Advice on Vegan / Vegetarian Diet

Doctor’s advice on diet

I think it’s very interesting that my doctor told me to drop the dairy. It’s funny. The last time I got very sick was when I first moved to California. I got the flu–one of the worst flues I ever had in my life. The doctor said, “Don’t eat any dairy,” which was weird because I’d never had a doctor say that to me before. Really knocked me out that a doctor was recommending this kind of diet change. He didn’t even know I was into working out.

It was definitely refreshing to hear that from doctors, since it seems like that’s such a point of conflict in the medical community. It’s kind of nice to hear doctors are making the connection between our health and what we eat.

I do think that dairy is bad for you. It’s basically this thing that everybody can’t deny anymore. Not even doctors.

Eating Healthy to Support Fitness

I’m obviously an incredibly athletic person. I’m aware on an hourly basis that I need to eat to support my workout and training goals. I’ll try to give you an idea of what my daily consumption is and what I eat on an average day.


When I’m not getting ready for a race, I always start my morning with some oats. I’ll do a little bit of nut or oat milk with it. I like cinnamon so I throw a lot of cinnamon in there and some berries, usually strawberries or blueberries. I always have a protein shake. If I’m not terribly hungry, I might start with just a banana and a protein shake and then stick another something to eat in my bag while I’m at the gym.

Then I go to the gym. When I come home, I immediately have a protein shake. I’m kind of protein shake heavy just because I’m trying to put on muscle. That may not be practical for everybody else but having a protein shake after working out is ideal for anyone that’s working out.

Then, my lunch usually consists of something like a sweet potato with veggies and avocado. I really like doing little veggie stir fries. I don’t cook with oil so I just basically blanch everything with a little bit of water, get the flavors in there and do onions and garlic and ginger and carrots and kale.

I’m a big fan of kale.

Then, somewhere in the afternoon, maybe 2 or 3 hours after lunch, I have a fruit and a rice cake with peanut butter. Later, I have another snack where I might have fruit or fruit and veggies.

Dinner is usually similar to lunch. I might do quinoa veggies and tofu or tempeh or seitan or the sweet potato or brown rice or something like that but I do definitely try to stick with a complex carbohydrate. I need something that my body can slower process through and make sure I get lots of veggies in there because that’s what makes our bodies happy.

So, that’s a pretty typical day for my diet. As far as drinks go, I just drink a lot of water. Lately I’ve been addicted to those KeVita drinks with probiotics.

They’re delicious. I love Kombucha but the KeVita’s nice because it doesn’t have as many carbs in there, not that everybody else cares all the time about carbohydrates. Right now, I’m supposed to be getting ready for a huge race. It’s really nice to have something I can still drink and be on my diet. Those are my new addiction.

On the other hand, I feel like I get drunk when I drink Kombucha so I don’t like it for that reason. I’ll have a little bit and I’ll feel a little drunk and I don’t like it.

I’m obviously sensitive to it and I know some of them have higher alcohol percentages, too.

Question of the Month

I get so many emails asking about diets for athletes. So I want to cover what it’s like to remain healthy and strong as a college athlete. You might remember that a long time ago I talked about the, they had a contest. I think it was or ironman magazine or something along those lines.

I don’t recall.

Some muscley magazine had a contest to, “Be the body builder 2013, be on our cover.” At the time, college body building was really trying to get people to vote for a college body builder so we would have college students on the cover.

It didn’t end up happening but we still want to learn more about what kind of muscle mass you can build without eating mean or even any animal products whatsoever. Two days ago, I did a major lower body workout. I thought, you know when you’re working gluts and you’re like, “You know what? I was going to go a little extra hard and really work out the gluts,” because you can’t feel the damage you’re doing at the time, it’s easy to push yourself too far. The next day is hell.

You try to sit down. Or you try to stand up. You’re in pain throughout your lower body.

I was recently reading about a woman who is a lifelong dancer, body builder and a practicing yogi. She is passionate about health, animal welfare and spreading the healthy lifestyle message. She is currently pursuing her degree in science to become a registered dietitian and plans to complete the Colin T. Campbell plant-based nutrition certification this summer at Cornell.

I tried to contact her and ended up having a lot of correspondence with her. She was just so kind so it was flattering for her to tell me the same thing back so I’ll definitely be doing that again next year. Maybe we’ll have even that much more vegan support next year.

How does one end up becoming so focused on nutrition and fitness?

In my own case, I’d have to describe it as a chain of events, really. It was in 2009, when I competed in the same show in Bend, Oregon with a fellow athlete. It was my first competition. He was at the back stage and he was really nice and just not like the other athletes in the competition. He’s just really down to Earth, likes to workout and super smiley and happy and running around with his long, blond ponytail shining.

We chatted briefly backstage about how to get the best cross training workout. Later, we connected Facebook when we both became interested in hardcore abdominal exercises. I started looking into diet and what would be best to lose weight and gain muscle mass.

What’s this all about?

I’ve been pretty health conscious all my life, but I didn’t know really about specific nutrition for specific fitness goals. After I started learning more about what I should and shouldn’t have in my diet, I became really interested in diet.

That was the initial start. Then, in early 2009, early 2010, I was sick for the last 5 months of 2009 into the early 2 or 3 months of 2010. I had bronchitis, pneumonia back to back. Then, finally went out with a bang, so to speak, with the H1N1 and was in bed for 36 hours straight. It was just terrible.

I finally got better from that. I got a kidney infection shortly thereafter. At that point, I thought, “Gosh, there must be something I’m doing wrong.” I opted to go to the doctor. She looked at me very sternly and said, “No more gluten and no more dairy.” I was like, “Okay. I can do that.” The gluten was honestly the harder part which now, I can actually have gluten and I’m fine but I dropped the dairy like a bad habit.

It was really pretty easy honestly but last thing to go was eggs. That was just because they’re in a lot of products. I wasn’t really aware of it. In 2014, I was officially on a new diet.

I honestly think my body was mostly just really upset from the egg and the dairy that was still in my diet at that time. At one point in 2011, I went over to my friend’s house for dinner. They’re vegetarian. They’ve been vegetarian for years. Usually, she’s really good about knowing what to cook for people with other dietary restrictions. She knew what mine were.

My friend ended up making these tacos. I was eating it and I was like, “Okay, so what is this meat?” I thought it was Gardein, the little groundless beef or whatever they have. They were like, “Oh, it’s some brand we found at the market,” and they got the package.

Immediately, I was like, “Oh, no.” I thought it was fine for me to eat, but it had egg in it and I ended up getting so sick. Really honestly think that the majority of my issues were stemming from my diet. Now, I can have gluten. I don’t have it all the time but if I have it, it doesn’t ruin me either. I’m not down for the count.

Publishing Health Information

Believe it or not, book covers make a big difference on Amazon, which I still find amazing. This is what happens when you get your book to that tipping point, and it starts to sell a lot of copies in a short space of time. Not only was it number one there on the list in direct marketing. It’s now it’s showing up in three different places on the same page. It’s a hot new release, and it’s one of the top rated books in that category. This doesn’t happen to books with bad book covers.

VictorBezrukovAndNinaMathewsAnybody coming to that page looking for book covers for the best marketing, is going to see my book covers three times, effectively being endorsed by Amazon. That generates lots and lot of sales and that’s one of the great things about the system, about getting a lot of sales in a short space of time. It leads to organic sales through Amazon it’s very powerful. Then the second case study. This is when I ran the free campaign. Okay, we’ll talk about the free campaign it’s part of the six steps that’s just one of the six steps by the way. Published in March during the free giveaway, it was downloaded 15,700 times in five days, which is pretty solid for a nonfiction book among a slew of gorgeous book covers and a book cover creator.

Now, I wasn’t building a list for this book because it’s not although I had written a book, this is the one by the way I wrote in 2004 and couldn’t get it published before I updated it and then published it on Kindle. I wasn’t building a list in this space but if you were and if you just got a 10% optin rate, you are looking at 1500 people on your list within five days. It’s really powerful. It hit the number 37 on all of Kindle so it’s up there in the Kindle top 100 as the 37th most popular free book because it competes well among the other book covers. It was a number one bestseller in four categories. Around the five day promotion and then switched … here is a slide just confirming that. You see number one in weight loss weight management. 

Back Pain Follow Up

After the recent post, I received several comments about Dr. Sarno’s treatment and diagnosis strategies for chronic back pain. The feedback was all over the map. I must admit several people expressed extreme gratitude for the help they’ve received from either visiting Dr. Sarno in person at his clinic in New York, or from reading one of his many top selling books.

A few folks offered some suggestions for other unconventional treatments for back pain that have been helpful to them, including something called movement therapy. This looks interesting and is likely something I’ll want to write more about on the blog. The premise of movement therapy is quite simple–and in some ways similar to that of Dr. Sarno. Movement therapy suggests that the area has had no blood flow, and as a result has become stiff and painful. Much of the problem can be remedied simply by getting moving and getting the area healthy again.

This approach, though different than we discussed previously, shares some common ground with the Rusk Institute Approach. One of the required activities for treatment includes getting back to your old activities and not be afraid of the pain. Many patients find that, indeed, when they start moving it may hurt initially but doesn’t seem to get any worse, and eventually they’re able to move much more than they previously thought they could.

Additionally, a few asked where you could go see Dr. Sarno. He practiced in New York and though the clinic is still there, he is retired. The man is afterall in his 90’s. While you can no longer see him in person, you can read his books, or you can see other doctors around the country who handle chronic pain the same way. Many actually studied under him to learn how and many had pain themselves that was cured the same way.

For those looking for more information, you can find a great online course here. There’s also a website called TMSWiki that has all kinds of great resources on TMS–it’s quite impressive really. There you can also find a doctor near you and read interviews and even take a course they have for free on the website that was created and donated by a doctor.

Recently, we came across an on line program in the UK that’s for treating all kinds of stress related illness, but mainly pain. It looks really promising and we’ll report back to you once someone has had a chance to sign up for it and see what it’s all about. At nearly $300 USD, it’s not cheap, so definitely something we want to look into before recommending.

In the mean time, we confidently endorse the MindbodySchool program.


An Easy Cure for Back Pain?

On the face, it sounds too good to be true: a simple, non-invasive, non-medical cure for back pain. Not just a little soreness. We’re talking back pain that leaves you lying on the floor all day; crippling, debilitating pain that dominates your life. Yes, that kind of back pain is said to have a simple cure.

Physical TherapyAt least, if you subscribe to the school of publishing or are one of his many advocates and supporters. Dr. Sarno has written several best selling books on how to cure your back pain without using drugs or having surgery. He claims to have treated over 10,000 patients throughout his career and either cured or drastically improved back pain for nearly all of them.

Is this guy a quack? One of those woo-woo doctors? No, in fact he’s a board certified physician, and spend most of his career as head of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, a wing of the prestigious and highly regarded NYU Medical Center in New York City.

Not only does the guy have credentials, he’s got some big names backing him. Sarno has been interviewed on 20/20 by John Stossel who claims that Dr. Sarno cured him of intolerable back pain many years ago. Similarly, a pro golfer, TV producer and radio talk show host all claim that Dr. Sarno changed their lives.

In addition, a writer for Forbes Magazine was so impressed with the results that he wrote two op-ed pieces for Forbes. One called “America’s Best Doctor and his Miracle Cures”. The other, “How America’s Best Pain Doctor Took on the Medical Establishment and Won”.

You need only go to Amazon and read one of nearly 1000 reviews. People have been writing reviews for his books for years and close to 90% say that reading his booked either eliminated their pain condition or changed the course of their lives. Those are HUGE claims.


So how does Dr. Sarno heal these people? Well, it’s easy and it’s not so easy. First he presents a pretty compelling body of evidence to show that nothing is actually wrong with them physically. He does an examination to ensure something like cancer or a tumor isn’t responsible for the pain. Once the patient is cleared of an outside cause, he test certain areas of the body for pain. Pressure points so to speak. If the pressure points are painful, he moves on to what kind of person they are.

Are they stressed out? Do they tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves or feel a lot of pressure in their daily worlds? Do they go out of their way to do the right thing or be a good person. If the answer is yes, the diagnosis is confirmed. He calls is Tension Myositis Syndrome. The tension part of the diagnosis is meant to describe tension in the mind.

The Doctor believes that too much tension in the mind causes pain to develop in the body. If you’ve studied any sort of mindbody science, this won’t be a stretch for you. But for others, it feels like blaming the patient. Sarno insists that it’s not. It’s just the mind’s way of distracting people from the intense amounts of stress they’re carrying around. He believes it to be some sort of defense mechanism.

Perhaps one of the most surprising elements of his strategy is the adoption by other physicians. While most doctors reject the concept immediately, there are doctors all over the country who use doctor Sarno’s approach with patients. Many patients, of course, do not want to hear that their backs are fine and that their minds are not. However, for the patients who are willing to listen with an open mind, the results are quite impressive.

Success is Healthy vs Healthy Success


Most of us have a picture that comes to mind when we think of our personal success. It often includes things like career, family and ownership of certain possessions such as a home or certain kind of car. Success looks like a picture perfect post card.

Is Happiness Part of Success?

If you’re sure you’ve got success handled, considered whether or not you feel a strong sense of satisfaction in your life. I’m talking about true, deep, happiness. Not the fleeting kind that comes from getting good news. I’m talking about the kind that comes from structuring your life around what’s meaningful to you. This creates a sense of satisfaction and a profound happiness that gives us strength in difficult times; that helps us feel connected to our day to day lives; and that gives our lives a sense of gratifying purpose.

I’m going to ask for a moment that you suspend everything you think you know about success and look at the 5 pillars of happiness:

  1. Security–we all need it to a certain extent (financial, emotional, physical)
  2. Variation–we get bored with too much repetition
  3. Importance–we all need to feel like we matter in one way or another
  4. Personal Growth–we thrive when we grow as people
  5. Bigger than Us–we are at our peak when the previous 5 have been met and we can contribute to or participate in something bigger than ourselves

Here’s a great video of Tony Robbins summarizing this well:

The next time you think about your success, consider those five areas of your life. How well are you fulfilling them? Because they ultimately will determine your level of fulfillment and thus your happiness. Without them, you can have all the financial success you want, but you will never be happy..

Success= Health in those five areas. Good luck!