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#NSNG Technical Shirts

#NSNG Technical Shirts

I’m excited to announce that I was a guest on the Angriest Trainer podcast!  Check it out here…

Angriest Trainer 185:  The Vegan Episode!!!  (53:30 minutes)

According to my phone records, this experience was my “15 minutes of fame” (+2 minutes).  It’s crazy to think that “little old me” would end up rubbing shoulders with some influential names in Hollywood.  Pinch me!

I’m so very thankful that I was given this opportunity to “tell the world” my story of vegan transformation.  At the same time, I was completely outside my comfort zone and super nervous.  I’m extremely introverted!

Despite my fright, I wasn’t about to blow my chance to effectively speak up for the animals– especially considering that the vast majority of the Angriest Trainer’s fans are not vegan.

For this occasion, I did 100 Saadatjoo push-ups and I poured myself a little shot glass of Villa Cappelli olive oil.  I didn’t want a dry mouth!

Villa Cappelli is a sponsor of the Angriest Trainer Podcast.  It's the best olive oil and has the "Puglia pinch."

Villa Cappelli is a sponsor of the Angriest Trainer Podcast. It’s the best olive oil and has the “Puglia pinch.”

BTW– Do you even know about this podcast?  Let me explain:

The Angriest Trainer is Vinnie Tortorich… AKA “Hollywood’s Go-To Fitness Trainer.”  Vinnie’s simple, but effective approach to getting rid of unwanted body fat is…

“No Sugar, No Grains” – NSNG

I found out about Vinnie Tortorich and the Angriest Trainer podcast because I started listening to the Rich Roll podcast.  Rich had Vinnie on his podcast (RRP #12).  Vinnie is not 100% “plant powered,” but he is funny and informative.  Naturally, I started listening to Vinnie’s podcast, too.

Right away, I appreciated Vinnie’s acceptance of vegans.  And more– I realized that the NSNG dietary approach is quite accessible to vegans.  (NSNG does not necessarily mean “low-carb.”)

By following this approach for just a short time, I’ve become more lean than ever before, but without being hungry.  It really does work.  Check out my pages, “What I Eat,” and “#PPNSNG Kitchen” for more details.

"Put Life into Living and Do it with Enthusiasm!" - Vinnie Tortorich

“Put Life into Living and Do it with Enthusiasm!” – Vinnie Tortorich

A Facebook group called “Vinnie Tortorich’s No Sugar No Grains” was created for fans of the podcast.  This is a place for people to support each other, share recipes, and seek advice about all things NSNG.  Endurance runners and triathletes in the group discuss how NSNG improves athletic performance.  It’s all about becoming “fat-adapted.”

I know this might come as a shock, but in the Facebook group, vegans and omnivores actually co-exist without killing each other.  (GASP!)  It’s pretty refreshing.

I joined the Facebook group 6 months ago.  Initially, I admit it was a stretch for me to purposefully place myself where I knew I’d see animal-based food and read discussions about animal products on a regular basis.  Although it was difficult, I joined for 2 reasons:

  1. I wanted to add a vegan presence to the group.
  2. I wanted to demonstrate that NSNG can be done quite easily without consuming animal products.

Over these months, I’ve found that the vegan NSNG perspective is still needed.  I’ve observed that many former “plant-based” people end up going back to eating animal products as a result of listening to the podcast (in particular, bacon, eggs, and high fat dairy).  This is hard to witness and makes me very sad.

In order to support other vegan NSNG fans who prefer not to see animal-based food pictures or enter in discussions about animal products, I joined with 2 others (B.J. & Ciry) to create a dedicated “Plant Powered” Facebook group.  (B.J. was the happy-go-lucky Texan interviewed before me on “The Vegan Episode!!!”  Check out his blog, “Living Better.”)

Honestly, I’m hoping that the supportive environment of the PPNSNG group will help stop the trend of folks returning to eating animal products.  I do sincerely thank Vinnie for talking about the plant powered group and stating in his own voice that NSNG and vegan diets can go together.

Join me at “Vinnie Tortorich’s Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains.”  You don’t have to be vegan or 100% plant powered to be a member.

Finally…

Read “Fitness Confidential,” by Vinnie Tortorich and **Dean Lorey.  It’s really the best way to get to know Vinnie.  It’s part weight loss/fitness manual, part memoir, and part survival story.  (Literally, Vinnie survived cancer and then finished “The Toughest 48 hours in Sport,” the Furnace Creek 508 Bicycle Race.)

Who knows?– It might just inspire YOU to find out what you’re really capable of.  It had that effect on me!

"Fitness Confidential" - By Vinnie Tortorich & Dean Lorey

“Fitness Confidential” – By Vinnie Tortorich & Dean Lorey

(**Dean Lorey was in the opening segment of the “The Vegan Episode!!!” (although he’s not vegan).  He mentioned his upcoming new show on CBS this Fall called “The Crazy Ones.”  It stars Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar.  I’m planning to watch it!)

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Bend, OR - October 27, 2012

I endured 35 days without coffee.

It seemed like an eternity…The longest 35 days of my life!

I did it to challenge myself.  I gave up coffee and chocolate for 30 days while some friends in the Vinnie Tortorich’s No Sugar No Grains Facebook group gave up dairy for 30 days.  My challenge lasted longer than 30 days because I (stupidly!) offered to start my challenge over when someone new joined the 30 day “No Dairy Challenge.”

I’ve always been a “one latte a day” coffee drinker.  Rarely would I have more than one.  I brew my espresso at home, enjoying my double shot with cinnamon, vanilla extract and a blend of non-dairy milks (soy, homemade nut/rice, and a splash of coconut).

I wanted to try going a full 30 days without coffee to see if I really missed it.  In the past, I’ve tried going a few days or even a week without it, but I always ended up going back to my daily habit.  I believe it does take at least 30 days to rid the body of addictive substances and establish new habits.

No– It’s not that I thought I had a caffeine addiction.  No one would consider my consumption excessive.  I do nothing to excess!  Balance is my middle name.  It’s my astrological sign:  Libra.

I may be different than some people.  I don’t use coffee to wake me up, or give me energy.  Actually– I enjoy my coffee the most when I can sit back and relax with it.  I really look forward to my coffee each day.  It calms me.  I’ve called it “my sweet elixir.”  (Read this previous post for proof!)

Even still– part of me wanted to find out if I would feel significantly better without the coffee in my system.  The people who give up coffee for good always seem to hype it up!  They feel soooo great, blah, blah, blah.  I always wondered if that would or could ever be “me.”

I also think that sometimes it’s good to not always get what we want, right when we want it.  It’s a form of discipline.  It builds mental toughness.  It rejects instant gratification…and entitlement.

(Nah!! It just sucks– let’s be honest!)

The verdict?

I gave up coffee and chocolate for 35 days.  The chocolate part wasn’t so bad.  Sure, I wanted a chocolate pick-me-up every so often.  But it wasn’t a big deal.

As for the coffee– I really, really missed it!

The first 4 days were a breeze.  No headaches.  No adverse physical symptoms.  I was not physically addicted to the caffeine, apparently.

On day 5 everything changed.  From that day, onward, I wanted my latte.  I longed for my latte.  I don’t believe I wanted the caffeine, but I did want the taste…and the comfort.

First, I substituted with various herbal teas.

Then, I discovered Teeccino.  I started off buying Teeccino Vanilla Nut Herbal Coffee Tee Bags.  They’re tasty, but in a full cup of hot water, they’re still very much like tea.  Too watery.

Next, I bought an 11 oz bag of Teeccino Maya French Roast Herbal Coffee.  I started brewing the Teeccino grounds in my espresso machine just like I’d brew espresso.  This was much better…more concentrated, more like coffee.  I made Teeccino lattes.  Not quite the same, but not bad at all.  Decent!

After the 21st day without coffee, I seriously had a dream about coffee.  Is that nuts, or what?

In my dream, I chugged a cup of black coffee.  (Funny, because I never drink black coffee!)  I was immediately pissed off at myself when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to drink it.  I’d ruined the whole challenge!  At that point in the dream, I was also getting ready to accept a latte that someone bought for me.  It occurred to me (in the dream) that I might get really buzzed from the caffeine of 2 coffee drinks, since I wasn’t used to drinking any.

I woke up glad it was only a dream!

After the first 20 days, I stopped counting every single day.  That made it easier because the days didn’t seem to pass as slowly as when I was counting each one.  I settled in.

Instead, I figured out the day I could have coffee again, and focused on it:

September 16, 2013

Tomorrow is that day.  I made it!  I survived without coffee.  Physically, I feel the same.  For me, there was nothing magical about giving up coffee.

Was it worth the deprivation?  NO!

I found out that my daily coffee really does keep me in my happy place.  It makes my good life even better.  It makes life’s frustrations a little more tolerable.  Coffee is soothing.  I just need it to feel…content.  Balanced.

I’m so glad I did this challenge because now I know without a doubt that I don’t EVER have to do it again.  I found out exactly what I wanted to find out.  Awesome!  That’s the payoff!

Coffee–>  I do declare:

You and I will never be separated again!

Coffee Cups - IMG_2383

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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