A few months back the wonderful and prolific Bite Size Vegan invited me to be a guest on her YouTube channel to talk about my work and my diet as an ultra-athlete. We discussed exaggerated health claims in the second video and the reaction from her audience was so strong and negative that she invited me back to clarify my points.
My argument was, and still is, that there are many paths to good health- strict veganism is not the only one. There are many factors in determining health and multiple ways to measure it. While there is plenty of evidence that eating mostly plant food is beneficial, that is not the same as veganism.
I’ll let you decide if the point is made or not. The first video is more about me and then the second and third get juicy. Some colorful comments, as well, if you decide to click through to YouTube- including one where I’m told that I’m not a real vegan. 🙂
Let me know what you think and if there are better ways to make these points. Thanks for watching!
Remember to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more regular updates.
Filed under nutrition, vegan
I recently worked with The Discerning Brute to create a Men’s Guide to Nutrition that answers common questions and concerns dudes often have. Click the link or the banner below. This is the perfect page to send people who are spreading myths about vegan diets- there are lots of links and references with the science to back up the claims.
And have you seen the Strongest Hearts video where I interview Stic from Dead Prez and his wife Afya Ibomu? As a long time fan of Hip Hop and Dead Prez I was very excited to sit down with them and chat about health, RBG Fit Club, straight edge and more! Give it a watch and share with your friends. You never know who you are going to influence.
-video embedded below-
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.
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)
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.
Little known fact: when I was a little kid I obsessively watched- and studied- Russel Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam because I wanted to be a stand-up comic. I never acted on that desire- except for always trying to be the funniest kid in class- but now I get to travel and speak in front of crowds in a different way. Not quite a comedian, but fortunately the bar is lower for being funny when you are talking about health and nutrition. So maybe I’m almost a comedian? Kind of like I am almost a stuntman- the only other ‘job’ I dreamed about when I was young. Just see Strongest Hearts for my stunt work!
This is just a long way of saying I’ve a number of speaking events happening in 2015. The next one up is in the East Bay this Sunday for the Berkeley Vegan Earth Day. If you are in the Bay Area please come by- there are excellent speakers and my friends from Food Empowerment Project (amongst others) will be tabling. I’ll have books and Strongest Hearts merchandise for sale too. My talk will be focused on the theme that you don’t need special or exotic foods to be a healthy vegan. I’ll talk about what constitutes healthy eating patterns, based on the research, and how to apply it to your own life. But in a fun/funny way. I hope.
Links and details for everything are below. Thanks to all the organizers; I’m grateful for these opportunities.
*Sun April 19 Berkeley, CA. Berkeley Vegan Earth Day. Unraveling the Myth that Plant-based Foods are Expensive and Exotic.
*Thur May 7 Boston, MA. Details TBD! In collaboration with Strong Hearts Vegan Power running team and Boston Vegan Society.
*Fri-Sun May 22-24. Paso Robles, CA. The Great Western Bicycle Rally. I will be leading rides and giving a talk or two.
*Fri-Sun May 29-31. Austin, TX. Vida Vegan Con! I’ll be giving a talk called Science is Awesome and will be on the Vegan Athlete panel.
*Sat June 27 Madison, WI. Mad City Vegan Fest. Plant-based and Powerful: What we know about vegan athletes.
*Fri-Sun Sept 11-13 Raleigh, NC. Plant-based Prevention of Disease Conference.
*Fri-Sun Nov 13-15 Portland, OR. Portland Health Conference and Portland Vegfest.
Filed under nutrition, vegan
I’m generally a very optimistic person, but I’m also realistic and shy away from misleading people into thinking something is going to be easier than it is. Why? Because making long-term, sustainable health behavior change takes, well, a lot of change. And work. Preparing people for this work helps them overcome the barriers that will no doubt arise. Too often I see/hear those who have spent years thinking about eating well, good nutrition, veganism, exercise, etc as saying these things are easy to do. You just need to want it! Just be disciplined! They forget what it was like to not know what they know now. Think about that for a minute- what was it like before you had the knowledge you have now? Are you even able to?
When I broke my dominant arm last year I had to write with my other hand. It’s incredibly hard. Why? Because I’ve had a lifetime of developing the habits and muscles memory to use a specific hand. Switching over just doesn’t make sense to my brain. What is this we are trying to do?? That’s an extreme example though clear in how we learn our behaviors over a lifetime to a point where we don’t think about them. We interpret this as being ‘easy.’
Our world today is not just full of unhealthy food, but cheap, heavily advertised food served in large portions. When we look at individuals’ diet/nutrition from this perspective- the influential environment- it’s no wonder we are in a health crisis with rampant chronic disease.
The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that a young person in the US sees 3000 advertisements a day.
Three thousand! If those advertisements weren’t influential it wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry. It’s as if our environment has been engineered to make eating healthy as difficult as possible.
I’ve been thinking about this because this Wednesday night is my 3rd lecture of four at the Digital Gym (put on with Cycling Camp San Diego who are also hosting the epic Dirty Devil this Saturday!). I’ll be talking about this topic- why is it so hard to eat healthy? What are the factors working against us? It’s an important lecture if you’ve had trouble turning knowledge into action. You are not alone! The fourth lecture, on Wednesday April 1st, will cover the ‘how to’ of eating plant-based and healthy. You can sign up for both here for a discount!
Both lectures start at 6pm at Digital Gym, 2921 El Cajon Boulevard, 92104 (map).
Filed under nutrition, vegan
I’m so excited to announce a series of nutrition lectures! With the help of Cycling Camp San Diego and Digital Gym in North Park, I’ll be presenting four 75-minute lectures on nutrition. You can sign up for just one or the entire series for a discount. This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your nutrition knowledge! With four workshops we can really get into not only understanding nutritional science, but applying it. While my focus is plant-based, I cover the basics of nutrition, disease prevention and the practical issues of eating healthy in today’s world. And these are fun, I promise! You can sign up here and there’s a facebook event page as well.
All lectures start at 6pm at Digital Gym, 2921 El Cajon Boulevard, 92104 (map).
Wed March 4th, 6pm (1)- Nutrition 101: What you need to know about the food you eat
From carbohydrates to gluten to antioxidants, we hear a lot of nutrition terms, but what do they all mean? Which components of foods are most important to consider for a healthy diet? Matt will discuss the basics of nutritional science and give you the vocabulary to understand dietary claims.
Wed March 11th, 6pm (2) – Diet and Disease: What the research says about risk and prevention
Does sugar cause diabetes? Will eating only fruit prevent cancer? There are many claims relating food to disease, but what does the research say? Matt will cover some of the bigger long-term research studies that look at diet, disease and death.
Wed March 25th, 6pm (3) Hard Fight: The challenge of eating well in today’s world
Ever feel like the world is working against your diet goals? It is! The food environment in America in 2015 is ripe with unhealthy choices at every turn. It’s no coincidence that the proliferation of empty calories has lead to an increase in obesity and disease. In this lecture you’ll learn how we got to this point.
Wed April 1st, 6pm (4) Take Action!: How to make healthy changes that last
Having knowledge and applying it are two different things. In this lecture Matt will discuss the behavior change ideas that will help you apply what you’ve learned so you can make lasting, sustainable health changes. Plenty of time for Q&A in this lecture too!
Please help me get the word out on this series. If you have friends who are curious about nutrition please let them know about this. Four lectures for a cost less than one consultation with me is a deal. You can sign up here or join the facebook page here. Hope to see you! If you have any questions please let me know.
Filed under nutrition, vegan