Podcast Episode 129: Strength In Action: Food & Fitness – Amee Livingston and Lance Pekus

Sep 25, 2019

Episode 129: Amee Livingston and Lance Pekus

This episode is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, as part of my role as a compensated member of the Beef Expert Bureau, a program of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. As always, opinions are my own. Mike Roussell wrote “Strength: The Field Manual” in conjunction with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.

This is a 2-part series on Strength – the principles of strength, fueling strength, and strength in action – ultimately: the strength to be your best self.

I interviewed 3 guests:

  • Mike Roussell, a research scientist, protein expert and author of Strength: The Field Manual
  • Amee Livingston, an Olympic weight lifter, food blogger and breast cancer survivor
  • Lance Pekus, the Cowboy Ninja – a regular competitor on American Ninja Warrior and a cattle rancher with a degree in natural resources/environmental science.

In these two episodes, we discuss what strength means to each guest. We talk about physical strength but also mental and emotional strength. We discuss the “Four Cornerstones” of eating to support strength, some practical tips for tweaking your meals and snacks as well as simple cooking ideas and meal prepping advice – and we also talk about life on a cattle ranch and how both the land and the animals are cared for.

Strength: The Field Manual – Nutrition that gives you strength to be your best self

Strength - The Field Manual - Dr. Mike Roussell

Dr. Mike’s book is divided into three parts.

Part 1: Principles of strength

  • Understanding Strength
  • Nutrients Central to the Pursuit of Strength

Part 2: Fueling strength

  • The Four Cornerstones of Eating to Support Strength

Part 3: Strength in action

  • Meal Prep Strategies
  • 2-Day Meal Plan
  • Lifestyle Habits That Build Strength
  • Embodying Strength for Life

Amee Livingston

You don’t have to spend all day meal prepping! Try doing partial meal prep like batch cooking proteins or pre-chopping vegetables.”

Amee Livingston posed on stadium steps in fitness gearAmee Livingston is the wellness blogger behind Amee’s Savory Dish, a healthy living site focused on nutritious quick and easy meals. Amee is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a cancer exercise specialist at Fight Back Performance and Recovery. She is a breast cancer survivor, an Olympic weightlifter and recipe developer. Amee is a compensated member of the Beef Expert Bureau, a program of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.

I’ve learned to focus on how food makes me feel instead of focusing on food ‘rules’ and restrictions.”

Amee Livingston Lifiting

Amee Livingston and Family

Lance Pekus, the Cowboy Ninja

People might think I’m strong, but for me it’s the people behind me, it’s the people that support me, the ones that are there for me that are strong – and maybe their strength is getting shown through me.”

Lance Pekus on his ranchLance Pekus is a rancher from Salmon, Idaho who found his passion in obstacle racing. He is best known as the Cowboy Ninja from NBC’s show, American Ninja Warrior, and related shows like Team Ninja Warrior and Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. In addition to working with his father-in-law on the ranch and raising his two young children with his wife, Heather, he also works seasonally for the U.S. Forestry Service.  Lance has partnered with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, to showcase how he fuels his active lifestyle as a rancher and the Cowboy Ninja.

It’s not always about your physical abilities and strength – it’s also mental strength. Sitting around the dinner table, eating, talking with your family. That builds strength, emotional strength, mental strength. Being able to hold on and push through those moments where everyone else gives up or fails.”

Lance Pekus doing a flip off of hay bales on his ranch

Lance Pekus and family


Amee Livingston: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

How to Master Meal Prep post

Lance Pekus: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Dr. Mike: Website | Podcast | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Strength: The Field Manual – online book and order form for FREE hardcopy

The BOLD Study – Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins – published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner: Website | Recipes | Cooking |Cuts | Nutrition | Raising Beef

Recipes mentioned on the show and favorites of Amee and Lance:

Meal Prep Sheet Pan Greek Meatballs with Vegetables

Instant Pot Mediterranean Beef

Instant Pot Cuban-Style Shredded Beef

The Best Cheeseburger Quiche

Zucchini Spaghetti with Easy Beef Bolognese

Best Ever No Sugar Added Fresh Strawberry Pie

Summer Peach Frosé (frozen Rosé)

Easy skillet chili mac

Buffalo style beef tacos

Lean mean cheeseburger

Garden grill tri tip

Related Episodes and Blog Posts:

The Science of Strength – Sound Bites Podcast episode #128 with Dr. Mike Roussell

The Power of Protein – Sound Bites Podcast episode #1 with Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones

Protein & Exercise: Partners in Successful Aging – Sound Bites Podcast episode #39 with Dr. Stuart Phillips

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle: Connecting the Dots Between Healthy People and a Healthy Planet – blog post coauthored by Dr. Keith Ayoob and Melissa Joy Dobbins


Get Melissa’s Sound Science Toolkit here!

Partnership with AADE

American Association of Diabetes Educators

Sound Bites is partnering with the American Association of Diabetes Educators! Stay tuned for updates on the podcast, blog and newsletter!

  • AADE20 call for abstracts. Submit your abstracts for the AADE 2020 conference to be held from Friday, August 14 to Monday, August 17 in Atlanta. Submissions can be submitted here. The deadline for education and research sessions is October 21, 2019. The deadline for posts is June 30, 2020.
  • New podcast from AADE. AADE is proud to bring you a new podcast for your personal and professional growth. The Huddle: Conversations with the Diabetes Care Team features perspectives, issues and updates to inform your practice and elevate your role. Each episode dives into a variety of topics that directly impact your work in diabetes, prediabetes and cardiometabolic care; from advocacy to technology to new ways to support your clients. Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Learn more here.
  • New Handouts for your clients! AADE has developed several handouts to help you address issues that can arise in those with diabetes and how to manage them. Click the links below to access each handout.
    Diabetic Ketoacidosis
    Hyperosmolar Syndrome
    Sick Day management for Adults
    Sick Day Management for Children

Music by Dave Birk

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ABOUTI’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind.  I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians.  My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.

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