Engaging in professional sports in general is a serious physical commitment, and there is arguably no sport more taxing on the human body than American football. The sport revolves around strategizing to find openings in a barrage of physical contact that, for the most part, is being delivered by an individual who weighs (on average) around 250 pounds.
For those raised on the traditional beliefs regarding strength and nutrition, the NFL certainly sounds like no place for a vegan. But this couldn’t be further from the truth, and Chicago Bears defensive lineman David Carter is living proof of this.
Weighing in at 300 pounds, David is a fearsome athlete that can stand toe-to-toe with every traditional meat eater the league has to offer.
So what inclined David to go vegan in the first place?
Like so many others, it was for dietary and health reasons.
Earlier in his career, David struggled with tendonitis, arthritis, nerve damage, and muscle fatigue, along with a dislocated finger that never healed correctly. All of these issues rectified themselves once David made the transition to a vegan diet.
Having always been pretty familiar with alternative dietary choices, due in large part to his wife being a vegetarian for 5 years before he himself made the switch, David was much more open to trying something new. And after watching the popular documentary Forks Over Knives, which I personally am a huge fan of, David made the switch and has never looked back.
“I realized I was making everything worse. I was feeding the tendinitis, the muscle fatigue, everything. So the next day I went vegan,” David told GQ Magazine.
So what exactly does a day in the life of a 300 pound vegan NFL player look like food-wise? Let’s check it out…
Lunch: Brown rice and black beans with avocado and cashew cheese
Snack 2: 20 ounce smoothie
Lunch 2: Brown rice and black beans with avocado and cashew cheese
Snack 3: 20 ounce smoothie
Dinner: Couscous with onion and garlic, spinach salad with bell peppers
Snack 4: 20 ounce smoothie
“I try to eat 1.2 grams of protein per pound per day,” he says,
“otherwise it’s really hard to gain weight.”
The protein comes from a lot of different places—rice and beans, whole grains like millet, quinoa, and couscous; supplements like spirulina and hemp protein; and nuts, which give Carter one of his favorite ingredients, cashew cheese made with nutritional yeast.
The other element that truly sets David apart is the activism that he is tying into this dietary change. I love when people stand behind lifestyle changes that worked for them in hopes of inspiring other people to at least try it out and identify whether or not it can impact them as well.
Through his website The 300 Pound Vegan, David is educating the masses with his bold stance on being vegan: for the people, for the animals, for the planet. Be sure to check out his website to inform yourself, to read his blog, and to learn some solid recipes designed to keep you strong as a vegan.
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”