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.”