Photo: UFC 196 McGregor vs Diaz
Known for being rough around the edges—even more than your typical professional fighter—it might come as a shock to some that last night's UFC 196 winner Nate Diaz has been "ruffing" it by eating vegan and experimenting with raw foods for twelve years, since he was eighteen years old.
"I switched to a total vegan diet some time ago – no meat or dairy, and I feel stronger than ever and my endurance is only getting better.” Diaz has said, having taken a cue from his teammate Jake Shields, who grew up veg, as well as his older brother Nick, who says, "I eat no meat or dairy, and I not only fight, but compete in triathlons. I am a big believer in a clean diet."
On March 5, in a short physical battle that threw a wrench in Connor McGregor's undefeated record, Diaz was also incidentally victorious in the symoblic battle between camps. Leading up to the match—for which Diaz had only 11 days notice—McGregor had likened Diaz to a wounded gazelle who was heavy on his feet.
“I’m a lion in there,” he told Diaz. “Your little gazelle friends are going to be staring though the cage looking at you and your carcass getting eaten alive. All they’re going to do is say: ‘We’re never going to cross this river again.’”
Ido Portal, a coach from McGregor's camp had also expressed doubts about plant-based diets being healthy for top-tier competitive athletes, having stated, "I can't view vegan diets as something healthy. I've never met a vegan who was able to perform with the same energy levels as I see with someone with a more carnivore diet. I actually refuse to work with vegans."
Well, gazelle beats lion. How 'bout them apples?
From Nate's Instagram account, thanking Garden of Life Raw for their vegan supplements:
My born-and-raised-vegan 11-year-old step-daughter, Akira, has been training and competing in Jiu Jitsu and wrestling for over a year, winning competition after competition (the Diaz brothers are some her favorites, of course). We know that one major factor of her physical and psychological strength, exceptional cardio, and endurance, agility, and flexibility is our nutrient-dense, junk food-free, vegan lifestyle.
Akira's health and gentle warriorship are two of the reasons I am so proud to be releasing my latest book, The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids— a new resource for families who want to start their children on a path of health, wellness, and a high quality of life.
This book is full of the things we actually eat in our house—whole, unprocessed ingredients, and superfoods, too—stuff that vegan athletes eat! The recipes and meal ideas are simple enough for a kid to prepare, making the cookbook a great go-to for everyday healthy choices the whole family can use. It also happens to be more than 90% gluten free. Click here to watch a trailer, pre-order, and get some free bonuses, too.
Cheers to plant power and vegan warriors—whatever shape, size, and demeanor they come in!
My bestie, Lisa (side note: veg since age 12) is always put together—clothes, hair, and nails did. To paint you a picture—once, in the wee hours of the morning, I picked her up from the hospital after a minor medical procedure. As they rolled her out, whoozy in a wheelchair, I was amused, but not shocked to see that she was nevertheless wearing a classy large-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a beautiful wraparound scarf, an architectural weekender handbag perched on her lap. Every nurse she passed complimented her on different items head to toe. She struck up conversations and waved to them with perfectly manicured hands. I, on the other hand, was wearing the sweatpants I had slept in, juggling my jingling keys and ragged clutch, and was avoiding human contact. I was wearing glasses, but they were the seeing kind.
Lisa, even at 7 am, medicated and wobbly, had dressed to make sure she felt as good as she could, given the circumstances, and I appreciated it. She looked like a grown woman, and people treated her as such. She was having fun interacting with the outside world.
That's why, after Lisa nagging me to get nicer, grown-up-lady stuff, I started to listen.
I still feel most comfy in all black everything, but I know I can wear nice all-black-everything things that make me feel good, feel confident, and feel more me...things that make life a little more fun, too!
So I am proud to say that I found something great to continue my "adulting" mission: the GUNAS Naomi handbag. A) I love it, b) it's black, c) I actually need it for travel, d) it's good-lookin', sturdy, and practical, e) I feel ethically good about it, and f) it makes me feel okay about attracting some attention because g) it's vegan!
Also h) it's Lisa-approved. These are her custom-manicured hands handling my new bag...you don't want to see mine. I may have conquered getting a purse, but nails are another story.
The first time I wore it was to a business meeting and I tell you what! It actually did make a difference to how I felt! I was carrying all my meeting documents, my book, and a big camera in the Naomi and it still felt sleek. I wasn't juggling my keys and clutch, so my hands were free for greetings, and I found myself walking more gracefully!
It is just a bag—but truth to tell, I really did feel more put together, presentable, and confident carrying this accessory. And when I got complimented on my Naomi, I had the opportunity to mention that it's actually vegan—no cow, ostrich, or crocodile skin. The complimenter was further intrigued. Score.
So you can save the world and look good doing it. Sometimes we just need a nudge from our more fashionable friends...thanks Lisa and GUNAS!
GUNAS has been kind enough to provide my readers with the following coupon code—just in time for Valentine's Day, too! I highly suggest getting a gift for a grown-up lady you love...maybe that's yourself!
Through February 15, use code RUBYROTH at checkout to get free gift wrapping on orders under $100 and a free Farm Charm on orders $100 and up. Visit www.GunasTheBrand.com.
I know we hardly EVER get sick because we're SO healthy, but here are some tips for that rare occasion when careless holiday eating, stress, and/or the blues make you crash...
Weird phenomenon: when you are struck down with a cold, you often forget to do even the most obvious things to help yourself (<-- hey, that's the name of my upcoming kids' cookbook, pun intended!), am I right? Sometimes you need a reminder.
Here are my natural home remedy practices to help you kick the common cold and kickstart your immune response as quickly as possible (good for preventative care, too!)—cycle through these throughout the day:
• OPT FOR OREGANO OIL: This stuff is powerful and good to have around to use preventatively. In the midst of a cold, take 1-2 drops at a time a few times a day. You'll feel the burn, and it feels right—like germs are getting killed on contact. Get it at any health food store.
• SWISH SEA SALT: For sore throats, stir enough salt into some warm water to make it quite salty. Gargle, spit, repeat. You can also drink some salt water if you're feeling wheezy—asthmatic friends report it helps right away.
• GET NETI: At first I denied that this neti pot (or any kind shaped like a tiny tea pot) was special, but it really does make nasal rinsing so gentle and not horrible like other squeeze-bottle ones I've had. I add 8 oz of water to a pot, heat for just a few seconds to a gently lukewarm level, and stir in one NeilMed packet (PH-balanced, USP-grade sodium chloride) so your salt is always safe and properly proportioned to the water. The neti pot holds 4 oz, so you have at least two "doses" ready for the day. You'll be shocked by what will rinse loose from your sinuses when you're sick. WOW. If you've never nettied, watch a demo.
• STEAM STATION: For sore throats, coughs, and stuffy noses, set this up once and do it throughout the day as needed. Boil water in a pot with either A) lemon wedges and their juice, which are antibacterial or B) a few drops of peppermint and/or eucalyptus essential oils (these really help congestion immediately—alternatively, rub on your hands then hold them to your face). When the water is nice and bubbly, put a towel over your head like a hoodie, stand over the pot, and waft the steam toward you, taking deep breaths through nose and mouth. NOTE: if you're treating a child, pour the hot water into a bowl and set it on a table to be safer. Added benefit: your skin will look lovely, dewy, and rosy.
• POUND PROBIOTICS: Take a therapeutic dose every day, maybe even twice if it feels right. My favorite: Natren MegaDophilus Dairy-Free powder (mild taste, I like it better than swallowing capsules, easier to mete out your doses, too). My opinion: probiotics should come from the refrigerated section of your health food store only.
• LOVE THE LIQUIDS: Get some kombucha, raw juice, "breathe easy" tea, and/or mix the best Vitamin C into water and sip all day. If you feel hungry, eat high water-content foods only (raw food like citrus) and brothy soups (spicy helps the most, try a version of this gorgeous kimchee soup, ready in minutes). Skip breads, pastas, and sugar—obviously.
• MOISTURIZE YOUR MUG: Ugh, all that tissue use can make your face dry and raw and then besides feeling terrible you look terrible, nooooooo! Dampen your face with a warm washcloth, then lightly rub on a layer of your favorite botanical oil blend. I think the BEST is Living Libations Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn. Let it soak in, then gently pat dry if you need to.
To your health!