I’m a promoter of what is referred to as “intuitive nourishment”. This is a way of eating that is dictated by what keeps your individual body in tip-top condition. It might include animal products, or it might not, but it ALWAYS includes lots of real wholesome foods from the earth.
For me, veganism saved my life, it gave my body the chance to rebuild and repair the damage that decades of poor eating habits and chronic disease had caused. It was a total reset for my ailing body, it provided everything needed to detox, alkalize and begin the healing process. That being said, I am no longer classified a vegan, I have incorporated organic pasture-raised eggs, raw milk kefir, goat cheese and local raw honey – all of which have been very healing for my unique body at this time in my healing journey.
There are a lot of preconceived notions out there about veganism and one of them is that you will have to sacrifice having a strong healthy body in order to maintain a plant-based diet. There is nothing further from the truth.
So, I’m here to debunk the myth that a man (or woman) “needs” meat to be in the best shape of his/her life. The best way of conveying this is by giving you living examples of real people who have adopted completely plant-based diets and gone on to achieve the best athletic performances of their lives. (As you will note from the photos, this was not a difficult topic to cover).
1. Brendan Brazier – the un-official poster boy for being a strong vegan. Brendan is a former professional Ironman triathlete, a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, he also went on to create an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA, and the bestselling author of Thrive.
2. David Carter (NFL football player) – about being vegan David says “So many people are shocked when they learn that I fuel my body with a plant-based—vegan—diet. I’m just shocked that it took me 26 years to gain the wisdom to do it!” – David Carter, NFL Defensive Lineman
3. Patrik Baboumian – Last year Patrik Baboumian rounded off a successful year with the first ever title of Vegan Athlete of the Year. The Iranian-born, German-based strongman has been competing with the world’s best in a strongman events and has shown amazing strength and set world records.
4. Tony Gonzales (NFL football player) – For Gonzalez, now 32, conventional wisdom held that eating steak and drinking a gallon of milk a day would make you big and strong and prepare you for the rigors of NFL life. Gonzalez followed that path, pounding steaks and milk, as well as pizza, hot dogs and burgers — whatever it took to pack on the pounds. After several significant health scares (having nothing to do with football), Gonzales decided to switch to a completely pkant-based vegan diet. When the next season started, he was shocked at how good he felt. In the fourth quarters of games, he found himself sprinting past tired defenders. He became more alert during team meetings. On the day after a game, he’d skip into the gym, while teammates looked sore, beat up and worn out.
5. Alexey Voyevoda (Olympic Gold Medalist 2014) – Russian gold medalist, Alexey Voyevoda, a native of Sochi, competed in this year’s Winter Olympics on a plant-based diet, making both his country and his fellow vegans proud.
6. Vegan bodybuilder Frank Medrano – joins a growing number of athletes and bodybuilders whose phenomenal fitness and peak physical performance are powered exclusively by plants. This guy is nothing short of amazing!
Heck, there is even a group of vegan athletes called “Extreme Vegan Sporting Association” which includes sports like long distance cycling, rock climbing, ultra-marathons, etc. Nothing short of hard-core athleticism there.
Vegan athletes have become increasingly popular in the competitive arena. Legendary sprinter Carl Lewis, who won ten Olympic medals, credits his record-breaking success in the 1991 World Championships in part to his vegan diet, and earlier this year, vegan figure skater Meagan Duhamel walked away with a silver medal in Sochi. More and more athletes, including ultra-marathon runners such as Rich Roll and Fiona Oakes, mixed martial arts fighters, footballers, cricketers and even Venus Williams have gone vegan in order to boost their performance. Plant-based diets are nutrient-rich and low in fat and cholesterol, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re a top choice for some of the fittest people on the planet.
So, if you are worried that you will “waste away” or not get enough protein on a vegan diet to be healthy, think again. These athletes, along with millions of other people, can attest to veganism being the healthiest thing they have ever done for themselves.
Even this guy is vegan! – check out his story.