My Transition from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPB) began while I was living in Stockholm and playing for Hammarby IF. While living with my, then girlfriend, Fay, our cat (Nesta) and dog (Nyte) I became a vegetarian after watching a few short films on slaughterhouses and their impact on society. Having two loving pets of our own, seeing these films really hit home for me. Soon after, I started searching for any documentary and book on food and nutrition that I could get my hands on. I quickly learned more about the effects the SAD had, not only on our environment, but on our bodies as well. My search for a better way of eating urged me to cut meat completely out of my diet.
After a few months without meat, I could already feel the difference in my performance and overall energy. The first thing I noticed was that the muscle cramps I seemed to get at the 70th minute of matches had all but dissipated. I've always been aerobically fit, but for a reason unbeknownst to me this always happened throughout my career. The feeling of being able to play a full 90-minute match without cramping was a great feeling.
The next change I noticed immediately was my quality of sleep. Not only was I now able to sleep through the night without interruption, I was doing so in such a deep sleep that when I woke up my energy level was through the roof! I learned through my own research that this was because my body was able to recover much quicker with the lack of animal protein in my system.
After two and a half years of being a vegetarian I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. After watching this I wanted more answers. I immersed myself in information any way I could. I stumbled upon the book The China Study by Dr. T Colin Campbell. This book completely changed my life. I started experimenting with a WFPB diet. Over the next several months I found and read any book Dr, Campbell forwarded.
Check back for Part II later next week!