Category Archives: travel

Portland and Scotland Vegfests Coming Up!

I have a very exciting couple of weeks with talks at the Portland Vegfest this Fri, Sat and Sun (yes, 3 talks!) and then I travel across the pond to visit Glasgow and the Scotland Vegfest. I’ll be speaking there Sat and Sun, December 5th and 6th.

Any recommendations in either of those cities? Do you plan on going? Be sure to say hi!

While I’m traveling be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates and more.


NW Veg


Scotland Vegfest


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Boston Sports Nutrition talk Thursday night before Cape Cod Ragnar Relay

This Thursday I return to the difficult-to-spell state of Massachusetts to give a talk on vegan sports nutrition in Boston. It’s in collaboration with the Boston Veg Society and the Strong Hearts Vegan Power running team before they take on the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay! There’s a $15 vegan buffet option at the host restaurant, Walnut Grille. Please RSVP here for the dinner. The talk is free! There will also be a Q&A panel with some of the runners on the team. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about vegan nutrition- especially for curious friends who want to know how to eat plant-based and stay active. Can you still get enough protein? You sure can! Come learn how.

Plant-based and Powerful: How Vegan Athletes are Defying Stereotypes

Thur May 7th
5-7 buffet ($15)
7-815 talk and Q&A (free)
Walnut Grille
1203 Walnut St
Newton, MA 02461


Facebook event page

Then on Friday and Saturday I’ll be covering three Strong Hearts Vegan Power teams (36 vegan runners!) racing the 200-mile Cape Cod Ragnar Relay. I’ll be there as Strongest Hearts, where no doubt there will be lots of confusion about our similar names! Like we did with the Plantbuilt Team at the Naturally Fit Games, we’ll be documenting their experience in our video series. Follow our Twitter and Instagram for photos and updates through the weekend.


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Filed under nutrition, run, travel, vegan

Speaking at Umass Amherst on Monday Feb 23rd

For those of you in the Northeast enduring the harsh winter, I’d like to invite you to this talk I’m giving at UMass Amherst next week.  I’m honored to be a guest of the UMass Nutrition Association, Kinesiology Club, Students in Graduate Nutrition and the Department of Nutrition. The topic will be my work with plant-based athletes and my experience in alternative career paths for dietitians. It will be fun and there will be snacks! This event is free and open to the public. More details below and on the facebook event page. Special thanks to Eliza Beth Mellion who has done a huge amount of leg work to make this happen.


Be sure to follow me on twitter and instagram for photos of snow and cold and to see how 13.5 years of living in Southern California has made me soft!

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Book signing and talks in Austin this week!

Austin, Texas is a great place. I was there on the No Meat Athlete book tour where we did an event at the Beard Bros factory and presented to the Whole Foods corporate office. And it happens to be one the first place I flew to on my own (with a friend) as a tiny, teenage BMXer. Austin, like where I grew up, is huge for BMX and an older friend / local hero had moved so we went to check it out and get away from the harsh Pennsylvania winter and ride our bikes.

Ever since, I have loved Austin so I jumped at the chance to be a part of the Whole Foods / Engine-2 28-Day Challenge this year.





Two Events This Week

Both are a combination cacao book signing and a talk about staying active while maintaining a plant-based diet. These are laid back events and I love answering questions so if you have friends in Austin please send them along!

*Thur Feb 5, 530pm. Bee Cave Whole Foods Market. Engine 2, 28-Day Challenge. Book signing and talk12601 Hill Country Blvd. Bee Cave, TX 78738.

*Sat Feb 7, 12pm. Lamar Flagship Whole Foods Market. Engine 2, Meet The Experts series. Book signing and talk525 N Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78703.


Going Back in May!

And I’ll be there in May for the awesome Vida Vegan Con blogger conference. I can’t wait. Strongest Hearts will be there and both Sasha and I are speaking!! And it just so happens the wonderful organizers will be in Austin this week and made this terrific map of vegan spots: Austin Vegan Food! And you can probably count on seeing food photos on my Instagram and the VVC Instagram. I know I can’t wait to eat some Tex-Mex.



I’ve a few other events already scheduled for 2015 that will get their own post, but you can peep them at my events page. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at an event!

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I wrote a book about cacao and chocolate!

So stoked to finally, officially, make this announcement! Yes, an entire book about cacao and chocolate with 75 vegan (mostly savory!) recipes:

Superfoods For Life, Cacao (available: IndieboundSkylight | Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes and Noble)

SuperfoodsForLifeCacaoIndieboundSkylight | Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Why cacao?  Last year the No Meat Athlete book publisher asked if I was interested in writing a book in their series, Superfoods for Life. Super foods? Not necessarily my cup of tea. But when they said cacao, I said maybe. Then I spoke with DIY chef and friend Joshua Ploeg– who absolutely loves using ingredients in unique ways- and it was set. We’d do it. Yeah, I can’t believe it either!

I’m going to be writing about this more extensively over the next few months as this topic lends itself well to discussion. Like the woman in Mexico who is the current ‘oldest ever human’ who claims chocolate has played a role in her longevity (anecdotal, of course). Or this recent news article in the Las Vegas Review Journal that is totally inline with my view of the subject.

  • There’s a lot of research on cacao, chocolate and the phytochemicals they contain. I used over 60 peer-reviewed studies to write this book and discuss the role these compounds have on everything from type-2 diabetes and heart disease to dementia and athletic performance. This paper in the journal Nutrients is an example of what’s out there. It’s a very exciting direction of research.
  • Yes, I’ve seen the video about superfoods and science. I agree! In the book I write about the beneficial components of everyday plant foods; you don’t need to eat exotic berries, mushroom extracts or antioxidant pills to be healthy. Cacao does have especially high amounts of phytochemicals, but one ingredient, no matter what it is, doesn’t determine your health.


Photo: Fairwinds Press

Tamarind-Chocolate Chili. Photo: Fairwinds Press


If you want to support me and the book here’s how you can help:

  • Share this post or information about the book with your friends and social media contacts. If you know me- you know I don’t do a lot of self-promotion. But I’m very proud of this work and I want more people to be exposed to solid science and fun recipes. I’m all about expanding people’s experiences through food and this book definitely does that.
  • Come to an event! Keep your eye on my website and social media for announcements about book signings, talks and other events around the country. I’m currently planning events in Oakland, Santa Rosa, Boulder, Ashville, Atlanta, Chicago and Bethlehem; to name a few for 2014.
  • If you have a website and discuss food, veganism, cacao or any related topics please get in touch if you’d like to write about the book, share a recipe, do an interview with Joshua or I, etc. I’m happy to supply you with what you need.
  • Check out the work of the Food Empowerment Project. There are issues around the production of cacao and if you are buying chocolate, you should make yourself familiar with them. I write about this in the appendix of the book and I’m also donating 10% of my royalties to them because I love what they do.


As always, I appreciate my readers and everyone who has supported my endeavors. Thanks for reading!


Filed under eat, nutrition, recipe, travel, vegan

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.



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.





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





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