Vegan Ultramarathoner, Matt Frazier, Step by Step

The “No Meat Athlete” runs on plants, 100 miles at a time. Matt Frazier’s just a regular guy who has learned to do extraordinary things. Along with nutritionist Sid Garza-Hillman, he tells you how.

Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete and Sid Garza-HiillmanEVER SINCE I began this blog sometime back in 2009, I pondered what it should be about.

Given that there are 389 posts here, being unclear what this blog is about is startling.

But it’s true. Just amble about… I’ve blogged about nearly everything within the “health” rubric, and that’s a wide assortment of topics, from health policy to telomeres.

And that’s a mistake!

It’s a mistake from the perspective of providing readers with an immediately definable brand or, in effect, a value proposition clearly discernible upon landing on the site.

Visitors may come to a site via some Google search result, and read the corresponding post of interest, but if they don’t effortlessly ascertain what the rest of the site is about, and its relevance/usefulness to them (the “value proposition”), then off they go, quickly.

Which brings me to a fella with a site that gets it right, not only from this branding aspect, but also in terms of value offered his readers.

He’s currently traveling the country promoting his new book.  Last night, he spoke to a group of avid fans in San Francisco.  I skipped over the Golden Gate Bridge to listen. I wanted to buy his book and meet the man.

Meet the “No Meat Athlete”, and Sid

Vegan Ultramarathoner Matt Frazier is the guy.  His blog, as well as the name of his book, is the No Meat Athlete.

Think about that for a beat or two – “No Meat Athlete”.

I happened upon the site soon after beginning my own.  I immediately grokked the difference between our blogs.

Matt’s was laser focused and powerfully branded.

Mine was diffuse and meandering.

“Garma On Health” is fine if the “Garma” part is some well-known person and readers want to know what his views are regarding health.  But that’s not the case, and since it’s not the case, what’s smart is to have your site branded so when people come to your site they say:

“This is me.”

The reaction, “this is me”, is more powerful than:

“This is for me”.

For instance, again, consider “No Meat Athlete”.  In those three words, Matt Frazier has branded his site for two strong self-identifiers.

People who do not eat meat are not equivalent to people who eat soup.

When you practice vegetarianism or veganism, your self-concept identifies with it: You are a vegetarian; you are a vegan.  Soup eaters, however, do not self-identify with eating soup, and do not refer to themselves as “soupeatarians”.

People who exercise intently, committed to a schedule,  for a specific event or sport are not equivalent to people who exercise here and there.

The first group consider themselves athletes and they will say, “I am an athlete”.  The second group will say, “I exercise”… there’s no “I am” in this self-expression.

So, do you now see the beauty of the blog name, “No Meat Athlete”?

If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, this site’s for you.

If you’re an athlete, this site’s for you.

If you’re both, this site is you.  You park there. You join the tribe, cause these are your people.  And Matt Frazier becomes a guiding light.

Now, although I eat mostly like they do, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, and am no longer an athlete.  Nonetheless, I am a fan because there’s value in those pages – lessons, ideas, protocols and stories useful for anyone with a pulse.

Including you, presumably.

Here’s what was said at last night’s San Francisco gathering… listen up…

Pearls of Wisdom from Matt Frazier and Sid Garza-Hillman

Sid addressed us first.Sid Garza-Hillman, author of "Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto".

That’s Sid over there on the right.

Sid Garza-Hillman is Certified Nutritionist and Weight Management Coach, and the Program Director at the Mendocino Center for Living Well.  You can find him online at Transition to Health, where he serves up podcasts and blog posts about transformative practices to achieve and maintain health.

Here’s the kernel of what Sid shared with us, as interpreted and reconstructed by my imperfect memory:

  • Assess where you are and what you’re reasonably willing to do most of the time to improve your health.
  • If you love meat and bread, the first step is to eat grass fed meat and whole wheat bread.
  • After you have firmly implanted a new behavior, then acquire the next one that brings you closer to your goal.  Just keep moving along the continuum: good, better, best.
  • The best food is the most nutritionally dense and easiest to digest.  That would be plants.
  • Maintaining healthy habits 80% of the time is sufficient.

I was impressed with Sid and purchased his book, Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto, to which he inexplicably was able to get Twitter Founder Biz Stone to write the Foreword.  I’ll let you know what I think of it once it’s read.

Sid handed the baton over to Matt.  Matt’s over there on the right under Sid.matt frazier author of no meat athlete

Here’s the kernel of what Matt shared with us, as interpreted and reconstructed by my imperfect memory:

  • Right-size your goals. They can be big, but you must believe they’re achievable, and you must put a plan in place to get there, step by step.
  • Run slowly most of the time.  Less injury, faster recovery and more energy for those all out efforts a couple times per week.
  • When it comes to running, a three-step per second cadence is the most efficient and injury-free pace.
  • When it comes to exercise recovery and sustainable energy, eat plants.
  • Vegans do need to supplement with B12, but everything else is in the plants, including sufficient protein.

I guess it comes to no surprise to tell you that I was impressed with Matt and bought his book, No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self, even though Matt did not get Biz Stone to write its Forward. That honor, however, was given to the esteemed Ironman stand-out, Brendan Brazier.

Once I’ve read Matt’s book, I’ll let you know what I think of it.

So now I guess Sid will soon be heading north to Mendocino and Matt will drop down to southern California before he works his way back east to eventually return to his home in North Carolina.

If, perchance, you’d like to hear about how this self-described average guy can run 100 miles, fueled by  plants, check out his schedule and see if he’ll be heading your way.

Over and out.

P.S.  Oh, would make sense to circle back to how I began this post… the subject of branding.  Suffice to say that I’ve learned quite a bit on this topic from Matt’s No Meat Athlete blog, and am actively whittling away at ideas on how to make Garma On Health more focused and relevant to its readers. That would be you!

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Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter.

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