Men’s Fitness named him one of the “25 Fittest Guys in the World.” PETA included him in their “Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity” list. Rich has completed the EPIC 5 Challenge- 5 Ironman distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian Islands and placed as a top finisher at the Ultraman World Championship, which is a 3-day, 320-mile double ironman distance triathlon. And he accomplished all of this on a plant-based diet.
How did he do it? You can read all about it in his amazing book, Finding Ultra. Life wasn’t always so grand for Rich. He had to hit rock bottom first before he made the change that will last a lifetime. Today we interview Rich and his beautiful wife, Julie Piatt and get some insight on their inspirational story.
Rich: When did you know a plant-based diet was the way to go? What was the defining moment?
After a health scare, I did a juice cleanse and afterwards just kept up a vegetarian diet. But it wasn’t until I went vegan that I really experienced a total shift in my energy and my body. The weight just dropped off and my energy went through the roof. I had this run that went for hours and hours that I write about in my book, “Finding Ultra” as being the magic moment. I never expected a vegan diet to work and honestly, I went vegan to prove to Julie that she was wrong and then I had planned to return to my meat eating ways.
Julie: In Rich’s book it talks about how you have been following a healthy lifestyle for years. What led you to that lifestyle?
I’ve been practicing yoga for a long time. I was always pretty healthy and I used to downhill ski over 25 days a year. But it was yoga that transformed my lifestyle completely. I adopted a strict ayurvedic diet to allow my body to heal itself from a cyst in my neck. Then it was Rich who inspired me to go vegan all the way. And I have never looked back. I love it.
Both: As a family, what does a daily menu look like? Breakfast, lunch and dinner?
We are really into our Vitamix blends packed full of kale and all kinds of organic fruits and veggies. We have quite a few variations in our cookbook. A favorite lunch around our house may be my version of sprouted mung bean kicheri or some untuna. For dinner, we like home made veggie burgers or vegan lasagna with lots of raw salad.
Rich: What is your number one go-to source when you are tired or fatigued? Is there one nutrient you would recommend?
I would recommend our super charged recovery protein powder, called JAI REPAIR. I use it everyday and I spent a long time formulating it with all the great super foods that make it a great support to my training program. In addition, I always eat tons of kale, beets and raw tumeric.
Thank you. Yoga is my secret. But it’s not just exercise for me. I always describe it as the difference between being alive or dead. Practicing yoga and meditating is like plugging into the life force. I am so grateful that I discovered it. And I plan to keep practicing my entire life.
Both: How do your kids feel about the way you eat? Do they fight it or love it?
We are proud to say that all our kids are almost totally vegan. I say almost because our 5 and 9 year olds sometimes have yogurt. Our process with getting more plants into our diets was by being a living example and always having tons of fresh organic living plants in our kitchen and on our table. Both of our older boys made their own way into a fully plant based lifestyle. They love eating at home and now they are both becoming chefs in their own rights. And thank God, I have help in the kitchen.
Rich: Do you ever take weeks off from exercising just to get some rest and relaxation?
No. I need the training to maintain balance in my body. I’ve got a lot going on inside. Training is my form of meditation and it actually delivers me into relaxation. But I do have one rest day per week.
Both: What’s your favorite sweet treat? Rich: Julie makes this amazing apple pie and great vegan cheesecakes and peanut butter cookies.
Julie: What does your refrigerator look like?
We have three large bins full of fresh produce and mountains of kale. Fresh herbs like mint, dill, cilantro, basil and parsley. We have bags of nuts –raw walnuts, almonds, cashews, and peanuts so I can make nut milks, cheeses and desserts. Bubbies relish and sauerkraut. Sprouted beans or whatever I’m working with that day. Organic dates and date loafs. Some great quality dark chocolate. Of course, Veganaise, namah shoyu and earth balance. And it’s always a mess with 6 people digging into it.
We have a top ranking iTunes podcast that we recently launched, called “The Rich Roll Podcast”. Check us out for free awesome plant power guests that cover all aspects of a life of wellness. Our downloadable e-cookbook called “JAISEED” –is over 77 pages of plant -based recipes. It contains all of our family favorite recipes along with images of Julie’s art and photos of Rich’s races and training. We also offer a B-12 spray which is an amazing product for the plant based eater who will have a hard time getting this nutrient. Kids love it too. Our JAI REPAIR training recovery protein product, is Rich’s secret weapon of recovery after training and it’s great for the whole family. And we have Julie’s meditation program which is a 30 minute guided process that includes a humming mediation that she swears by. It also includes two of her original songs. You can find it all at http://www.jailifestyle.com, don’t forget to check out Julie’s music at http://www.srimatimusic.com, and you can get Rich’s life changing memoir, “Finding Ultra” at http://www.richroll.com. We wish you JAI or Victory in your life!
About Nourishment’s Founder, Victoria Dodge: After a long successful career in photography, with 5 books published, Victoria has transitioned into not only being a successful photographer but a health and wellness expert. She has been practicing and living a plant based lifestyle with her family for over 6 years. She has been mentored and inspired by some of today’s health pioneers and continues to share her wealth of knowledge that covers a wide range of topics from cleansing to vegan and raw culinary arts. Victoria teaches group classes open to the public and private consultations all year round. www.nourishmentnow.com