Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, aka CP3, is 37 years old and in his 18th season of professional basketball. Last year, he led his Arizona team to the top of the Western Conference and the year before that, to the NBA finals. He’s also a 12 time All-Star and10 time All-NBA player.
So, what’s his secret? Among many, he attributes his energy and longevity in the game to his plant-based diet, which has been getting quite a bit of national attention lately in GQ magazine, VegNews magazine and a recent endorsement of JUST Egg.
In a statement to The Republic, Paul said that he is plant-based not vegan. While vegan people eat a plant-based, they typically also avoid using products made from animals in all avenues of life, including attire.
But Paul hasn’t always forgone meat. According to VegNews. His pregame foods usually included burgers and fried chicken until he switched to plant-based eating in 2019 at age 34. And it wasn’t easy at first.
“I tell you: I was itching,” he told Men’s Health in a 2020 interview shortly after he first made the change. “I thought I needed a chicken wing or something. But somehow I made it through.”
Phoenix Suns inspired snacks:3 recipes to make on game day
Why did Chris Paul to give up meat?
Available on Netflix, the documentary is directed by Louie Psihoyos and narrated by James Wilkes, a U.S. martial arts champion and a combat trainer for government agencies. In the film, Wilkes talks about his own shift to a plant-based diet and he interviews physicians, anthropologists and other athletes who switched to plant-based eating and went on to set or break records.
Paul decided to give this way of eating a try because “I’m very competitive,” he said.
VegNews reports that Paul is among athletes who endorse products that align with his value of health and wellbeing.
“When I first started out, it was all about basketball,” he said in June 2022 interview with JUST Egg, the mung-bean egg replacement company that makes a product he endorses. But it became more. “I started to think about life and life expectancy,” he said.
What does Chris Paul eat in a typical day?
Paul’s favorite Phoenix spot is Flavor’s Vegan food truck, which serves plant-based tacos, burgers and loaded fries. Though, his typical day doesn’t include these indulgent dishes.
He recently shared what he eats in a typical day with GQ, explaining that he eats a lot of plant-based pancakes as well as JUST Egg scrambles with veggies, Beyond Meat sausage and fruit. For lunch and dinner, his chef often makes sauteed vegetables, rice, salad and whole grains, which he supplements with protein drinks.
“The biggest thing when I went plant-based is it opened me up to the diversity of foods that you can have,” he said in the interview.
And he still eats his favorite cookies, cinnamon and raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies and churros, just the vegan versions.
Meet Prison Pies:Rebuilding a life on recipes learned in prison
What was the hardest food to give up?
Originally from Winston Salem, North Carolina, the hardest food to give up was fried chicken. “It’s crazy to drive by Bojangles now and not even be able to give it a look,” he told GQ.
It seems to be paying off. Paul reports that he has a lot fewer aches and pains, which used to prevent him from playing with his kids outside. And he has more energy to train during the off-season.
“It’s not for everyone, but it’s been a good lifestyle change for me.”
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.