Pro Mountain Biker, Plant-Based Athlete, and World Endurance Champion, Sonya Looney interviews inspiring leaders about vegan & plant-based nutrition, cycling and endurance training, mountain bike tips, sports psychology, adventure travel, mindset, personal development, and entrepreneurship to help you unlock the best and healthiest version of yourself. Find out more at: www.sonyalooney.com
Finding Your Strong and with SWAP Coaches David and Megan Roche
Finding your strong isn't always easy, but if you're familiar with SWAP Coaches David and Megan Roche, you are probably familiar with their infectious optimism. David and Megan are both coaches of their company, SWAP- Some Work, All Play that David founded in 2013. The powerhouse couple coaches some of the top trail runners and obstacle course athletes in the world. Their coaching speaks for itself with over 17 US National Championships won, athlete appearances on Team USA 14 Times, Spartan World Champions, and more.
"For us, it's all about finding your strong. We want athletes to really embrace the athletic strength-based nature of being an endurance athlete. What that means in practice is that everyone's strong looks so different. So you can't go on looks, you can't even go necessarily on what you're seeing in the mirror because that is so distorted. And it's not analogous to anything with performance or growth or anything. What we really want is someone to be "Ok, I want to be a boss! I want to be strong!" And that's how you eat, that's how you train. What we're there for is supporting that with gentle affirmation that you're enough as you are, you are perfect the way you are and things like that, but then also coming in with science. "
Megan is the 2016 USATF Trail Runner of the Year at the ultra and sub-ultra distances. She is a five-time national champion, a North American Mountain Running Champion, and a six-time member of Team USA. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in Neuroscience and received her M.D. from Stanford Medical School. At Stanford, she is doing a PhD in epidemiology, focused on population health and genetics for athletes. Megan started coaching with SWAP in 2016 with the premise that she could help athletes learn to love the process of training, embrace their inner ninja, and recover using a Taco Tuesday approach.
David is the 2014 USATF Trail Runner of the Year at the sub-ultra distance. He is a two-time national champion and three-time member of Team USA. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Environmental Science and received a master's degree and law degree from Duke University. He also is a writer for Trail Runner Magazine.
The two also wrote a book, the Happy Runner. I had David on the podcast once before going all into their book. David and Megan's book really resonated with me because it's about being a happy athlete.
This year, the couple started the SWAP podcast which happens to be one of my favorites. This episode is packed with energy, fun, and great learning about secrets to happy coupledom, eating lots of food, self-acceptance, how to deal with quitting, death, talent and so much more!
David and Megan's message to you is:
YOU ARE SO LOVED AND PERFECT
JUST AS YOU ARE.
YES, JUST AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.
AS YOU ARE READING THIS.
AND AS YOU GROW AND CHANGE,
YOU'LL BE PERFECT TOO.
THIS IS ADDIE DOG TALKING.
But David and Megan agree with this statement 10000%.
YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!
Topics Discussed in the Podcast
secrets to happy relationships body image and eating plenty self-acceptance and building confidence how to deal with quitting how to have more grit thoughts on death how much talent/genetics play a role Listen Now
Resources SWAP Running Website Follow David on Twitter Follow David and ADDIEDOG on Instagram Follow Megan on instagram Get the book: The Happy Runner Article on the long tail of blood biomarkers
Plant-Based Nutrition for Children and Teens with Brenda Davis, RD and Reshma Shah, MD
The ultimate resource for plant-based nutrition for children and teens is here! Brenda Davis is one of the top authorities and dietitians in plant-based nutrition. She is the author of 11 books including the incredibly comprehensive book, Becoming Vegan and is the co-author of the new book, Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families along with Reshma Shah, MD. Brenda is one of the world's leading plant-based dietitians and an expert in reducing the world's Type II Diabetes problems with Plant-Based Diets. She teaches lifestyle medicine courses all over the world, has been flown by the prince of Saudi Arabia to Saudi Arabia to consult on diet. A highly sought after speaker for nutrition and medicine conferences, she has presented in 20+ countries on 5 continents. She has already been on the podcast twice which I'll link in the shownotes.
And now, her co-author Reshma Shah, MD joins us for today's episode. Reshma Shah, MD, MPH, is a board-certified pediatrician and an affiliate clinical instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. She has additional training and certification in plant-based nutrition and cooking.
Nourish is an evidence-based, practical resource that explores the many benefits of a plant-based diet and provides parents with the tools they need to provide excellent and balanced nutrition to their families.
“In this book, we wanted to provide the answers to all the questions parents may have. Whether they are already fully plant-based or they’re just beginning their journey. So that they can do it with confidence, with a sense of joy, and without anxiety and fear.” -Dr. Reshma Shah
In Nourish, parents will learn:
How a diet centered around plants can optimize health, prevent chronic disease, care for our planet, and be an act of radical compassion. Nutrition specifics for all the stages of childhood—from pregnancy and breastfeeding all the way through adolescence. Tips, strategies, and mouthwatering recipes to bring all of this information to the dinner table as families explore the wonderful world of plant-based eating. Best of all, the authors don’t insist that families have to commit to 100% plant-based eating if they are intimidated. Simply changing up your family’s menu a week at a time can really make a difference.
Topics Discussed in the Podcast nutritional requirements for infants can infants eat plant-based diets decoding breastmilk nutrition facts how to get your kids to eat healthier deficiencies to watch out for in both plant and animal-based diets supplements you need for exclusively plant-based diets baby-led weaning Listen Now
Inside Tracker: Take a Selfie from the Inside
Use Code: GIFTFROMSONYALOONEY for $200 OFF the Ultimate Plan Inside Tracker is a company that uses bloodwork to assess biomarkers, blood analysis, athletic performance, and nutrition software to optimize fitness and longevity. Founded in 2009, the Boston company first started working with professional athletes who wanted to see what their biomarkers, hormone and mineral profiles looked like during their training and how they could use nutrition and lifestyle to improve. They measure over 30 biomarkers and recommend food and supplements to optimize thinks like your energy, cognition, endurance, heart health, and more. I started working with Inside Tracker in 2017. I liked it because their ranges for your biomarkers change based on your goals. I also think it’s important to have baseline and also recurrent bloodwork as you age and also simply as an athlete.
Listen to the Episode with Jonathan Levitt from Inside Tracker
Links/Books Mentioned Get the book: Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Ba
Eat, Race, Win with Professional Chef Hannah Grant
Hannah Grant has had a fascinating life. From joining the navy in search of discipline to working at the #1 ranked restaurant in the world , and to being a professional chef for Tour de France Cycling teams and even the Dakar Rally- Hannah has some stories. She also has an incredible reservoir for handling high-pressure environments and unshakeable self-belief. While stirring a 200-gallon drum of goop in the middle of the Arctic Ocean while in the navy, she had an epiphany: I'm going to go to Chef School! From serving big pots of goop to working in the #1 restaurant in the world was quite the shift. And it doesn't stop there. She's won a Daytime Emmy for her Amazon Prime series, Eat Race Win which is a documentary series about cooking for a professional team at the Tour De France... and her next endeavor? Partnering with Dr. Stacy Sims on a supplement for flights to help you stay hydrated and also supplements for sleep..I love Hannah because she is so real and so honest about her life and the challenges she's gone through along her path of success.
She is the author of 2 cookbooks and is offering a 20% discount off her most recent cookbook, Eat Race Win. You can find it in my instagram post about this episode and also in the show notes. I'll also be sending it out in my weekly newsletter.
Topics Discussed in the Podcast Her obsession with house plants her time in the navy being a woman trying to fit in chef school and working in a #1 rated restaurant in the world working in high pressure environments how to cook for the Tour de France functional food tips for recovery how she manages stress Resources Watch Eat, Race, Win on Amazon Prime Hannah Grant's website Hannah Grant's instagram Discount code for Eat, Race Win: sonyalooneypodcast
Dealing with Uncertainty during the Election and Beyond
This episode is about the tools to help you navigate uncertainty in your life, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum.
These tools are helpful in any situation.
1. Control the controllables (and sometimes we think we are doing that by searching for even more information)
2. Self-care in the form of self-restoration
3. Mindfulness practice, sitting with discomfort
4. Looking for humanity
5. Practicing self-compassion
How to Make Habits that Stick with James Clear
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” James Clear is an expert in behavior change. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Atomic Habits, and it's sold more than 1 million copies! I first discovered James Clear many years ago when he started publishing articles on in his website and sending out a fantastic newsletter than now has over 650,000 subscribers. The way he describes things like goal-setting, how to be productive, and how to make habits that stick is easy to understand and put into action.
Many people attribute failing to break bad habits or failure to stick to new habits with a lack of willpower. They think the problem is them. But James says James Clear says, “If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” We talk about how to create an environment that makes it easy to make habits stick. We talked about the 2-minute rule (I've talked about this before as well- the importance of just setting the goal to show up). We also talked about the difference between motion and action (learning about doing something versus actually doing something).
And quite possibly the most powerful idea with habit change is the idea of identity-based habits and how to measure them. James Clear says, "Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat."
I'm so thankful for James Clear's work. I've used his research in my speeches, articles, and books because no one can create clarity like he can. This episode is a gamechanger and so is his book, Atomic Habits.
Topics Discussed in the Podcast Four laws of behavior change identity-based habits the compound effect of habits the 2-minute rule decisive moments Don't miss your habit twice how to break bad habits how to create an environment so you don't need willpower extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation the difference between motion and action social media practices Listen Now
Resources Get James Clear's book : Atomic Habits Visit JamesClear.com __________________________________ 2 Ways to Give Back to the Show
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How to Say What You Mean with Oren Jay Sofer
Sometimes it's hard to say what you mean. Oren Jay Sofer says, "Communication is a learnable skill and it’s one of the most powerful levers for making change in your life and the world." Non-violent communication is about taking responsibility for what we are experiencing using empathy, deep listening, know how to make requests.
Author and renowned meditation instructor Oren Jay Sofer regularly teaches a mindful approach to non-violent communication. spent two and a half years of living as an Anagarika (renunciate) at branch monasteries in the Ajahn Chah Thai Forest lineage. Today, his teaching combines classical Buddhist training with the accessible language of secular mindfulness. Since the early 2000s, Oren has had a deep interest in the relationship between contemplative practice and communication. A graduate of the BayNVC North American Leadership Training, he has taught classes and workshops in Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) nationally since 2006. His innovative retreats and online programs in Mindful Communication offer one of the only opportunities in the U.S today to explore the intersection between formal meditation practice, Right Speech and NVC. Oren is the founder and Guiding Teacher of Next Step Dharma, an innovative online course focused on bringing the tools of meditation to daily life, and co-founder of Mindful Healthcare. Oren has created mindfulness programs for organizations, companies, and apps including Apple, Kaiser Permanente, Lumosity, Calm, 10% Happier, Simple Habit and others.
I loved his book, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication. In the book, a main theme is that every thought or feeling is there to try to meet a need. If you can try to figure out what need your thoughts are tied to, it's easier to articulate what you need to those around you. It's also useful when listening to someone in a disucssion or conflict to tease out what need they are trying to have met. I also enjoyed learning about conflict and viewing it as a way to deepen relationships. I also learned that non-violent communication and conflict resolution isn't necessarily to try to get someone to do things your way, it's about deepening understanding of one another because sometimes we simply can't agree to have the same viewpoint. Non-violent communication has a framework of observation, the feeling, the needs and values to be met, and the request.
Three questions you can ask yourself are what happened, how do I feel about it, and why?
I also loved learning about how to use mindfulness in listening and communication as well as how to ground yourself in your own body when tensions rise.
Topics Discussed in the Podcast from childhood actor to meditation instructor 4 types of conflict avoidance self-empathy tools for internal pressure No mud, no lotus addressing the voiceless and gender constructs how to make requests of others Listen Now
Resources Oren Jay Sofer's website Get Oren's book: Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication __________________________________ 2 Ways to Give Back to the Show
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Always a great listen
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Authentic and Empowering
It’s obvious that Sonya puts extraordinary effort in covering pressing issues and finding guests that are authentic and truly care about being a positive force in this world - the insights that they bring to bear is still mind-blowing Every. Single. Time.
No matter the topic, you’re guaranteed to gain something from every episode - can’t recommend subscribing enough 🙌
Inspirational woman and podcast!
Sonya is one inspirational woman! Love her positive focus, varied interviews and topics that help me just be better.