Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tony Gonzalez's Diet

There's an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal about vegan and vegetarian diets for athletes. The article doesn't suggest anything conclusive, though:

"There's no evidence a vegan diet can improve an athlete's performance, says David Nieman, a professor of health and exercise at Appalachian State University. His 1988 study of vegetarian runners found they ran as well as their meat-eating rivals but no better. Although the vegetarian athletes in his study also ate eggs and dairy foods, he says, 'there is scientific evidence that veganism, when done right, won't hurt performance.' But, he adds, there is only anecdotal evidence that it can help."

The article focuses primarily on the health impact, though notes that mixed martial arts fighter (or should it be mixed martial artist?) Mac Danzig became a vegan for animal rights reasons.


  1. Anonymous12:02 PM

    I have coached some of the best athletes in the world and have watched first hand the impact of various diets. Absolutely, the vegan diet is by far and away the best for energy and for avoiding illness. I can't vouch for strength, but certainly Elephants and Gorillas are pretty strong.

  2. Anonymous3:24 PM

    I have to agree with that last comment.Having been a vegetarian for 4 years and a vegan for 2 the last two of those, these are the two most pronounced differences that I've noticed in my health since switching to a vegetarian diet. I do get sick far less than I used to as an omnivore. Even on the rare occasions that I do get sick I've always gotten over it in less than week. I have also noticed that there is a definite increase in my endurance, especially since becoming vegan. I think that the increase endurance is largely related to using lentils as one of my main sources of protein. I have found that they are an amazing pre-workout food.

  3. Anonymous8:26 AM

    "Where's the beef?"

  4. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Agree with the two posters about being a veggie as great for personal health and athletics. The one problem with the WSJ article? Tony is not a vegan. It says he eats chicken, fish, fish oil, so he's not even a vegetarian. At least he is mainly veggie.

  5. Anonymous7:00 AM

    The article states that he tried the vegan diet, but failed. He then started eating fish and chicken. I don't understand why he didn't just start eating things like Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan, (and UH BEANS?) for protein.

    Another thing that gets me is the linked Q&A with "nutritionist" Lisa Dorfman about training on a vegan diet. Here are my corrections:

    1.) Being vegan does not make some people sick unless said person is not eating the right vegan foods.

    2.)The vegan diet is not low in fats unless you want it to be.

    3.) Going OFF the vegan diet is the only erratic part about going on and off a vegan diet because eating animals doesn't make any sense.

  6. Anonymous8:20 PM

    I am responding to the anonymous comment directly above this comment, eating meat, similar to being a vegan or a vegetarian, is a choice. Just because eating animals doesn't make sense TO YOU, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. Could you explain your opinion to me?

  7. Last anon: I can explain, I think.

    It is a choice, but it is a choice some of us believe to be immoral. Eating meat may be a sensible choice to you; to others, it is an immoral choice, thus the language of not making sense.

    More directly, eating meat is, for most people in 21st century America, unnecessary. The choice you are making is that the pleasure of the taste of meat is more important to you than the animal's life. To those who think it's wrong to kill animals for pleasure, that choice doesn't make sense.

    I would further add that in America, vegetarianism/veganism is a much more deliberate choice than eating meat. Most kids in this country are raised eating meat, and they may choose at some point to change their behavior. A lot of meat eaters have simply grown up eating meat, and so it's not such a deliberate choice so much as it is continuing behavior (which is a sort of choice, but usually not as deliberate).

    I'm not trying to preach/proselytize; just trying to answer the question.

  8. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Does calling it an immoral choice imply the meat eating person is an immoral person? I hope my vegetarian friends dont feel this way about me. I have never judged them for their choice, and I hope they would be able to say the same thing about me. People can eat what they want, how can there be a right or wrong way to stay alive?

  9. Well, I don't generally consider meat-eaters immoral people. I would question your last statement, though.

    "how can there be a right or wrong way to stay alive?"

    By that logic, any number of activities would be moral if you justified them as a "way to stay alive," (murder, cannibalism, theft, etc.), even if you have other choices of ways to stay alive.

  10. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Maybe it was a bad choice of words, as you pointed out "right or wrong way to stay alive" is vague and conditional. How about this ... everyone needs to eat to survive, how can one way of doing this be morally superior to a different way of doing this?

  11. I'll break it down simply:

    One activity requires the killing of animals.

    One activity does not.

    There's usually a disconnect at this point: some people think it's wrong to kill animals (or kill them unnecessarily), some don't. If one thinks it's wrong to kill animals, then one definitely think that eating without killing animals is morally superior to eating with killing animals. You must eat some food to live, but you can choose whether what you eat requires the killing of an animal. And I don't think there's anything wrong with seeing a moral difference.

  12. Anonymous2:22 PM

    PV -
    it sounds like the guy is wondering what gives you the right to judge him?


  13. Anonymous2:26 PM

    or vegetarians in general the right to judge meat eaters?


  14. I suppose the same thing that gives anybody the right to judge anybody. If you think a behavior is wrong, you'll judge that behavior negatively. If I go around kicking people in the shins for no reason, you'd judge me, right?

    Now, I don't go about judging everybody I know who eats meat. I know most people eat meat, and for me it doesn't reflect on a person's character. But it's silly to claim that a person can't have a sense of morality and make statements about it.

  15. Anonymous2:07 AM


  16. Anonymous11:41 AM

    aren't plants living things as well? so I guess vegatarians are immoral for killing plants....

  17. Anonymous11:44 AM

    where does the bible say not to eat meat...In Exodus 12:8 God instructed the Israelites to eat 3 foods ~ Roasted Lamb (Pesah), to be eaten with bitter herbs (Maror) and unleavened bread, or bread made without yeast (Matzah).

  18. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I think you need to get a new bible, as all through it, it preaches eating meat is acceptable...

    Gen 1:29-30
    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
    Read and understand that God's Word was, is and has always been consistent on the point of whether to eat meat or vegetables. The scriptures has always stated that fruit and vegetables and meat is acceptable with God for man to eat, because it was God who made all things. As stated earlier in:

    Rom 14:2-3
    2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
    3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

    And yet again in:
    1 Tim 4:3-5
    3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
    4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
    5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    The Old and New Testaments agree that both vegetables and meat are to be eaten, and neither of them is better than the other as long as it is sanctified by the Word of God and Prayer.

  19. I was looking for this information, thanks for put in this easy way, I mean in a easy way to understand it jajaja, well until the next time.

  20. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

  21. oh I did not know about Tony Gonzalez's Diet and it sounds pretty interesting actually, I am not a vegetarian, but good friend of mine is, so I will share this with him, thanks!

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