Plant-Based Running: A Video Interview with No Meat Athlete Matt Frazier

by Jason Fitzgerald

Before my first meal with No Meat Athlete author Matt Frazier, I was sweating and nervous.

You see, Matt’s a vegan and I love a good steak. My anxiety had me over thinking everything…

Will he judge my choice of food?

If the restaurant accidentally serves him non-vegan food, will he throw a temper tantrum?

Do I have to order a vegan dish, too?

If I touch meat, will he shake my hand at the end of the night?

Needless to say, I was being paranoid. What I love about Matt and his approach to plant-based nutrition is that he’s not preachy about the lifestyle. He never once commented on the half a cow I ate that night.

No Meat Athlete

Our wildly different views on diet have never been an issue between us, even as we work together in coaching the Run Your BQ marathon community.

That’s because Matt’s a pragmatic vegan – he’d like you to give up some meat if you want to and understands that that’s better than you being a full-time carnivore.

It’s this high level of practicality and inclusion that pervades his new book No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self.

Matt credits his plant-based approach to diet as a big part of his 3:09 Boston Qualifying marathon. And to add to his list of accomplishments, he recently completed his first 100-mile Ultramarathon (yikes).

Just last weekend I sat down with Matt for an (eerily romantic) interview along the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. We talked about his go-to hearty vegan foods, body composition during 100-mile training, how to fuel for an ultra, and more details about his new book.

You can watch the video to learn all this – plus see the amazing DC skyline come to life as the sun sets behind us.

The highlights of the interview with Matt include:

:50 – What does a vegetarian or vegan order at a restaurant when they want a hearty meal?
2:30 – How does a vegetarian get enough protein?
4:00 – Matt’s trick for getting more protein as a vegan distance runner
5:30 – How do you fuel for an ultra? How do you calculate how many calories you need?
8:10 – Did Matt notice any change in body composition as he trained for a 100 mile race?
9:40 – What is Matt’s book about anyway??
11:15 – How “perfection” is the enemy of a sustainable healthy diet
12:15 – Why a “plant-based” diet doesn’t mean you have to be a vegetarian
13:25 – Jason gushes about why he loves No Meat Athlete
14:30 – How Matt’s approach to diet is just like Jason’s approach to running
16:00 – Jason admits he’s terrible at making smoothies, but explains why they’re so helpful
17:20 – The big  criticism of smoothies (but why we don’t care)
18:25 – Details on Matt’s book tour

Getting Started with Plant-Based Eating is Just Like Starting to Run

One part of our conversation was about the need to start somewhere. Beginner runners start with a few miles, a few days per week. You take that foundation and build on it so ultimately, you can accomplish things you never thought were possible.

The same strategy is just as helpful when beginning a journey to eat more healthfully. A few small changes to your diet every month and within a year you’ll be an entirely different type of eater. And probably thinner, healthier, and faster!

It’s that approach that’s most effective at transforming the lives of people who want to make a positive change in their lifestyle.

And it’s funny that the term “plant-based” is usually used to describe vegetarians or vegans. As Matt and I talk about in the video, a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be meat-free. No, it just needs to be based primarily on vegetables and fruit!

It’s like Michael Pollan recommended: Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. 

Even if you eat meat (and I proudly do), Matt’s book provides a roadmap on how to become a healthier person through a plant-based approach to diet and running.

No Meat Athlete is perfect for beginner to intermediate runners who want to eat healthier or learn more about the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

You can read a short sample of the book on Amazon here.

Congrats on the launch of your book, Matt!

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{ 2 comments }

Jill

LOVED the interview!! Thanks for using two of my questions too. Cannot wait to meet Matt when he’s in Nashville this fall. Jason – you need to come on down as well!

Thanks for all the wonderful resources. Sure hope I can get back with you as coach one day soon. (I’m not giving up hope!)

Joey Brand

Great interview and article. I have been slowly transitioning into more of a vegetarian diet, as well training for my first “ultra”. (60K)
Thanks again, Jason for this timely interview!

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