Mac Danzig Prepares for UFC 109 with a Vegan Diet

by Mike

in Celebrity Diets, Fitness Tips

Post image for Mac Danzig Prepares for UFC 109 with a Vegan Diet

Mac Danzig takes on Justin Buchholz tonight at UFC 109 in Las Vegas. MMA fighters, especially UFC fighters, are some of the fittest athletes in the world. Hard to believe, but Mac is able to maintain his lifestyle through a vegan diet.  Mac Danzig talks about his diet in one of his blog posts:

Brown Rice: One of my main sources of complex carbs along with Oatmeal… I buy the ‘microwave in the bag’ frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s… It’s pretty easy to make and can be added to almost any meal. Wild Rice (actually a grass seed) is even better if you can get a hold of it.

Portobello mushrooms: These are great. Good protein source, low calories, low sodium… Can be sauteed or stir-fried with vegetables. I eat many of these when cutting weight.

Tempeh: This is a Tofu-based food and a good source of protein and fiber… Although a little bitter when eaten plain, I find that some flavorings can really make this good…

Quinoa: This grain is sometimes a chore to cook, and if you live in the middle of nowhere, it might be hard to find, but it’s a great source of not only carbs and protein, but fiber as well. This is one of the most nutritionally complete foods out there with a full, balanced set of amino acids…

Black Beans, lentils, etc: Really, many Mexican foods I find to be pretty substantial as long as there’s some beans and rice in it… Lentils are great in soup and have some decent protein and fiber…

Drinks: I drink water 99.9% of the time… Rarely do I ever feel the need for soft drinks or juices, although I might add some orange juice to a protein shake to make it taste better…I drink in excess of 1.5 gallons of H2O per day when I’m training hard and about 1 gallon per day on the regular.

Wheat: My diet is not “wheat-free” but I do my best to avoid it… It’s an allergen (mild for most people) and not as easily digested you might think… Every now and then I have something that has wheat gluten in it as well… I’m not really into sandwiches, so bread is easy to avoid. I do eat pasta every once in a while and I might have some wheat tortillas, but if I had my choice of carbs, it’d be brown rice or quinoa. On a side note, they have come out with some good rice-based pastas that are identical to normal wheat pastas in every way.

Fake meat products: These are usually geared towards people making the change to vegetarianism and are made to mimic various meat products… I usually don’t mess with these all that much, with the exception of “riblets” made by Gardenburger brand… Most of the stuff out there doesn’t taste anything like meat to me (unless it’s seitan) and I don’t need my food to. Unfortunately, if you live in the midwest, or any place who’s stores haven’t adapted to vegetarian diets, you may find that these are the only things sold in the frozen section without meat or dairy… On the other side of this, many vegan restaurants have great fake meat products that are much more palatable than the stuff sold in the stores.

Vegetables: These are very necessary. I don’t eat them as much as I should, but when I do, it’s broccoli, peas, corn, green beans and spinach most of the time.   Whenever I have a salad, I do my best to use organic kale or baby spinach as the main source rather than romaine or iceberg lettuce.   The leafy greens like collards, spinach and kale are extremely good for you.. Don’t sleep on them.

Nuts & seeds: I find almonds are the best for me.  Some articles have stated that they boost testosterone…  I can’t say that’s true or false, but I do find almonds to be superior to most of the other nuts and seeds out there…Trader Joes sells raw, sliced almond flakes that can be turned into powder (if you have a chopper) and put into a protein shake. I do eat peanuts sometimes, and natural peanut butter, but too many peanuts can be bad for you because of the naturally-occurring toxins in them.   I eat cashews in moderation, and I usually stay away from Macadamias when I’m cutting weight because of their high fat content.   I don’t eat as much seeds as I probably should, but Pumpkin seeds are definitely recommended… They are high in iron, which is important, because as an athlete, iron can be lost rapidly through sweat.   Sunflower seeds are also pretty good and are a decent source of protein and vitamin E…

Seitan: although this stuff is delicious and has the most meat-like texture, it is essentially just wheat gluten and is pretty hard to digest… I stay away from it when I’m in hard training, but during the off-season, it’s fair play. Many restaurants have good meals with seitan.

Soy milk, almond milk, etc: I don’t eat cereal all that much, but when I do, I prefer almond milk and rice milk over soy milk… Just a personal preference. These can be added to protein shakes too. Rice milk is a little thinner that almond and soy usually…

Sodium: Many of the foods I really enjoy have a lot of sodium in them. I have no problem eating moderately sodium-rich foods until I get close to cutting to lightweight… Sodium causes you to retain water, so it’s pointless to consume if you want to drop water weight. 3 weeks before a fight, I start watching my sodium intake, and by the week of the fight, I’m down to less than 100 grams per day.

Supplements:

Vega: This is awesome. It has everything I need and it’s quick and easy. Although not ideal, I could really live off of this with no problems. Full nutrition. Vega makes powdered whole food meal replacements and energy bars that I eat pretty much every day. Their meal replacement uses hemp protein and pea protein as a base. When I’m taking this and/or The Ultimate Meal (see below) I find there’s no reason for a multi-vitamin.

The Ultimate Meal: I swear by this stuff, it’s a whole meal and has made up a huge part of my diet for 3 years now. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but I truly notice myself feeling better when I use it daily. Remember to follow the directions and add the apple and banana. (This is not your normal “add powder to water” supplement)

Organic food bar: These are great for cutting weight… there is some fat but it’s good fat, and there’s hardly any sodium. Made of mostly almond butter and date paste.

Cliff Builders Bar: As far as protein bars go, these are the best tasting and pretty addictive… There’s a decent amount of sodium and calories, so they’re not ideal when you’re cutting weight.

Protein powders: I stay away from soy as a powdered protein supplement, and not because of the idiotic claim that it is “bad for men because it boosts estrogen” (which is complete nonsense), but because it doesn’t have a full amino acid spectrum and has less protein content percentage… Instead of soy powder, I use brown rice protein from Nutri-Biotic brand when I’m looking for plain protein supplement. Nutri-Biotic Rice protein has an 80% protein content and all the amino acids. I also find that Rice protein is digested a lot easier than soy.

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