Tag Archives: vegan

2016 Plant-based Prevention of Disease National Conference May 19-23rd

As you probably know if you follow any of my social media, I am on the board of the Plant-based Prevention Of Disease conference happening this May 19-23rd in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hard to believe this is already our third annual conference!




The idea that plant foods can lower disease risk is popular among vegans and advocates of plant-based diets, but it’s not common knowledge among health professionals. As I say often during my talks, science is slow-moving. It takes more evidence to change course than to stay on the same path. Well the path right now is that largely preventable diseases are the leading causes of death in the US! The goal of our conference, known as P-POD, is to bring science-based evidence on the benefits of plant foods to health professionals. We have continuing education for doctors, dietitians, nurses and more. There are THIRTY expert speakers this year at an insanely low registration rate. It’s going to be an incredible four days!

If you have a strong interest in nutrition and someone background knowledge, you could gain a lot by attending. Also, if you know any health professionals who may be interested please help us spread the word! We have promotional materials on our site.  Can’t make the conference, but love what we do? We are a 501(c)3 non-profit so your donation is tax-deductible!

And remember to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.



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Do some vegans exaggerate health claims?

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.

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2015- Year of the Vegfests!

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.





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*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.


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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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Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes Update!

[Thursday March 21 1145am update: Still have about 10 prints left!]

You probably have noticed a lack of updates on our Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes project, but it’s for good reason, don’t you worry. Fellow co-creator and bad-ass filmmaker Sasha Perry has spent the last 10 weeks as Executive Producer of Whale Wars filming with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on an anti-whaling ship in the Antarctic Ocean! I’ve been able to email with her and it sounds like it has been an unbelievable experience. Maybe you saw the Sea Shepherd ship being rammed by a whaling ship that is 5x bigger?! Now, after two and a half months at sea, they are returning to Melbourne, Australia after keeping the illegal whalers to the smallest kill year yet!


Sea Shepherd Book Club getting some important reading in at the bottom of the world.

Where does that leave Day in the Life? Since our Kickstarter campaign we have created six episodes- Donovan Jenkins, Catherine Johnson, Megan Hebbe, Justin Torrellas, Rob Dolecki and Michael Arnstein. And we have at least two more episodes in production! We feel we have made very good use of the funds we were so fortunate to receive. But as that money dries up we were forced to discuss what’s next. People have used the videos as the education tools they are designed for and we have gotten wonderful feedback. Just last week I showed the Cara Gillis episode, where she kicks my ass on hill intervals, to a packed room of over 125 people! So obviously we want to keep making them, but we decided to make a small change.


I recently spoke at a bike shop to over 125 people interested in plant-based nutrition. Screening the Cara Gillis episode was a hit!

We are going to move Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes to a new site. A site that isn’t my personal one, but one that is exclusively about plant-based athletes. We are very excited! Domains have been purchased, twitter handle has been secured and other important internet-y stuff has already been done.  What is the site? Well, we can’t tell you just yet. Because there’s nothing there! Here’s where you come in. We have a few goodies left over from our previous fundraiser that I’m putting up for sale with 100% of the proceeds going toward the setup of the new site. Orders can be made via my Paypal using mattruscigno at gmail.com. Please mention the specific item you are interested in and order by Saturday March 23rd at 1159pm PST!

Make Rad Decisions

I have about 20 (out of 100- each hand-numbered) of the Make Rad Decisions posters left. They were printed by the awesome Tom P from Bird Apt Printing on heavy-duty 8.5×11 poster board using environmentally-friendly inks. They rule! Prints are $15 shipped to the US. International orders get in touch.

Appetite For Reduction

I have two copies of Appetite For Reduction signed by Isa Moskowitz and myself. I think these are worth at least $40 shipped! Though instead of going straight to Paypal let’s see if we can do a silent auction in the comments. Top two bidders get em! Don’t make me give up my faith in humanity by giving fake bids, okay? These would make an awesome gift for your favorite cookbook fan. Last bids taken by Saturday March 23rd at 1159pm PST.

Since I already have these items, 100% of the funds (after stupid Paypal and shipping) go toward our new site and new episodes! Thank you so much for supporting our project thus far and we look forward to making more episodes as soon as Sasha is back on land. Well, we’ll give her a few days to get used to no longer being at sea and then we’ll make some new ones!


Filed under Day in the Life, nutrition, vegan

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!


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.


Filed under Day in the Life, nutrition, vegan