Strongest Hearts 12; Crossfit Instructor Ed Bauer

It feels so good to post this episode. We’ve only known Ed Bauer a few years, but he’s like an old friend. And in our series we’ve met lots of super nice folks, but he just may be the nicest. And you asked for a strength athlete or a Crossfit athlete. We are delivering on both and one upping you by bringing a Crossfit coach. Boom.   Ed is part of the Plantbuilt Team that is traveling to Austin for the second year in a row to compete in the Naturally Fit Games. A whole team of vegans to show definitively that one can get enough protein on a plant-based diet. You can support them here and pick up lots of cool stuff. Honestly, I’m not sure how they are giving away so many great awards! And thanks to our successful kickstarter (still time to give!), we will be there to capture the games and interview the team. See more about this below. Thank you Ed for sharing your workouts with us and we look forward to shooting with you again in Austin.   This episode was made possible by a seed grant from the awesome Pollination Project. We had nothing to go on when we wanted to start shooting new episodes again and they came through in a big way. Without them we couldn’t have gotten back out there nor had the funds to even begin organizing our kickstarter. Thank you!        ...

Strongest Hearts 11; Vegan Track Cyclists

Bike racing is a tough, unforgiving discipline that requires focus, strength and endurance. But do you think all cyclists are super thin or scrawny? Then you haven’t met any track cyclists. Track cycling is over 100 years old and takes place on a velodrome at speeds nearing 60 miles per hour. There are a variety of track races but they all require one thing: being able to pedal a single speed fixed gear brakeless bicycle at incredibly high speeds. And like sprinters in track and field, this requires a tremendous amount of leg strength for power and output. So for our next installment in the our series, I’d like you to meet 3 track cyclists who know that eating vegan doesn’t compromise strength and speed on the track. I mean, how many people do you know that require special pants to fit their quad muscles into?   Jack Lindquist with his world famous piston tattoos. First we meet Kevin Selker of Boulder, CO. We met Kevin while in Colorado filming with Modern-Day Pentathlete Justin Torrellas and he even makes a brief appearance in the Runner Megan Hebbe episode where I fail miserably at cross-country skiing. Kevin, despite being a PhD student, won 30 track races in 2012! And this year (this weekend actually!) he’s headed to the Collegiate National Track Championships. And it’s his wonderful lasagna recipe that we feature below. Next we meet Jack Lindquist, formerly of Los Angeles, who now resides in Portland, OR where he manages the one-of-a-kind bikeshop/coffeebar/bar Velo Cult. Jack is a long-time friend of mine and whenever anyone mentions vegans being weak I mention...

Strongest Hearts 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...

Strongest Hearts 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...

Strongest Hearts 8; Olympic Modern Pentathlon with Raw-foodist Justin Torrellas

Our Day in the Life series has given us some great experiences with exceptional vegan athletes.  But I have to say, none have been as unique as spending a weekend with raw vegan modern pentathlete Justin Torellas.  Five seemingly unrelated disciplines combined to make the only sport created specifically for the Olympics!   Fencing is just one of five disciplines in Modern Pentathlon. I am not very good at it, as you see in the video! I’m somewhat familiar with raw veganism but Justin’s diet surprised even me!  This is someone who casually said, “I want to go to the Olympics” and only then discovered modern pentathlon.  A raw vegan attempting to qualify for the Olympics in an obscure sport he’s never done? Not as crazy as you’d think.  Watch and be amazed! We were. Justin: You make competing at an elite level seem like a walk in the park with your casual 5 minute mile running pace! And your honesty about your personal struggle with riding horses is very admirable.  Unfortunately Justin didn’t qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Modern Pentathlon but his attempt is nothing short of courageous.  And he did give us his salad recipe.  I’ve included the nutrition analysis in case, like most people, you think iceberg lettuce is mostly water and doesn’t have any nutrients! Justin’s Giant Salad 2 heads iceberg lettuce 1 pound cherry tomatoes 8 ounces bean sprouts 1 T tahini Juice from 2 lemons Directions: Chop lettuce, juice lemons, mix (don’t you love raw recipes?). And look at this nutrition profile. More than half of your day’s iron in only 455 calories!...

Strongest Hearts 7; Cross Country Skiing with Runner Megan Hebbe

Our Day in the Life series continues with another Boulder-based athlete, Megan Hebbe. Megan takes us cross-country skiing, where I proceed to make a fool of myself! Megan does mega mileage and takes her training very seriously, but still manages to have fun with it. She even put up with me crashing all over the mountain. See for yourself in this fun episode.   Megan’s Tips for High Mileage Running Wear the right shoes! Very important because you are spending A LOT of time on your feet! Work in recovery weeks.  The “graph” should look like a mountain range, not just a straight linear progression.  Increase for 2-3 weeks then take a recovery week. Focus on either increasing mileage OR increasing speed, not both at the same time. Ideally, the off-season is spent building up base and then you start adding speed work. Make time. I am a morning person, so I like waking up at 5am or even 4am to get my run in.  Second runs of the day can be done during lunch or after work.  Thirty minutes is a great length for recovery, just enough to get circulation going, but not a significant time drain.  Mentally it’s nice to do a chilled out pace. “Oh, 75-year-old dude is passing me? Whatevs, I’m on mile 12 of the day!” Sleep and recover. I have my protein drink right after every run and because I get up early I go to bed early. If my body wants a nap, I work it in. Listening to one’s body is crucial. Rest is the most overlooked, crucial aspects of training....