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James Wilks is a combatives instructor for the US Military, retired MMA Fighter,  2009 UFC champion, and main star in Gamechangers Documentary which you can now watch on Netflix.  Gamechangers was executively produced by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron, also known for directing Terminator and Titanic to name a couple of other films!  Gamechangers explores whether a plant-based diet is an optimal diet for athletes across all disciplines including strength, endurance sports, team sports, and more.  There are some big name athletes appearing in the film such as World Record Holding Strongman Patrik Baboumian well-known ultrarunner Scott Jurek, Olympian cyclist Dotsie Bausch, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Derrick Morgan of the NFL’ Titans, and so many more.  The movie is about James Wilks quest to search for the optimal diet to help him recover from a terrible injury.  His research set him on a trajectory to learn more about plant-based nutrition, ultimately discovering that many athletes are competing at the top level with no animal products. The film also goes into why a plant-based diet helps athletes perform and recover at their best.

Topics Discussed in the Podcast 

  • Acclaim for the film including the Defense Health Agency
  • how the idea of Gamechangers came about
  • James’ previous diets and notions on vegans
  • is grassfed beef healthy?
  • best foods to eat to recover faster from injury
  • fatigue, carbohydrates, heme iron, supplements for performance
  • how to decipher if scientific studies are legitimate 
  • how they picked athletes to be in the movie
  • a short bit about fighting MMA/ taking punches & managing aggression and anger
33:50 It’s really centered around inflammation. The blood flow is centered around inflammation as well- inflammation of the arteries. But then if there is inflammation just recovering from a workout session or you got injured and you’re recovering, you need inflammation to build muscle and to recover, but you want to get through that inflammation quickly so that you can work out again more effectively. You can always work out again the next day, but it’s how effective and how optimal is that workout?   I think inflammation is really the key here -that animal foods tend to be inflammatory, plant foods tend to be anti-inflammatory.  And so reducing that can not only help blood flow, but also muscle repair, being faster, and also injury repair as well.

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In 2012, Founder and CEO Caitlin Landesberg started her search for the perfect beer to cheers with friends after long trail runs in and around San Francisco… but didn’t find a beer that fit the bill when it came to celebrating her athletic lifestyle and diet. So, taking matters into her own hands, Caitlin spent years developing the beer she wanted to see in the world. After teaming up with an all-star brewmaster to perfect her recipes, Caitlin started to share her beer with friends and fellow trail runners.  The beer is brewed with built-in superfoods so you can recover, sweat for your beer, and feel good!

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