A 4-Time NBA Champion's 22 Reasons To Go Vegan

Written by John Salley

Lacking the energy to pursue your dreams? Go vegan! You can get healthy, lose weight for good, have the body of your dreams, sleep deep and awake refreshed. I promise!

My lucky number has always been 22 (my player number with the Pistons, Heat, Raptors and Bulls), so here are my 22 reasons to go vegan and live a betta life!

1. Vegan food is deliriously delicious.

My family and friends love my cooking. They're amazed that all of my creations are vegan, because my food tastes awesome! Who wouldn’t get into a vanilla coconut milkshake, a spicy black bean burger and crunchy sweet potato fries? Or a romantic dinner of fresh spinach, avocado and tomato salad with a glass of tasty chardonnay?

Going vegan isn’t about what you’re giving up, but what you’re gaining: betta health and more taste!

2. You'll banish fatigue forever.

Too many folks feel like they need a siesta after they eat. That’s just not natural! Can you imagine how dangerous it would be if gazelles on the savannas grazed, then took a nap? Bye, bye gazelle! Eating dairy and animal protein makes you feel exhausted, but vegan choices give you energy.

3. You'll boost your sleep quality and wake up refreshed.

Dragging your tired, non-vegan behinds outta bed every morning? That will be a thing of the past when you choose a vegan diet. Choosing vegan food options and losing weight can eliminate snoring and sleep apnea, conditions that can rob you of a restful night’s sleep and are hard on your love life, to boot.

4. You'll maintain your ideal weight easily and effortlessly

My cousin, Mike (known as Fat Mike in the family), came out to LA from Atlanta to visit me and hang out. He was 38 years old, 5’9”, weighed 360 pounds and had just become a father. His knees were killing him, he was out of breath, and he ate bad food — lots of it, all day long.

I sat him down and told him the truth. I told him that he was killing himself and asked him if he wanted me to raise his daughter after he passed. Sounds harsh, but it was the truth. I explained to him that his food choices were selfish and would cost his daughter the company of her daddy at an early age.

He decided to follow my plan, losing more than 160 pounds and going from a 58-inch waist to 38 inches.

5. You'll look younger and feel sexy.

This is Annette Larkins. How old do you think she is? Thirty? Forty? Before I reveal her age, you should know that she attributes her youthfulness to more than 27 years of raw veganism.

Annette was born in 1942. She consumes only live, plant-based foods and the results are an increased metabolism, kept off the extra pounds, increased her energy and vitality and stopped the aging clock.

6. You'll promote improved hormone health by eliminating dairy, eggs and meat.

Want a more natural approach to hormonal health? Go vegan! Vegetables have been shown to alleviate PMS and symptoms of menopause.

7. You'll regain lost vitality and recover from injuries faster.

One of the reasons a plant-based diet may enhance performance is because a diet of anti-inflammatory proteins and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can lower inflammation in the body and hasten recovery from injury. This leads to more overall vitality

Being a vegan has done amazing things to my game, both on and off the court. I have more energy and stamina than when I was a meat-eater. Most men think that getting older means slowing down, but I say lose the blue pill and pick up more greens.

8. You'll get better sleep for mental clarity and greater focus.

Lack of restful sleep can lead to poor focus and brain fog. When I went vegan, I noticed I slept like a baby again. Also, eliminating processed foods and sugar from your diet makes you feel healthier, lighter and happier.

9. You can reverse and prevent disease.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, both featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives, claim that most diseases that claim our bodies and our lives can be controlled (and even reversed) by replacing animal-based and processed foods with plant-based foods.

10. You'll reduce joint pain and stiffness.

Americans believe that aches and pains are just a natural part of the aging, but many vegans wake up with no joint pain or stiffness. A study of 53 participants followed a vegan diet for three and a half months and experienced significant improvement in tender and swollen joints, pain, duration of morning stiffness and grip strength as compared to the people in a control group, who consumed an animal-based diet.

11. You'll enjoy better colon health and restore regularity.

Vegans are just regular people! A team of Oxford scientists compared the risk of being hospitalized or dying from diverticulitis of meat eaters, vegetarian and vegans. Vegetarians eliminated a 35% risk, while vegans eliminated a whopping 78% of the risk.

Spend more quality time in your bathroom by going vegan!

12. You'll help eliminate childhood obesity.

Kids are our future, yet we’re saddling them with health issues because of the food choices we make for them: double cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken wings, greasy tacos, cookies and cow’s milk.

What greater legacy than to leave our children with a lifetime of great health by educating them now on making betta food choices? We can reverse this problem, but we need to get act now and get involved in what our kids are eating.

13. You'll conquer your sugar cravings and reduce inflammation

Giving up sugar will change your life, and a vegan diet will make it easier to give up sugar.

Sugar does some very bad things to your body; it’s bad for your heart, and overconsumption can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.

14. You'll have beautiful, clear glowing skin and clear eyes.

Want to have skin soft as a baby’s bottom? Go vegan! We come into this world with the softest, most beautiful skin and sparkling eyes.

You can have that again if you remove all animal-based products from your refrigerator, eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink lots and lots of pure water. And wear sunscreen — cruelty-free, of course!

15. You'll reduce greenhouse gases caused by carbon emissions.

We only have one planet. Let’s all do our part to save it.

Our planet is heating up, and it’s a serious problem! The industry causing the most damage to our planet is the livestock industry, which contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Going vegan will help reduce that impact.

16. You'll save water.

I live in California, where Governor Jerry Brown has declared a drought state of emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to address our water shortage. Some of these measures are things like taking shorter showers and using low-flow toilets.

Those measures help in a small way, but human water usage is dwarfed in comparison to the water usage of one animal — the dairy cow. California has 1.78 million dairy cows, and they drink approximately 40 gallons of water per day, according to the California Milk Advisory board. It takes about 1,000 gallons of water to produce a single gallon of cow's milk. Get off the moo-juice and save water.

17. You'll help fight animal testing by supporting vegan-safe cleaning products, skin care products and cosmetics.

I live in a house with women who love their manis and pedis. Want to get a flawless manicure and help bunnies at the same time? Choose vegan polish.

Most consumers say they would purchase cosmetics that don’t test on animals. Wal-Mart and Target both carry products that don’t test on animals, and there are apps that can easily search for companies by name to see if they test on animals or have animal ingredients. Make the enlightened choice!

18. You'll be hanging with the SMART crowd! Einstein, Ghandi, Cesar Chavez and others all chose plant-powered diets.

Albert Einstein had this to say about food:

”Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. Our task must be to (widen) our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Being a vegan isn’t just about dietary choices alone. It’s about making conscious choices about beauty product purchases, clothing choices (no silk or leather) and even about financial investing. All our choices come with responsibilities and consequences.

19. You'll help lower the high costs of food production.

When you go to McDonald’s and buy a Big Mac for $4.59, it seems like a bargain. But what if McDonald’s passed on to the consumer the true cost of the food production — the refrigeration and travel cost, the amount of water? The cost would be $12.00. Not very appetizing.

Equally disturbing is the fact that the US government spends an additional $557 million dollars a year in a “checkoff” program to influence consumers on what to eat, ultimately to the benefit of animal agriculture.

20. It's a rejection of factory farming.

Go visit a factory farm. It will change your life.

Somewhere between 95% and 98% of the eggs in the food supply come from factory farms, where close confinement in feces and filth is the norm. Because of the very nature of packing 20,000 chickens into these buildings, it’s a breeding ground for disease, and as a result, animals housed in such operation are often fed a cocktail of trucks to fight infection and stress.

We as consumers eat these factory farmed chickens and eggs in schools, hospitals, restaurants, fast-food chains and in our homes. Sounds like a bad choice to me.

21. You'll support cruelty-free clothing.

Sure, being stylish is important, but I don’t buy leather — not for my body or in my car. There are many chic, stylish, talented new designers who are creating clothing choices that support the planet.

22. You'll be more kissable.

Vegans have betta breath! Serious bonus! A vegan’s breath is truly superior to meat-eaters’ breath, something I can personally vouch for.

And if I haven’t changed your mind, check out the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report that recommends that Americans should be eating a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal flesh, because it’s both healthier and better for the environment. ‘Nuff said. Make the conscious choice to go vegan!

Live a betta life.

Create a legacy of health.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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