Wilson Chandler, vegan basketball player

Established in the NBA, basketball’s Wilson Chandler is recognized as an entertaining and effective player capable of making a great contribution to his team’s performance.

He currently (in 2020) plays for Brooklyn Nets and has previously represented New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets as well as playing in China.

The 6ft 8 (203cm) forward was a 2007 first round draft selection for the NY Knicks. He’s known for his athletic leaping ability and great finishes at the basket.

Finding veganism

Things have not always gone well for Wilson, who missed all of the 2015-6 season after a tear to the right hip led to surgery. Fortunately Wilson used to time to make discoveries and rebound into the sport effectively.

“A few things led me to the vegan diet” Wilson explains. “I guess the first thing to say was that I had multiple injuries and surgeries. Then additional complications: stamina level, inflammation, stuff with my stomach, overall mood, how my body was feeling and working.”

“I first heard about the vegan diet from this guy I used to play basketball against in high school. His name was Chris Douglas-Roberts and we became good friends. He was the first person that I’d seen who was on that type of diet that I could relate to.

“Then I was out in LA training when I met a lady named Rodiah Dorcely who was doing this thing called The Spirit Diet. She made me understand how I could adopt that type of lifestyle and how it could benefit me with injuries, inflammation and prolonging my career.

“The animals that we eat get their protein from plants. So we’re eating the protein that they’re eating from the plants.”

He found the change to be extremely positive – in various areas of his life.

“I sleep better, I wake up in a better mood, I recover faster, I’m not so inflamed, not so achy. I feel better overall, in everything that I do. I can take in more information easier. My mind is just open.”

Training on plants

More recently Wilson has added meditation and yoga to his routine. He also takes on more energetic training.

“In the off season, I train for three, three and a half hours a day. Early in the season, because of tactics drills, maybe like four, four and a half. An hour to an hour and a half of that is actually spent on the court, an hour in the weights room and an hour with the physical therapist. And then the other time is spent basically on what you want to do.

“I do extra work before and after training. When you’ve had injuries like I’ve had, you gotta stay on top of your body to prevent those things from happening. I do mobility stuff, strength, balance. Even a small thing like getting in the hot and cold tub, icing, getting a massage – whatever it takes. It depends on how my body feels.”

Fuel for the game

Water is a priority for Wilson, which he sometimes takes with celery juice.

“Yesterday morning I ate protein pancakes made with vegan butter and protein powder. Then I had some fruit. For lunch, I ate vegan tacos topped with vegetables and cilantro. Between lunch and dinner, I had a vegan protein shake. Then for dinner I had a veggie burger and some sautéed vegetables.

“Throughout the day, I drink water; I also drink a lot of cranberry juice. Then most nights before I go sleep I try to drink a protein shake and some tart cherry juice for recovery. “

A news interview reported him following a workout with a protein shake and some carbs. The day before, he ate a vegan burger, sauteed broccoli, and black beans, and drank kombucha.

“Initially, eating on the road was difficult, but he’s gotten to know vegan spots in different cities. Chandler says Los Angeles has a good vegan and plant-based-food scene, as does Chicago, but Detroit has his favorite vegan restaurant, Detroit Vegan Soul. Chandler’s go-to is a platter with foods like mac and cheese — vegan, of course, — collard greens, black-eyed peas, and yams. He’s also a fan of its fried-cabbage sandwich.”

The article also discusses an essential aspect of a professional athletes’ life – travelling.

“Travelling is a tough thing. It’s the toughest thing, actually. But apps like Happy Cow and PostMates make it a lot easier to find vegan spots on the road. I try to go to a store like Whole Foods and get some things. I generally take protein powder everywhere. If I’m travelling, tart cherry juice helps a lot with sleeping. I try to sleep as much as possible: on the plane, when I get to the hotel. Meditation is also great way to rest your body and your mind.”

After thirteen seasons at the top, we can expect more from Wilson, and he appreciates he has to do things right if he wants to keep going.

“I think you have to take a lot of responsibility as an athlete. First of all, just showing up, being open and working. But also when nobody’s around and you’re at home, eating the right things to give yourself the chance to recover, getting proper rest, staying hydrated.”

Wilson’s career stats

Wilson on Wikipedia

More on his diet

Interview with Wilson

Instagram: @illwil21

Twitter @wilsonchandler

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