Category Archives: travel

Strongest Hearts going strong!

Our Kickstarter to fund the next phase of Strongest Hearts (previously Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes) is moving along nicely! Thank you to everyone who has donated or shared our campaign page. Every little bit helps and we need your help right now to reach our goal. Can you make a donation so we can continue to make these videos?

And the sooner we reach our goal the less I can stress about it!  In our latest update we shared the graphics for the rad buttons (thanks bummerart and Pinbot) that will come with every donation over $20.

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We make these videos to show the various ways veganism can work. We don’t preach one style of eating or body shame; we want plant-based eating and fitness to be accessible to the most people. Showing the interesting stories of athletes in a professional way has never been done. We believe activism and education can be positive, fun AND make a difference. It’s a lot of work to make these and both Sasha and I have invested a lot of time, energy and our own money into this project. So we are seriously indebted to the people who believe in us and have supported us financially!

We have great rewards- hoodies, t-shirts, Purist water bottles, signed books, cycling socks….check them all out at our campaign page and please share it widely with your networks. We are relying on our community to get this out there! Thank you so much.

 

StrongestHearts

 

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Filed under bike, Day in the Life, nutrition, race, road, run, travel, triathlon, vegan

NYC Residency Coming Up

Hey everyone! I’ve some exciting news. The week after Thanksgiving I will at the Skin Care Lab in Soho seeing clients. Dr Brad Katchen and I began talking over email after he came to my talk at Jivamukti Yoga back in April and wants to offer plant-based nutrition counseling to his patients and others. Details are here.  I’d like to add that there’s a 10% discount for my readers and their friends- just mention my site or Discerning Brute.  To make an appointment you can call 212-334-3142. 

I’ve worked with enough people over the years to know that there’s a lot of confusion about what’s healthy and what’s not. Many people feel overwhelmed or just don’t know where to begin.  And many self-proclaimed nutrition experts are simply repeating what they read or what works for them. My approach is to meet people where they are and go from there with the most sound science and practical applications.  While I do skype, phone and email consultations, there’s nothing like sitting down face to face to discuss this! If you are in the area, I encourage you to make an appointment today. Or it could make a great Thanksgivukkah present!

I’d be remiss to not end with some Thanksgivukkah vegan recipes and mention this fun article by Isa Moskowitz on CNN about hosting vegans at this time of year

 

Thanksgivukkah

 

 

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No Meat Athlete Book Tour

As you probably know, the No Meat Athlete book came out this month and I’m very excited to be a co-author. I’m especially happy right now to announce that I am jumping on some of the book tour with Matt! I’ll be doing the Southern California, Arizona and Austin events.

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November 1 — San Diego, CA | Movin’ Shoes (Pacific Beach location) — Get Updates

November 3 — Los Angeles, CA | Vegan Book Fair at Animal Advocacy Museum, presented by Compassion Over Killing — Get Updates

November 5 — Phoenix, AZ | 24 Carrots – Get Updates and Tickets

November 6 — Scottsdale, AZ | Nourish Cafe – Get Updates

November 7 — Tucson, AZ | Morning Blend show followed by run/event presented by Healthy You Network (details to come)

November 9 — Austin, TX | Bearded Bros. – Get Updates

If you live in one of these areas, I’d love to see you at an event. Have an omnivorous friend who is interested in vegetarianism? Bring them along. And as time allows, I can schedule private consultations in these cities if you are interested in working with me one on one.

Also, I’m taking recommendations for your favorite places to eat and drink coffee in these cities!

For those in the Los Angeles area I encourage you to join me before Sunday’s event at Dan Koeppel’s staircase walk. Dan created the Big Parade which is a yearly walk of over 100 staircases in Los Angeles (my photos and story) and leads regular walks that will no doubt show you parts of LA you didn’t know exist. Sunday’s walk focuses on the Hyperion-Glendale Bridge because the city is planning on ‘improving it’ with wider lanes, freeway dividers and 55 MPH speeds with little concern for cyclists and pedestrians. Right in between the very walkable and bikeable Silver Lake and Atwater neighborhoods!

Lastly, if you are in Northern California the No Meat Athlete San Francisco event with Leo Babauta from Zen Habits looks very cool. Which reminds me: If you haven’t seen it please check out Leo’s 7-Day Vegan Challenge and share it widely.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the road!

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Day in the Life 11; Vegan Track Cyclists

Bike racing is a tough, unforgiving discipline that requires focus, strength and endurance. But do you think all cyclists are super thin or scrawny? Then you haven’t met any track cyclists. Track cycling is over 100 years old and takes place on a velodrome at speeds nearing 60 miles per hour. There are a variety of track races but they all require one thing: being able to pedal a single speed fixed gear brakeless bicycle at incredibly high speeds. And like sprinters in track and field, this requires a tremendous amount of leg strength for power and output.

So for our next installment in the Day  in the Life of Vegan Athletes Series, I’d like you to meet 3 track cyclists who know that eating vegan doesn’t compromise strength and speed on the track. I mean, how many people do you know that require special pants to fit their quad muscles into?

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Jack Lindquist with his world famous piston tattoos.

First we meet Kevin Selker of Boulder, CO. We met Kevin while in Colorado filming with Modern-Day Pentathlete Justin Torrellas and he even makes a brief appearance in the Runner Megan Hebbe episode where I fail miserably at cross-country skiing. Kevin, despite being a PhD student, won 30 track races in 2012! And this year (this weekend actually!) he’s headed to the Collegiate National Track Championships. And it’s his wonderful lasagna recipe that we feature below.

Next we meet Jack Lindquist, formerly of Los Angeles, who now resides in Portland, OR where he manages the one-of-a-kind bikeshop/coffeebar/bar Velo Cult. Jack is a long-time friend of mine and whenever anyone mentions vegans being weak I mention that he can deadlift over 500 pounds. That’s a quarter ton he can pick up off the ground!

Lastly we meet Zak Kovalcik of Portland, OR. Like Jack, Zak is a former bike messenger. He also realized he can go really fast on a bike and decided to ‘pursue’ it. And as you’ll see he has the big wins to prove it. I also want to mention that he rides for the Sizzle Pie Team, mostly because they have kick-ass vegan pizza and a great ‘slice and salad’ special that I always hit up when I’m in Portland!

Here it is, episode number 11:

How great is that? To read more about Zak winning TWO national championships in 2012 check out this article. And isn’t Kevin the nicest guy ever? It’s hard to imagine that someone so incredibly nice could be so competitive. I love that we met him for the first time and he was making this lasagna, and now you can too!

Kevin Selker’s Homemade Chickpea Cheez Vegan Lasagna

Adapted version of an adapted version of the lasagna from Passionate Vegetarian cookbook.

Makes one very large or two normal-sized lasagnas.

Breadcrumb topping
1-2 cups homemade breadcrumbs (when you don’t finish a loaf of bread in time, leave the leftover slices out–I leave them on top of my fridge–to dry out, then process them and store.  The best bread makes the best breadcrumbs.  Store bought breadcrumbs are usually awful.)
Couple cloves of garlic
More parsley or carrot tops or fresh italian herb of your choice
2 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Process the breadcrumbs with the garlic, adding the oil while the blade is spinning.  Then add herbs and salt and pulse once more. Set aside.

Chickpea filling
1 quart (32oz) Prepared chickpeas  (If you cook these at home add a teaspoon of baking soda when they’re boiling–it speeds cooking and helps them get extra soft!)  Reserve some cooking water from the chickpeas
3 cloves garlic
2 TBSP cornstarch
Handful of flat leaf parsley or carrot tops

Puree the chickpeas in a blender or food-processor.  (NOTE: To save time you don’t have to clean it after making the bread crumbs) Add the garlic and starch and puree until smooth, adding the reserved cooking water if needed.  The consistency should be like a very soft hummus.  Add the parsley or carrot-tops and puree to combine.  If the beans were unsalted, add a bit of salt, otherwise probably don’t–it’s OK if this sauce is not very salty.

Vegetable Filling
1 large onion, chopped
Several cups vegetables of your choice. Favorites include:
1 cup roasted bell peppers, chopped
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
Large handful of dried tomatoes, chopped
Large handful of olives, pitted and sliced

Sauté the onion for a few minutes, and add the vegetables in order that they need to be cooked.  Do not overcook, as the lasagna will bake also.  Some (most) vegetables won’t need to be cooked much or at all, so just add these at the end and kill the heat.  Add half of the tomato sauce.

Lemon Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP flour (whole wheat or white)
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1 TBSP tomato paste
1.5 cups vegetable broth or water (you can use bouillon also)
1/2 cup white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon (pro-tip: you can use the same lemon!)

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the flour, and mix, being careful not to burn the flour.  Next, add the garlic and tomato paste and mix well.  Incrementally mix in the vegetable broth and continue to stir, smoothing out lumps.  Bring to a simmer for a minute, then lower the heat and add the lemon juice, zest, and wine.  Done!

Additional Ingredients
1 quart (32oz) Tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought marinara)
About 12 ounces of lasagna noodles, either prepared or no-boil

Assembly 

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook the lasagna noodles as desired.  On the bottom of the pan, put about 1/4 cup of the lemon sauce: enough to coat the bottom.  Then put a layer of noodles.  On top of the noodles put half of the vegetables, then another layer of noodles.  Spread all of the bean filling evenly and top with remaining vegetables.  Top with a final layer of noodles.  Pour the lemon sauce over the top and remaining tomato sauce (if there is room).  Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Then turn oven up to 450-500 and take the lasagna out.  Remove the foil, topping the lasagna evenly with the breadcrumbs.  Bake until the breadcrumbs are slightly browned.   Let the cooked lasagna rest for a bit before cutting, serve warm.

Enjoy and let me know how it turns out for you! And if you are ever in Portland, Oregon there is more to do than eat so you should stop by Velo Cult and say hi to Jack!

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Filed under bike, Day in the Life, nutrition, race, recipe, travel, vegan

Video of My Presentation on Nutrition for Athletes

This has been one of my busiest Springs in a long-while. Usually I spend this time working at home and preparing for the summer. Instead I was out and about on my mini speaking tour where I presented almost a dozen times. And from a classroom in a small college in Tennessee to a yoga studio in NYC and a bike shop in Portland, the rooms were packed! It’s such a privilege to have the network to set these up and to speak to so many people. I wish I had started doing these sooner! Thank you to everyone involved.

And thanks to Burning Hearts Media, there’s a video of my talk at Velo Cult in Portland:

I’ve also neglected writing here more often. Please follow my True Love Health Facebook Page or @TrueLoveHealth where I regularly post articles of interest.  Thanks for reading and keep your eye for a few bigger projects I have in the works. And get outside and enjoy the weather, wherever you are.

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Filed under nutrition, travel, vegan

Portland! Speaking event Sunday May 5th 6-730pm

[Update Monday 4-22: We are adding a Q&A panel that will include Ed Bauer from Plant Fit Training Studio and at least one other vegan athlete!]

Just nailed down the details for the Portland talk: Sunday May 5th, 6-730pm at Velo Cult Bicycle Shop. I’m working with my friends from Herbivore Clothing Company and my very good friend Jack Lindquist who is now the shop manager at Velo Cult! I’ve worked with Josh and Michelle previously when they published the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal and I lent some expertise.

This event is free, but as always I am taking donations to cover some of my costs (also note my new donation button in the right-hand column!).  We may have a raffle to raise money with prizes from some of the many (many!) veg companies up there in Portlandia.

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I’ve gotten lots of feedback from the half dozen or so presentations I have given in the last month and I’ll have some new info for this! My talks are beneficial for most everyone; from long-time vegans to those who are curious on how to get the most out of their nutrition plan. We talk a lot about athletes, but the information is not super technical and is appropriate for anyone interested in eating better. And there’s a chance we’ll have a new Day in the Life episode or promotional video! Either way, you’ll be stoked. Follow this post for updates on sponsors, etc.

See you in Portland!

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On the Road Spreading the Word About Healthy Eating

I’m elated to be on this tour speaking about the importance of nutrition; it’s a privilege to travel and be hosted by so many exceptional people and organizations.  You never know what to expect when you are setting up these events and I’m always nervous the hour before. Who will come? How will they react?

I was honored to be introduced by old friend Paul Shapiro, founder of Compassion Over Killing, who is now with the Humane Society.

I was honored to be introduced by old friend Paul Shapiro, founder of Compassion Over Killing, who is now with the Humane Society.

In the last 10 days I’ve given 5 presentations and the responses have been beyond amazing. At Austin Peay University in Tennessee I spoke to an exercise physiology class and gave a lecture presented by the Sociology Department. I love sociology, I almost double-majored in undergrad, so I tied in multiple concepts on how our environment has affected our food and transportation choices. For example- 1950’s racism lead to development of car-centric white suburbs; all with federal funding. Poor quality fast food soon followed to cater to this demographic. And I can’t thank my friend Tucker Brown enough for inviting me to speak and hosting me. So cool to hang out with my friend who took me to my first punk show 20 years ago.

In Washington, DC I was hosted by the wonderful people from Compassion Over Killing and presented on vegan athletes in their standing room only office. The next night Sticky Fingers Sweets and Treats graciously hosted me with a special menu! There I talked more in depth about vegan nutrition to another packed room.

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Athletes like Scott Jurek make my presentation easier! Fortunately we have more than anecdotal evidence.

Turns out not only new vegans and flexitarians are hungry (zing!) for nutrition knowledge; seasoned vegans and activists equally want to know how to eat healthy. My presentations are not technical nor do they simply glorify eating vegan. My points are simple:

  • We have lots of research showing vegans diets are not only adequate, but have positive health consequences.
  • It’s more about what you eat than what you don’t eat! Vegans still need to base their diet on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes.
  • We don’t need to overly restrict foods or food groups once we are eating whole foods plant-based diets. 
  • It takes some work to be vegan! We need to learn the basics of nutrition and make wise choices in order to be the best vegans we can be.

I’m still on the road and have two more upcoming events. Wednesday night I’ll be in NYC at Jivamukti Yoga, presented by The Discerning Brute. Will include a question and answer session with myself and other vegan athletes. There’s a Facebook page and a spectacular event flier.

Saturday I’ll be in Chicago at the Bucktown Wicker Park Library at 3pm, brought to you by Chicago Veg. Event flier here.

If you are in either of these cities, I hope you can make it. Please come and say hello. And I promise that my presentations are not only informative, but fun too!

Lastly, congratulations to Vegan Outreach for handing out their 20 millionth pamphlet.

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My Favorite Photos of 2012

I am well aware that it is already Spring and this is a ‘favorite of 2012′ post, but hey, better late than never, right? I take a lot of photos. Some end up on facebook or instagram but most never make it off of my phone/camera. I was looking through all 1400 of them and thought I’d pick some of the ones I like best from last year.

Thanks for reading (and looking!) and thanks to everyone who was a part of this madness!

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Tour De Fat is one of the funnest days of the year. And I don’t even drink!

When I attempted the Zion 100. My first of failed 100-mile runs. Still a day well spent.

When I attempted the Zion 100. My first of two failed 100-mile runs. Still a day well spent.

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California Coast. Many many hours spent here in 2012.

Big dude big dog.

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Aaron Edge’s bag. He’s the dude I tweeted about from #furtherfasterforever who was recently diagnosed with MS.

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CicLAvia plus pupusa. Los Angeles!

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More CicLAvia hangouts. MacArthur Park.

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This tiny bridge connected two bike routes and not only made cyclists’ ride way shorter and easier, but safer. Also called ‘Jesus Bridge’ because google earth hadn’t caught up to Strava and it looked like you rode on water….

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Any dog in my sight is at risk of being picked up. Especially pugs. This is pre Zion 100.

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Can I help you? At the NYC Veggie Pride Parade.

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I love classic East Coast brick buildings with their shady fire escapes. Bethlehem, PA.

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I only went mountain biking a few times in 2012 (wtf?) but this ride with my friend Timoni was a good one. Snake!

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At the 24 Hours of the Enchanted Forest, where I finished third place in solo single speed. 2am blurry photo with a crooked wheel?

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A pug in a milk crate basket is already great. Another great part is that Paul, who I did the British Columbia bike touring / mountaineering trip with, saw this photo and thought I was taking this bike.

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British Columbia. SO MANY BEARS.

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Mountaineering cabin view. Hell yes.

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Us on the mountain from the previous photo!

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Mountaineering challenged me in many ways. Most of them mental!

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Roped in, on the side of a steep mountain, discussing if it’s safe to be where we are. Why not pull out my phone and shoot a photo?

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Whistler Mountain Bike Park. I had such a blast. One of the best days of the year for sure. Wish I had more photos, but I was too busy getting rad.

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Vancouver. There was a serious race. I ate a veggie dog from a vendor. End of story.

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North Shore, Vancouver. This place is internationally known and changed mountain biking forever. Such a privilege to be there and ride bikes! I saw this the first day, thought it was insane and then rode it the second day. I guess I got use to the bike I was borrowing? Haha.

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Twenty-four hour vegetarian dinner in Vancouver. I love breakfast, in case you didn’t know that.

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Back to Eden vegan bakery in Portland. A treat. And mirrors on the walls.

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This pug was going wild while the owner went shopping. I had just locked up my bike and was on the phone but fortunate enough to capture this.

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Donovan at the Headlands 50/100. He paced me on my first 50 miler. And then ran 50 more miles while I hitch hiked back to SF from Marin County. Beautiful race!

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We fostered kittens for awhile at my house. This one was born with only one eye. Adorable.

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You know it’s an adventure when you are sleeping in a high school gym. This is Christian, my college housemate and close friend who joined me for several hundred miles when I rode cross-country in 2001. Here we are at the Oil Creek 100. He ran the 100k and I DNF’d the 100-miler.

Oil Creek 100. I was planning on quitting at the mile 62 aid station but then somehow still blacked out after I sat down. Not sure what happened! This is me trying to get warm and figure out the meaning of life.

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Excuse me, can I hang out with your pug?

Thor. The pit bull rescue. Maybe the cutest puppy ever?

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Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. Yes, I’m pretty stoked and wearing a wig. Photo by Donovan. Hooliganness by Los Angeles.

Hey dawg.

I love garlic. And have the tattoo to prove it.

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Art.

First CX race of the year. I may not of placed well, but I did do this every lap. Photo by

First CX race of the year. I may not of placed well, but I did do this every lap. Photo by PB Creative.

For the first time every I regularly made pizza from scratch at home.

For the first time ever I regularly made pizza from scratch.

Backside of Amethyst in Montecito Heights during Feel My Legs I'm a Racer. Photo by @Area45

Backside of Amethyst in Montecito Heights during Feel My Legs I’m a Racer. Photo by @Area45

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Filed under city, off-road, race, run, travel

Posters for San Diego and New York City talks

I love fliers, posters, whatever you want to call them, I love them. It’s probably the old punk in me. Old as in standing in front of a copy machine with scissors, photos and a marker and cutting and copying, cutting and copying until you get it just right. Things have changed a bit (most fliers never become actual hard copies!) but I still love them. Below are two that my hosts made for upcoming talks in San Diego and New York City. Thanks Cycling Camp SD and Discerning Brute! If you live in or near one of these cities please pass them on. More info on my talks here: www.truelovehealth.com/speaking.

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MattRuscignoNYC

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Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I’ve created a page for my speaking engagements: www.truelovehealth.com/speaking and have included the Spring events below. I love doing these sort of events! If you are near any of these please come out and say hello. And bring your friends! Thank you to all of the people who have helped to make these possible.

All events are free of charge, unless otherwise noted.

*Wednesday March 13th 6pm  Hi-Tec Bikes,  San Diego, CA

Adding Plant-based Meals to Your Sports Nutrition Plan: The How and Why
Brought to you by my friends at Cycling Camp San Diego. See the event page on facebook for more info.

 

*Saturday March 23rd  Mission Viejo Hospital, Mission Viejo, CA

Plant-based and Powerful: What We Know About Vegan Athletes
Part of the Orange District Dietetic Association Fundraiser. May require registration.

 

*Tuesday March 26th 4-6pm Austin Peay University, Clarksville, TN

 The Unathletic Vegan Athlete, is that Even Possible?  How Being Physically Active Can Have Nothing to do with Sports
Hosted by the APU Sociology Department and Tucker Brown, PhD.

 

*Wednesday March 27th 7-830pm  Compassion Over Killing Headquarters, Washington, DC

Film Screening on Vegan Athletes with Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD
Limited seating, reservations required!

 

*Thursday March 27th 7pm  Sticky Fingers, Washington, DC

Plant-Based Nutrition Discussion with Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD
Limited seating, please get there early! More info here.  Special menu by Sticky Fingers! Hosted with Compassion Over Killing.


*Wednesday April 3rd 7-9pm  Jivamukti Yoga, New York, NY

Athletes and Plant-based Nutrition: Get Real Science From An Expert
Presented by The Discerning Brute and will include a question and answer session with myself and other vegan athletes. Ten dollar suggested donation. Facebook page and spectacular event flier!

 

*Sunday April 7th Chicago, IL

Sports Nutrition: What We Know About Plant-based Athletes
Details TBD

 

*Thursday, May 2nd 2-3pm Boise, Idaho

Sports Nutrition: What We Know About Plant-based Athletes
Idaho Dietetic Association annual meeting. Requires conference registration.

*Friday or Saturday May 3rd or 4th Portland, Oregon

Athletes and Plant-based Nutrition: Get Real Science From An Expert
Details TBD. Hopefully at Velo Cult with the my friends from Herbivore!

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