A vegan bodybuilding experiment: Joshua Knox at TEDxFremont

A vegan bodybuilding experiment: Joshua Knox at TEDxFremont


Translator: Mohand Habchi
Reviewer: Bighead Ge (Cheers) (Applause) So as he said I am Josh. I grew up in a family
of meat and potatoes. I had a gourmet chef grandmother, a deli daycare where
I would be dropped off everyday eating amazing food. So if you take a look
at my family background, it’s not really surprising. So on my mom’s side,
they grew up in Argentina, this is the place where you have
a lot of dairy farmers including my family. You add to that my dad’s
side of the family, Fort Worth Texas born and raised, myself as well. This is a place where
you literally still have cattle drives through the middle of town. So you put those two together
and what do you get? Not surprisingly, pretty much every meal that
I ate was a giant pile of meat. At one point in my life
I really would literally brag, that I ate steak, every day,
for forty days. And I thought that
it was an accomplishment. So it all changed,
on a very fateful trip. I like going up to lake Tahoe, one of my favorite things to do. This is a trip that normally
takes 4 or 5 hours, We got stuck in a really bad snowstorm, so about 10 hours, into what should be a 4-5 hour trip. We are all really stir crazy in the car, and we are having lots
of crazy conversations. At one point we were making animal noises to keep ourselves entertained. We got the car turned off, everyone was basically
sleeping in their car. and we got on the subject of nutrition. So a very good friend of mine up in
the back of the audience, Brian Robin, was really the man with a plan. He started talking about
a plant-based diet, and you had a car full of
extremely skeptical people, myself included, we had you know, four other people
in the car besides Brian, we are peppering him with questions, saying there’s no way this is possible, there’s no way you can be healthy. You know coming from my perspective, you know all I really knew, I learned a lot about cooking
from my grandmother and I really enjoyed cooking, I enjoyed cooking for my friends, but the foundation of everything
that I would cook was really meat, and so I may make a side dish, but it’s a side dish
it’s a second thought. So, you know after this long
conversation with Brian, I think he did a very good job
of inspiring the rest of the group. So those four others of us in the car, all decided to go seven days,
no meat whatsoever. So we were all a little bit of a
support group in each other, challenging each other
to try seven days no meat. I think if you were to ask
those who knew me at all, they would say: “Josh, going seven days, with no meat?” Not only no meat, but no
animal products whatsoever. They’d have told you that
it’s absolutely impossible. And so after the seven days, day eight, the first thing I did A – I ate a giant pile of pulled pork, and then B – I sort of reflected, it was actually very easy for me
to go seven days with no meat, no animal products whatsoever. And I took a look at
my own family history. I have two grandfathers who
had quadruple heart bypasses, not very surprising given what I have been talking
about my family history. I have a grandmother who
passed away from diabetes, I have lots of cancer in my family. And so all these things together, really said well maybe
I can try thirty days, and so thirty days quickly turned
into more than a year and a half, on a purely plant based diet. And so I didn’t go into it lightly, when I took a look at my own situation, I spent 10 or 12 years
really bulding my body. I really enjoyed physical fitness, I really enjoyed bodybuilding, and I had a major concern
that I would waste away, I would be skinny and sickly, and all this work that I put in
would just completely disappear. So after more than
two and a half years now, of doing not only plant-based
but then maybe mostly vegeterian, totally a non issue. I actually found that not only
was I able to continue increasing my strength
and my performance, but also saw massive gains
in endurance as well. So the other big concern, one of my favorite things to do is to eat. It’s one of my favorite ways
to interact socially. And so I was concerned that you know, this is going to be a very
difficult thing for me to do. It’s going be a battle, day and
day out resisting things. So for me it was much less
about what I was giving up and much more about what
I was actually coming to learn. So rather than feeling
I got missing out on foods, I really felt, that I was opening my mind
to so many different things that I would have never put on my plate. I haven’t been focused still
on that giant pile of meat. The results, you know unfortunately
I didn’t get younger or taller as a result of this experiment. I did precipitously drop my cholesterol, and this is a level that
maybe some people, wouldn’t say that was extremely dangerous, but pretty high level cholesterol, that cholesterol drop
happened extremely quickly as did the weight drop. I didn’t think I had 35 pounds to lose. But I lost 35 pounds, I dropped
my cholesterol precipitously, noticed massive improvements in: my performance, my ability to function in my work and in my job. Some mental improvements, as well as physical improvements. And so I think this all really
started with my friend Brian and a lot of literature that I read, and my own family history inspiring me, to take about, you know, 30 days to make this change. And hopefully, my inspiration, these things that inspired me, can also be an inspiration for you, to believe that this is
possible for you as well. Thank you. (Applause)