Ep. 21 – Matt Ruscigno Interview – BMX Rider Turned Ultra Endurance Athlete and Plant-Based Nutrition Guru

My guest this week is Matt Ruscigno. Matt and I got connected through a mutual friend on Instagram (thanks @xcrament), but it turns out we have a lot of overlap because he grew up on the East Coast as a BMX rider and we know a lot of the same people from the BMX world.

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Matt has an extensive education in nutrition, including:
– MPH RD (master of public health with registered dietitian training)
– Nutritional Science degree from Pennsylvania State University
– Public Health Nutrition degree from Loma Linda University
– Certification as a Registered Dietitian (one of the only professional nutrition credentials available)

With that said, Matt knows a ton about food and nutrition from a scientific standpoint, and he is vegan.

His web site is TrueLoveHealth.com, which is a personal site and blog where he offers plant-based nutrition consulting and markets his services through speaking engagements and lectures.

On his athletic side, Matt rode BMX as a kid but accidentally transitioned into endurance sports in college. (Accidentally? I know…weird, right?) He now does marathons, Ironman triathlons, 24-hour races, and 200+ mile cycling events, including multiple races more than 500 miles each. Matt has ridden his bike from California to New York, and from California to Belize on different tours and has a huge list of other races, events, and trips listed on his Web site as well.

Matt is an writer who co-authored the popular vegan books No Meat Athlete and Appetite for Reduction.

Matt co-created and hosts a video series called Strongest Hearts where he travels the country documenting the lives of interesting vegans in the community. He has even featured CrossFit coach Ed Bauer and BMX photographer Rob Dolecki through the project.

On this episode I got to ask Matt a few questions about my personal diet and we touched on some of his endurance sport background, then I attempted to dissect how he designs his lifestyle to be able to make a living doing the things he loves to make a positive impact on the world.

I asked Matt about his different streams of income and how he markets himself, and how he used crowdfunding to launch his video series. I also uncovered some a surprising fact about how much money he makes in a typical year that I think you will find very shocking.

Matt Ruscigno By Brian Barnhart

Some Questions I Asked:
– What is your background in the BMX world?
– How did you get into endurance sports?
– What is your education background?
– What kind of “normal” jobs did you have before working for yourself?
– What was the transition like going from an employee role to working for yourself?
– How did you fund your education?
– What do you think about athletes taking creatine?
– How can a plant-based athlete raise their HDL cholesterol?
– What part of your work do you enjoy the most and dislike the most?
– What is the video series “Strongest Hearts” about?
– How do you view your personal role in the vegan movement?
– Where do your income streams come from?
– Have you had any mentors throughout your life?
– When do you get hit by ideas or inspiration?
– Do you have a favorite quote?

Resource Links & Show Notes:


Strongest Hearts (Video Series)

Matt Ruscigno on Instagram

Matt Ruscigno on Twitter

Matt Ruscigno on Facebook

Matt Ruscigno’s Books (Via Amazon Author Page)

Cowspiracy (Documentary)

Resource about water consumption by a chicken slaughterhouse…