Strongest Hearts 15; Naturally Fit Games Part Two – Crossfit

For Strongest Hearts 15 we are at the Naturally Fit Games with the Plantbuilt Crossfit Team.    After our first 10 or so episodes some of the feedback we got was: what about strength and muscle building? I get the benefits for running and cycling, but what about strength athletes? We heard you loud and clear. In fact part of our successful kickstarter campaign was getting to the Naturally Fit Games to film the Plantbuilt Team– over 30 vegan athletes- compete in Powerlifting, Crossfit and Bodybuilding. The Naturally Fit Games are a huge showcase of athleticism; in addition to these three events there’s Jiu Jitsu, MMA and even roller derby. The majority of participants are omnivores and based on my casual conversations most are not familiar with the vegan message. That’s hard for some of us to imagine- but it’s true. I believe we need to use many tactics to spread awareness about ethical veganism and being in this environment confirmed that. And the strength component was so big we had to make 3 separate episodes! Though due to some unforeseen circumstances we are releasing part 2- Crossfit- first. Don’t worry, the powerlifters and bodybuilders aren’t far behind. For some background on Crossfit see Strongest Hearts 12 with Ed Bauer and keep your eye out for more episodes from the Naturally Fit Games. If you like our videos please share them so we can show more people you can be vegan AND an athlete!      ...

Strongest Hearts Extra; Meal Prep with Figure Competitor Ashlee Harrison

Ashlee Harrison is a vegan figure competitor- a type of bodybuilder- but she’s also extremely busy. How does she balance healthy eating, training, working, sleeping and spending time with her partner? By preparing a week’s worth of meals on the weekend! Sound crazy? It’s not and here we show you why. And how you can improve your diet and make your life easier.     Isn’t Ashlee an inspiration? For us mortals who don’t have such a strict training and diet regime we can easily apply some of what she does. Having a solid plan makes executing it that much easier.   Protein- make your own at home Wheat gluten, seitan, wheat meat- whatever you want to call it- is a high protein meat substitute with a history that goes back hundreds (thousands?) of years to Chinese Buddhist monks. It has been eaten in the US for over 100 years as well (the wiki page on gluten is actually very good too).  You can buy it readily at health food stores and Asian markets or you can make your own at home for much, much cheaper! This is a recipe that Ashlee got from her Plantbuilt coach and has since modified. Gluten is primarily protein- but unfortunately its digestibility is very low. It can be part of a vegan diet but it shouldn’t be your main source of protein. For more on protein see this great interactive page by our friend and Registered Dietitian Anya Todd.   Home-made Wheat Gluten 2c vital wheat gluten 1c nutritional yeast 1.5c broth 2T tomato paste 1/4c maple syrup 1tsp maple extract 1.5tsp liquid smoke...

But what do YOU buy?

[Originally posted to True Love Health] “But what do YOU buy?’ A question I often hear. And a difficult one to answer! Like most people, I go through phases with what I feel like cooking and eating and that affects my shopping. While I eat strictly vegan, I am not as strict with local and organic, but I often will pay a little extra for these. I balance it by saving money by soaking and cooking my own beans and preparing as many foods as possible from scratch. I’m not as awesomely cheap at my good friend Steevo who survives as an elite road racer on mostly oats and peanut butter and makes his own bagels, but I am frugal. AND I eat great, healthy food. For the first time in my life I’m walking distance from a member-owned organic vegetarian co-op  and it’s expanding my usual food purchasing.  Here’s my recent score: Now this is not all I eat, as it doesn’t include staples like peanut butter, rice, tortillas nor as many vegetables as I eat, but I wanted to share what $42 can get you at an organic co-op: 1.5 pounds garbanzo beans 1.5 pounds lentils 5.5 pounds bananas 2 pounds purple potatoes 0.75 pounds broccoli 0.2 pounds garlic 2 pounds tofu 1/2 gallon soymilk 5 pounds russet potatoes 2.5 pounds pink lady apples 1 pound zucchini 3 pounds canned tomatoes 8 ounces vegan ravioli (It was on sale!) And fortunately over 25 pounds of food fits inside my messenger bag: Combined with my staples, this is many days worth of food, without that much labor (the...

Salad Perspective

I eat giant salads: For most people salad consists of a pittance of iceberg lettuce, gross tomatoes and a few uninspired cucumber slices. Boring and far from a meal. Heck, I was one of those people still many years after I went vegan. I’m not sure what changed, as it has been gradual and painless- enjoyable even- but somewhere along the way my ideas progressed. And I have to remember this in my work. When I say ‘salad’ what I picture and what others picture can be drastically...

What Do Vegans Eat at 24 Hour Mountain Bike Races?

[Originally written for True Love Health] Getting ready to race the 24 Hours of the Enchanted Forest solo this weekend and my food haul so far! Blue chips Roasted salted green peas Salsa Tortillas Peanut butter Potatoes Corn chips w flaxseeds European hot cereal aka oats w dates, raisins Dates Sharkies (they were on sale!) Chocolate covered pretzels Cameo apples Hot chocolate Yerba mate Bananas Fig bars Peanut butter zagnuts Lara bars Ritz crackers (so good!) Tangelos Pineapple coconut juice Pink lady apples Lemons Graham crackers Not pictured: Sustained Energy Electrolyte drink Ramen noodles Hummus Pretzels Soy milk Fruit spread (someone remind to get this stuff tomorrow,...

Guilt-Producing Food Choices That Aren’t as Bad as You Think

[This article was originally written for True Love Health] Guilt is a strong emotion that plays a role in our everyday lives. It’s an emotional function that shows us the difference between our life and the life we want to live. It can lead to action, but too often I see guilt as a negative. For example my clients tend to be ahead of the curve. They are thinking about their own diet and its effect on their health. They are eating a plant-based diet of predominantly whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables. And they are motivated to make any needed dietary changes, but yet some are plagued by guilt. Guilt-Producing Food Choices That Aren’t As Bad as You Think Snacking. Eating snacks throughout the day increases your metabolism and keeps you from overeating at meal time. Don’t hesitate to snack on healthy foods. Eating any form of sweetener. Yes, on average Americans eat too many added sugars and this has deleterious health affects. But are you adding a small amount of agave or maple syrup to an otherwise plant-based whole-food meal? If so, don’t sweat it. Eating late at night. For many people, eating at night means eating additional, unneeded calories, mindlessly snacking and just making poor nutrition choices in general. But those are different than if you have to eat late because you worked late or took extra time in preparing a great meal. Evaluate what you are eating at night and if you need it, eat and don’t feel guilty! Eating fat. General nutrition recommendations are to eat low-fat or at least less fat. But...