Tag Archives: Basketball

Chris Paul, 12 year NBA all-star, credits plant-based diet

Chris Paul 2022

NBA veteran, Chris Paul, made his 12th appearance on the NBA All-Star team in February, and credits his plant-based diet with helping him gain energy and reduce muscle aches both on and off the court.  The 37-year-old Phoenix Suns point guard decided to give a plant-based diet a try in 2019, and after experiencing many health and fitness benefits, he chose to stick with it.

“When I first went plant-based, it was for performance purposes but once I saw how my body changed and how I felt—it was for life,” Paul said in an interview with GQ. “Years ago, I probably wouldn’t have even gone outside to run around with my kids and all the other activities because my body would be aching. Now, with the constant lifting and making sure that my body is always ready, it’s been a good lifestyle change for me.” 

Before he went vegan, Chris enjoyed foods including fried chicken and burgers, but his commitment to a plant-based diet has led him to try a lot of new foods.  He finds vegan versions of his favorite foods, such as chocolate chip cookies and pancakes, and uses substitute products such as JUST Egg and Beyond Meat sausage as staples in his breakfasts.  For lunch, he typically eats a salad or a veggie bowl, along with a protein smoothie, while his dinners are prepared by a professional chef using plenty of beans, grains and vegetables.

Chris has managed to convince his father to give the diet a try too, and Charles Paul noticed health benefits such as lower cholesterol since he replaced chicken eggs with JUST Egg.  In October, Chris will lead the Phoenix Suns in his 18th season of professional basketball – a feat that only a few have achieved.  We think his diet has something to do with that!

Shaquille O’Neal goes vegan

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal in 2017

Retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has announced that he’s going vegan, during a May 2 interview with Rip Michaels, host of the show Urban Eats & Treats.  He had previously followed a high-protein, low-carb diet, but he’s realized that following a vegan diet, including vegan versions of many of his favorite junk foods such as cheeseburgers, gives him many advantages, including enabling him to continue to eat the way he prefers, while avoiding packing on too many pounds.

At 7-foot-11, and 320 pounds, the former NBA star is now 50 years old and wants to look after his health, while still enjoying his favorite foods.  He has discovered that is possible, by frequenting a vegan restaurant in Atlanta where he can get a cheeseburger without the guilt.  He used to think that a healthy diet consists of salad, steak and fish, but finds that eating vegan food helps him feel lighter and more energized, and healthier than he used to feel.

For breakfast, he enjoys a vegan smoothie, with blueberries, peanut butter and bananas, inspired by vegan NFL star Tom Brady.  Shaq joins many other vegan athletes who have discovered the benefits of a plant-based diet, including female athletes such as tennis champion Venus Williams and soccer star Alex Morgan.

Denver Nugget goes vegan

Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets just went vegan. In an effort to stay on the court, and out of the training room, Chandler’s injury struggles led him to look for solutions in an unusual spot: the kitchen. In an effort to improve his resilience from the rough and tumble of the basketball court, Chandler, 29, converted to a vegan diet six months ago. Along with his better diet, we’re happy to report he’s scoring more points.

“I’ve always had a pretty healthy diet, but after dealing with several injuries, I wanted to find a diet that would help with inflammation,” he says “My recovery time is faster, I’m in a better mood, I feel more explosive on the court and I’m leaner,” he says.

“My favorite spot is a vegan restaurant in Detroit,” Chandler says. “They have a vegan soul food platter with yams, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and mac and (vegan) cheese.” Despite the occasional jab at his eating habits, Chandler says overall, his teammates and friends have been accepting of his diet change. “Sometimes I’ll hear something when I get my food and everyone else is eating meat, but that’s about it,” he says.

What does he eat? “Before games I like to eat a protein [such as lentils or beans], greens and a vegan pasta that I get from a Whole Foods that is close-by to where I live.” If he does need a halftime snack, which is unusual, fruit is first up. “If I’m hungry at halftime, I’ll grab a banana,” he says. After the game, it’s a similar mix of proteins, grains and greens, as he tries to get protein right away, to enhance recovery.

Like everyone, Chandler is fond of a little candy, now and then. “I don’t eat chocolate so when I’m looking for something sweet, it’s usually Skittles or Starburst.”