No-Bullsh!t Vegan

Karina Inkster

Myth-busting and evidence-based advice to help you kick butt with your health and fitness - on a vegan diet. Meet our expert guests who use science to acquire knowledge about the world and how it works. Learn why some of the biggest trends in vegan health and fitness are completely false and based on misinformation. Hosted by vegan fitness coach and author Karina Inkster.

All Episodes

What are some ways we can approach diversity and inclusion within the fitness industry, and what work still needs to be done? Adapted from a Zoom conversation for an alive Magazine article (about how the COVID-19 pandemic, and recent discussions about diversity and inclusion, have changed the fitness industry for good), Chrissy King joins me to discuss her work as a writer, speaker, strength coach, and educator, with a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive wellness industry.

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Nov 16

25 min 35 sec

“Fitness is rooted in two things: patriarchy, and access.” Ren Jones is a certified trainer and certified nutrition coach in Charlotte, North Carolina. His personal philosophy toward changing behaviors is centered around self-compassion over discipline. Ren joined me for a crucial discussion about some of the most important issues facing the fitness industry today, a discourse that by no means can be contained to one podcast episode [and will be featured in many more to come.]

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Nov 2

29 min 6 sec

The International Vegan Film Festival [IVFF] and World Tour was founded in 2018. It is the largest vegan film festival of its kind in the entire world, exploring themes around animal welfare, environment, and health and nutrition. Shawn Stratton, director of the International Vegan Film Festival and World Tour, joins me to discuss the festival’s past, present, and future; his vegan story; and life as a plant-based endurance athlete.

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Oct 19

34 min 23 sec

It is a comparison ever-present in the vegan community, though it is rarely critically addressed: veganism and abortion. In light of the recent legislation in Texas around reproductive rights [and lack thereof], my coaching colleague Zoe and I talk about the intersections between veganism and abortion, why the comparison may be problematic, and above all: why anti-abortion vegans are blatant hypocrites.

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Oct 5

1 hr 17 min

We’ve all heard the discussions around low-fat, plant-based diets [sometimes referred to as whole foods, plant-based]. The question remains: is it all hype, or are these sentiments true?  Chef AJ and Glen Merzer, co-authors of the new book Own Your Health: How to Live Long and Avoid Chronic Illness, join me to discuss this lifestyle, answer the aforementioned question once and for all, and discuss how we can strategically move veganism forward in a culture that has normalized eating animal products.

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Sep 21

39 min 32 sec

Vegan meal planning: you’ve heard the term, and it’s one that can both inspire and elude. Sophia DeSantis is here to show us how to move from overwhelmed to empowered when it comes to vegan meal planning. The fun-loving mom behind Veggies Don’t Bite!, Sophia outlines how to break past traditional meal planning and create a meal system that is sustainable, will help you move from overwhelmed to empowered, and furthermore, how to successfully reach *all* of your wellness goals.

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Sep 7

38 min 9 sec

What kind of messaging do we see in the fitness industry on a regular basis, and why are many parts of it so problematic? Alongside my coaching colleague Zoe Peled, we commit to calling out four falsities that need to be addressed, including the value assigned to the scale, the perverse need to have statements like "strong is the new skinny", and how the industry strategically markets itself to women based on shame and comparison. Time to kick the BS to the curb!

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Aug 24

58 min 27 sec

Is veganism really as difficult to implement as many folks say it is? Danny O’Malley, President and Founder of Before the Butcher, answers this question and many more, shares the story of his business, and shares crucial thoughts on plant-based food as a whole. Danny helped innovate the first line of diverse plant-based meat (burgers, chicken, turkey, sausage & much more) with an eye on taste, nutrition and sustainability.

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Aug 10

56 min 25 sec

Is a plant-based diet healthy for kids? Furthermore, is it safe for kids? Alexandra Caspero from Plant-Based Juniors joins me to answer these questions, address the benefits of a plant-based diet for kids, and break down some problematic (and false) myths prevalent within the dialogue. Alexandra is a registered dietitian nutritionist, mom, and (with Whitney English) the creator of Plant-Based Juniors, a community helping parents get more plants on the plate.

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Jul 27

42 min 54 sec

Herbivore is one of the best-known vegan stores in the world. Co-founder Michelle Schwegmann joins me to share some of Herbivore's history, her view on vegan parenting, how her approach to veganism has changed over the years, and much more.

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Jul 13

45 min 51 sec

In celebration of our 100th (!!) episode, I speak with 10 of our amazing listeners for 10 minutes each. You’ll hear from a farm sanctuary founder, a heavy metal vocalist, business owners, fitness coaches, professional organizers, and more. All vegan, and each with incredible insights to share. Thank you so much for supporting this show over the past 3+ years! Here’s to the next 100 episodes.

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Jun 29

1 hr 53 min

How does veganism pertain to religion? There are blind spots intrinsic within religious communities, as veganism clearly pertains to the connection between suffering (animals, the planet, human health) and food choices. Jess Peacock is a researcher, adjunct professor, United Church of Christ clergy, author, and part of the K.I. team. A vegan for 16 years, Jess explores the above (and more), as we discuss where- and how- these two schools of thought intersect.

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Jun 15

1 hr 6 min

A listener asked, “How do you feel about cheat days or cheat meals?” This is my answer. I discuss why I don’t use the term “cheat” in relation to food, why there’s no such thing as a “perfect” diet or “good” and “bad” foods, why rigid rules and restriction don’t work when it comes to nutrition, and how to break away from the all-or-nothing approach to dieting. I’ve also included powerful writing pieces from three fitness professionals on these subjects.

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Jun 1

14 min 43 sec

How do we define “veganism”? Vegan business owner (One Thing Lockets) Setareh Bateni addresses the complexities of this answer, from a unique perspective holding a Master’s degree in Philosophy. Setareh speaks to the importance of showing the challenges and road bumps that may come up along the journey to veganism, being vegan in a non-vegan family, and how the ethical stance has been incorporated into both her personal life, and her business life.

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May 18

41 min 3 sec

Justina Adorno is an actor, long-term vegan, and committed to raising awareness through her social platforms about the abuse that animals endure. Justina currently stars on the gritty drama FX’s Mayans M.C., playing the role of ‘Stephanie’ aka ‘Nails,’ in the show’s third season. Having a passion for animal rights, Justina lives a vegan lifestyle, and is adamant about using only vegan makeup and hair products on set, and educates her followers across her social platforms on the abuse that animals endure. She shares her vegan story, talks about her current role on Mayans M.C., discusses using only vegan products on set, and much (much) more.

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May 4

49 min 6 sec

Mindfulness: what is it, how does one start with it, and how can it help us be happier vegans (and activists?) Meredith Marin is a vegan entrepreneur with a background in social work and community organizing. She's known in the vegan community for her work that transformed Aruba into the most vegan-friendly island in the Caribbean. We discuss her current projects, her background in vegan hospitality, and her strategies to support vegans all over the world in creating impact.

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Apr 20

56 min 50 sec

Robert Cheeke, often referred to as the "Godfather of Vegan Bodybuilding", played a major role in growing the industry from its 2002 infancy to where it is today. Robert is a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, and founder and president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. Starting with his early farm roots, Robert shares his story of adding 100 pounds to his frame as a vegan bodybuilder, shifting the industry dialogue, and growing the vegan bodybuilding movement as a whole.

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Apr 6

1 hr 8 min

Peggy Brusseau is a food writer, cook, and committed vegan of more than 30 years. Peggy has written or co-written 24 books on food and health. Her most recent book addresses many key points about veganism: transitioning to veg life, living in a household where not all family members are vegan, nutrition for infants and children, the age-old "where do I get my protein?" question, and more. Heard of The Twelve Vegan Food Groups? After this discussion with Peggy, you'll be able to answer that question.

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Mar 23

32 min 19 sec

Announcing A Decade of Deadlifts: 10 Year Anniversary and Book Launch! Join us for our free, online extravaganza of three days of events (March 19 to 21), behind the scenes access, giveaways, and our main event featuring 5 incredible industry panelists. All folks are welcome to join the festivities as we celebrate 10 years of plant-fueled athleticism, badassery, an abundance of dark chocolate, and the publication of The Vegan Athlete (my fourth book!) Get your free ticket at karinainkster.com/booklaunch.

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Mar 11

6 min 16 sec

Bill left a cushy job teaching English in Japan after 9/11 to join the Army as a Combat Medic. Vegan since 1992, Bill adhered to his plant-fueled diet throughout his rigorous Army training and deployment to Afghanistan. Bill now serves veterans as a registered nurse at the West Los Angeles Medical Center. In non-COVID times, Bill gives talks about being vegan, and appears at Veg Fests and Fitness Expos with the Vegan Strong team. We discuss how he survived as a vegan in the army, his two books, and more!

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Mar 9

55 min 45 sec

K.I. team members Karina Inkster, Izzy Pope-Moore, and Zoe Peled unite for a tri-force podcast episode to discuss some “trends” of the fitness/athleticism industries and problematic tendencies of “weight loss first fitness”. Throughout the discussion, the team debunks a few myths about veganism and BMI, shares their diverse- and impressive- training goals, and much (much) more.

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Feb 23

48 min 33 sec

In Part 1 (of 2) of our K.I. team member series, Izzy Pope-Moore shares what it’s like to work in a hospital during a pandemic as a vegan. We chat about whatever comes to mind, including her efforts to make the hospital cafeteria more vegan-friendly, strength training, her work fostering cats, and her new Main Street Vegan Academy certifications.

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Feb 9

53 min 23 sec

Tobias returns to the show to bust myths about the “new year, new you” concept. We both love nerding out on tracking progress, optimizing our habits, and setting goals, so we had a freestyle discussion about all of this. When are goals useful? When *shouldn’t* we set goals? How do we best track progress? Tobias leads Athlegan, a team of passionate vegan athletes who are trying to change the world by helping more people become strong and fit vegans.

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Jan 26

41 min 7 sec

Stephanie Dreyer of Batch Cooking Club joins me to discuss three myths about vegan meal prep: Preparing homemade vegan meals is time consuming and difficult, following a meal plan takes too much work and effort, and being vegan in a non-vegan family is impossible. Stephanie shares her method for making weekly plant-based meal prep simple and stress-free.

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Jan 11

40 min 58 sec

Raydel's new book passes down traditional Cuban family recipes -- in vegan form. He shares his story of coming to veganism from the typical meat-heavy Cuban diet, and the resulting transformation in his health. We also discuss how he's passing down his grandmother's family recipes to the next generation, and keeping the traditions and memories of "old Cuba" alive via its food -- but veganized. Raydel Hernandez is a first generation Cuban American, home cook, and culinary author.

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Dec 2020

1 hr 5 min

How is "processed food" defined? Why does the term have such a bad reputation? Where do vegan processed foods fit in? Why is the black-and-white view of “all processed foods are bad” problematic, and what message might this send? How do we assess the healthiness of a food? We take a look at a few food package examples from Chana's fridge. We also discuss bioengineering; it’s much more common than you might think. And, at the end of the episode, I have a very special holiday surprise for you!

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Dec 2020

1 hr

Valerie Martin, a.k.a. Val the Vegan Therapist, offers valuable insights for anyone who's vegan (or veg-curious). We discuss the importance of navigating the emotional and social challenges of veganism, whether having a vegan therapist is important if you’re vegan yourself, and her favourite techniques for coping with anxiety (given the world situation at the moment, who the heck *isn't* anxious right now?!) Valerie is a psychotherapist, coach, and yoga teacher based in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Dec 2020

51 min 26 sec

Nutritional counsellor and disordered eating coach Devon Hoholuk discusses why vegan diets are often discouraged in recovery, and how she approaches things differently. She shares her story of recovery from anorexia and bulimia, and how flexible veganism relates to recovery. You don't need to have a diagnosed eating disorder to get something out of this episode. Our relationships with food can be quite complex, and it’s important to address what may be problematic aspects of that relationship.

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Nov 2020

44 min 39 sec

Vegan since 1992 and a life-long cyclist, mountaineer Jason Addy enjoys doing fully self-propelled mountaineering trips from home to home. I.e. from home to a mountain (usually on a bike), scaling said mountain, and then cycling back home. We discuss how he came to veganism almost 3 decades ago, fuelling himself and others on treks with plant-based food, the self propelled outdoor group he founded, and the guidebook he's currently writing to the mountains north of Powell River.

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Nov 2020

27 min 13 sec

I address the misconception that veganism is inherently beneficial for weight loss, and I discuss navigating the sometimes-very-thin line between health, fitness, and aesthetic goals. We all want to look awesome, but I think there are more and less effective (and healthy) ways of using aesthetics as an ingredient in what motivates you to create and sustain a fitness routine. I also discuss unrealistic physique expectations, and why I don’t train clients for physique competitions.

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Oct 2020

29 min 43 sec

Soon-to-be doctor Muzammil Ahmad joins me to discuss the lack of nutrition education in medical schools and his work to reform it, including bringing plant-based nutrition to the forefront. Muzammil goes over the problems with current nutrition education (not enough hours, contradictions within the curriculum, lack of preventative nutrition education), and the extensive work he's doing to fix these issues, including furthering plant-based nutrition education among school faculty and fellow students.

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Oct 2020

52 min 27 sec

Guy Vaknin, owner of plant-based chain Beyond Sushi in New York City, joins me for a conversation on building his vegan business (and transitioning it to vegan after opening), listening to his customers, his experiences on Hell’s Kitchen and Shark Tank, and raising two vegan kids. He has over 13 years of experience as an executive chef, and loves experimenting with new flavour combinations and ingredients. As a proud vegan, he hopes to inspire listeners to eat clean and leave a lasting impact on our planet.

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Sep 2020

44 min 42 sec

Bradie discusses how the foods we eat affect climate change and why being vegan fights climate change; sheds some light on animal agriculture (cattle, in particular), including some major myth-busting about grass fed free range beef; and presents advantages and disadvantages of GMO foods. He also challenges the idea that organic produce is always better for the environment than conventionally-grown produce. Bradie is a PhD student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware.

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Sep 2020

57 min 32 sec

Robby Barbaro spent 6 years building the Forks Over Knives brand, and is the cofounder of Mastering Diabetes. He discusses insulin resistance and why you should care (whether or not you’re diagnosed with diabetes). How can you tell if you’re insulin resistant? How can a plant-based diet manage—and even reverse—insulin resistance and diabetes? Robby takes us through why the conventional approach to diabetes is flawed, and what we should be doing instead. Also: what’s wrong with low-carb diets?

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Aug 2020

52 min 49 sec

Should fitness professionals speak about race issues? (Spoiler: YES. Health includes mental wellbeing, so fitness professionals can’t help folks with their fitness while remaining silent on issues of racism.) What can fitness professionals--and others--do as allies? What should happen within the fitness industry as a whole to make it more inclusive? Let's continue having important conversations about racism, inequality, and inclusiveness in the fitness industry and beyond.

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Aug 2020

1 hr 15 min

The best way to fight climate change is with your diet. We also discuss the importance of healthy soil: did you know soil sequesters more carbon than all plants on earth and our entire atmosphere combined?! Dr. Schwartz explains the concept of "concentration of calories", and why animal agriculture's water and carbon footprints are so high. Dr. Greg Schwartz is a vegan environmental science professor, a former professional football player, and author of Bright Green Future.

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Jul 2020

50 min 51 sec

I got to interview my business role model! Jonathan Goodman of the Personal Trainer Development Center, the world’s largest site for fitness professionals, is here to discuss why the concept of "hustling" is B.S. (in certain contexts), the glorification of “busy”, and how to achieve success by focusing on one area of expertise, surrounding it with good-enough-to-be-dangerous skills in a few other specific realms. Also, career advice for people who have extremely wide-ranging interests. Oh, and seitan!

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Jul 2020

1 hr 6 min

Susan Levin is the director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and a registered dietitian specializing in sports dietetics. Every 5 years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated. She discusses the PCRM's recommendations for these guidelines: No low-carb eating patterns, recommend water instead of milk, warn against consuming red and processed meats, and promote plant-based eating. Susan also discusses 4 ways the vegan diet is optimal for athletes.

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Jun 2020

50 min 3 sec

One of the fastest-growing vegan demographics is Black Americans. Alissa Nash and GiGi Carter discuss increasing the number of Black vegans, including quality of life benefits and cultural barriers. We also discuss the scope of expression of veganism's compassion (whether - and how - it should extend to human rights), and contributions ethnic cuisines have made to veganism. We acknowledge systemic and economic barriers faced by many, and focus on issues that are controlled on an individual level.

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Jun 2020

1 hr

State record-holding vegan powerlifter, former collegiate football player, and chemical and biomolecular engineering PhD student Bradie S. Crandall shares his story of becoming a vegan athlete, and 6 ways in which a vegan diet is beneficial for strength athletes compared to a diet that includes animal products. Bradie is the author of the upcoming book, The Living Machine: Engineering Strength with a Plant-Based Diet, and he’s announcing its release date for the first time on this show.

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Jun 2020

56 min

I answer 21 questions on everything from post-workout protein options, to sweating, to B.S. nutritionists, to more philosophical questions about lifestyle, fitness, and veganism.  Includes: my one tip for fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle. How do I balance being understanding of other people and their obstacles to going vegan, versus sticking up for animals? Should you supplement with creatine? Will I ever adopt a canine workout buddy? What's my favourite savoury snack? And much more.

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May 2020

53 min 26 sec

PETA is the world’s largest and most recognized animal rights organization. I feel they send the wrong message about animal rights, and give all of us vegans a bad name. I share 5 problems with PETA, and 5 ways it exhibits appalling prejudice toward certain groups of people. I suggest supporting local and smaller-scale organizations instead. Many of these are animal sanctuaries rather than broader animal rights organizations, so I share 6 questions to ask when assessing whether a sanctuary is ethically run.

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May 2020

28 min 24 sec

In our last coronavirus-related episode before we get back to regularly scheduled programming, Dr. Scott Lear joins me to discuss exercising and healthy eating during lockdown: How much exercise should we be getting while self-isolating and/or physical distancing? What sorts of benefits are we likely to see from this activity? How can we continue to eat in a way that supports our health and fitness goals? Also, some creative ways of strength training at home (with kitchen implements!)

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Apr 2020

24 min 16 sec

Mike discusses how we can overcome some of the mindset challenges associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can continue to work toward our health, fitness, and fat loss goals while we’re staying at home. Get 4 specific mindset tips, learn how to simplify at-home fat loss, and make sure you know how to 'engineer' your home environment so it supports (rather than sabotages) your goals.

Apr 2020

30 min 41 sec

Fraser Bayley has an unusual story, having gone from being a butcher with multiple mental health challenges to a passionate vegan advocate, bodybuilder, and strength & nutrition coach. Fraser chose to walk away from the butchery industry for good, and never realized how health, fitness, and veganism would then come together to transform his life in many ways. We discuss common mindset challenges Fraser works on with his clients, different approaches to veganism, building long-term habits, and much more.

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Mar 2020

1 hr 4 min

Chris is a high school teacher. We discuss the plant-based nutrition classes and seminars he’s facilitated, and how youth are driving change within their own families. Danielle is a family doctor. She shares how she uses a whole food, plant-based diet to prevent and reverse chronic disease for her patients, and some of the myths she encounters (e.g. “people won’t be willing to change”, or “this is too difficult for patients to understand”.) They also discuss transitioning to veganism with two young kids.

Feb 2020

57 min 42 sec

Heidi Braacx, owner of Vegan Yarn, joins me to discuss the ethics and environmental impacts of wool, and why vegans don't use it. Heidi says, "Just because wool is biodegradable doesn’t mean it’s environmentally friendly”. We discuss plant-based alternatives to wool, and their respective impacts on the environment. Also, how can we, as consumers of clothing and/or fibre products, ensure we choose ethical products that have a minimal impact on our environment? Heidi has 3 steps for us.

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Feb 2020

42 min 34 sec

Ren is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and nutrition coach. In this episode: How the fitness industry is changing, to the benefit of both clients and coaches. Busting some major B.S. in the fitness and diet industries. How Ren approaches habit change with his clients. The one concept you should delete from your vocabulary to ensure you get lasting results from your fitness and nutrition habits. (Hint: you can choose *fast*, or you can choose *permanent*.)

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Jan 2020

52 min 6 sec

If you’re starting a new fitness, nutrition, or health habit in 2020 (or if you want to make sure you keep going with your current ones), this episode is for you. I’m busting some B.S. about motivation and sticking to long-term habits. I discuss: why relying on motivation to keep up with your good habits is setting yourself up for failure, 2 things you should know when you're starting a new health habit, 2 challenges I see people face, and how to ensure your good habits will keep going over the long term.

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Dec 2019

19 min 10 sec