Prior to 2004, Tim VanOrden was sedentary, ill, depressed, and on the verge of homelessness. However, thanks to his willingness to make a drastic lifestyle change, Tim was able to turn his entire life around and is now the founder and owner of an incredible organization known as the Running Raw Project.

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The lifestyle change that Tim made was a transition to a raw vegan diet, something that to this day is still seen as an impossible and impractical lifestyle by many. As Tim himself advocates, the benefits did not take long to kick in and before he knew it, he was not only hooked but was also pushing himself to do something incredible.

Since making the transition, Tim has gone on to become a 10 time US Running Champion and was named the US Runner of the Year 4 times. These accomplishments on their own are already impressive, but they become even more remarkable when you learn that he achieved all this in his late thirties.

We were able to chat with Tim at the 2015 Toronto Raw Vegan Food Festival to both talk about his journey and to ask him some questions relating to the lifestyle choice. Check it out:

We’re Never Too Old

While Tim’s entire story is inspiring, one particular element that stood out to me was the age at which he was able to begin accomplishing these remarkable feats. Far too many of us in this world take beliefs such as “I’m past my prime” and “if only I were younger” way too seriously. You may not be as young as you once were, but I prefer to live by the saying that in this life, you’ll never be as young as you are right now.

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There is no better time than the present to begin doing what you are passionate about, or to begin living healthy, and Tim’s story is a perfect reminder of that.

Shattering The Protein Myth

Another element of the interview that I’d like to elaborate upon is the myth surrounding the inability to get an adequate amount of protein through a vegetarian – and especially a raw vegan – diet. While meat and meat-based products can offer a substantial amount of protein, they certainly aren’t the only option. If Tim’s direct story isn’t enough to convince you I encourage you to check out both of the following articles to better understand the protein myth:

The Misinformation Wave: Protein

10 Protein-Packed Plants

Challenge Yourself To Make A Lifestyle Shift

While taking the leap to becoming fully raw vegan may currently seem a bit out of your range, I’m sure that there are a number of simpler lifestyle adjustments that you could easily implement today. We are all unique individuals, and the only way we are going to find out the dietary choices that work best for our body is by trying things out.

I personally have learned a lot about my body by focusing on how it feels after I eat. I’ve found that the more attention I’ve given to it, the more communicative my body has become at letting me know what it does and does not like to work with regularly. Try things out, and let Tim’s incredible story inspire you to become the best version of yourself starting today!


To learn more about Tim and the Running Raw Project I encourage you to check out their official website, Facebook Page and YouTube channel.

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