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Vegan Athletes, by Craig Ballantyne

Posted Jul 20 2009 10:25pm
Guest report from Craig Ballantyne,

I'm not going to lie to you...I wanted to write an article today about how MacDanzig, the UFC fighter who follows a vegan diet, won his fight Saturdaynight...but unfortunately Mac lost.
However that doesn't take away from the message that athletes can achievepeak performance without high-protein meat-based diets.
We'll take a look at a few in a second. You'll be shocked at a few of the names that come up.
Unfortunately the UFC pay-per-view didn't show Mac's fight Saturday night,but I tuned in with some friends to watch the rest of the matches. Some guys ordered pizza and wings, but I kept it vegan and ate a bag of pistachios. Mac ended up losing a thrilling match in the lightweight division and almostwon by submission in the 2nd round but his opponent was saved by the bell.
Danzig, who won Season 6 of "The Ultimate Fighter", has put on a lot ofgreat matches and should get another shot in the UFC. Hopefully he'll getsome Pay-Per-View action in the future.
As for me, I continued my vegetarian experiment this morning with more veganeating and another good workout.
I started the day with a vegan breakfastbowl of:
* oat groats (soaked in water overnight)
* 1 banana
* 1 tablespoon organic peanut butter
* some blueberries
* And 1 apple and 1 pear
After that, I hit the gym. Here's my workout, you'll notice it included alot of bodyweight exercises:
ripped abs workout
1A) Overhead Squat - 135×3x51
B) Pullups - 3×122
A) DB Chest Press - 90×3x62
B) Inverted Bodyweight Row - 25,20,203
A) Pistols - 3×33
B) Hanging Leg Raises - 3×83
C) Dips - 3×15
Good and fast. Finished in about 35 minutes. After my workout I walked home and then blended up a drink with...
* pineapple
* banana
* almond milk
* hemp bliss
* cacao nibs
It was okay. Should have added some nut butter. I currently have 6 differenttypes of organic nut and seed butters in my fridge, from cashew to pumpkinto almond to peanut butter to even hazel nut and macedamia nut. There's moreto nut butters than just Skippy and Nutella.
Then I had lunch which was one of my infamous "big boy salads" and 1 cup of almond milk. The salad included...
* Spinach
* 1/2 can black beans
* 1/2 avocado
* salsa
* red onion, red and green peppers, and broccoli
After a 90 minute dog walk, I came home and tried another blender drink. This one was much better and included:
* Frozen strawberries
* 1 banana
* 1 tablespoon cashew butter
* hemp bliss
* almond milk....although it still could have used more cashew butter. And possibly some chocolate...So that's the day in the life of this vegetarian "athlete" for now.
As Imentioned before there are many vegetarian athletes, and a couple of them hitting world class performance levels.
First, I stumbled across this quote from gold-medal winner Carl Lewis. "Can a world-class athlete get enough protein from a vegetarian diet to compete? I've found that a person does not need protein from meat to be asuccessful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet."
But an even better example is Tony Gonzalez, all-pro tight end in the NFL. Tony is a vegan and has gotten help from my friend, strength coach, and all-around nice guy, Jon Hinds. Tony's diet changes have even been featured onthe Wall Street Journal's website. So we need to get over our obsession with eating meat for athletic performance. These days, its tougher and tougher to get access to high quality meat, and it isn't always cheap either.
Heck, "cheap meat" should never be a part of your diet. So keep an open mind and do what I did...take a 2-8 week vegetarian lifestyle experiment and findout how easy it is to keep your strength and muscle mass while eating avegetarian diet.
If your diet is full of processed meats, you'll probably even feel betterand have more energy. And if you need help getting started, just download the free vegetarian meal plans my friend Kardena Pauza has put together on her website. And stickaround, you'll even get to see her "scold me" when I show her the vegetarian diet I designed for myself.
Click here for your FREE meal plans: Vegetarian Athlete Meal Plans


PS - Craig and Kardena are giving away (FREE!!) seven days of meal plans for the next 72 hours.

Check out the free meal plans at: Vegetarian Athlete Meal Plans
24420 Walnut street
Newhall, CA
91321 US
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