The Plant Rx

Your resource for a plant-based diet

Archive for the ‘Athletes/Athletics’ Category

Rich Roll–> Plant-Strong: Let’s Get Things Started!

Posted by Jenn on January 3, 2011


(Source: http://www.richroll.com/2009/07/30/plant-strong-lets-get-things-started/)

In the wake of my recent article for CNN, I have received hundreds of e-mails from people all over the world wondering how I could train for and be competitive at an event like Ultraman on a diet entirely devoid of animal products. The queries ranged from curious wonderment to outright disbelief. Some called me irresponsible or even unrealistic. Some even called me a liar. No meat? No dairy?!? That is impossible!

No, it is not impossible. Not only is it possible, I suggest that in some cases, and for some people, it just might be advisable.

Just so we are clear — I am not a doctor. I’m not a registered nutritionist. But I have done my homework. And instituting a plant-based diet has made an unbelievable difference in my life. I believe it is the future. But please know that I am only here to share my personal experience, not to proselytize. Always consult your physician or registered dietician / nutritionist before implementing any drastic changes. Begin slowly, and be patient. This is not an overnight miracle — it is a long-term life changing plan that should be embraced as an ongoing “process” rather than a “destination” with an end point.

I realize that conventional wisdom suggests that one MUST eat meat and dairy if you want not only optimal wellness but also if you want to train and race at your peak, build muscle, and recovery properly. I respectfully disagree, at least when it comes to me. Maybe its the punk rocker that lives deep down inside me, but part of the past two years have involved taking this notion head on and putting it to the test. Turning it on its head. I think my personal transformation and Ultraman results speaks for itself.

In response to all the questions, this is the first in many posts in which I will share what I do and what has worked for me as I endure 20 – 30 hour training weeks in preparation for my second Ultraman World Championships, all while simultaneously working full-time and being a husband and a father.

First off, if this subject interests you at all, I suggest checking out a few books that are incredibly informative on the subject, two of which are written by incredible endurance athletes I respect tremendously:

THRIVE: by professional Ironman athlete, ultra-runner and friend Brendan Brazier. This book is a cornucopia of great scientifically backed information on not only overall wellness but also on performance nutrition on a plant-based diet. It is pretty fascinating.

THE ENGINE 2 DIET: by my buddy and former pro triathlete and All-American swimmer Rip Esselstyn. Currently a fireman, Rip put his fellow fire-fighters on an all plant-based diet, sat back and watched their cholesterol levels and weight drop in dramatic fashion. Its a great read and if macho firemen can become converts, you know this is not for sissies. This book is lighting up the best-seller charts — you might have caught Rip in one of his many TV appearances on shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show, among others.

PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE: By Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Rip’s father and renown cardiologist. Dr. Esselstyn has conducted the longest-running study, with the most impressive results, of any study in which heart disease has been arrested and reversed. By instituting a low-fat plant-based diet for his patients, Dr. Caldwell has actually and very dramatically reversed heart disease in countless patients. The before and after angiograms are nothing short of astounding.

REAL FOOD DAILY COOKBOOK: I am lucky in that I live near a fantastic vegan restaurant Real Food Daily, among others. Plus my wife is a unbelievale vegan cook. But if you are not in LA and don’t have a wife like mine, no worries — you can get the RFD cookbook, which has great recipes for everything from nachos to burgers to amazing desserts, all vegan. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Athletes/Athletics, Exercise, In the Media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#2 ranked golfer in the world, Phil Mickelson, adopts a plant-based diet

Posted by Jenn on December 29, 2010


PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Phil Mic...

Image via Wikipedia

Phil Mickelson, the second-ranked golfer in the world and owner of the rights to a California burger chain called Five Guys Burgers and Fries, has chosen to eliminate animal products from his diet. Days before his 40th birthday, Mickelson experienced debilitating joint pain, which was later diagnosed as psoriatic arthritis.

Mickelson says that his inflammatory joint disease – which typically results in intense pain, stiffness and lack of movement – is normally managed with an anti-inflammatory drug called Enbrel but after reading a book about plant-based nutrition and its health benefits, he “thought maybe it would help”.

Michelson’s illness is currently inremission and he says he intends to stick with plant-based foods in order to ensure that he doesn’t have a relapse.  He admits the change has been difficult, bur when asked if he thinks he’ll stick to it he replied, “if it will somehow keep this (arthritis) in remission or stop it from coming back, yeah, I’ll be able to do it.”

There are several ways that a plant-based diet can benefit patients with autoimmune-related arthritis. First, many plant-based diets are low-calorie and appear to be helpful in maintaining a healthy body weight. Obese adults face a higher risk of psoriatic arthritis, according to a recent study conducted at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Second, plant-based diets are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. Red meat in particular has been linked with increased inflammation. Third, plant-based diets that are well planned and include lots of fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants that block inflammation.

So what does Phil say when asked about Five Guys Burgers and Fries? “We’re working on a veggie burger!”

Posted in Arthritis, Athletes/Athletics, In the Media, Inflammation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »