The All-Pro Diet: Lose Fat, Build Muscle, and Live Like a Champion

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9781605299518: The All-Pro Diet: Lose Fat, Build Muscle, and Live Like a Champion
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A perennial Pro-Bowler, NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez has been an unstoppable force for all of his 12 years in the NFL. But for a long time, he ate like an average American: red meat, pizza, fast food, whatever was plentiful and convenient. Concerned about his long-term, post-career health, Tony decided to change his diet. With the help of Mitzi Dulan, nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals, Tony embarked on a revolutionary new clean-eating and exercise regimen that changed his life, elevated his physical and mental performance, and resulted in dramatic, measurable improvements on and off the field. It was this dietary change that led him to break two NFL records—most touchdowns and receptions by any tight end in NFL history—in a single season.
Now in The All-Pro Diet, Gonzalez reveals the program, low in animal protein and high in whole organic plant-based and unprocessed foods, that has given him more strength, stamina, and energy than ever before. The first-ever diet and fitness plan from an NFL player, this book will show you how to make simple lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments so you can feel stronger, healthier, and more energetic than ever before.
The All-Pro Diet includes:
-Meal plans designed to take the guesswork out of making smart food choices
-An array of delicious and wholesome recipes for every meal
-Tony's Ultimate Fitness Program—no weight machines required
-The 8-Point Plan of Attack for achieving the All-Pro Mindset
You don't have to be a pro player to get the insider nutrition advice. The All-Pro Diet is an eating plan for anyone who wants to live a longer, healthier life. Get started today!

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About the Author:

TONY GONZALEZ is a record-holding Tight End for the Atlanta Falcons and appeared regularly as a celebrity judge on Oprah Winfrey's ABC primetime series The Big Give. Renowned for his generous charity work, he lives near Los Angeles, California.
MITZI DULAN, RD, in addition to her positions as nutritionist for Kansas City's pro football and baseball teams, has been featured in Newsweek, Fitness, and other magazines and on Discovery's Science Channel. She resides outside of Kansas City.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

CHAPTER 1

MY PLAN OF ACTION

"CHANGING YOUR DIET JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE."

--Mitzi Dulan

In this book, I'm going to share a nutrition and lifestyle plan that will help you lose weight, gain muscle, and live a healthier life. I want to emphasize, first of all, that this isn't some gimmicky diet and exercise program that guarantees you'll lose X number of £ds per week or develop the kind of washboard abs that will earn you the Mr. Fitness award. But I can guarantee this: It's a plan that works for me.

It's true that you don't have quite as much at stake as I do. In all likelihood, your next year's employment contract does not depend on being strong, fit, and ready for the once-a-week thunder of an all-consuming NFL game. I'm willing to bet your Sunday afternoons during football season are considerably more relaxing than mine. You may not feel compelled, as I do, to jump rope a thousand times or bench-press a couple hundred £ds. But still, I'll bet there's one very important thing that you and I have in common. We like to feel good. We like to wake up with plenty of energy and feel invigorated rather than exhausted when we exercise. I'll bet you like the feeling of being fit as much as I do. And, yup, I'll bet you even love to eat as much as I do--but you hate the feeling of car rying around a lot of excess fat on your body.

So here's what we share (I'll bet): a healthy respect for feeling good.

Here's what we don't like (I'll bet again): feeling like a slug.

And here's what we really dread (my final bet): losing our health.

THE PLUSES FOR EVERYONE

What if I told you I could come up with a total plan that would help you have more endurance, better focus, and faster recovery? Wouldn't you be interested? Even if you're not a pro athlete, these are things all of us want. Here's what I mean:

More energy and endurance--You last longer when everyone else is getting tired.

Better focus--In the meeting room, in the classroom, at home, out on the field; wherever you are, you have greater ability to concentrate on what needs to be done. And that means you're not going to let other people down!

Faster recovery--The day after working out hard or playing a tough game, you come back feeling fresh and full of energy. The other guys may look at you like you're crazy, but you really have that kind of bounce-back capability. They're aching and hurting and moaning and, sure, you've got a few bumps and bruises, but you're ready to go again!

These were all the benefits I started to experience when I switched to the All-Pro Diet that I describe in this book. It all adds up to better performance. For a professional athlete, having more endurance, better focus, and faster recovery means being able to work harder and play better than ever before. And that means a longer career. For a young athlete, it means making the A team instead of the B team, which might mean getting the athletic scholarship instead of someone else. However, it is in no way all about money--more importantly, this is about your lifelong health. For everyone else, more endurance, better focus, and faster recovery means not letting teammates or colleagues down, staying in the game, and coming in fresh and full of energy no matter what the activity. Who wouldn't make this choice? It's a no-brainer.

This lifestyle program can make the biggest difference in the world. It's more than a nutrition and exercise program. It's also the mental work that you do to make yourself better. And that's what it's all about. Focus on getting better--all the time--and no matter how you look at it, you're going to come closer to achieving your dreams. It's really worth it!

THE HEALTH DIMENSION

What are the benefits of switching over to a different kind of diet?

I can only speak for myself, of course. But I've also done some reading on the subject--enough to sound a few alarms about the way most of us eat today. And by "most of us," I'm not talking just about football players.

The wake-up call regarding my own health came in the form of two unrelated crises. My first big scare came when I was diagnosed with Bell's palsy, a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of two facial nerves. It's not a condition that can be immediately diagnosed, and before the doctors figured out what it was, they told me I might have had a stroke, a brain aneurysm, or meningitis. I was rushed to the hospital, where they immediately performed a CAT scan. During that long ride and the examination that followed, I had the opportunity to do some very serious soul-searching about the direction my life was taking.

I was lucky! When the tests showed I had Bell's palsy, the doctors assured me that there was about a four-in-five chance that I would recover fully. If all went well, my initial symptoms--the numbness and sagging features-- would right themselves without any serious aftereffects. Many people with Bell's palsy get over it without ever having a recurrence. As it turned out, an acupuncture treatment was extremely helpful to me, and the paralysis went away in 2 weeks.

But another health scare lay ahead. Just before the 2007-2008 football season, I went for my annual preseason physical in Kansas City. As usual, I had a blood test at the hospital. As I was leaving town to head back home to California, I got a call from the team trainer. He told me my white blood cell count was dangerously low. I had to return immediately for another blood test.

"GIVEN WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING, MY BODY IS MY TEMPLE--AND YOU NEED TO PUT THE RIGHT THINGS IN YOUR BODY. IF YOU ARE NOT EATING THE RIGHT THINGS OR GETTING THE PROPER AMOUNT OF REST, YOU WON'T BE PRODUCTIVE."

--Tony Richardson, 15-Year NFL Veteran

Back in Kansas City, as I gave blood for the second time, I was told by the doctor that unless the first test was wrong, my football career was over. I was facing a serious medical situation. Again, I suffered through a prolonged waiting period when, it seemed, my whole life hung in the balance. Would I ever walk out on the gridiron again? Was my career really over? Suddenly, I was seeing my life from a completely different perspective--from the point of view of someone who might have only months to live. It was a shock. After the doctor called me, I can remember driving in my car with tears running down my face.

Good Eating --It's Infectious!

"NFL players reflect similar eating challenges that many other men face and their nutrition concerns are as varied and individual as the number of players on a team. Knowing how much to eat, when to eat, and what to eat are questions many players ask. Figuring out how to prepare or purchase the foods that will both fuel and nourish them is an ongoing task. One of the goals of the team nutritionist is to help the athlete find what works best for that individual in considering training and recovery demands, food preferences, health history, and ideology while keeping lifestyle and performance goals in mind."

--Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM, Team Nutritionist for the New York Giants

To my incredible relief, the second test came back normal. It turned out the lab had confused my blood test results with those of another patient. It was a terrible error, and I can't imagine what it was like for the person who had to be told the bad news. But for the moment, I had dodged the bullet.

Though relieved, I still felt sobered by these experiences. Each time, I was reminded just how important my good health is to me and how much I take it for granted. Yet, at the same time, I was reading books like TheChina Study by T. Colin Campbell, an author who offered clear statistical and epidemiological evidence that my diet was a train wreck just waiting to happen.

The convincing proof was mounting every day. I wasn't the only one on a diet that was steering me toward health disaster. Millions of other Americans were on the same track. And the American culinary landscape--from the fast-food dens of double-sized drinks and triple-sized burgers to the mountains of highly advertised packaged and processed food products filling the shelves of enormous supermarkets--had caused the staggering obesity of an overfed yet undernourished population. I realized that many of us are, quite literally, the walking wounded, not because of what we've suffered in war and destitution but because of the way we've filled our plates and fed our hunger.

MEET MS. DULAN

It's time to introduce one of my favorite people, a friend and expert dietitian who has been instrumental in developing the incredible nutrition plan that I call the All-Pro Diet. Mitzi Dulan, RD, is one of the top nutritionists working in the NFL.

Mitzi and I first discussed my nutrition in 2004, when I consulted with her about my eating habits. This marked the point where I thought I was ready to take action.

For more than 10 years, Mitzi had been doing nutritional consulting with professional athletes from all major sports. She worked for the Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks before taking over as the team nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. Not only a registered dietitian with the highest certification in sports nutrition, Mitzi is also a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD), a position held by fewer than 300 nutritionists in the United States.

To tell the truth, when I first talked to Mitzi in 2004, I wasn't really ready to take her advice seriously. But a few years later--and after my health scares--I again sought out her opinion and advice about my diet. That was May 2007. It was around that time that I began doing a lot more reading. Mitzi encouraged me to learn the facts--and once I did, I became even more eager for change.

Just to give you some background on my state of mind at the time: I was at a stage in my career when I was realizing the need to be proactive about changing my nutrition plan. My old gobble-up-the-fat and wolfdown-the- calories lifestyle just wasn't doing it for me anymore. All around me, people were talking about the long-term damage of obesity. Here I was, a professional athlete relying on my body to perform, but I had hardly any understanding of what my body needed to perform at its best. I was reading about nutritional studies comparing the long-term health of people in different cultures, and I was hearing about the epidemic-proportion outbreak of type 2 diabetes among young people in the United States. Yet I was barely paying attention to the damage or the benefit of my own nutritional plan. In fact, I didn't have a plan. That began to seem more than foolish: It was downright irresponsible.

Given my greater receptivity to Mitzi's advice in 2007 compared to our first meeting, the question now was not whether I would begin to make changes, but how and when. I knew I needed guidance. And that's what Mitzi provided.

It didn't take Mitzi long to see that she'd be working with a guy who had once been addicted to junk food. In fact, she knew that already from our earlier meeting in 2004, when she suggested I decrease my cheese intake and cook more meals at home. I love cheese. My weakness was anything with cheese in it. And me, cook? Like most of the NFL players Mitzi works with, I was always eating out. I'd go to a restaurant, order anything that looked good--the more food, the better--and clean my plate. Pizza, steak, and hamburgers were the core staples of my diet. To Mitzi this was par for the course. When guys weigh an eighth of a ton or so, they tend to eat heartily. Sure, there's the challenge of turning that fodder into some kind of useful muscle, but that's what we do. Take heaps of calories, turn them into energy, and use every last joule of that energy to get into the end zone. What's wrong with that?

MITZI ADVISES ...

The drastic changes Tony has made in his diet are remarkable. The fact that he has been able to experience a very noticeable difference in his energy level, recovery, and ultimately his performance by changing his diet should be a wake-up call for anyone. And I do mean anyone. If you are a stay-at- home mom and still trying to lose your baby weight, this diet will help you do it. I have two young daughters. I used the principles outlined in the All-Pro Diet to lose 20 £ds and get back to what I weighed when I started college. (Mind you, this was before I gained the freshman 20!) With this program, I reached that goal--and I've never looked back. So I have personal experience as well as a strong conviction that it works. Plus, I've seen how well it works for other people.

The best thing about my job is getting to help people improve their health and change their lives. It's very rewarding to see people benefit from those changes. Tony feels better now than at any other point in his career. The All-Pro Diet is one that I'd recommend to anyone trying to achieve peak performance levels--whether in a conference room, at home, or on a football field--while at the same time improving your health.

There was nothing particularly wrong, as Mitzi patiently began to explain. But ... what if it were possible to stoke the fire with the kind of fuel that burned more steadily and lasted longer? What if I loaded the furnace with the kind of calories that would more easily turn into muscle fiber? What if I started to use the kind of fuel that would keep the engine well- tuned instead of clogging my arteries, attacking my liver, and making my pancreas work overtime? I was still living in the days of leaded, polluting gasoline when there was high-octane premium all around me.

A Consensus of Nutritionists

The days of sports nutritionists standing on the sidelines, waiting to be called in to give occasional advice, are rapidly vanishing. Today, there's ever-increasing awareness on the part of owners, coaches, teams, and players that performance is directly related to health. With mounting evidence that the classic football player's diet affects Sunday afternoon performance and has direct long-term health consequences, nutritionists have moved to the forefront.

A shining example of this new development is Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, a team sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics.

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