. It's like a little game.

[00:48:33.580] – Matt
And if I'm trying to maximize how well I sleep, it turns out that I'm also maximizing how well I am living throughout my day. So maybe sleep, isn't it for everybody. But if you can find that anchor habit, that one that just pulls you to make the right choices, then that's that can be life changing. So it's been sleep for me look for years.

[00:48:51.880] – Allan
Excellent. Thank you for that, both of you. Well, this is episode four hundred ninety three.

[00:48:59.950] – Matt

[00:49:00.910] – Allan
So the show notes are going to be at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/493, but if you guys want me to send somebody somewhere and have links in the show, notes for that, where would you like that to be?

[00:49:13.250] – Matt
They can go to my sites at nomeatathlete.com, Robert what's your site's domain? veganbodybuilding.com, and we have a dedicated book page, at book.nomeatathlete.com, if they want to go there and see a bunch of endorsements and all that's in the book.

[00:49:26.900] – Allan
OK, well, the book is called The Plant-Based Athlete and the subtitle and this is a game changing approach to peak performance. And I learned a lot. I learned a lot from the book because, as I said, I've always known that endurance athletes do very, very well with the vegan diet plant-based diets. But this was kind of the first time I've seen how broad and how wide the performance improvements can be across all these different disciplines. And you've got the case studies in there.

[00:49:55.340] – Allan
You've got the athletes themselves speaking to how they've done this and sharing their own recipes and how they eat in a given day. So you can't ask for much more than that. This is great book, guys. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:50:08.300] – Matt
Thank you, Allan. Appreciate it.

[00:50:09.650] – Robert
Yeah. Thanks, Allan. Appreciate the opportunity today.

Post Show/Recap

[00:50:16.570] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:50:18.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fascinating interview, especially when you're talking about endurance athletes, that's kind of my thing, but the plant-based endurance athlete is pretty amazing.

[00:50:30.140] – Allan
Yeah, and I knew, you know, when I started reading it. And Matt is an endurance athlete. And, of course, you know, some of the people that a lot of the people they profiled, you know, the rich rolls and those guys that are you know, they're just diehard vegan athletes and their endurance athletes. And you look at them and say, yeah, they look like vegans physically. But then, you know, it's power lifters and it's bodybuilders and it's all that stuff.

[00:50:59.530] – Allan
And I'm like, OK, you can. And I think that's really kind of the magic of what I came away with. All of this was you can be vegan and be a bodybuilder, you can be vegan and eat keto, you can do those things. Now, is it the easiest way to do it? And the short answer would be no. And is it the optimal way to do it? And that I think the jury's still out because we just don't have enough of them high enough up in a sport. Now,

[00:51:31.560] – Allan
Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the game changer documentary. It was on Netflix is probably still out there. And, you know, it was he basically said this is the way he's eating now. It's more vegetarian or vegan. I'm not sure exactly which one, but he's in that realm of a plant-based diet and he believes that's the way it should be. That's why people should be eating. Now, would Arnold Schwarzenegger be Arnold Schwarzenegger if he had been a vegan when he was eight years old, 18 years old or 17 years old when he was coming over the United States?

[00:52:01.180] – Allan
The very beginning. And I don't know. I you know, I don't know that he could have accomplished what he accomplished. Being vegan or vegetarian, now, you can get your protein, but I mean, they're eating a ton of extra calories and fiber. To get that done, but it's doable, and I think that's what they've proved in their book and what they might find is with what's happening with all of these big and vegetarian athletes, is are they living longer?

[00:52:31.180] – Allan
Because a lot of the, you know, muscular athletes, really muscular athletes to see, you know, offensive lineman in college football or pro football or you see the bodybuilders or the pro wrestlers, a lot of those folks and a lot of it's lifestyle. It's not necessarily that they just put on so much muscle or what they did or what they ate. But these athletes are trying to do this not just for performance, but for longevity. And so that's their eating style is looking at it from a health and a performance perspective.

[00:53:05.890] – Allan
They don't want to sacrifice performance, but they want to make sure they're not harming their health. So it will be interesting to see how these athletes fare because it's not uncommon for bodybuilders to die younger, professional wrestlers, power lifters, they get big hearts. You know, they don't eat well. They pack on a ton of muscle and often fat in the off season. And so it's just, you know, it's not bodybuilding and powerlifting and those, they're not healthy sports or not, you're not getting into that for health.

[00:53:40.870] – Allan
And in a sense, a lot of times ultra marathoners are not getting into it for health. There's a limit. If you just ran, you know, even it was just like three miles a day or five miles a day, your body would be fine. You'd be healthy. A lot of times when you push yourself too hard and, you know, it's the thing is that you can push yourself past the point of health. And so that would be my only concern is if these athletes are still physically pushing themselves there, does this mitigate some of that health risk that they would have had if they were meat eaters?

[00:54:18.100] – Rachel
That's the interesting question to ask. You know, all these plants that we tend to eat salads and vegetables and all these legumes and beans, they all have some nutrients in there in them that are so important for our day to day life. And getting the right combination of them could very well support our endurance activities, whether it's running or biking or swimming or power lifting, I can imagine. But, you know, the one thing about diets that's really fascinating is that I look at it as a fueling strategy.

[00:54:54.880] – Rachel
You know, I eat certain foods because they agree with me and they support what I'm going to do, athletically speaking. But, you know, people with a nut allergy, for example, no matter how great walnuts and pecans are for you, they can't simply eat them. So there must be an alternative for that person or somebody with the lactose issue or a gluten issue. You know, our bodies, just because you want to eat something may not tolerate it well.

[00:55:22.930] – Rachel
And so the point is just to find what eating style works best for you. And I'm amazed by people like Scott Jurek and Rich Roll and some of the other endurance runners that can live on a vegan diet. Clearly, that's working for them in some way or another. So, yeah, I read a lot of it. It's a trend right now, in our running community, a lot of people are turning to more plant-based diets and there's something to it, obviously.

[00:55:49.030] – Allan
Well, and like we mentioned in the show, it's nutritionally dense food. And so, you know, getting your body, the vitamins and the minerals that you need that you might not be able to get from a full carnivore diet. so, you know, making sure you're doing that. But the end all be all. And, you know, I mentioned this a couple of times on there is. The reason I think that vegans and vegetarians tend to do

[00:56:15.930] – Allan
Better health wise, and I say it over and over when they talk about their studies and their interest in their books because they're eating Whole Foods.

[00:56:24.330] – Rachel
Amen to that.

[00:56:28.830] – Allan
so they equate eating Omnivore as a standard American diet. So to them, it's there's no difference. They don't look at red meat and processed meat and say it's any different. It's meat. And it's so they don't look at it different. If they're going to do a study about the health effects of meat, they're going to just say, do you eat these? And they're going to include the two together.

[00:56:51.720] – Allan
You could come back and say, well, I only eat grass-fed grass, finished beef, pastured chicken, pastured pork. And under these circumstances, but they don't nobody breaks the science down to that level of detail. And even if they did, most of this is just what people say they're eating. Right, and not necessarily what they're eating. So, you know, we've got these athletes now. They're going through this process. And if they stick with it for the long haul, because there's a there's a lot of vegans that fall off the wagon, there's you know, there's a lot of people that go hopeful, that whole food that fall off the wagon.

[00:57:26.880] – Allan
There's a lot of keto people that fall off the wagon. So, you know, if they stick with it, then we might come up with some stories. Some of course, it'll be anecdotal stories, but some stories that demonstrate that that way of eating is sustainable for the long term. It works for their performance, it works for their health and longevity, because that's why they're doing it. They're doing it because they believe that's the healthiest way to eat.

[00:57:50.280] – Allan
For many of it's also an ethical concerns. But almost everybody that I've talked to, and particularly with Robert and Matt, it was really about longevity and health.

[00:58:01.590] – Rachel
Yeah. And you mentioned Whole Foods. It's I think that's the essential key to this part of the formula is whether you're eating a whole vegan type of food or a whole keto kind of food. The point is getting real foods. You know, Oreos, I guess, are vegan, but they certainly don't have any of the nutrition that you need on a daily basis. So, you know, just making sure that you're eating a healthy, actual nutritious item and not going to the chips and the pretzels and the cookies, that just because they're vegan. It counts, I guess.

[00:58:33.870] – Rachel
But, you know, you still need to eat the nutrients you need to eat. But the other point about diets that I'd like to bring up, too, is that sustainable is such a slippery slope of a word for me, because I just trained, for example, for a 50 mile race. What if I decide that I'm going to focus on a triathlon? Or what if I decide to do bodybuilding as my next big challenge? You know, then I will probably change the way I eat to address that activity.

[00:59:04.440] – Rachel
So, you know, whether people stick to a vegan or keto or any diet in between, you know, as long as it's supporting your health and your activities, then I would say go with what is working for you in that moment. You know, I don't get hung up on being sustainable, being vegan to the end of the days or being keto for the end of days. You know, we go through these trends in life. You know, things happen.

[00:59:31.140] – Rachel
So eat how it best supports your health in that moment. This is my point.

[00:59:36.240] – Allan
Yeah. Because in the end, food serves three purposes. OK, first purpose is it's nourishment and fuel for your body, OK? Your body needs certain oils and fats. It needs certain amino acids. And in general, we tend to do a little better if there's some fiber involved, you know. So, you know, those are kind of the bare requirements and then getting the vitamins and minerals that we need. That's our nutrition. The second thing about food is if you do it right, it's delicious.

[01:00:11.040] – Allan
Yes. And so, no, if you eat Twinkies all the time, a strawberry isn't going to taste very sweet. All right. But a strawberry is actually very sweet as our carrots and tomatoes and beets, you know, those very sweet, even a sweet potato. I don't you know, I can put cinnamon just flat on a sweet potato and eat it. I don't need to add sugar, which you go into a restaurant and you order a sweet potato, all their cinnamon is going to be mixed with sugar premixed.

[01:00:44.270] – Allan
That's how they get it. And I don't want the sugar. So, you know, I end up eating it plain, which is with butter. But my basic point is, is you should enjoy your food. So you shouldn't be this. Oh, this is horrible. I have to eat this five pound salad every day. No, that's not how it should be. It should be enjoyable foods that you find appealing that are bringing all the different things, the textures and the tastes and all the things that you like and avoiding the textures and taste that you don't like.

[01:01:15.790] – Allan
And then the final bit is we use food for social things, for celebrations, for parties, for going out, for, you know, eating with somebody has special meaning to us. I think some people go a little too far with that. And it's like, you know, OK, I got to have the cake and got to do this for this party and we got to do that. And the food goes a little off the rails for some of these celebrations.

[01:01:42.190] – Allan
But that said, sitting down and having a meal with someone you care about is an important part of life. Having those conversations over a dinner table with your family is an important part of life. And those are not moments to be missed out on because, you know, oh, they're eating pizza. And I can't sit at the table while they're eating pizza because I might want a slice of pizza. So I'm going to eat in the other room.

[01:02:07.630] – Allan
So I'm not tempted by the pizza. And it's like, well, one, get to investigate your relationship with food and then two, what is it intrinsically about the pizza that's the problem? Yeah, you know, and would having a piece of pizza actually ruin your life?

[01:02:27.020] – Rachel
Yeah, you know, as long as it agrees with you, I always go back to allergies because I have them. So, you know, as long as that pizza agrees with you and it's not going to start a cascading way of terrible dieting and eating over the next few days, then enjoy it, enjoy that family time, enjoy that celebration or that birthday cake or whatever it is, as long as it agrees with you. And just get back to it the next day.

[01:02:53.380] – Allan
And if you want to make it keto, just make the cheese and meat over and vegetables over into your bowl and your plate and toss the crust into the dog's bowl. I mean, there you go.

[01:03:05.320] – Rachel
Yeah. Your dog will be happy.

[01:03:07.390] – Allan
Yeah, the dog's happy. You're happy. You're sitting with the family. All good. All right, Rachel. We'll talk next week then.

[01:03:14.650] – Rachel
Sounds great. Take care.


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