It’s a well-perpetuated idea that professional athletes need to eat a lot of meat to bulk up. We’ve all seen top athletes featured in ads from endorsement deals with fast food chains – heck, McDonald’s is prominent at basically every major athletic event from the Olympics to the World Cup. But why is it that we’ve come to associate peak athletic performance with meat? Well, it partly has to do with the fact that government-backed interest groups are funding a lot of these ads with the help of tax dollars, but as a society we have long fallen prey to the myth that you can’t have muscles if you don’t eat meat. While we could probably write a thesis on the issues with that misconception, instead we’re going to show you an NFL team that has been doing the opposite of meat-loading … all thanks to Chef Charity Morgan.

Charity Morgan has over 15 years of culinary experience, but she only decided to dedicate her career to plant-based cooking after her husband, Tennesee Titans’ outside linebacker, Derrick Morgan, found out about the benefits of eating plant-based for athletes. They dove in head first and soon some of Charity’s health issues dissipated as well, so they decided to stick with it.

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From there, Charity started making Derrick vegan meals to fuel him through training season and soon, his teammates started to take notice. While some were skeptical, once they learned about how eating plant-based could help lower inflammation, speed up recovery times, and increase their energy levels and mental clairty, many more joined in. Surely the health and performance benefits were a draw, but Charity’s delicious, hearty food is what made so many stick to her plant-based meal plan.

In a recent episode of the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast, Chef Charity shared more about her journey from cooking meals for just her husband to now customizing meals for 17 NFL players. She gets into the pushback that she and her husband faced and explains how she was able to breakthrough the resistence and ultimately prove athletes can be successful without meat. She also talks about the food she makes and explains how she hopes to expand her business to serve other teams – in and out of the NFL.

We often think of pro-athletes downing steaks and burgers to “bulk up” during training, but Chef Charity Morgan and the Titans are proving an athlete’s real best friend might just be a veggie burger.

To learn more about how Chef Charity is changing the NFL with plant-based food, listen in!

You can listen to the full episode below or on the following platforms: iTunesSpotifyStitcher, and Google Play. 

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast for new episodes with food industry leaders, health, and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food – and order your copy of the #EatForThePlanet book!

Image source: Chef Charity Morgan