How Phil Mickelson and Lebron James Can Save the World (Part 1)
I can’t help but notice every time I turn on the news, look at a magazine or open my computer, that someone in Hollywood or on ESPN is talking about a Paleo (about time people!). You may say that this post is the culmination of all the discussions that happen here in my house (my husband is an all around sports guru) and drifting to sleep to the sound of Sportscenter is a totally normal thing for me. ** cue sportscenter music** Paleo is finally hitting mainstream in some circles (alternative medicine) while it’s being fought tooth and nail by others (modern medicine). With all this media attention we’re still missing a HUGE component to our movement. We need something that grabs people and shakes them silly. A voice so loud and so much bigger than us, someone that the rest of the world looks at and says, “Wow, I know exactly who that person is and their talking about Paleo”. Now, don’t get me wrong, our leaders in this movement are people that would leave me a little “star struck” if I met them in person, but let’s face it. The people who lead this movement are just another face in the crowd when they jump back in the conventional pool. What we need in this movement is a larger spokesperson that can reach out and touch the rest of the world. We need Phil Mickleson, Lebron James, Ray Allen, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant and the ENTIRE Lakers team (I’m sure there are so many more we don’t know of yet) to step up and help us spread our Paleo message.
Phil Mickelson is a professional golfer and has been in the top of the world ranking leader board for quite some time. He has won 42 events on the PGA tour, including 5 major championships: 3 Masters titles (2004, 2006, and 2010), a PGA championship (2005) and an Open championship (2013). He is also one of 16 golfers in in the history of the sport to win 3 out of 4 professional majors. Even if you are not familiar with the sport, you can see that he has accomplished quite a lot. Phil has not only captivated us with his golfing abilities but has also become one of the most beloved and personable golfers in the PGA for the past 15+ years. He is truly America’s golfer and we have looked to him for guidance, clarity and leadership on and off the course. Unfortunately, last season was not his best year, and fell from 4th to 11th in the world rankings. Here’s a the short version of Phil’s story: In 2010 Phil woke up months before the U.S Open with ankle, wrist and left index finger pain. Being the athlete that he is, he chalked it up to the rigors of golf. After 2 days of preparation for the Open, he woke up with such intense joint pain he could hardly get out of bed. Phil was seen by a Rheumatologist and one week after the U.S. Open he was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. If you’d like more info on Phil and his story you can find that here. In a article from Business Insider on Nov 20th 2014, Phil has started on a Paleo diet. He has already lost about 10 lbs and has gained 10 MPH in his golf swing according to his trainer Sean Cochran. While we know his golf game is going to improve while following a Paleo, the other bigger issue that will improve with be his arthritis. We know this because Paleo is very much an anti-inflammatory diet for the body and that is exactly what arthritis is: an inflammatory response. His wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009 and underwent treatment. We now know that many cancers often respond to Paleo/Ketogenic diets as it starves the cancer cells of the sugar the cells use as fuel. I have a feeling, without a doubt, that his golf game will come roaring back next year as well as his arthritis could actually be put in to full remission if he continues his Paleo journey. Good luck Phil!
Lebron James has become a house hold name, with his shocking move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat, his back to back NBA championships (2012-2013) with the Miami Heat and then going back to Cleveland (2014), it’s been a whirlwind adventure to watch. When he left Cleveland to go to Miami he left a hated man, very different than the Lebron we know of today. He lost the championship his first year in Miami and vowed to come back a better man, and he did just that. He returned humbled, playing for the team and not just for himself. He instantly found himself in the hearts and minds of Americans. Now with his return to Cleveland, he returns a much better man than he left. He is an improved person with many people taking a page from the ‘Lebron’ book when it comes to humility. He has become the biggest voice and diplomat for his sport and his positivity is infectious. Before the start of the 2014-2015 season, Lebron decided to try Paleo and found great success. Although he didn’t know his exact weight, he was approximated to be around 270 lbs (at his heaviest) on his 6′ 8″ frame, he is now down to 250 lbs. Lebron said in a comment, “So I decided to do this particular diet this summer for two months, it had nothing to do with basketball. Nothing at all. Once I set out a goal, I like to accomplish it. In the process, I lost some weight and the stories came out that I did it for basketball. But it did make me quicker, so it will help our team.” When asked by a reporter if he was quicker on his feet, Lebron responds, “I am, and that’s not such a good thing for the competition.” The momentum Lebron has gained will no doubt show up in his game with better stamina, quicker on the court, (hopefully) less injuries, faster recovery time and more mental clarity. I can’t wait to see what the 2014-2015 season brings to you Lebron…
By now I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘what are you getting at Adrienne?’ What I’m telling you is that everything we have been told about ‘carb loading’ (especially athletes) and ‘you need carbs for energy’ is total hog wash. Here are a couple of ELITE ATHLETES that have ditched conventional wisdom diets and have jumped in to the Paleo pool. If these people are saying good bye to their high carb/processed diets, then there is NO WAY everyone else in the world needs to be consuming so much processed, carb/sugar rich junk.
My hope for the Paleo movement is that someone of this stature will speak out and promote our lifestyle. Be our advocate, help show the world what Paleo really is about, much more than a “diet” but truly a lifestyle. Although we don’t have much to offer these individuals we do have dedication and determination to help educate others when they stumble through our doors for education because “I heard Lebron advocate about Paleo in an interview on Sportscenter and I want to try it too”. Ask anyone involved in the Paleo movement and we’ll tell you we’re pretty easy folks to get along with. We’re about education, healing our bodies and keeping life pretty simple. JUST EAT REAL FOOD.
Phil and Lebron, I challenge you and your readers to read this post and to spread the word about Paleo. Paleo is MUCH more than a diet, rather it is a lifestyle that has proven to be effective to not only you, but to THOUSANDS of other people. I truly believe in my heart, that with your help and your voice, you can help this small community flourish by spreading the message of HEALTH, HAPPINESS, and SIMPLICITY. You have already won the hearts of millions with your humility, passion, determination, kindness for others and leadership in your sport. On behalf of the Paleo community, I welcome you both with open arms and with a plate of paleo chocolate chip cookies (should you want them!) 🙂
Readers, we need strength in numbers to move America in to a HEALTHIER, HAPPIER place, so let me hear from you! Let us know what Phil and Lebron can do to help our voices be heard! I want your feed back…
Join me in Part 2 when I discuss a few more athletes that have jumped into the Paleo pool. Thanks for reading and GROK ON!