Plant-Based in the NFL?

Feb-1-1-News-Hub-ImagesCatching passes in the backfield. Blocking. Taking handoffs from the quarterback. And switching to plant-based athletic fuel. Typical day for an NFL running back, right? It is if you’re Montell Owens, NFL running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Montell surprised himself, family, and teammates by adopting a plant-based diet and now joins yet another team of inspirational athletes: the Vega Ambassadors.

Like many professional sports players who’ve chosen a plant-based diet, Montell Owens caught a lot of flak for his dietary changes, fielding concerns about his ability to continue to perform on a professional athlete level. Thankfully, his wife Lisa knew best. A long-time vegetarian, Lisa reached out to Brendan Brazier to help her husband harness the power of a plant-based diet to stay in top athletic shape and to realize the critical role nutrition played in his performance.

One of NFL’s top special teams players, Montell was voted into the Pro Bowl in 2010 – a first in franchise history. Owens also holds the franchise record for the most special teams tackles with 95, and entered the season with a streak of 65 consecutive games played – the longest active streak on the roster. Montell is also as well-balanced as his diet; active in his community talking to kids about the importance of a healthy diet, Montell even finds time to play a little contemporary jazz on his trumpet. No wonder Montell favors Recovery Accelerator as the Vega Product he can’t live without – he never slows down!

While his athletic accomplishments speak for themselves, Vega asked Montell about eating clean and how that has affected his performance. He explains: “The more you can put living foods into the body, the better you will feel. It has made an impact in my life and career in many ways. It has boosted my recovery between workouts and competition. I am also able to maintain the correct body fat/lean mass percentage that keeps me at my best to perform my duties at a high level. One of the major advantages for me was the ability to achieve a restful night’s sleep, which I was not able to do prior to making the switch over to clean eating a little over two years ago.”

Montell uses cycling to help cross-train for football, touting his wife’s vegan split pea soup as his go-to pregame meal. Athletic accomplishments and all around greatness aside, Montell Owen serves as an inspiration to us all. It is rarity in professional sports, especially football (an NFL running back no less), to see someone stand up and proclaim being plant-based and proud. Team Vega has your back Montell (that is if we can keep up with you, of course!).

Here’s a snap shot of our interview with Montell.

Vega: What is your favorite sport for cross-training?

Montell: Cycling

Vega: What is the one Vega product you cannot live without?

Montell: Recovery Accelerator

Vega: What is your fondest career moment?

Montell: Seeing my family after a competition with big smiles on their faces whether we’ve won or lost.

Vega: What’s one thing most people do not know about you?

Montell: I love the arts. Other than the fact that I love to listen to and play contemporary jazz on my trumpet, I enjoy residential and commercial architecture, too.

Vega: How do you deal with the pressures of professional sports?

Montell: Pressure motivates me, but it doesn’t consume me. Some forms of pressure are also forms of fear, which are never healthy, so I try to stay as far away from those as I can.

January 31, 2013