When we interviewed plant-based Ultraman, Rich Roll earlier this year, we were blown away by the positive response. From Ironman Champion triathletes to people who had never hopped on a bike, everyone was inspired by Rich's transformation of his body and mind. Much of the curiosity focused on one key part of Rich's reinvention: food. What does this 44-year-old Ultraman eat? Where and how does he get his protein?
Rich and his wife, Julie Piatt, are sharing the meals that have nourished and energized their family in their vegan e-cookbook, Jai Seed. Rich and his family's journey to health was on a plant-based path paved with vegan mocha lattes, hunza raisin smoothies, vegan lasagna, and daily blends of nuts, fruits, and veggies. Jai Seed is 77 pages of delicious, approachable, and inventive recipes as well as the kitchen equipment (Julie and Rich thankfully keep it simple) and shopping essentials you need to get started on your "plant strong" path. Looking for a blend before a rigorous day of training? There's a pineapple-kale-maca-coconut-chia seed-orange juice concoction to prepare your body. Want an easy, delicious meal that even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy? Try the vegan tamales or black bean chili. And, yes, Jai Seed even has some sweets. Vegan pumpkin pie anyone? However, Jai Seed is more than just a great primer in healthy eating. Through beautiful pictures and inspiring words, Jai Seed captures one family’s inspiring journey of health for the body and soul.
So while we're on the subject of eating plant-based and awesome vegan cookbooks (and this one is a bargain at $9.99), I talked to Rich about his food philosophy, the misconceptions of being a plant-based athlete, and about getting started with a plant-based diet.
MBG: What's your food philosophy?
RR: Food is so much more than calories. Food is vibrational energy. Food is life. The cookbook focus is to provide the reader with fortifying high vibrating organic whole food plant-based recipes that are nutrient dense.
In addition, it was important to us to make it fun and inclusive -- accessible to everyone. There is a misconception that a vegan diet is not only bland, but daunting and overly time consuming.
I don't have time! I'll never get my kids to eat this stuff!
Our goal is to show people they too can do it. Not only are the recipes delicious, the vast majority are very quick and easy – much easier than baking a lasagna or your basic pot roast. In addition, we share many recipes our four kids love.
The other aspect of the book that distinguishes it from other cookbooks is the lifestyle component. On the theme that food is life, we share our art and lifestyle as expressed through food from an experiential point of view -- what we as a family have learned (and continue to learn) as we pursue this always-evolving path towards greater wellness.
We don’t preach. We don’t tell anyone what they should or should not eat. Again, it’s not about labels. It's about helping people understand how they too can embrace healthier choices in a manner that will fit within — rather than disrupt — the parameters of their busy daily life. Our honest hope is that people will take what resonates with them and over time make and modify the recipes to their liking.