NFL Defensive Lineman David Carter Eats No Animal Food


The photo is from the Thrive article, so maybe mid-2014 time period.

Melinda mentioned the football player David Carter. I’m posting this to draw attention to how Carter gets his protein on a vegan diet. Getting enough protein is, if I may say, to the chagrin of vegans, a real feat for a 300-pound athlete. Where a sedentary man needs about 8 grams of protein per kilogram body weight, Carter is aiming for 1.2 g/kg. Not only that, he’s feeding another 100 pounds of body compared to the average man. This is a challenge. This requires a lot of very particular eating.

Here’s Carter’s web site: The 300 Pound Vegan

Carter only recently adopted a plant-based diet (14 February 2014), so, to be fair, much of his muscle was forged eating animal foods, a lot of animal foods, “chicken, beef, pork, and just about every other animal you can think of. … Whey protein, raw eggs, gallons of milk, and casein were in just about every supplement I took.”

Carter went cold turkey. He didn’t phase out the cheese (and all other animal foods), he stopped eating them overnight. He felt changes in his body just as quickly:

The more I learned, the more my body benefited and my results came quickly. More energy, shorter recovery time, increased stamina, improved strength, and the peace of mind that no one had to die in order for me to live. Every one of my nagging injuries is gone. Tendonitis, inflammation, scar tissue, nerve damage, and chronic muscle fatigue all corrected themselves within months of adopting veganism.

People just do not appreciate that animal food, especially dairy food – cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk – increases inflammation and makes your joints feel terrible. They think they have pain because of something they did, or because “it runs in the family,” not because of something they ate.

This site1 says he eats 10,000 calories a day, 5 meals plus four 20-ounce smoothies in between. The smoothies are made from cannellini beans, sunflower seeds, fruit (strawberries, bananas), and spirulina:

The protein comes from a lot of different places — rice and beans, which together make complete protein; whole grains like millet, quinoa, and couscous; supplements like spirulina and hemp protein; and nuts, which give Carter one of his favorite ingredients, cashew cheese made with nutritional yeast.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with hemp protein, bananas and berries
Snack: 20 ounce smoothie made with cannellini beans, banana, strawberries, and spirulina
Lunch: Brown rice and black beans topped with avocado and cashew cheese
Snack: Another 20 ounce smoothie
Another lunch: More of the brown rice and black bean combo
Snack: Another 20 ounce smoothie
Dinner: Couscous with onion and garlic, and spinach salad with bell peppers
Snack: Another 20 ounce smoothie

That smoothie? “He starts each morning with a huge batch of the bean smoothies in his Vitamix blender (enough to total 100 grams of protein).” This site2 says he eats 540 grams of protein a day! Compare that to the 65 grams/day that an average 180 pound man needs.

This site4 says he eats only 6,000 calories a day. It looks to have been written just a few months after Carter became vegan in 2014. He lost about 40 pounds after starting the diet and had to work back up 300 lbs, probably with those 10,000 calories noted in the 2015 article1 above.

BB: How would you describe the way you eat? DC: I try to make sure that I get all of the nutrients my body needs by the time I go to bed. I eat five to six times a day. Three meals and three pretty large snacks. I eat a lot of veggies, rice, beans, and fruit. I love fresh-pressed fruit juices with a hearty grain, like millet, in the morning and a protein shake. Afternoons, I normally do a sprouted grain with veggies and legumes for protein. Dinner is usually some kind of rice, beans, and more vegetables, and banana “nice” cream and fruit most nights. By the end of the day, I’m hoping to have consumed around six thousand calories.

Carter eats beans, peas, or lentils at every meal, almost 8 times a day, about every 2 hours. Beans. That’s where he gets his protein.

I know people who go vegan and eat no beans. Nada. Zilch. Or people who go to a salad bar and put 6 chick peas on some lettuce. After a week they feel like someone punched the life out of them. They immediately return to eating eggs, chicken, fish, and yogurt, and conclude, “It’s not for me.” Welp.

Related sites:
1 The Real-Life Diet Of A Vegan NFL Defensive Lineman, GQ, 11 August 2015
2 136kg NFL Star Explains How A Vegan Diet Has Saved His Career,, 13 August 2015
3 Chicago Bears Sign Vegan NFL Player David Carter, VegNews, 3 August 2015
4 Q&A With David Carter Of The Jacksonville Jaguars: The 300 Pound Vegan, Thrive Magazine, August 2014?
5 Wikipedia: David Carter (defensive lineman), He appears to be a free agent at the moment.

6 thoughts on “NFL Defensive Lineman David Carter Eats No Animal Food

  1. Bix Post author

    I’m sitting here eating his smoothie. I’m sorry. I meant to take a photo but it was so good I crammed it down my throat like there was no tomorrow.

    It was:
    1/2 banana
    6 frozen strawberries, thawed
    2 tablespoons canned navy beans
    Dash cinnamon

    I used a hand-held immersion blender, an inexpensive tool that cleans up in a snap.


    1. Bix Post author

      So far I’ve had them with navy beans, cannellini beans, and adzuki beans. All of them were good. I thought the adzuki beans would add an off taste but they didn’t. The cannellini were the best.



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