Tumblr is where tens of millions of creative people around the world share and follow the things they love.Sign up to find more cool stuff to follow
5 Tips for Turning Inspiration Into Action
1. The power of the pen: When the spark is lit, stop everything, put pen to paper and actually write out (don’t type!) the personal change you wish to actualize. The power of this exercise cannot be overstated.
2. Goals—get specific: Vague notions of someday learning how to play the guitar, “get fit” or work on your stand-up comedy act don’t cut it. Take the time to devise a detailed road map peppered with interim milestones. Then get off your butt and execute it. Holding yourself accountable to others can help keep you on track.
3. Don’t overthink it—just begin: What are you waiting for? Stop deliberating—inaction is an affront to inspiration. Begin immediately, even if it just means making one phone call, going out for a 10-minute jog, or declining one dessert. Baby steps, taken indefatigably over a protracted period of time, move mountains. Consistency is to be respected and never underestimated.
4. One day at a time: Fall off the wagon? So what? None of us is perfect. Let it go and move forward. Dwell on a misstep and you have made a second mistake that can take you permanently out of the game. Just let it go and take the next right action.
5. Journey orientation: It’s easy to get discouraged by the implausibility of your dream. So forget about it. Instead, stay present in the moment of your new journey. Rather than obsess on what it will be like to cross the marathon finish line or how you will look in that bikini next summer, embrace the joy of traveling unchartered waters.
Win a Copy of "Finding Ultra"
I recently read the new book, Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll. In the book, Rich Roll, a former entertainment lawyer, describes his rapid midlife transformation from an overweight alcoholic into a triathlete called “one of the world’s 25 fittest men” by Men’s Fitness magazine.
Finding Ultra is a book in three parts: the first 95 pages describe Rich Roll’s early years and his descent into alcoholism, the next 120 pages describe his training and his racing in events like the Ultraman World Championships (6.2 miles of swimming, 260 miles of biking, and 52.4 miles of running), the last 55 pages describe Roll’s PlantPower vegan diet and provides tips and resources for trying it out for yourself.
Finding Ultra is a testament to the potential of the human body and the ability of people to transform their lives, improve their fitness, and overcome seemingly impossible physical challenges.
Finding Ultra will be released on May 22. I’m giving readers of How 2 Run Fast a chance to read this book before it is released to the general public. Please note that this is an uncorrected, advance galley copy of the book in paperback, not the hardcover version.
To enter the contest to win a copy of Finding Ultra, you can do any of the following:
- Reblog this post in Tumblr
- Like this post in Tumblr, Facebook, or Reddit
- Retweet this post in Twitter
- Link to this post on your (non-Tumblr) blog and send me the link
- Subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed via email
If you do more than one of these things, you will get an additional chance to win for each. Please make sure that there is some way to contact you if you win and check your Tumblr, Facebook, or email Inbox regularly. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received an advance galley copy of Finding Ultra for review and one hardcover copy for giveaway from the publisher.
Rich Roll, Vegan Ultra-Athlete, Recovered from Alcoholism and the Standard American Diet
By Camille Lamb
Rich Roll before and after adopting a plant-based diet and becoming an “epic” endurance athlete.
One day, Rich Roll, a 41-year-old father of four, was out for what he planned would be a five or six mile run. Maybe it was the plant-based vegan diet he had recently adopted, or some primal, ancestral energy stream he had suddenly tapped into, but on that particular day, Roll didn’t want to stop at six miles. He didn’t want to stop at 10, or 17. After a whopping 23 miles, a distance he had never before come close to running, a stunned Roll finally decided to head home and strip off his sweat-soaked shorts and socks. This was a stark contrast from his state of being six months earlier, when he experienced chest pains upon walking up a single flight of stairs. After his impromptu near-marathon run, he knew his new lifestyle choices were unlocking some powerful strength and health. But he still could not have anticipated that within a matter of a year, he would be tackling the Epic5 endurance race, one of the most grueling voluntary physical challenges on the planet, which entails completing five back-to-back Ironman competitions within five days on five different Hawaiian islands.
Roll’s miraculous health transformation was not the first metamorphosis he had undergone. About ten years before his health scare on the staircase, Roll had entered into recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and ceased the decades-spanning abuses he had inflicted on his body and mind. He began a successful law practice and met his health-minded, vegetarian, yoga-instructor wife, now the mother of his four children.
Roll was filled with gratitude for the gifts of his sobriety, but healthy eating and exercise habits were far from the forefront of his mind, even though he had been a star swimmer during the first years of his undergraduate studies at Stanford (before his drinking and drugging got in the way).
“When I was a swimmer, I was training four hours a day and I could eat anything I wanted. Calories were king. And so I formed those habits, and I stuck with those habits for a very very long time,” Roll said. “And there were moments when denial took over and I looked at myself in the mirror and convinced myself I still looked like an Olympic swimmer, even though that was obviously far from the case. And of course, that stuff catches up to you.”
While Roll stuffed his face with greasy burgers and fries, his yogi wife Julie Piatt maintained a healthy diet. “Looking in our fridge, it was always very obvious what food was mine and what was my wife’s,” Roll said. But despite the prevalence of heart disease that ran through Roll’s bloodline (his grandfather, a champion swimmer, non-smoker and exercise enthusiast, died of a heart attack in his early fifties), Roll’s wife knew better than to try to convert her husband to her way of eating. “She took a very Al-Anon approach to my lifestyle choices,” Roll said, by which he means that she lived and let live until he asked for help.
Roll first became open to the idea of food’s medicinal properties when he watched his wife treat - and eventually abolish - a golf ball-sized benign tumor on her neck with the use of herbs, poultices, and teas. “I, being the very logical, Stanford educated guy said, ‘We’re going to a doctor.’ My wife said, ‘We’re not going to do that.’ She sought out the advice of an Ayurvedic physician who gave her strange herbs, strange pastes, and strange elixirs that she had to buy in these creepy little baggies that had no labels on them,” said Roll. “It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t brief, but about 10 or 11 months in, it basically vanished and it never came back. Which is pretty crazy.”
Still, he didn’t yet feel the pull of natural plant foods. It took the incident on the stairs to inspire him to take action toward real change. At his request, his wife helped him organize and complete a juice cleanse. “After day three, I had so much energy. I was bouncing off the walls. I said to myself, ‘how is this possible?’ Especially after the way I had abused myself with drugs and alcohol for so long.”
After the cleanse, though, Roll didn’t quite know how to proceed. He decided to try a vegetarian diet, hoping that it would be enough to carry him the rest of the way toward his health goals.
But he had no idea what he was doing. Again, his wife did not interfere or scold when Roll took the potato chips, ice cream, Domino’s pizza and Coca Cola approach to vegetarianism. Being of the temperament that he is, Roll acknowledges that he probably would not have responded if she had. But when months went by and he hadn’t dropped a pound or seen any improvement in his energy levels, he began doing some research of his own. He encountered the work of T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Fuhrman, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, all of whom advocate a plant-based, whole foods vegan diet for people who want to prevent or reverse cardiovascular and other diseases and lose weight. Roll went full-on plant-based vegan - no more chips or soda - and started to develop an eating plan that made sense. He lost 50 pounds and began increasing the intensity and duration of his workouts.
His wife joined him in veganism and soon they were both eating Vitamix blends of beets, greens, and superfoods like maca and camu camu for breakfast, and quinoa and kale for dinner (even their kids now eat a 95 percent vegan diet, Roll says). Seeking an outlet for his new intense athletic energy, Roll signed up for his first marathon.
Soon after that, in true addict fashion, he decided he wanted to do an Ironman: a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.
“That’s kind of like a 40-year-old dude bucket list item,” Roll said. But he didn’t realize these competitions aren’t things you just sign up for the day of the event. “They sell out a year ahead of time. And I sort of realized I would have to wait a year and four months.”
Feeling an urgency to put his ever-fitter body to work sooner than that, Roll was on the lookout for a crazy race. “So I picked up one of those magazines you see in shoe stores,” Roll said, and that’s where he first learned about the Epic5: five Ironmans in five days on five different Hawaiian islands. That’s 703 miles of man-powered travel in total. “It was this bizarre affair where everyone has to bring their own crew, there was no media coverage. It sounded super cool and I said, ‘I’m going to figure out a way to do that race.’”
So he called up the race director to inquire. “She said, ‘What have you done?’ and I said ‘Nothing.’ They only accept 35 people a year for this race and I kept thinking she was going to say, ‘No, you can’t do it,’ but she was like, ‘I don’t know. Why don’t you call me in a couple months when I finish accepting applications.’ But she didn’t say no. So I was like ‘I’m getting in.’”
Had such a perfect run this morning.
And I also listened to a great podcast by Rich Roll about Fruitarian runner Michael Arnstein. I was craving fruits by the end of the run.
Glad to have discovered another podcast that I enjoy. I’ve tried out run related one before but one of them felt to me to be a little cheesy and the other was just boring to me. This one, so far, has proved to be really interesting and engaging. Love it.
So today did my morning long run and then in the evening did P90X strength. Now I’m exhausted. Goodnight.
My Top 7 Sources of Plant-Based Protein
I say it all the time. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only possible to optimize your health on a plant-based diet; when done right, I actually recommend it.
But where do you get your protein?
I field this question constantly. Despite deeply ingrained but misleading conventional wisdom, the truth is that you can survive without meat, eggs and dairy. Believe it or not, you can actually thrive, and never suffer a protein deficiency. Because no matter how active your lifestyle, a well-rounded whole foodplant-based diet provides more than enough protein to satisfy the body’s needs without all the artery-clogging saturated fats that dominate the typical American diet.
I speak from experience. As a vegan endurance athlete, I place a high tax on my body. And yet my plant-based diet has fueled me for years without any negative impact on building lean muscle mass or recovery. In fact, at age 45 I continue to improve and am as fit, healthy, and strong as I have ever been.
Here’s a list of my top-7 plant-based foods high in protein:
1. Quinoa: 11g Protein / Cup
A grain like seed, quinoa is a high protein alternative to rice or pasta, served alone or over vegetables and greens. It provides a good base for a veggie burger and is also a fantastic breakfast cereal when served cold with almond or coconut milk and berries.
2. Lentils: 17.9g Protein / Cup
Delicious, nutritious and super easy to prepare. Trader Joe’s sells them pre-cooked and I’m not afraid to just eat them cold right out of the package for lunch or a snack on the run.
3. Tempeh: 24g Protein / 4 Ounces
A fermented soybean-based food, tempeh is a healthy protein-packed alternative to it’s non-fermented cousin tofu. It makes for a great veggie burger and doubles as a tasty meat alternative to meatballs in pasta, or over brown rice and vegetables.
4. Seitan: 24g Protein / 4 Ounces
An excellent substitute for beef, fish and soy products, one serving provides about 25% of your RDA of protein. But not for those with gluten sensitivities, as it is made from wheat gluten.
5. Beans (Black, Kidney, Mung, Pinto): 12-15g Protein / Cup
I love beans. Great on a veggie burrito, in chili and soups, on salads or over rice with vegetables, beans of all varieties are a daily staple of my diet.
6. Spirulina: 6g Protein / 10 grams
A blue-green algae, spirulina is a highly bioavailable complete protein containing all essential amino acids. At 60% protein (the highest of any natural food), it’s a plant-based protein powerhouse that finds it way into my Vitamix blends daily.
7. Hemp Seeds: 16g Protein / 3 Tbsp
With a perfect ration of omega-6 and omega-3 EFA’s, hemp seeds are another bioavailable complete protein rivaled only by spirulina. A simple and great addition to a multitude of dishes, from breakfast cereal to salads to smoothies to vegetables and rice.
Bonus: Here’s a little inspirational video!
About Rich Roll
Rich is a two-time top finisher at the Ultraman World Championships and in 2010 was the first person (along with colleague Jason Lester) to complete EPIC5 – 5 ironman-distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian Islands in under a week.
His inspirational memoir FINDING ULTRA: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself (Crown / Random House) hits bookshelves May 22, 2012 and is currently available for pre-order.
For more on how Rich fuels his family and training, check out his and his wife Julie’s plant-based e-cookbook JAI SEED – a beautiful coffee-table style cookbook for the digital iPad set that contains 77 glossy pages of plant-based nutrition information and easy to prepare recipes certain to satisfy even the most finicky family member.
Ironman competitor and author Brendan Brazier has written a couple of books that have opened my eyes and heart more than almost any other single author that I’ve come across in the past decade.
I want to go vegan by the end of 2012 as an experiment in health so I read both “Thrive Foods” and “Thrive Fitness” after hearing about Brazier from Rich Roll author of Finding Ultra an ultra endurance athlete. Brazier talks about the benefits of being vegan and how you can excel as a vegan athlete. His research, ideas, facts and advice will change the way you think about food, I promise!
For me, both these books are important because I am about to prepare for my second marathon and I want to be in better shape this time around.
I highly recommend these books to everyone who is even slightly curious about eating healthier.