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In today’s episode of The Plant Trainers Podcast we talk to Tim Van Orden about a compassionate approach to life. Tim Van Orden is an elite athlete turned professional coach, speaker, and writer on a mission to bring peak performance to the masses.

As the founder of the Running Raw project, Tim has spent the last eleven years demonstrating the athletic potential of a simple, plant-based diet. As a result of his tireless engagement, Tim was named U.S. Masters Runner of the Year 4 times by USA Track & Field.

In addition, Tim has won ten U.S. Masters Mountain and Trail Running Championships, including the 10k, 15k, Half Marathon, Marathon and 50k Championships. Tim also excels in some of the world’s most grueling sports, placing 4th at the World Stair Climbing Championships up the Empire State Building, 8th at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships and 12th at the World Snowshoe Championships. This journey to athletic success has not been an easy one. His story now serves as an example of what’s possible when one embraces their shortcomings. and uses them to full effect.

To accomplish this, Tim has created powerful, motivational tools that allow him to engage at a high level each day, regardless of his mental or physical state. He now teaches these methods to others looking to rise above their challenges and achieve peak results. As a coach, Tim has enhanced his practice with the latest research in biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, psychology, neuroscience and the importance of the mind/body connection as it relates to performance in any endeavor.  

Today we really dive deep into the idea of compassion being the key to change and what drives motivation. We learn more about Tim Van Orden’s journey and how he overcame his challenges in life. We discuss how hard it was for him to embrace his persona and the strength in letting it go. Tim has discovered that it is not your diet that trumps all else in life. If you live a life of compassion all else falls into place, brings you continued motivation and allows you to thrive, moving through the turbulence of life with more ease.


In this episode we discuss:

  • National Championships
  • Chasing your upper limits
  • Dunning Kruger Effect
  • Looking at you
  • Mindset
  • Vegan Fundamentalists
  • It’s not about diet, It’s about compassion
  • The brain
  • Depression
  • Baddest philosophy
  • Biochemistry
  • Actionable steps
  • Kristin Neff


Links to things we mentioned:

Tim Van Orden’s Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Strava

A Compassionate Approach by Tim Van Orden

Animal, for a cruelty-free lifestyle!


Tim’s suggested reading list:

The Antidote – Oliver Burkeman Antifragile – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Beyond Religion – The Dalai Lama Buddha’s Brain – Rick Hanson

Coming Closer to Ourselves – Pema Chödrön The Compassionate Mind – Paul Gilbert

Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman Falling Upward – Richard Rohr

Friend and Foe – Adam Galinsky Grit – Angela Duckworth

How We Decide – Jonah Lehrer The Marshmallow Test – Walter Mischel

The Mind Club – Daniel M. Wegner Mindset – Carol Dweck

Mindsight – Daniel Siegel The Moral Landscape – Sam Harris

The Myth of Freedom – Chogyam Trungpa The Neurobiology of We – Daniel Siegel

On Human Nature – Edward O. Wilson The Paradox of Choice – Barry Schwartz

Peace is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely The Pursuit of Perfect – Tal Ben-Shahar


More of Tim’s Suggested Readings:

Radical Self-acceptance – Tara Brach The Ravenous Brain – Daniel Bor

Rewire – Richard O’Connor The Righteous Mind – Jonathan Haidt

Self Comes to Mind – Antonio Damasio Self-Compassion – Kristin Neff

Smart Change – Art Markman Smile at Fear – Chogyam Trungpa

Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman Thoughts Without a Thinker – Mark Epstein

Uncovering Happiness – Elisha Goldstein The Upside of Stress – Kelly McGonigal

Who’s In Charge – Michael Gazzaniga Willpower – Roy Baumeister

The Willpower Instinct – Kelly McGonigal Your Brain at Work – David Rock


Thank you to this month’s Patrons for supporting us on Patreon:


Miriam Selick

Millie Pearson

Stu Dolnick

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3 thoughts on “Running Raw To A Compassionate Approach with Tim Van Orden – PTP161”
  1. Avatar Jordyn Gelbloom

    Tim’s story is truly inspirational and motivational. All of his medals and winnings are proof of all of his success from being committed to his compassionate approach. I love being athletic and participating in physical activities and I always try to motivate myself to eat healthier to balance out the physical activity I do and eating healthy to feel better and healthier. I think Tim’s approach is a very good option to mold yourself into a better, happier, healthier you.

    • Avatar admin

      Very true…Tim is full of inspiration & motivation!

  2. Avatar Eitan Karakowsky

    This was really intriguing for me to listen to as I have been becoming more and more impressed by the effects of plant based nutrition. The most valuable thing I learned from this podcast was Tim’s opinion on making a dramatic change in one’s lifestyle. I couldn’t agree more with the information shared in this podcast and enjoyed listening.

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