2021 Essays

Interview and book launch: The Plant-Based Athlete with Robert Cheeke and Matt Frazier

By Dr. Will Tuttle

Today, I am pleased to share an exclusive interview especially for you who have an interest in health, freedom, compassion, and the World Peace Diet approach to vegan living. My long-time friend and colleague, Robert Cheeke, from Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, has teamed up with Matt Frazier, from No Meat Athlete, to co-author one of the current bestselling books in America, The Plant-Based Athlete. It is being released nationwide today, June 15th!

Robert has been on this compassionate vegan path with me for more than 25 years, sharing his journey from farm kid to champion vegan bodybuilder. Matt has developed perhaps the largest plant-based athlete community in the world at www.nomeatathlete.com, and their beautiful new book (released today!) shows without a doubt that a plant-based diet supports an active lifestyle, and even fuels some of the greatest athletes in the world.

Robert and Matt both chose veganism for compassion and ethics, and it never slowed them down in their athletic endeavors, and in fact, it has helped enhance their athletic performance, which is what The Plant-Based Athlete is all about. Their book has already been featured on The Rich Roll Podcast, Forks Over Knives, Mastering Diabetes, Chef AJ, The Vegan Cruise, and other platforms, including mainstream media outlets, but I’ve had the opportunity to learn some behind-the-scenes insights about The Plant-Based Athlete that I’d like to share with you.

Dr. Tuttle: Robert, you have been a vegan since 1995, when you weighed 120 pounds as a farm kid growing up in an agriculture community in Western Oregon. You later became a champion vegan bodybuilder, weighing more than 220 pounds, showing without question that a vegan diet can support athletic goals. Tell us a bit about why you decided to team up with Matt to write this new book.

Robert: For years, I have wanted to tell the compelling stories of the world’s greatest plant-based athletes. I’ve spent the past quarter century in the plant-based athlete community, and I have been inspired and motivated by many of my colleagues who have achieved amazing athletic results with a vegan diet. I wanted to tell their stories to mainstream readers, and as awareness around veganism is at an all-time high, on the heels of The Game Changers, Seaspiracy, and all the documentaries, books, individuals, and organizations that contribute to spreading this compassionate vegan lifestyle, I figured now was the best time to release this book.

I concluded that Matt was the perfect co-author. We’ve been friends for more than ten years, and we’ve built two of the largest vegan athlete communities in the world (Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and No Meat Athlete). With my focus on strength sports and his focus on endurance sports, combined with our years of touring and public speaking, as well as our previous written work, it seemed like our strengths would complement one another, and we wanted to write the best book on this subject that has ever been written. And we truly believe we have done that, after two and a half years working to bring this book to life.

Furthermore, Matt and I have very similar nutrition philosophies, and similar mindsets toward fitness, goal setting, and living a compassionate vegan lifestyle. With Dr. Michael Greger writing the foreword for our book, and T. Colin Campbell and many others, including John Robbins, endorsing it, we’re so excited to share The Plant-Based Athlete with the world. And today, our book release date in every major bookstore in the US and Canada, has been decades in the making for me, so I’m just feeling incredibly grateful for this opportunity to share our amazing new book with readers.

Dr. Tuttle: Matt, what can readers expect to learn from reading The Plant-Based Athlete? Is it only for athletes, or can the average fairly active person find some benefits from your new book too?

Matt: We wrote The Plant-Based Athlete with the weekend warrior and recreational athlete in mind. It’s actually a how-to book about becoming a plant-based athlete, covering everything from plant-based nutrition (nutrient and calorie density, macro- and micronutrients) to meal plans, supplementation, and even more than 60 recipes. One of the best parts about this book is that it’s not just one person’s program, perspective, or advice. We interviewed more than 50 world-class plant-based athletes, and even shared a sample day in the life routine for dozens of them, including Olympic gold medalists and world champions. These athlete stories provide incredible inspiration and motivation, but they also show real world examples of what elite plant-based athletes eat and how they train, and all of us can benefit from the examples they’ve set. There truly is something for everyone in this book, and it is a comprehensive resource, but also a very entertaining read from the incredible athlete stories that are woven through the chapters. We believe this book will inspire many people to leave animals off their plates and lead to a more compassionate future. And we are so pleased that you received an advance copy and that you’re sharing our book with your audience.

Dr. Tuttle: Robert, what advice do you have for people who want to promote the vegan lifestyle through athletics?

Robert: To me, the best way to represent veganism in sports is to lead by example. Being healthy, happy and fit has been one of my mantras over the years because I have seen how my example has inspired so many people over the past 25 years. It is precisely the amazing athletic results that other plant-based athletes have achieved that have inspired me during my vegan athlete journey too. Our book tells many inspirational stories, but every single person reading this has the opportunity to tell their own story too. So, I suggest that you discover whatever athletic interest you’re more passionate about, and then pursue it with enthusiasm, and thrive as a plant-based athlete. Others will often take notice, and it becomes a beautiful way to make vegan activism part of your athletic lifestyle.

Dr. Tuttle: Matt, I know you guys have aspirations of making this book one of the most popular books of the year, recognizing the impact that could have on animals, the planet, and human health. Where can we find the book, and what types of special bonuses do you have for our readers?

Matt: When it’s released on June 15th (today!), The Plant-Based Athlete will be available in all major bookstores (online and off) in the U.S. and most independents too, so look wherever you like to buy books. Even better, go to our website where you’ll see the details of a super-special package of bonuses that Robert and I put together just for people who order the book between now and the end of the day on Saturday, June 19th. You can still get the book from your favorite bookstore, but when you forward us a screenshot or photo of your receipt you’ll also get bonus meal plans, a live Q&A session where you can ask me and Robert whatever you’d like, a “Week in the Life” breakdown of both Robert’s and my diets and training, and even your choice of one of our flagship No Meat Athlete programs (which normally cost $67-$127).

Those options include:

  • Plant-Based Muscle and Strength Formula (normally $97) – build muscle, shed fat, and transform your body with a macronutrient-focused meal plan and strength training program
  • Marathon Roadmap 3.0 (normally $67) – conquer your first 26.2-mile race on a plant-based diet (plus half marathon, 10K, and 15K programs!)
  • Health Made Simple Meal Plan System (normally $127) – transition to a plant-based diet, or go from “junk-food-vegan” to whole-food, plant-based… all without spending crazy amounts of time (and stress) on food

You can get all the details here.

Thank you so much for sharing our book with your readers!

Thanks Robert and Matt, co-authors of The Plant-Based Athlete, available now wherever books are sold, for your inspiring efforts to exemplify health, strength, and compassion in our world – so needed, especially during these turbulent times.

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