Motivation.

Winter is always a tough time for me. Yeah, yeah I live in Southern California, how hard can it be? Hard enough! Even though I basically have a degree in behavior change / healthy behavior, I still struggle sometimes myself.  Isn’t that always the case? Anyway, I’ve a few half-written (okay, okay they are only in my head!) posts, but for now, since I’m on a video kick, here are a few I’m excited about. And if this site is about anything, it’s about me sharing exciting things.

This first is a fun video featuring my friend Cache, his partner Erin, their rescued companion Yeti and one of my favorite mountain bike trails in Southern California. Erin works at the super awesome Swvre shop, which is featured. Along with my old housemate Dave! And it’s made by my friends Sean and Ace.

For more info on Cache and his artwork watch this video interview from a few years ago.

Next is this video shows the Cyclocross World Championships recently held in the United States for the first time ever. If this video doesn’t give you chills, check your pulse.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best activities are the ones where you are actively involved in the process. Like punk rock, where you see your favorite bands at tiny clubs and chat with the band members, the very best cyclocross racers in the world hang out with the fans. It’s healthier for us as individuals AND builds community. Win-win.

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Short Film on Jacob Bannon of Converge

A lot of my work and energy is, ultimately, against people’s actions that I think are detrimental to other people, to animals and to the earth. Always being ‘against’ isn’t easy and I’ve watched many a friends/accomplices take the easier path in life, ie giving up what is important to them.

Though if you’re a regular reader of my site you know I don’t take an angry approach.  But that anger is inside of me and has been for a very long time. I know I’m not alone in this, but sometimes it does feel that way. Then today I came across this (very) short film on Jacob Bannon, the frontman for one of my favorite bands, Converge. I was fortunate to meet Jacob last year when we both had tattoo appointments with our mutual good friend Thomas Hooper. Hearing these two artists I greatly respect discuss their trade was a privilege, to say the least. And this short film captures the energy and emotion that comes out of Jacob Bannon. It’s an insight into someone who has influenced me greatly yet it’s also self-reflective as he comes from the same sub-cultures that I do. Either way I’m sure you can relate to some aspect of this great film.  Enjoy.

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Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine Conference!

Hey everyone, happy new year! A quick note that the new Vegan Health and Fitness magazine is having a conference/expo in Los Angeles on January 26th and 27th. I’m honored to be speaking and giving the last presentation of the day, Saturday night at 7pm. The full schedule has a list of fantastic speakers from a number of backgrounds and disciplines. Tickets are available in a few different formats; you can buy just the sessions you would like to attend, a day pass or one for the entire weekend. Plus right now they have a sweet deal: subscribe to the magazine for a year and get two free session passes at the conference. I’d like to point out that Cat Johnson, the kick-ass cyclocross racer from Day in the Life episode 6 , is on the cover of the recent Winter issue!

VeganHealthandFitnessExpo

I’ll be discussing some tenets of sports nutrition, my experience as a vegan athlete and sharing clips (or maybe a full episode!) of our Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes series. I hope you can make it and if you do, please come say hello. I’ll be the guy wearing a shirt! Just kidding, I’m sure a few other people will have shirts on.

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Day in the Life 10; Badwater Ultramarathoner Michael Arnstein

Our Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes Series has a very special 10th episode today. We travel to the Badwater Ultramarathon, which has been called the most demanding and extreme running race on the planet, and ‘spend the day’ with fruitarian Michael Arnstein.  Mike has a 2.28 marathon PR and sub-10 hour ironman results, which is super impressive, but not nearly as impressive as his positivity! Which is put to test during this 135-mile run in temperatures near 120 degrees. He has so many great things to say and he really captures the spirit of this race and what it’s like to run 135 miles. Without further ado, here’s Michael Arnstein’s attempt at Badwater:

How crazy was that! He endured through the night and just when you thought he might not make it, he finishes top 20! Among many great quotes, here is my favorite,

“When you embrace the struggling, you just learn how to accept it and appreciate it.
Because the good times are only really great when the bad times are pretty tough.”

For more on Mike, his diet and other videos see his site, www.thefruitarian.com. Thanks for watching!

Photo courtesy of AdventureCORPS

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Filed under Day in the Life, nutrition, road, run, vegan

Thanks. And Turkey Day.

I love holidays. I really do. People are nicer, more polite, more willing to share; many work less often and the emphasis is on friends and family. It’s how I wish people acted every day! For many years I was too punk to really celebrate them, but now I look forward to sharing time and food with close friends and family.

 

Thanksgiving is extra special because it is my vegetarian anniversary- 2012 will be my 18th vegetarian Turkey Day (I went vegan not longer after)! That’s more than half of my life, which seems significant. This week I’ve been thinking back to the angst-y teenager I was who decided to stop being wishy washy about this not eating animals thing and took a stand. It’s unfathomable to me that the same number of years old I was then, have since passed. And that that decision has changed my life so much!

That first Thanksgiving I ate only sides- which isn’t hard to do at an Italian Thanksgiving. Plenty of pastas, salads, and vegetables for me to eat. Soon after that I learned more about the history of Thanksgiving, the celebration of ‘giving thanks’ and romanticizing those who, and I don’t use these words lightly, committed genocide against Native Americans. I then fasted in protest for Thanksgiving over the next bunch of years. How could we celebrate so much death- people and animals?

I calmed down about it eventually and found that discussing these issues and offering delicious vegan options as Thanksgiving dinners was the most productive thing to do. And that’s my MO- be a positive example of alternatives. Alternative ways of thinking, eating and interacting.  Compassion is a topic of Thanksgiving- my philosophy has always been to just widen that circle of compassion like that famous science guy said.

 

 

But this year, inexplicably, I’m more angry than ever about the millions of turkeys killed for this holiday. I pride myself on not being preachy- most of those who follow my site are more interested in my adventures and racing than my diet or politics. And maybe I’ll lose some of those folks. But tomorrow if you sit down at dinner and there’s a dead bird in the middle of that table you have to know that it was a living, breathing being with emotions and feelings that suffered and died unwillingly to be there.  And the solution is simple: the more people who give up eating animals the less that are killed. You can make a difference.

Photos from 15 reasons not to eat turkey.

Vegan Thanksgiving recipes

[end rant]

Happy holidays.

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Day in the Life 9; BMX Photographer Rob Dolecki

BMX riding is one of the most difficult sports to master- it takes crazy skills that are only perfected with great risk. Like skateboarding, there is no safety net and the slightest error can lead to injury. It’s physically and mentally demanding, to say the least. The variety within BMX is also huge- imagine becoming an expert at every single soccer position- most BMXers ride skateparks, street and BMX trails. It’s also a sport with very little recognition- sure there’s the X Games, but that’s not what most BMXers are interested in.  As cliche as it is, those who do it absolutely love it.

And our newest athlete in the series, Rob Dolecki, is a case in point. He simply loves BMX and bike riding.  The man is humble and not quick to talk about himself.  I think the only reason he agreed to this is because of how strongly he feels about veganism and because we’ve been friends for nearly 20 years! Rob is a full-time BMX photographer for magazines like DIG BMX, but that doesn’t mean he has stopped riding- even at 40 years old!

 

I love how Rob is a quiet, positive example of veganism, which is exactly what this project is about. He knows that the best way to influence others is by showing what’s possible in life- whether that’s smiling while jumping a 20 foot gap on a bike or finding food while on the road in the South America. Rob shared his tips for traveling while being vegan:

Road Trip Vegan Food Tips

Be flexible! You may not find your favorite or the healthiest foods on the road, but sometimes you have to just eat what’s available and vegan. What’s most important for your long-term health is the food choices you make most often. Don’t stress over eating eating less than ideally while on the road!

Be prepared.  Learn about the food choices where you are headed.

Plan ahead. Can you carry food with you while you are away from resources?  Some easy choices while traveling-

Fruit- Dried or fresh.
Nuts- High in calories and important nutrients, these are a life saver when spending long periods of time between meals on the road.
Bread and nut butter- Vegan bread is easy to get,  add some peanut butter and you have a filling, tasty meal to hold you over.

Be sure to check out Rob’s exceptional photography at www.twicebmx.com. Thanks Rob for spending your day with us and getting me out on a BMX bike again!

 

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Filed under bmx, city, Day in the Life, nutrition, vegan

Vegan Nutrition Events in Philadelphia October 5th and 6th

I work very closely with the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietary Practice Group (DPG) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association).  It’s a group of RD’s who are Academy members who have an interest in vegetarian nutrition- we keep the nutrition field updated on vegetarian nutrition. I’ve had the privilege of being on the Executive Committee for the last 2.5 years and I’ve spent a lot of time working on these upcoming events in Philadelphia that occur before the annual dietetic conference, FNCE.

It has been a crazy amount of work to have these open to the public and I hope it is worth it. We have great speakers and panelists, like Ginny Messina, Jack NorrisSharon Palmer, Reed Mangels, Enette Larson-Meyer and myself. The first 50 to register for each event get a free book. And we’ll have vegan pizza from Blackbird Vegan Pizzeria Friday night! If you live near Philadelphia or know someone who does, please send them this post and help us fill the room. Thank you and hope to see you in Philadelphia.

 

Friday Night October 5th Vegucated Screening 6-9pm
Screening of Vegucated followed by a Q&A with Producer Frank Mataska, Sharon Palmer, RD and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD. There will be a reception with food provided Blackbird Vegan Pizzeria and samples by our Friday night sponsor, Silk.  All Vegetarian Nutrition DPG events are also sponsored by Morningstar Farms and Gardenburger.

Pre-registration is $5 and highly recommended. The first 50 to register get a free copy of The Plant Powered Diet or the The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book!
Also let us know you are coming on the Vegucated Documentary with the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG Facebook event page.

 

Saturday October 6th Vegetarian Nutrition Presentations with 3 hours of CPEU’s!

12pm-1:30pm Powered By Plants: What We Know About Vegan Athletes
-Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD, RD and Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD

Plant-based diets have gained popularity among athletes from professional football player Tony Gonzales to Mixed Martial Artist Mac Danzig. But what does the research say and what work is being done to educate athletes about plant-based nutrition? This presentation by two athletic RD’s will review the latest studies and show how social media and film can be used for fun, creative nutrition education.

1:30-3:00pm Vegan Diets: What the Experts Say About Vitamin B12, Minerals, Protein, and Essential Fats
-Ginny Messina, MPH, RD and Jack Norris, RD

This session will highlight issues of interest in vegetarian diets, including rates of chronic disease in this population, findings regarding vitamin B12 status and bone health, and recommendations for meeting nutrition needs. Ginny Messina and Jack Norris are the authors of Vegan For Life and well-versed on the current science related to vegan nutrition. As requested this session includes an extended Q&A!

Pre-registration is only $5 and highly recommended. The first 50 to register get a free copy of Vegan For Life!
Let us know you are coming on the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG 20th Anniversary Presentations Facebook event page.

Both events are at the Friends Center (Rufus Jones Room) on the NW corner of 15th Street and Cherry St, just two blocks from the Convention Center (map).

More on all events here: http://vegetariannutrition.net/events/fnce/

All Vegetarian Nutrition DPG events are sponsored by Morningstar Farms and Gardenburger.

Not going to FNCE? Here’s how you can help:
Forward this email to colleagues and friends who will be in the Philadelphia area in October. Remember, these events are open to everyone!
Promote on Facebook with the links above. You can link to the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG Facebook.
Promote on Twitter, and link @VNDPG.
Link our public event site on your own site: http://vegetariannutrition.net/events/fnce/

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Filed under eat, nutrition, travel, vegan