3 Plant-Based Athletes Busting the Protein Myth

by | Jul 21, 2015 | Plant-Based Diet | 4 comments

Plantbased RabbitA lot of people assume vegans are skinny, pale, pathetically weak creatures who can barely hold their heads up.

And why wouldn’t they? After all, we’re eating nothing but leaves, roots, tree bark and whatnot, right?

Well no, some of us subsist on a steady diet of vegan fast food and this is reflected in the wider than average circumference of our midsections and our plumper than necessary behinds.

Others of us spend our days gnawing on nature’s gifts in their purest and most original form. However we’re also extremists who moved off the grid when the Internet arrived, so chances are you’ll never get to meet one of us in the flesh.

This is a great pity, because we’re glowing and tanned with sun streaked hair and ridiculously white teeth and our auras are alive with the sound of music. Oh wait, it’s the hills, the hills are alive with the sound of music.

Right, clearly the foti-laced date balls I ate for lunch have made me high, so let me get to the point before I forget what it is.

Along with the lumpy, the extreme, and the regular vegans, there are also many elite athletes out there who are performing optimally on a plant-based diet. Sound crazy? Wait until you see what they look like, then you’ll really think I’m having you on.

Rich Roll

Plantbased Rich Roll

I’m kicking this list off with über athlete, Rich Roll, because I discovered him first. Plus, if it weren’t for his podcast I’d probably never have come across these other guys. I read Rich’s book, Finding Ultra, a couple of years ago and I’ve been stalking him online ever since.

His wife’s a Zen hippie and I’m a happily married lesbian, so in this case stalking is totally acceptable.

Rich is a recovering alcoholic and junk food addict, who turned his life around at the age of 39. Now 47 years old, he’s leaner, faster and in better shape than most guys in their twenties. This is what he looked like before (when he ate the Standard American Diet) and this is what he looks like now.

Josh LaJaunie

Plantbased Josh

Born and raised in south Louisiana, Josh grew up hunting, fishing, drinking, eating, playing football, and getting fat (his words, not mine). He’s gone from tipping the scales at over 400lbs to being an exclusively plant-based, plantpowered, aspiring* athlete. His Free Josh LaJaunie post is a must read!

*aspiring my ass!

Timothy Shieff

Plantbased Tim Shieff

Update: Timothy is no longer vegan.

Two-time winner of the World Freerunning Championships, Timothy says the best freerunner in the world is the one having the most fun. Flip through his videos and you’ll see fun in action. You’ll also see an incredibly strong, fit, supple and ripped plant-based athlete.

His Facebook page cover photo is a picture of him running naked across London’s rooftops. I found it astounding not so much because he’s in the knick, but because he’s barefoot. Egads, my city feet are whimpering just thinking about it.

Is This It?

Nope, there are many of these plant-based super athletes out there. I’ll keep adding to the list, but for now three will have to do because I’m on a deadline. Sporty will be home soon and I’ve got date balls to make (it’s all about priorities in our house).

Besides, you could always just Google “no meat vegan” or “vegan athlete” or “urban hippie” and see what comes up. Happy searching, let me know if you find anything good! 🙂

Update #1

I found this list on Cheat Sheet a couple of days after writing this post. One name in particular surprised even me. Happy reading, I hope you find it inspiring.

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  1. angelita

    Josh we met in Marshall TX at a plant based potluck. We are hosting our health conference August 19 am an NEED you to attend. Email me or call me at the office 318 673 6153.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Ang

      Hi Angelita. I’ll mention this on Twitter and hopefully Josh will get in touch with you that way, since I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him (though I sincerely hope I do one day). 🙂

  2. Mari R

    My husband and I are plant based eaters for years. My in-laws are big believer in animal protein. Each of them consumes total of one pound of deli turkey meat and chicken breast per day. When they were our age, around 60 years old, they already had vascular and joint problems. Meanwhile we have no food related health issues.

    They have no understanding about the correlation between too much meat consumption and health issues. But the real problem is they push me to feed their son lots of meat. This holiday they sent me an air frier with a BBQ chicken family recipe. I hear their voice, “Go meat!”

    • Ang

      Ha ha ha I recently came across a vegan YouTube channel where they made all these amazing veg dishes in their new air fryer. You should send the link to your in-laws and tell them thanks. Seriously though, perhaps you can suggest that they watch What the Health, Conspiracy and Forks Over Knives, maybe that will help them understand the problem with meat.


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