There have been plenty of professional athletes over the years who have waved the vegan flag, but to add Lance Armstrong to the list is something tremendous.
The 40-year-old, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, and all-around legendary athlete is known not only for his rigorous training but also for the diet that powers him. In a new interview with Huffington Post, Armstrong reveals his new approach to food — and the results that surprised even him.
“I started swimming again, and I swim with a guy who started basically a food program called the Engine 2 Diet, which is a plant-based, 100 percent natural, organic diet," he says. "His dad was a famous cardiologist who did 'Forks Over Knives,' and was President Clinton’s doctor. Clinton has gone to a completely vegan diet and he’s essentially erased his heart disease. It’s basically whole grains, different types of beans, kale salad with creative alternatives for dressing. They’ll bring out something that looks like a brownie, but it’s not a brownie … though it tastes a bit like a brownie. So I did it for one day, then two days. Then I branched out and started doing it at breakfast and lunch. I still insist that I get to do whatever I want for dinner. But it’s made a significant difference in just in a month."
Armstrong goes on to say that the biggest immediate change he's noticed has been his daily energy levels, as well as an increase in mental sharpness and focus.
"Even when you’re training really hard, it’s normal that you would have certain things for lunch or certain things for breakfast, and then have this dip, or almost like a food coma," he said. "I don’t experience that anymore. My energy level has never been this consistent, and not just consistent, but high. I’m a big napper — I couldn’t even take a nap these days if I wanted to."
Like other diets, Lance says that the hardest thing is finding quality food while on the road. "None of that [muffins, croissants, etc.] is on the Engine 2 diet," he says. "So it gets harder and harder. But you can even travel with stuff. Breakfast is not hard, you bring your cereal and then you go to the store and buy almond milk, you buy bananas to put on top of it. If you plan, then it’s possible."
What do you think? Does Lance's experience give you any motivation to try going plant-based for breakfast and lunch for one month? To learn more about the Engine 2 diet, jump here. And, did you know Jason Mraz says vegan diet makes him a better lover?