Vegetarian Elite
 
Rich Roll, Plant-Strong Ultraman      
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My name’s Rich Roll, and I am an ultra-endurance athlete. I’m a vegan. I am a husband and a father of four children. I also am a practicing attorney. So day to day my life is made up of being a dad to four kids, practicing law, getting my training in, and enjoying family time with my wife and kids, making food together, and enjoying our life together here in the beautiful Malibu Canyon where we live.

In 2009, Men’s Fitness magazine named him one of the “25 Fittest Guys in the World.” He has been interviewed and featured on CNN on several occasions, and invited by the network to write about his inspiring journey of self-awareness and health built on a plant-strong diet. Within two years, Rich Roll had transformed himself from a miserable 40-year-old in the worst shape of his life, to an extraordinary vegan athlete competing in the ultra-challenging, Ultraman World Championships… and placing 3rd overall in all Americans!

Just before Supreme Master Television visited Rich and his family in their gorgeous home, he and fellow vegan endurance athlete Jason Lester, had just completed the Epic5 Challenge – “an unprecedented athletic and spiritual odyssey” that involves not one, but five separate gruelling triathlons on Hawaii’s five islands – that’s five 2.5 mile swims, five 112 mile bike rides, and five 26.2 mile runs, in the span of five consecutive days! Perhaps PETA said it best: Superman is vegan!

When I first started getting back into competing, the most rewarding thing for me was just pushing my own limits and trying to achieve something that I never done before or go faster than I had ever gone before, something like that. But now really the most rewarding aspect of what I am doing is that I am sharing a positive message of wellness for other people. That it’s not just about a race performance or how fast did I go or what place did I get. It’s about an ongoing journey that I am on of discovery, where I am learning more and more every day, and I am here to share that with other people. And hopefully some other people will glean some knowledge or insight or inspiration from that, that will help them in their own life. And to know that that is working, is the most gratifying thing.

Today, on Vegetarian Elite, on the first of a 2-part feature, we will get to know the plant-powered athlete, family man, entertainment attorney, and spiritually-centered Rich Roll.

So, so after I turned 40 and became a vegan, and had all this energy and I started running and swimming, and getting back on my bike again and riding and realized that I needed some structure to this and I needed a challenge to focus my energy in a productive way. And I thought maybe an Ironman would be cool, like lots of guys who turn 40 want to do an Ironman. It’s kind of like the bucket list, you know, check that. Yeah, I did an Ironman kind of thing and I started looking into that because I always thought that would be a fun thing to do one day.

And I just read an article about this race called Ultraman in Hawaii, which is actually a double Ironman distance triathlon. It’s a 3-day race, it circumnavigates the entire big Island of Hawaii and it’s limited to only 35 people. It just captured my imagination and I just had to learn more about this race. So I went to the website and started reading about it, and it really, there was something, there was like a switch that flicked in me where I knew I had to do that race. And it just seemed so extreme and so impossible, and yet the same time it was like calling out to me.

And I think the reason for that, is that it wasn’t just a race where thousands of people show up. It really looks like it was this spiritual adventure where these 35 people kind of embark on this extreme task together and they’re mutually supportive. Although it’s a race, everyone is kind of looking out for everyone and there was a kind of a family aspect to it. And I think the purity of that spoke to me, and so I was determined to find a way to get into that race and contacted the race director, kind of double talked my way into getting her to agree to let me in even though I hadn’t done anything that would qualify me as being ready to be able to handle such an event. I was able to, it’s a long story, but I was able to get in. So I really only had six months to prepare for it.

The Ultraman is a tough 3-day test of endurance through a 6 mile swim and a 90 mile bike ride on the first day, followed by 170 miles of biking on the second day. The last day of trials is a 52 mile run.

And I just set out training as much as I could for that six month period, and showed up and actually ended up doing fairly well. I had a respectable 11th place finish that year. And being able to accomplish that in such a short period of time gave me the confidence enough to know that if I really focused, that I can do really well at events like that.

And Rich accomplished all this after he transitioned to a plant-strong, animal-free, vegan diet.

I really do attribute my nutrition program with helping me achieve those goals in such a short period of time. It’s a critical aspect of how I was able to do that.

What was the most challenging competition that you did?

So I went back to Ultraman the following year, and that was very challenging because I crashed my bike on the second day and had to pick myself up injured and complete the event. And I ended up finishing 6th, and I had a great result and it was a wonderful experience, but it was challenging in that I never had to come back after a physical injury to complete a race. So that was challenging, and then a friend of mine and I just completed something called Epic5, which was an event that in which we did five Ironman races on five Islands of Hawaii.

We did an Ironman on Kauai, and then went to Oahu and did an Ironman there, and then Molokai, Maui, and finished on the Big Island. So five consecutive Ironmans in under seven days. It was extremely challenging dealing with the logistics of traveling island to island on a daily basis with all of our gear, being exhausted and sleep deprived and still trying to get in an Ironman essentially every day. And now I am getting ready to, I’m in the midst of my training and preparation for Ultraman 2010, which is Thanksgiving weekend of this year.

When we return after this brief message, we will get a glimpse into the lesser known, yet vital facet of Rich’s life – his family. We will also learn what inspiration fuels his training for these extreme events. You may be surprised! You are watching Vegetarian Elite on Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Vegetarian Elite and the continuation of our program on plant-strong, incredible endurance athlete Rich Roll. By now, you are probably wondering how Rich keeps going during these super-strenuous athletic events and training. Where does he gain his motivation to not give up?

My wife is the biggest inspiration and getting me to get on this program and to stay on it.

Is she vegan herself?

She is now, but actually that the time when this started, she wasn’t. She is now. She is a great catalyst of growth in others and always trying to get people to achieve their personal best in whatever it is. So she has been huge inspiration in my own personal growth in many areas.

And though words
could never show
Still I wanted you to know
That your presence
Is really something in my life

As married life partners, Julie Piatt and Rich Roll together forged Jai Lifestyle. The concept has evolved from producing yoga retreats in luxurious locations around the world, to include plant-based nutritional products, vegan cookbooks, and instructional videos on how to better one’s life through a vegan diet, meditation, music, and so forth. Their ideals are mutually and wholly benefiting.

I’ve been vegetarian for years, but Rich inspired me last summer when I saw his piece on CNN, he inspired me to go totally vegan.

Rich’s, the distances that he’s been training and the type of races that he’s doing, it’s just completely out of my imagination how a being could even do that, it’s not in my make-up. But one of the most beautiful moments for us was when we went as a family to crew for him. We’ve made a movie together, we have four kids together, we built this house together. So he was freaking out and I was saying, “It’s cool, relax, how tough can it be? We’ll figure it out.”

And when I got there, he had a meeting for us. He had everything prepared, the course, and what nutrition he had to take and it all has to be timed a specific way. It’s very complex, very, very complicated. But I realized by being with him on this experience that he is a pro-athlete, and I had never seen that because I had never sat with him during that process. So, I would say that day, in the Ultraman race, he won the first day. And it was one moment I’ll never forget in my life. It was a huge inspiration to us and changed all of us.

Julie shares with us how unconditional love helped Rich reach these heights of his physical fitness and encourage his journey of self-discovery.

When we married we had a very spiritual ceremony, and we met in yoga. So for a long time I had wanted him to come on this spiritual path with me. And I was immature and didn’t realize that the spiritual path is totally solo, it’s a solo one. So, I had seen that he had some density that was keeping him from himself. So I had offered lots of things, lots of meditation techniques, lots of dietary advice, all kinds of things. And it seemed like the more that I offered, the more paralyzed he became.

So finally, after many years and of trying different things, I embodied the concept of Divine love, how are we loved by Consciousness, and it’s exactly how we are. And if everything is Consciousness then Rich is Consciousness. So I simply decided to just love him in a Divine manner. And it was at that moment, a couple months after, he could feel the difference, the shift. He asked me to get him herbs to cleanse and even then I had no idea that it was going to be one week turning into three weeks, turning into become a vegan, and then he would become an ultra-endurance athlete. I never, never had any awareness of that.

Time and time again
The path is leading me within
Still your smile
Is a light along the way

Your laughter filled the air
You spoke of mountains
And secrets kept

Information on Jai Lifestyle, along with Rich & Julie’s vegan cookbook “Seed,” can be found at www.Jai-Lifestyle.com

I think spirituality is a centerpiece of my athletic endeavors. And one of the reasons is that I like multi-sports triathlon so much is that it’s involved being outdoors a lot and it’s involved a lot of alone time, whether you’re running on a trail or out riding a bike or even you know swim in the ocean or pool, you’re kind of in an isolation chamber and the training session becomes like an active meditation. And it’s really been a practice of acquainting myself with my higher self and developing a greater more profound connection to my higher power and to the universe at whole and to my fellow man. And so, for me, training and racing is really just a metaphor for spiritual practice. And it’s about an ongoing learning experience, a journey in personal growth, and greater connection to the universe.

Visit www.RichRoll.com to learn more about Rich Roll’s adventures and vegan ventures

Thank you gracious viewers for being with us today on Vegetarian Elite. Please join us again next week for the second half of our program on Mr. Rich Roll and his super human athleticism. We’ll hear more about his transformational journey and what a vegan superman eats every day. And now please stay tuned for Between Master and Disciples, coming up next. May you enjoy abundant health and blessings of inner serenity.

This is Rich Roll saying Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
My name’s Rich Roll, and I am an ultra-endurance athlete. I’m a vegan. I am a husband and a father of four children. I also am a practicing attorney.

In 2009, Men’s Fitness magazine named him one of the “25 Fittest Guys in the World.” He has been interviewed and featured on CNN on several occasions, and invited by the network to write about his inspiring journey of self-awareness and health built on a plant-strong diet. Within two years, Rich Roll had transformed himself from a miserable 40-year-old in the worst shape of his life, to an extraordinary vegan athlete competing in the ultra-challenging, Ultraman World Championships… and placing 3rd overall in all Americans!

So in the wake of changing my diet, that’s when I began the process of getting back in shape and competing again. But it really began with changing the diet.

Just before Supreme Master Television visited Rich and his family in their gorgeous home, he and fellow vegan endurance athlete Jason Lester, had just completed the Epic5 Challenge – “an unprecedented athletic and spiritual odyssey” that involves not one, but five separate gruelling triathlons on Hawaii’s five islands – that’s five 2.5 mile swims, five 112 mile bike rides, and five 26.2 mile runs, in the span of five consecutive days! Perhaps PETA said it best: Superman is vegan!

Thanks, Supreme Master TV, for coming out to talk to us today. It’s a pleasure to have you.

Today, on the second of our 2-part feature on Mr. Rich Roll, we will continue our conversation with the quiet-spoken champion and learn about the diet that progresses his athletic performance and enables him to compete in these super human endurance trials. He shows us that nothing is impossible on the vegan diet.

And how did it all start for you? Why did you decided one day to “Okay, I’m going to start training?”

Well I was an athlete in college. I was a competitive swimmer at Stanford and had done quite well and loved being a swimmer. I’d been swimming my whole life, but when that chapter ended and my college career was over then that was kind of it for competitive sports for me for a long time. Life intervenes and it becomes about family and your career and that’s kind of what my focus was for a long time.

And, you know, I was turning 40, the eve of my 40th birthday and I was very overweight, very out of shape. I was weighing about 208 pounds at that time, so not like a super obese guy, but very overweight for me, and winded going up and down the stairs. So in order for me to really enact any kind of like lasting lifestyle change I had to do something kind of drastic. And so with the help of my wife and her encouragement, I did a seven day fruit and vegetable juice cleanse, which was something I’d never done before, never had even really thought of doing before.

But that was an incredible experience, and after being on just liquids basically for a week, I felt so good when I was done with that, that I was ready to really address my diet and do something different. So the first thing I did, was I started eating vegetarian. But I just thought, “Well I’m half way there, why don’t I just try a vegan diet, see how that feels,” which meant cutting out all animal products out of my diet, no more milk, no more cheese.

I never thought in a million years that it was something that I would be doing or interested in doing but I gave it a shot. And I think at the time it was almost to prove that it wouldn’t work for me. But what happened was within 7 to 10 days of doing this, I really felt a tremendous increase in my energy, I felt really good. And it just kind of built from there. I stuck with it ever since.So in the wake of changing my diet, that’s when I began the process of getting back in shape and competing again. But it really began with changing the diet.

The plant-strong diet powered Rich to compete in the Ultraman World Championships after just a few months of training. He sheds light on how veganism improved his athletic training.

I think that there’s a lot of misconception in our culture specifically about what kind of foods you need to eat to be an athlete. There is some truth that, yes, you need protein in order to rebuild your muscles from training, etc. But I think that there is a way to do that on a plant-based diet, in such a way that actually can improve athletic performance. For example, I believe that my plant-based diet allows my body to recover more quickly in between training sessions. And as an athlete, the more quickly you can recover the harder you can train and the better you’re going to get over time. So I think that it’s been actually a great benefit to me in that respect.

This aspect definitely proved helpful for Rich when he competed in the 2009 Ultraman. Even after crashing his bike the second day, he picked himself up and pushed forward with the competition. Despite injury, Rich had an incredible finish, placing 6th overall.

What do you do to recover quickly?

I would try to eat a 100% wholefood, plant-based diet. Which means trying to not eat too many of any processed foods. Eating foods that are alkaline forming, in other words, that properly balance your body’s PH. Because a lot of the foods, especially dairy and meat products, are acidic in nature or prompt an acidic response in your body, and that creates an inflammatory response which impedes recovery, makes you feel tired, etc. So it’s about eating an alkaline diet or an alkaline forming diet, and the best way to achieve that is through eating plant-based. Plant-based diet, a lot of greens. We eat a lot of kale, a lot of broccoli, a lot of all different kinds of greens; it’s a big part of our diet.

Are you now ready for some diet tips from a champ? When we return after this short message, Rich reveals what he eats in a typical training day. You are watching Vegetarian Elite on Supreme Master Television.

This is Rich Roll saying Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

Welcome back to Vegetarian Elite and our 2-part special program on plant-powered, ulta-endurance athlete, Rich Roll.

So how is it a day of yours like, what would you eat from the morning to night?

If I’m doing a training session in the morning, if it’s a short one, sometimes I will just go out and train without eating anything. But if it’s going to be a longer, like long bike or something, I will make a Vitamix smoothie in the morning that has some endurance boosting foods, super foods like chia and maca, beets, and some kale, and maybe some coconut milk and some Vega Whole Food Optimizer which has a lot of your daily vitamins and minerals in it.

Not a big breakfast, you know, maybe some toast with almond butter to get me going. And then my recovery nutrition after I finished a workout is all about replenishing my glycogen stores and then getting enough protein in my body so it can repair itself. And so I’ll have a Vitamix [smoothie] with different kinds of plant-based proteins like hemp protein, pea protein, brown rice protein and I think that there is a lot of confusion about plant-based protein. A lot people don’t realize that these plants actually do have protein and you can get enough protein from eating them to be an athlete and sustain yourself.

Physician and nutrition expert Dr. Michael Klaper further explains the truth of the protein myth:

If you’re eating whole plant foods, there is no way not to get enough protein. Any whole plant food, any tomato, any ear of corn, any green bean, is anywhere between 8 to 12% protein. If you get your 2000 calories a day from whole plant foods, no matter what they are, fruits, vegetables, greens, etc. you’re going to be getting your 40 or 50 grams of protein.

I’ve been a physician almost 40 years; I’ve never seen anyone walk in the office with the diagnosis of protein deficiency, even long term vegans. It’s not really an issue.

Plant proteins are, in fact, superior to animal-derived proteins. A varied vegan diet, like the one Rich shared with us, improves one’s health, vitality, and longevity. Renowned nutrition expert, physician, and author Dr. Joel Fuhrman agrees:

If we mix the greens and the beans now with nuts and seeds, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, they have almost magical super-foods, protective compounds that prevent against cardiac arrhythmias, irregular heart beats. They lower your cholesterol, they make people live longer. They prevent sudden cardiac death. They stabilize the brain. They also make the protein very complete.

Don’t forget green vegetables are high in protein, that’s how come gorillas, hippopotamus rhinoceros, elephants, giraffes get so big because they eat green vegetables, eat a lot of protein. But here you have the protein packaged with lots of micronutrients, with the phytochemicals, with the antioxidants, with the things that make the body age slower. And we keep our youthfulness, our vigor and our good health until later years.

Authenticity speaks louder than words. Everything that I’ve been trying to do is really an effort to just be my more authentic self, to try to connect more deeply to the things that move me, that I’m passionate about and that I love, and then to share my feelings and emotions and my truth and my experiences in doing that. And I think that resonate with a lot of people. Because if you’re speaking from the heart, if you’re speaking your truth or you’re living your truth, that is like a magnet for the universe that people are attracted to that.

Are you ready for the New Earth?
Stand up, get ready to shine
Being is the place to be Let it happen in you

So future projects are building Jai Lifestyle and producing our retreats, which I’m very excited about, and then training and racing. Those are really the focus, so getting the nutrition products out, getting the cookbook out, and being prepared for Ultraman in November for a great performance and seeing what the world has to offer. So I’d really like to expand my wellness advocacy and do public speaking engagement and the more that I can motivate and spread the word to help people make healthier choices about their diet and their activities. That’s something I really want to move into as much as I can.

Rich and I are going to join together and spread this message of wellness and giving people an example how to refine their environment and their physical body and their spiritual body, so that they can hear who it is that they were designed to be. They can hear their own voice, their higher self. And if Creation wants that, then we’re ready. But I also know that it may not be the case, so whatever it is I am in service to that Consciousness.

During our day spent with Rich and his family, he conveyed a warm message to Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Thank you, Supreme Master. Appreciate the love and the beauty that you spread.

We send our gratitude to Mr. Rich Roll for inspiring many on this path of wellbeing simply by living as a shining example of health and integrity through the humane vegan diet. We wish you continued success on your journey of self-realization and spirituality.

Visit www.RichRoll.com to learn more about Rich Roll’s adventures and vegan ventures. Information on Jai Lifestyle, along with Rich & Julie’s vegan cookbook “Jai Seed,” can be found at www.Jai-Lifestyle.com

Brilliant viewers, we appreciate your company today on Vegetarian Elite. Please come back to join us on Friday, November 19th as Rich, Julie, and the rest of the family share a recipe and a sneak peek of their newly released vegan cookbook, “Jai Seed.” Coming up now is Between Master and Disciples, here on Supreme Master Television. May your day be filled with laughter and the blessed company of loved ones.



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