Scott was recently a guest on Talk Radio with Meria Heller.
1/21/14 Meria Interviews Scott Shetler, of Extreme Performance Training Systems, author of six books on his latest book “Plant-Based Performance: A Compassionate Approach to Health and Fitness”.
Click the YouTube link below for the interview!Click here to visit Meria's website!
Mac, first I wanted to say thank you for being a part of the Plant-Based Performance project to benefit Mercy For Animals, and thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview to help support the book! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I'm originally from the Western Pennsylvania region. I grew up as an only-child, raised primarily by my mother, who was a single parent. From my earliest memory, I recall being enchanted by nature and wildlife. A deep respect and interest in the natural world, along with the thirst for exploration and adventure has been the major theme of my life.
When did you first become interested in the martial arts and competitive fighting?
I was always interested in one-on-one combat sports like boxing, kickboxing and karate, from my early childhood and onward. The first time I saw the UFC in 1994, I was 14 years old. I was blown away at the excitement and the essence of the competition. From that point forward, I made it a goal to learn as much as I could from studying the events on tape, even though it would be years before I was able to find a place to train at and develop real skills.
One of your passions is photography. What do you enjoy shooting most, and why?
I enjoy shooting all sorts of different subjects, but by far, my two major passions are natural landscapes and wildlife. Being in the presence of wild animals is an amazing energy to experience. It's a privilege to be in that moment, watching them interact on their own terms and attempting to capture these moments aesthetically. The only thing that comes close to that for me is traveling to geologically beautiful remote areas, far detached from the hand of man and using my equipment to try and capture the serenity of the light play and the energy of the area.
When did you decide to transition to a plant-based diet?
After a few stints of half-hearted attempts at vegetarianism over the years, I finally made a solid permanent decision in 2004 at the age of 24, to eat and live entirely plant-based.
What does a normal day of eating look like for you?
I eat as much in-season, raw, ripe fresh organic fruit as I can afford and find available to me. I graze on fruit throughout the day, and I might make a giant smoothie with fruits, as well as a huge raw salad using tender greens, lettuces and vegetables. I don't eat much overt fat these days, but when I do it's usually always in the form of avocado or coconut.
What does a normal day of training look like for you?
During my years as a professional MMA fighter, most days of training included 1-2 hours of technical practice like hitting striking combinations on the pads, or drilling grappling and wrestling techniques, followed by a recuperation period and finished later in the day with a few hours more of training, including live-sparring to simulate a fight and cardio interval-training. Now that I am retired from the sport, I find myself enjoying the endurance sports a lot, mainly due to the fact that I can perform them while being outdoors and exploring. I find myself doing long trail runs and even longer cycling sessions on rural roads and bike paths.
How important is your nutrition plan to your training and preparation as a competitive fighter?
Nutrition has always been one of the most important factors for me, as a successful professional athlete. Luckily, I found out early on that a plant based diet of primarily raw whole foods is the most beneficial. In the prime of my mid 20s, I won 12 straight fights directly after going vegan.
Competitive martial arts have evolved tremendously over the past couple of decades, due in large part to organizations like the UFC, and have become very popular as spectator sports. How do you feel about the growth of the sport and what are your thoughts on where it seems to be headed?
I have mixed feelings about the direction it's headed, however I have always leaned toward a pessimistic outlook, so that may have something to do with that. Really, I think the fans are very lucky at this point in time. The UFC's explosion in popularity has really opened up the doors to allow more fans to see the sport, and more fighters to compete. There are some driven people fighting in the sport today, who have made it their true passion to excel and create art out there. As the sport reaches it's saturation level, we may see that fade over time. But right now, the sport is at the most competitive and artistic level we have ever witnessed.
Now that the concept of mixed martial arts has evolved into its own discipline, instead of the early days which pitted style vs. style, do you think it takes away from the traditional aspect of the martial arts at all? Only in the past few years have young kids had the opportunity to join an "MMA" training facility as opposed to beginning in a strict traditional style and evolving into a competitive mixed martial artist.
Well, there are two sides to that phenomena. On one hand, it's good because MMA is based on reality, and any tradition that teaches you to defend yourself or engage in combat in an unrealistic way is meant to be broken or cast aside. On the other hand, I have noticed the over-saturation of “MMA” as a discipline leading to the same phenomena we saw take place in the 70's and 80's here in western culture, with “McDojos.” Now we have suburban shopping centers with MMA and Jiu-Jitsu schools taught by uneducated charlatans who are cashing in by watering down what was once a realistic set of disciplines. In the end, things are coming around full-circle. It's interesting to observe.
In addition to strict nutrition practices, do you practice anything to bring balance to your fight training, such as meditation, qigong, yoga, etc? If so, do you feel this, or anything similar, is an important aspect of training and preparation that a fighter should practice?
Aligning one's mind and emotions with one's body in a loving, symbiotic way is extremely beneficial, I believe. In my experience, a few of the paths leading to this in an effective manner can be meditation, yoga and the responsible, spiritual use of psychedelics.
What was it like participating in, and coming into the UFC, through The Ultimate Fighter?
Looking back on the experience, It was a beautiful ride, full of emotions and chances to experience life fully. At the time, It seemed arduous, stressful and full of mixed emotions about what was unfolding. In the end, it was an amazing learning experience for me about myself, life and human nature in general.
What do you feel are some of the biggest myths associated with plant-based nutrition? MD
By far, the biggest myth is that there is some sort of protein requirement that humans have, which is not met with a plant-based diet. That notion is simply wrong and only followed by the ignorant. Another myth is that strength will somehow be lost if one chooses to eliminate animal products from the diet. It's a ludicrous notion that isn't true. Rather than directly trying to change people's minds, I have adopted the practice of using my own success as an example. I encourage all other people with plant-based diets to do the same. Be a shining example of health and vibrance.
Some of the nicest, most caring and compassionate people I've ever met have dedicated their lives to working with animals through rehabilitations, rescues, and animal rights organizations. If I remember correctly from one of your podcast interviews I listened to, you spent some time working for an animal rescue, or animal shelter. I read a statement once that said, "Working for animal rights - you will lose your mind, but find your soul." From your experience, would you agree?MD
I absolutely agree with that statement. Often, the most challenging experiences in life are the most rewarding. The people who have followed their hearts and put themselves on the line for what they believe in, have truly lived.
What do you feel would be the best way to share the benefits of a plant-based diet and cruelty-free lifestyle with others, without coming across as "preachy", "elitist", or "judgmental"? MD
Leading by example is where it's at. Let people know what you do, and do it well. If you are a good person, it will rub off on many people in a profound way. We are too often caught up in the idea of instant change, which is why there are so many fad diets and products out there. There is no “get rich quick” plan, nor is there a plan for “instant enlightenment”. Have patience with yourself and others. Nothing is going to change over night. Be yourself, lead by example, and let your energy permeate everything around you.
What inspires you the most?MD
Nature and wildlife. In the human realm, it's anyone who lives life to the fullest, and thrives in the moment, seizing the essence of life. Ironically, that is exactly what I feel animals in nature do, which is why I feel that way about them. Human culture can be a great thing, but it can also be very limiting. Going back to the mindfulness and presence of existence without the constraints of society can lead any earthling down an enchanting and wonderful path, I think.
What is the purpose of life?MD
To play the game with loving abandon.
What do you want to be remembered for after you've passed from this lifetime?MD
Hopefully, that I lived life hard, offered my love, and stood up for what I believed in.
If someone were to steal your iPod, or portable music player of choice, what would the top 5 most played songs be?MD
Probably songs by Bad Religion, The Misfits, older Jedi Mind Tricks, The National and Freddie Gibbs
If readers want to learn more about you, or follow you on the internet, or see any of your photography, do you have a website or social media page they should look up?MD
Check out my photography on www.macdanzigphoto.net Follow me on twitter at @macdanzigmma
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?MD
Life as we know it in this body is pretty short. If you want to do something, there really isn't any time to waste.
Mac, thank you sincerely for your time. I can't express how much it means to have your support on this project. All my best to you!MD
You're welcome, bro!
Have you set your goals for 2014?
Our 2014 goal is to raise $10,000 for Mercy For Animals through our book sales. Remember, 100% of all book & e-book sales go to benefit MFA!
Here's the link to get your copy, and please share with friends and family!http://plantbasedperformance.org/store.html
Thanks for the support and we wish you all the best in 2014!
-Plant-Based Performance Team
The rockstar of my kitchen!
At a ripe old 37 years of age I still have a lot of growing up to do. This fact is abundantly clear, I mean I have an entire Marvel Comics tattoo sleeve, got a new skateboard for Christmas this year, and even though I am the President/CEO/Owner/All Around Totally Awesome Entrepreneur of a business, I wear shorts and t-shirts to work everyday.
With simple facts such as these it is no wonder that my favorite green smoothie is reminiscent of my favorite sandwich, one that conjurs up great memories of childhood when the biggest worry was which Saturday morning cartoon to watch, the ever-awesome peanut butter and jelly, or PB&J as most of us like to call it.
There are a few criteria food prep needs to meet in order for it to make my daily menu plan:
2. the fewer ingredients the better
3. simple & fast to prepare
With strict requirements such as these it's no wonder smoothies are a staple for me, and also no wonder that my Vitamix is the rockstar of the kitchen. (editor's note - my Omega Juicer runs a close 2nd!)
I use a pretty standard formula for creating green smoothies I learned from Victoria Boutenko: 2 cups of water (I also like almond milk), 2 cups of greens, and 2 cups of fruit -- SIMPLE! See requirement 3 above.
If you want a totally healthy and totally delicious treat, try the following recipe for yourself!
- 2-cups of almond milk
- 2-cups of greens (I usually go kale & dandelion greens)
- 1-cup of berries (I usually use strawberries or mixed berries)
- 1-cup of banana
- 1-2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter
That's it! Just throw in a handful or two of ice cubes and blend for 30-60 seconds!
Scottscott@extreme-fitness.orgwww.extreme-fitness.orgwww.scottshetler.comP.S. - Let me know what you think of this recipe, or share your own in the comments below!
Take a minute to watch Mercy For Animals' 2013 Year in Review! MFA is a fantastic group of people who are doing amazing things.
Help us support them by ordering a copy of Plant-Based Performance, 100% of the book sales go to support MFA!
It was squat day today at the gym and my strength trainer, Scott Shetler, always provides me with various types of motivation to help me push through our intense workouts. Just as I was getting warmed up to step into the cage and turn up for ten sets of squats, he shows me the recent online article about Jay Z and Beyonce partaking in a three week vegan challenge. http://pitchfork.com/news/53212-jay-z-and-beyonce-pledge-to-go-vegan/
As I read through we discussed what a good thing this was but Scott pointed out how there were so many haters and vegan purists chiming in on the comments as well as the negativity that they were spewing about the article. People were questioning the authenticity of Jay and B's choice to go plant-based like it was some big Illuminati ploy to undermine the true vegan agenda.
We both felt that those notions were ridiculous of course, but also symptoms of much deeper issues. Haters just can't recognize a good thing.
As a fellow hip hop artist, who is currently vegan, I can totally relate and resonate to his choice to try it out and see how it works for him and his family. With all the poppin molly references, sippin syrup advocacy, swimming in pools of alcohol advertising, and chronic weed abuse promotion that hip hop has become the modern day vehicle for, it’s refreshing to see health addressed positively from icons of Jay Z and Beyonce's status in the game. Jay is an uber relevant hip hop artist and yet also a maturing man in his forties who even his critics can’t deny has made successful decisions that have catapulted him to a position of great influence in popular culture; not just in hip hop, but in many sectors of entertainment, business, and lifestyle. Jay has been a trendsetter, a leader, and a pioneering force in pushing the presentation, perception, prestige, and power of hip hop to unprecedented levels of achievement; and Beyonce, just as much so in her phenomenal career.
With all of the hip hop artists and entertainers that have died from health related illnesses you would think that there would be a greater show of appreciation; if for nothing else that two members of our community are striving for healthier lifestyles and that in itself is good because it's good for them. It’s also good to get a break from the same old negative news that we hear about so much these days from the effects of the lifestyles of the rich and famous and unhealthy. But also, it is even that much more meaningful because they chose to share their journey via social media, which in this day and age has the potential to encourage millions and millions of people to perhaps dig into this notion of how beneficial plant-based eating is and maybe encourage many to research and see if it could be of benefit to them.
When Jay Z said 'change clothes', sport jerseys went out out of style and button downs came in. When Beyonce sang her lyric “let me upgrade ya", it cleverly coined the concept of being an asset and contributor to your partner's development and success in a relationship. I know the power of the partner upgrade from my own experience. My wife is a nutritionist and holistic health counselor and was instrumental in my healing and shift to healthier living. It’s so important and powerful to have that unified spousal support for positive lifestyle changes and to help one another sustain those changes. I think their support for the vegan lifestyle is highly commendable and necessary. And it matters.
It should be no secret that I’m a huge fan of both Beyonce and Jay. We have worked together on the dead prez song "hell yeah" and have shared the same circles in many regards for years but I, like I'm sure millions of other people, admire Jay even more today for his leadership as a man of family, marriage, and fatherhood; and how he has literally laid a blueprint for the success of a maturing hip hop artist.
Now, I'm certainly no advocate for Jay's alcohol promoting ventures, to keep it all the way 100, nor am I trying to overlook anything that critics may find contradictory, no one is perfect in the eyes of another. There are enough people standing in line to point out others’ faults and contradictions. I got my own to keep track of. But I just feel that when a person takes a step in a positive direction to improve their health, that it is worthy of supporting and celebrating; later for the haters.
Hip hop is a global phenomenon with the power to literally move the masses of people. So many of the negative aspects of the culture get put on blast and so, in instances like these, it is an opportunity to appreciate the positivity that hip hop is capable of in the right hands with the right messages. This is why I created what I call the first ever "fit-hop" album, The Workout, which fuses veganism and hardcore fitness training with authentic hip hop lyricism and hard core beats into one seamless lifestyle. I think that the notion of hip hop equating to degenerative lifestyles of poor health, drug abuse, and early deaths has gone way too far. My album The Workout, is just another example of how hip hop can respond positively to the health crisis in the US, as well as around the world, and help influence a healthy shift towards practical, proactive solutions in the lives of everyday people.
According to holistic nutritionist and vegan Afya Ibomu (who just happens to be my wife) "Eating a well balanced plant based diet decreases the risks of cancer, obesity and heart disease, saves animals from unnecessary mistreatment and slaughter and decreases the harmful effects that the meat industry's air and water pollution has on the environment."
I recently shared my story of transformation from being a young hip hop artist with a poor diet and self destructive lifestyle suffering from gout in my leg to a plant-based martial artist, runner, and fitness enthusiast; and how the healthy shift re-inspired my commitment to hip hop, in my trainer Scott's book Plant-Based Performance: A Compassionate Approach to Health & Fitness. http://plantbasedperformance.org/store.html
Scott is a vegan himself, a former kettlebell sport and powerlifting competitor, a student of qigong and Taijiquan, and a trainer to many elite athletes; and he offered these comments on why veganism is gaining more and more popularity.
"I think one of the reasons we are seeing such a “boom” in the popularity of plant-based diets is due to the fact that many of the myths associated with them, such as: you cannot be strong, build muscle, perform well athletically, be healthy, etc.; have been completely debunked. The stories featured in my recent book, “Plant-Based Performance: A Compassionate Approach to Health & Fitness” are firsthand accounts of the benefits of plant-based nutrition from 78-year old Ironman competitor and cancer survivor Dr. Ruth Heidrich (who was also featured in the book “Born to Run” and on the documentary Forks Over Knives); top UFC MMA fighter and Season 6 Ultimate Fighter Champion Mac Danzig; “the Plant-Based Dietitian” Julieanna Hever; vegan strength coaches Sabina Skala and Mike Mahler; and many others. 100% of book sales go to benefit Mercy For Animals, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. "
It goes without saying that Jay Z and Beyonce are two powerhouses of pop culture. Their embrace of the vegan lifestyle, whether for a trial period, or a lifetime, is a positive step not only for their own lives but for all those who their actions impact and influence. In the article about the power couple's vegan shift, Jay asked for assistance from any pro-vegans, so I'm putting together a care package with a copy of Plant-Based Performance, the Workout, and my wife's book The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy. My homies have teased me with the nickname 'Jehovah's Fitness' because of how much I knock on metaphorical doors about the good news of health! But Hova himself, getting down with vegan power; with the celebrity hype to spread the wealth of health? Now that's the new Gangsta!
Khnum "stic of dead prez" Ibomu
with Scott Shetler, NSCA-CPT
Vegan Strongman Patrik Baboumian posted this on his Facebook page the other day, I think it's a great message to share on Thanksgiving Day!
I hope you all have a happy, plant-based Thanksgiving!
Dear friends in the US,
In a few days you are going to celebrate Thanksgiving and if I may ask you for your attention I would like to make a suggestion this year.
Why don't use the opportunity and thank someone that has done labour for the whole human race for thousands of years.
Someone that has helped us as a species to come to where we are today.
Someone whose labour, tears, sweat and blood has been the price for our development as a society.
I'm not talking about Jesus Christ. I'm not even talking about a person.
I'm talking about the animals that we have used as our pets, as food, as our slaves on farms, as the victims of our scientific experimentation in laboratories, as clothing and even as subjects for our mere entertainment even if entertainment means just to kill them for sport for thousands of years.
Without the suffering of all those animals, we would not be where we are now.
So isn't it time to give something back? I really think it is!
If you agree please consider giving the whole animal kingdom a holiday from slavery just for one month.
Go vegan for a month and give something back to those who we owe so much to.
Because animals do not have a voice to speak for themselves I'm asking you on their behalf.
Image by Hendrik Thiele / PETAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFpip6rxcYY
A new undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals exposes horrible acts of cruelty occurring at a Tyson pig farm.
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Please share this petition with others, and THANK YOU for your support!
My deepest and sincerest THANKS to Winston at TourDeFit for the great review of Plant-Based Performance: A Compassionate Approach to Health & Fitness
!From TourDeFit's Blog
If you’re like me, your image of the typical body-builder or serious competitive athlete entails training for hours on end and eating a lot
- specifically high protein foods like lean meats, dairy and eggs. This perception will be forever changed when you pick up a copy of Plant Based Performance: A Compassionate Guide to Health and Fitness
Edited by our own Health Expert Scott Shetler
, this book is a collaboration from some of the best vegan athletes, trainers, and health and fitness professionals in the industry, all of whom have come together to discuss the benefits they’ve found from living plant based lifestyle.
This book was a quick and enjoyable read and taught me a lot about how a plant-based diet can aid athletic performance and overall wellness. I have been skeptical in the past about a vegan athlete’s ability to put on mass, but it’s hard to look at a guy like Patrik Baboumian (“The Vegan Viking”) and still have doubts. Patrik’s is just one of the many stories in this book of vegan athletes who have reached the pinnacle of their sport. There’s also UFC mixed martial arts fighter Mac Danzig, Ironwoman Ruth Heidrich (both featured in the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” Julieanna “The Plant-Based Dietitian” Hever, raw vegan bodybuilder Danny Dalton, ultra-runner Matt Frazier, hip hop recording artist Stic.man of dead prez, former WWE superstar Amy Dumas and many others who share their personal accounts of what the vegan lifestyle has done for them.
One of my favorite chapters was “Protein for Vegans – A Simple Guide to Getting What You Need” by Matt Frazier. This is a seamless, intuitive guide to making sure that you fulfill those important protein needs- something that anyone considering a vegan lifestyle should take a look at!
I would whole-heartedly reccomend this book to anyone interested in plant-based nutrition or even health and fitness in general. And the best part is, 100% of the revenue from this book sale goes to benefitMercy For Animals
, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.
Learn more at www.plantbasedperformance.org
-TourDeFIT.com Blogger Winston Powell