The Daily Beet

29 Mar Interview with Rich Roll: Part 4

Share this story

Today is the final part of our interview series with Ultraman, Rich Roll and author of the upcoming book: Finding Ultra. To read part 1 & 2 of our interview with Rich, please see our post on  Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.

We want to thank Rich so much for inspiring us this week! We are also thrilled that Rich will be joining us as one of the speakers at our Farms 2 Forks Immersions! You can hear his incredible story in person at our San Francisco and New York Farms 2 Forks Events!

E2:  Tell us about your book.

Rich: On the surface, FINDING ULTRA is my memoir of personal transformation from out of shape and overweight middle-aged couch potato to accomplished plant-based ultra-endurance athlete.  But between the lines, it’s the story of a guy who discovered a new way of life — rebirth in healthy nutrition and fitness.  The story of someone who took his life back and began living in accordance with his heart to discover his true and most authentic self.  The story of a normal guy who mustered the courage to place faith in his heart, and by doing so was able to accomplish things beyond his wildest dreams.

Along the way, I take the reader through how I did it.  And how you can too, including a robust primer on the ins and outs of plant-based nutrition complete with resources; what, how and when I eat to fuel athletic success; and how we as a family make it all functional and sustainable within the construct of our busy lives.

The book comes out May 22 in hardback, e-book and audiobook formats, but is available now for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and a variety of other online booksellers.  For more information, visit my site HERE, as well as the FINDING ULTRA Facebook Page.

Rich: Tell us about where people can find you online/on the road

The best way to keep up with me online is via my personal website and blog, where I write often on subjects related to fitness and plant-based nutrition as well as upcoming book tour and appearance dates:


JAI SEED eCOOKBOOK: Written by me and my wife Julie, JAI SEED is the creative expression of our family journey.  A journey in plant-based nutrition that has repaired our bodies, invigorated our health and elevated our consciousness.  It’s not just how we eat, it’s how we live.  A digital coffee table style cookbook for the iPad set, the book contains 77 pages of delicious, colorful, inventive and easy to prepare whole food plant-based recipes for the athlete and all members of your family, young and old.  For more information, visit:



TWITTER: I am very active on Twitter, constantly posting articles on fitness and plant-based nutrition:


Rich Roll Facebook page:


Finding Ultra Facebook page:




And now for something inspirational that Rich wanted to share with you:


Share this story
Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 07:44h, 29 March

    I’m training for my second marathon, though the first was 14 years ago. I’m contemplating going plant-based and Engine 2 and reading about Rich and Lance and other great athletes who are plant-based has been quite inspiring.

  • Carrie
    Posted at 09:13h, 29 March

    My biggest decision recently was to train for my first full marathon!

  • Cynthia
    Posted at 09:38h, 29 March

    My biggest health decision is going plant-strong and deciding to tell other about how my health, energy and stamina are improving because of my plant based diet. I love e2 and I look forward to the jai seed cookbook.

  • mary
    Posted at 09:56h, 29 March

    Very inspiring. Will be training for the Disney Marathon Jan. 2013.

  • Vanessa
    Posted at 09:59h, 29 March

    Just purchased the engine 2 diet book, the 21 day diet by Neal Barbard and the everyday happy herbivore. Looking forward to reading more about the plant based lifestyle and trying some new receipes.

  • ewlake
    Posted at 10:24h, 29 March

    I began eating a vegetarian diet 20 years ago, and have followed a vegan diet for 16. After reading The Engine 2 Diet and Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, I am now embarking on an oil and sugar-free diet. Rich roll adn this blog are great motivators!

  • Cathey
    Posted at 10:27h, 29 March

    As for me, I am just pleased and astounded that I am exercising before breakfast every day.

  • Jered G.
    Posted at 11:35h, 29 March

    I decided that I alone am responsible for my health. Two months ago I went Plant Strong. I soon had the energy to begin exercising, I’ve already lost 20 lbs and have signed up for my first ever 5k!

  • Carol Loftus
    Posted at 11:35h, 29 March

    I am inspired to exercise more! I have been eating well but I need to get out there and get back into exercise.

  • Lia
    Posted at 11:51h, 29 March

    I am so intrigued by the plant-based lifestyle. As an endurance athlete and single mom, I am always on the go, between work, attempting to train and racing 3 kids around, I need my energy! We’ve been hammered our whole lives about lean meat proteins etc, but I’m just dead tired all the time. I take vitamins and supplements but I’m still exhausted! I’m ready to try something new and I think this is what I want to try. I want my kids to fuel properly too, my 13 year old is struggling during her all day volleyball tournaments and this might really help her too.

  • ron b
    Posted at 11:55h, 29 March

    I’m 3 weeks in and have dropped 15 lbs. Normally, I run 3-5 days a week and since I’ve started (due to unrelated matters) I’ve only run 1-2 times a week. However, the fats burning up! I’ve also gone down an inch in my waist. I plan on seeing the doctor in 3 weeks and being told that I don’t need to go back on the cholesterol meds (he agreed to this trial period.)

    I would love to get a copy of the book.

    p.s.: Is there a list of Engine 2-friendly restaurants for Austin?

    Thanks Rip!


  • Kathy Grant
    Posted at 12:10h, 29 March

    I am finding that as I delve deeper into to a plant-based way of life I am finding my own voice. I no longer feel that I have to justify how I am eating when family members give me a hard time. I think they will come around eventually!

  • Ami Mackey
    Posted at 12:15h, 29 March

    As a new runner, I am thrilled to read Rich’s book. I never thought I’d ever be a runner, never being athletic in any way at all. Now, I so look forward to my runs! In the 3 months since my husband and I changed our life with e2, I have decided to share my adventures with the world – and any one who will listen 🙂 I really feel that education is key. Having someone who is dedicated and educated about this lifestyle change explain it to you, encourage you and help out along the way with ideas for dinner, empowerment, fitness and motivation can be invaluable. I am continuing my education in plant-based nutrition, community garden organization, fitness and wellness so I can help others to live a plant-strong life as well.

  • Brad
    Posted at 12:25h, 29 March

    Been living plantstrong for almost 5 years now. Two or my plantstrong heroes are Rip and Rich. I am running the Boston Marathon in 18 days on a natural plant based diet. I’ve never felt better in my entire life. I am raising awareness and funds for a charity that is very special to me; Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress/ As my 5 year old son Jake was born with Down Syndrome. Please help me change lives by joining us at:


  • Renee
    Posted at 12:26h, 29 March

    I’ve been educating myself and the real change started when I saw Forks Over Knives, read the Engine 2 Diet, and saw Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead. My girlfriend and I are on a journey together to continue to drop weight and eat plant based. I never thought it would feel so good. Hope to run a 5k this year together! I’ve been spreading the word and have converted several friends and family members. The revolution begins!

  • Jamie
    Posted at 12:50h, 29 March

    I’ve been vegetarian for almost 2 years and am starting to transition to a vegan lifestyle. I am also working on cutting out all refined sugars. I ran a half marathon 1 1/2 years ago, then had a baby, and am not struggling to get back into running again. Hoping the warmer weather will help!

  • Rileen
    Posted at 12:52h, 29 March

    I’ve started minimizing oil consumption by using either vegetable broth, or a spray when I do use oil. I’m experimenting with various dairy alternatives, and have been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 10 years (though not for health reasons, just to avoid contributing to animal killing).

    I’m also increasing the level of physical activity in my daily routine (take stairs instead of the elevator, etc.), but haven’t thought of running a marathon or anything along those lines.

    These simple measures along with some others have helped me lose about 7 pounds in the last month and a half.

  • Willy S
    Posted at 13:08h, 29 March

    I decided to go vegan a few months back after watching FOK for rhe first time.i was working out and as i normally do i looked for a movie to watch. I wanted something to inspire me to get through my workout. I happened to find FOK in the list and it sounded interesting. I got maybe half way through the movie when I said to my wife, as of today no more animal products! I am always inspired to read about athletes and how they are able to have an active lifestyle without needing to eat meat. I always talk to people about the benefits of becoming plant strong and as a lot of you, I get pounded by questions and disbeliefs on this lifestyle. Its good to read these encouraging stories to keep me motivated and continue to be plant strong! Thank you!

  • Paul Jones
    Posted at 13:09h, 29 March

    Loving these interviews with Rich! Can’t wait to read ‘Finding Ultra’.
    My wife and I have been vegan for about 6 years now. That decision was the culminatioon of a long journey that began in 1998 when I tipped the scales at 435 pounds. The vegan lifestyle is where I thought we would land and stay on our journey. But life has a way of continuing to interrupt us with adventures we need that we’re not seeking.

    Did you know that you can be vegan and live on french fries and apple pie?

    While it wasn’t quite that bad, I had started to eat a lot of processed, technically vegan, CRAP loaded with sugar, fat, and sodium. And my weight and blood pressure started creeping up.

    That’s when I found Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the folks at Engine2 Forks Over Knives, and all your peers. In 8 weeks I’ve dropped 31 pounds of body fat and now weigh in at 199, the FIRST TIME EVER I’ve weighted under 200 pounds as an adult (I’m 41 years old).

    I have more energy, strength, and endurance than ever. I’m currently training for my 4th 1/2 marathon in April, and will be competing in my first olympic length triathlon (The Nation’s Tri) in September, on my way to (prayerfully) Ironman in 2014. Eating a zero procesed, zero added salt/fat/sugar, 100% plant based diet has set me free.

    Thanks Engine2 and Rich for all the inspiration!

  • Kristi
    Posted at 13:26h, 29 March

    I started Plant Strong about 2 months and nearly 15 pounds ago. Nice and slow! I’ve had numerous health issues that seem to be undiagnosible so I decided to take control of my health and so far it’s working!! My very skepticle husband just started a few days ago, I hope he finds overwhelming benefits to keep him on this pathand that he sticks with it long enough that when he gets his cholesterol checked he will be convinced. Either way I think this is a major lifestyle change for me and I’m enjoying the food and experimenting with recipes. My goal is to continue feeling healthier and that this is the last time I ever have to lose weight!

  • Altf
    Posted at 13:27h, 29 March

    I’ve gone from smoking 2packs a day(ten years ago), to recreational cycling to 7 day MTB challenges and weekly Century rides and then nearly sidelined last summer by Rheumatoid Arth at the age of 41. Spring is here, my bikes are calling me. And its time I drop the Pink Slime for good. Plant based is more than likely going to help me get thru this hiccup, get back on the bike, and get the rest if my family healthier.

  • David Fox
    Posted at 13:28h, 29 March

    After going Plant Strong just about 9 months ago, I have lost over 90 pounds and am feeling better than when I was in high school. For the first time in my life, I am enjoying running and look forward to getting out and jogging several miles.

    Thanks for the great series of interviews with Rich. I may never be an Ultra Man, but it is inspiring to read about Rich’s accomplishments.

  • Michelle M
    Posted at 13:30h, 29 March

    I’ve been Vegan for a little over a year..spin 33 times a week but really need to step it up more

  • Ali
    Posted at 13:37h, 29 March

    In the past few months, I’ve decided that my nutrition and health are a love of mine. For years, I was stuck in the standard western diet, and I felt discouraged, and without much hope of finding a better way to eat for my body. Last fall, that all changed when I saw a news program on plant-based eating. It’s been nothing less than miracle ever since. My health has improved, my energy has increased, and I actually have mental clarity!

    My decision has been, rather than merely trying this for 6 months (which has been wonderful), to make this plant-based, vegan way of eating permanent. It’s truly a love of my life. Our health should be permanent and one of the biggest loves of all of our lives.

  • Linda
    Posted at 13:45h, 29 March

    Plant strong all the way!

  • Mary K Sheehan
    Posted at 13:53h, 29 March

    I’m following Engine2 on facebook and trying new recipes. I hope to make a life change for my birthday(62) in August. Why wait for August… guess I’m a slow starter. Thanks to “Fork over Knife” and E2 facebook articles I really believe I will be on my way by August. My oldest daughter is my role model to a heathier way of life.

  • Bobby
    Posted at 13:58h, 29 March

    I’m training for a marathon and interested in learning more about the plant based diet.

  • Chris Laver-Wright
    Posted at 15:09h, 29 March

    I’ve lost a fair bit of weight so far and am working to get fitter so as to be a good example to my kids (5 and 7) and my meat eating co-workers. Between Engin 2 and The Happy Herbivore I’m getting daily doses of inspiration!

  • Amy
    Posted at 15:15h, 29 March

    I’ve decided to work on strengthening my core…even though I hate planks and core exercises more than anything!

  • Tammy
    Posted at 15:32h, 29 March

    I have started exercising everyday. When first changing to a vegan diet (7 years ago), I was nursing and weightloss came effortlessly. After years of slacking on diet and no longer nursing, I wasn’t seeing the results that came so easily for me before. The best decision I’ve made was to have the entire household plant-strong, too. This makes everything A LOT easier for me (no longer having to prepare 2 different meals). My children have been highly inspired by Rip and are even starting their own ‘health camps’ this summer for the neighborhood kids. There are no words for just how thankful I truly am.

  • Jeanne Endsley
    Posted at 16:04h, 29 March

    I am deciding to get serious about exercise. My eating is began and under control but I must have exercise there. It helps in mood and stress relief!!

  • Patt
    Posted at 16:04h, 29 March

    Rich’s story is SO inspiring. I am certainly not an athlete, but I am incredibly motivated to move more and become stronger. I am anxious to push myself further than I have challenged myself before. Going plant-strong was the first stage; now it time to step up to the next stage. I am looking forward to reading Ultra.

  • Eva
    Posted at 16:25h, 29 March

    I have explored health and diet and cooking for as long as I can remember. Certainly not as healthy as I could be, I wanted to know why I never had energy or felt really great. What I discovered and decided is true: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. I have been mostly vegetarian for several years but try to have vegan days as well. I soon realized that vegan days are the days when I can do a lot and enjoy it and feel great! Rich like Engine 2 is just what I need to go 100% plant strong now and see what I can accomplish at almost 54yrs old. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Gayle P
    Posted at 16:37h, 29 March

    I have been plant-strong for approximately 6 months and I am currently working out 6 days a week. At the age of 42 I decided I wanted to be fit and stay off of any medication.

  • Tom
    Posted at 18:06h, 29 March

    Vegan for 5 months now and have never been happier, although it hasnt been easy it has certainly been worth it. My wife put me on the scales about a year ago and I was shocked to see my weight had spiriled out of control. Standing on the scales looking at my waistline in the mirror it made perfect sense that the numbers never lie. 10yrs ago i used to run marathons, and do triathlons and always had the perception my genes will get me home. Unfortunatly at age 36, years of takeaways, latenight television after work, contributed to poor my health which luckily wasnt as bad as many others. I started training again under darkness so noone could see my struggles @ 4am in the morning. The weight fell off slowly and reminenses of my former self started to shine through however bad habbits of bingeing, chips, chocolates and soda still set me back until one day i saw an artcle about you and VEGANISM (man whats that?). I investigated more on the net, forks over knives, lectures from the vegan society, and finaly caldwell esselstyn put the nail in the coffin. Today I am active, happy, and enjoy sharing my new belief with others without being too over bearing. My wife has ordered your new book and i cant wait to digest every page.

  • Ashley Chisum
    Posted at 18:07h, 29 March

    Love this! Especially because he was “middle-aged” when he decided to change his life; so inspiring!

  • Johnny Rod
    Posted at 18:08h, 29 March

    Completed my first Ultra 50 miler after 6 marathons in 2.5 years….registered and training for my next 50k, 50 miler and ultimately the Leadville 100 ultra run. $7 and strong…all do to the insiration of others like your self…I continually learn for m others and will always do so…..

  • Billiejean
    Posted at 20:31h, 29 March

    As of right now I am training for Air Force basic in may. Before I started training I was an avid runner but realized that I was going to need strength! I am hoping to hit the road running again after and tackle my first half or full marathon while returning back to my vegan diet! (They don’t serve vegan in military basic…)

  • Scott Dennis
    Posted at 21:25h, 29 March

    As a family (my wife, two girls and myself) we have decided to go plant strong this year. We have experienced a lot of health issues over the years and we’re ready to make the necessary changes. We will continue to educate ourselves regarding eating a whole foods plant based diet and apply what we learn. We are very thankful for Rip and Engine 2 for the information and inspiration to live plant strong. We have also followed Rich Roll for a few years now and are proud of him and thankful for his story. I too am in my forties and can absolutely relate to his story. Thanks. Scott Dennis

  • Holly
    Posted at 21:55h, 29 March

    At age 43, I’m now 40 pounds thinner in 4 months…and still going strong 🙂 So much for it being dificult to lose weight at my age!!!!

    My next step for the summer is to join a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) with a local organic farm network. This will insure that not only will I receive the freshest organic local produce, but I will also start to keep an eye on that big old carbon footprint of mine.

    I’m also hoping my own garden finally starts to grow some goodies:-)

  • Margaret
    Posted at 22:54h, 29 March

    I have been eating healthier & researching nutrition since 2009. I read the Engine 2 diet book & am transitioning to vegetarian diet. Seeing Rip & also reading your interviews helps me realize if these guys can be athletes eating this way then I can also eat this way and not worry about it being detrimental to my health. Many critics say being vegetarians don’t get all they need but I am hoping it will help me get my energy back!

  • Lauryn
    Posted at 00:36h, 30 March

    I have been on this journey for about 4 months now and I have decided that the best thing for my health is to take everything one day at a time. I have eliminated all dairy and alcohol from my diet as well as most animal proteins, refinined sugar, oil and grains. Many people doubt me by saying “oh we’ll see in 6 months how your doing” or question me by saying “so your never going to eat that again?”. I find that taking it day by day quiets that little demon nay sayer inside because all I have to do is make it through one day and each day I tell myself “maybe tomorrow you can have that”. Luckly I havent any desire for “tomorrow” to come.

  • Chuck
    Posted at 07:55h, 30 March

    Switched to plant-based almost 1 year ago and, while I feel relatively amazing due to the changes so far, the next year will be about fine-tuning the diet. Making it “Ultra”?

  • Wendy (Healthy GIrl's Kitchen)
    Posted at 09:16h, 30 March

    I would love to win this book. I so look forward to reading it! I’m simply trying to keep my passion strong for plant-strong eating. It’s been two years now and I am loving it, but it always takes planning and persistence.

  • Rena Navarro
    Posted at 09:17h, 30 March

    Decided to go Plant Strong in November… Right before thanksgiving! Have two little girls and a husband with heart disease. Have done lots of reading, learning, and experimenting in trying to create a lifestyle that will keep our whole family healthy! As a distance runner, I’m inspired by Rich, can’t wait to read the book!

  • Lady Gonzalez
    Posted at 11:07h, 30 March

    I did my first Half Ironman last year finishing 6th in my age group. I want to qualify to the world championships and I have been on a plant based diet for 3 months now. Feeling great. Best decision I could have made.

  • Carol W.
    Posted at 13:12h, 30 March

    I’ve been plant strong since Jan. 2012 and I feel so good!

  • Sally D.
    Posted at 07:23h, 31 March

    As a healthcare professional, I decided that it was time to take control of my health. After some research, a plant based whole food diet seemed like the perfect fit. My family and I have only been at it for 5 days now but are already noticing an increase in energy.

  • Asia
    Posted at 08:33h, 31 March

    I’ve finally joined a gym in the past month and found a love for hitting the treadmill at least 3 times a week. I’ve been plant strong for a couple years now, so getting (and staying) active is the next step!

  • Sam Jeffcoat
    Posted at 09:50h, 01 April

    I am deciding to try out the plant based lifestyle. I’m an exercise physiologist who works with heart patients. I want to give them first hand experiences of this diet!

  • Shawna
    Posted at 15:46h, 01 April

    Today is the first day I’ve ever heard of the Engine 2 diet, but it sounds spot on with what I’ve gleaned from all the reading I’ve done (just haven’t quite crossed over into practice). I’m using today as my personal “New Year” and starting (with intention to keep) a daily fitness habit. Really, my goal is that small (and that large!): a daily fitness habit. I don’t even care about the benefits at this point, I just want to instill a new, healthy habit into my life. Once it’s a habit, I’ll start focusing on the rest.

Copyright 2017 Engine 2 Diet | Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy | Disclosures