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James Brett Wilks (born 5 April 1978) is a retired English professional mixed martial artist. He was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom.
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- I started out like most people just finding my local martial arts gym … and it's quite easy to start thinking that whatever you're in is the best thing that you can do, so … I assumed that Taekwondo is the best. … I started thinking, “Well, maybe there's something else that the other arts have offer,” so I started cross-training. Anyway, that got me into competing in mixed martial arts. So, I thought my diet was pretty good … and it was until I got injured … that I actually had some time to sit back and really analyze what I was eating, and I realized I hadn't applied the same scrutiny to my diet as I had to the martial arts training. So I saw a parallel there, that in martial arts there's a lot of nonsense out there, people teaching stuff that really doesn't work, and I'd realized that and started finding the truth in martial arts, and basically I realized I hadn't found the truth in nutrition, so last year I spent over 1,000 hours looking at peer reviewed medical science and realized that a plant-based diet is superior and optimal for health and athletic performance.
- Speech at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo, in Woodland Hills, California (October 12-15, 2012). Video in “MMA Ultimate Fighter - James "Lighting" Wilks - Is Vegan”, in VegSource.com.
- At first it was for health and athletic performance but it also became about ethics and the environment. My strength increased. I put 20lbs on my dumbell benchpress (10lbs each arm) in only 2 weeks and my endurance improved. Running is much easier now. I have more energy and recovery is better too. The whole protein myth is complete nonsense. Plant-based foods have plenty. … As an athlete you want your endothelium, the inner lining of your arteries, to be as healthy as possible. It is responsible for nitric oxide production which transports oxygen to the muscles and dilates the arteries. More oxygen means better performance whether it be strength or endurance. Plant-based foods are inherently loaded with antioxidants too, which aid athletes in recovery. If someone wants to be the best athlete they can be they need to fuel their body with the best diet available and that is a whole food, plant-based diet.