Gonzo Gone Veggie

Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez is the enemy—sorry, I’m an Oakland Raiders fan—he is a vegan. Seriously, this 247-pound football player is all about the veggies. Reed Albergotti of The Wall Street Journal reports:
So last year, on the eve of the biggest season of his career, Mr. Gonzalez embarked on a diet resolution that smacked head-on with gridiron gospel as old as the leather helmet. He decided to try going vegan.

Living solely on plant food, a combination of nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and the like, has long been the fringe diet of young rebels and aging nonconformists. Even the government recommends regular helpings of meat, fish and dairy. Vegans of late have gotten more hip with such best sellers as the brash "Skinny Bitch," and its more scholarly cousin, "The China Study." Both books argue vegans can live longer…

…Professional athletes, especially NFL players, need thousands of calories a day. Many enjoy a high-protein, high-fat smorgasbord of steaks, chops, burgers, pizza, ice cream and beer. Mr. Gonzalez's tight-end job requires him to push around monstrously sized opponents. Occasionally, he gets to catch a pass. Mr. Gonzalez is famous for combining the brute power of an offensive lineman with the acrobatic skills of a nimble receiver. "My biggest thing is strength," he says. "If you lose that strength you get your butt kicked."

Experts say athletes in training need as much as twice the protein of an average person to rebuild muscle. Their bodies also require a big dose of minerals and vitamins, as well as the amino acids, iron and creatine packed into fish, meat and dairy foods. It's fine to be a vegan, says sports nutritionist and dietician Nancy Clark, if you're willing to work at it. "It's harder to get calcium, harder to get protein, harder to get Vitamin D, harder to get iron," she says. "You have to be committed."
Now, despite my hatred for an AFC West rival, I must say, kudos to Tony! He’s certainly one of the few, because as we’ve seen in the past. Many sports stars are a bust when it comes to healthy eating. Here are a few examples:
Now, not to toot my own horn, I’m far from a professional athlete, but, I’m a lot bigger and more physical than most of the meat-heads I see at the gym sucking down protein shakes and bragging about beef, and, I only eat fish a couple times a month—go figure!
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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jayson - January 28, 2008 1:13 PM

GO Chiefs ! About time you got something about the Chiefs posted ! lol....always fun when they play/beat the Raiders !

Nice to see this post about T.G. hope this will clear some of the misconceptions about eating nutritionally dense food.

Go Chiefs !

donald - January 28, 2008 2:39 PM

hey gerald - are you taking creatine? I figure thats the only way to maintain your kinda body mass without more servings of meat

Gerry Pugliese - January 28, 2008 2:41 PM

Hey Jayson-

Killing me...LOL.


Gerry Pugliese - January 28, 2008 2:53 PM

Hey Donald-

Nope, I don't take any supplements or anything. Just lots of veggies, beans, nuts, and seeds. Also, I eat some fish a few times a month.


Michael - January 29, 2008 10:10 AM

I find it interesting how some people think the only way you can be strong is by eating meat. Look to the animal kingdom for lots of proof otherwise. Horses, gorillas, elephants, etc. all very powerful animals without eating meat.

Rae - January 29, 2008 4:38 PM

Isn't it funny how some people who exercise for health turn around and eat the most unhealthy things? My husband has several friends who are cyclists and they eat bars and goo.

Gerry Pugliese - January 29, 2008 4:42 PM

Hey Rae-

One day I should bring my camera to the gym and take pictures of all the protein crap people drink. Its unreal!


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