football vegan

March 7, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Posted in (multi)sports, nutrition, Vegan, Vegan Athletes | 10 Comments

“it’s the catch 22…am i going to be unhealthy and play football? or healthy and get out of the league?”

in a january wsj article, reed albergotti posed the following trick question, “…could an all-star national football league player…live on a vegan diet and still excel in one of the most punishing jobs in sports?” its a trick question because the article cites quotes from the living answer, who also happens to be the highest paid tight-end in the game right now.  kansas city chief’s tony gonzalez went vegan in last year’s preseason and broke 2 all-time nfl records: most touchdowns and career receptions (previously held by shannon sharpe). carl lewis made a similar achievement, winning 4 olympic gold medals after becoming vegan.  tony gonzalez, a 247-lbs former cheeseburger lover, was apprehensive at first thinking he would ‘look like a fool if [it] doesn’t work out’. but after teaming up with “jon hinds, vegan and former l.a. clippers strength coach”, gonzalez was well on his way to sacking the haters, knocking out all bums.

teammates nicknamed him china study and razzed mr. gonzalez if he missed a block. after a preseason practice, he accompanied mr. hinds to learn a skill he believed as important as blocking techniques: how to shop for groceries. mr. hinds showed him ‘nutritious fish oils and how to pick out breads dense with whole grains, nuts and seeds…mr. gonzalezs learned how to make the fruit and vegetables shakes… he stocked his pantry with tubs of soy protein powder and boxes of organic oatmeal; soy milk and brazilian acai juice crwoded the fridge. his favorite dessert became banana bread topped with soy whipped cream…

considered a suspicious “convert” even by his wife because of his addiction to cheeseburgers, gonzalez was inspired after meeting a vegan gentleman who put him on to the china study.  but it wasn’t until gonzalez got sick with bell’s palsy that he actually read the book and decided to use vegan mathematics. his decision was a critical and record breaking one. if a vegan diet is good enough for an nfl cat…hmmm. for the full wall street journal article “247 lbs vegan” click here.



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  1. This same article about Tony Gonzalez inspired me to go vegan, been on it for over 2 months now and down 10 pounds, plus I’m stronger. I didn’t even know Carl Lewis was vegan…

  2. This is interesting. I never knew Tony Gonzalez was a vegan. Deep. I’ve also never heard of The China Study but I’m going to look into that book now too. Hopefully, it can inspire me to live healthier as well.

  3. Read the article on the 247 lb vegan a while back. A non-vegan (just became pseudo-vegetarian inspired, it would seem, by my veganism) coworker passed it on to me. As for the China Study, I’ve been reading about it for years, it being cited in many vegetarian and vegan books, but only yesterday bought my own copy.

    Hmm… picking out ‘nutritious fish oils’? That’s not entirely vegan, but hey, mostly vegan is much better than a cheeseburger diet.

  4. I have been very excited and impressed to follow Tony Gonzalez as he has transitioned to being vegan. (even though I’m a Broncos fan!) While there are some vegan athletes out there, to find one in the NFL is great publicity.

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  8. The bad thing is that if you actually delve a little deeper into his diet, he drinks Accelerade, which contains animal protein, every morning. In the article I read, he says that that little bit of animal protein is not a big deal to him.

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