Santino Panico’s new documentary, “From The Ground Up,” focuses on athletes who eat a plant-based diet.

Panico, a former college football player, has framed the film within his own training for the New York City Marathon. As he trains and counts down to the day of the marathon, he interviews experts on veganism along with athletes who eat plant-based. For Panico’s film, he used the term plant-based for both vegan and vegetarian diets.


“The word vegan and the word athlete don’t usually go together,” says ultra endurance athlete Rich Roll in the film. “There is this very common misconception that if you’re eating a plant-based diet, if you’re not eating meat, that you are going to suffer a protein deficiency.”

“Do I look like I’m not getting enough protein?” jokes bodybuilder Torre Washington.

The doc also includes beautifully shot clips of the athletes completing training and feats of athletic prowess. The cinematographer, Mike Call, has captured the action with an eye for these athletes’ expertise.

A number of the vegan athletes interviewed talk about how their performance and health seemed to improved after making the switch to a plant-based diet.


“Immediately I felt lighter, I felt faster on the field, more energized all the time,” says Oakland Raiders wide receiver Griff Whalen in the documentary.

You can watch the film now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu.

Eat Like A Vegan Athlete!

Looking to get more energy for sports and workouts? Here are some protein-packed recipes from the Food Monster App.

How to Make Your Own Protein Powder

Sarah and Peter Hagstrom’s guide on How to Make Your Own Protein Powder is the perfect way to take your workout to the next level.


Superfood Protein Shake

This Superfood Protein Shake from Julie Van den Kerchove is a delicious way to get the protein you need. Superfoods like maca powder and goji berries will keep your energy levels high!

Sesame Tofu

And for a protein-rich dinner, try this Sesame Tofu from Rhea Parsons. The perfect plant-based alternative to Chinese take-out.


Looking for more info on eating a vegan diet as an athlete like Sample Meal Plans for the Female Vegan Athlete? Download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day.

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