During the Olympics, people love to read about the insane amounts of food some athletes eat—for example, Michael Phelps’s crazy 12,000-calorie-a-day diet, which includes full pizzas and massive amounts of pasta. But what happens when an Olympian follows a restrictive diet?
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Kendrick Farris is America’s only weightlifter competing in the Rio Olympics. He’s also a vegan. That means after intense workout sessions, during which he sometimes picks up hundreds of pounds over and over again, he refuels solely with plant-based foods.
Farris says that since he made the change to veganism, he’s gotten bigger and stronger. Physically I feel stronger,” he told Sports Illustrated. “And I feel a lot healthier too. I was having some little nagging injuries and I think my body actually recovers better now. It’s a really good feeling.”
The 30-year-old decided to switch his diet in 2014 after the birth of his second son.
“My son was born almost two years ago; he was born in September 2014 and something happened where I was like I’m just seeing the whole thing. So I’m like I need to do something different. Like how do you get back to what is the most purest form of our life, our being and it started with the food,” Farris told KTBS.
According to Huffington Post, here is Farris’s daily diet.
Breakfast: Oats or pancakes.
Snack: Vanilla or chocolate flavored plant-based protein shake.
Lunch: Avocado quesadillas (then he heads to the gym).
Snack: Guacamole and black bean chips.
Dinner: Black bean quesadillas.
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The change in his diet obviously hasn’t negatively affected his weightlifting. In the past two Pan American Championships, Farris won the gold medal. He also set an American record during the Olympic weightlifting trials in Salt Lake City on May 8th, by snatching 370 pounds and clean and jerking 460 pounds.
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Farris will be competing on Saturday in the 94kg (207 pound) weight class.