New James Cameron Documentary Explores The Athlete Vegan Movement

“At our very first screening at the Sundance Film Festival, I had a long line of people who wanted to know how to start eating plant-based RIGHT NOW.”

A new documentary called “The Game Changers” is out to prove that a plant-based diet is the most advantageous one for athletes — or, really, for anyone interested in improving their health.

The film, executive produced by “Titanic” and “Avatar” director James Cameron, is slated for release in fall 2018. It’s the latest signifier of the growing trend in sports in which an increasing number of athletes are choosing a plant-based diet — eschewing the traditional high-protein or high-carb diets of the past.


Everyone from Venus Williams to the defensive line of the Tennessee Titans to the NBA’s Kyrie Irving and the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick is eating plant-based diets, citing numerous health benefits as their motivations.

Several other films, such as “What the Health” and “Forks Over Knives,” also focus on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but “The Game Changers”producers have a clear and somewhat new angle: It also aims to dispel myths tying manhood, virility, and strength to meat consumption.

In one section of the film, researchers conduct an experiment proving that a plant-based diet leads to stronger and more frequent erections — and it’s led to some, shall we say, firm responses.

“At our very first screening at the Sundance Film Festival, I had a long line of people who wanted to know how to start eating plant-based RIGHT NOW,” U.S. Olympian Dotsie Bausch, an athlete spotlighted in the film, says. “After seeing the film, no one wants to wait or make the transition slowly. My hope for ‘The Game Changers’ is that it jump starts this plant-based revolution.”

Bausch, the oldest Olympic competitor in her discipline, stood as a plant-based athlete on the Olympic platform at almost 40 years old. She experienced nearly immediate changes when she went vegan. “My blood flow increased, my digestion improved, my recovery time was cut in half, and I had teammates who were 10 years my junior chasing me around the track,” Bausch tells GOOD.

Rip Esselstyn is another accomplished plant-based athlete featured in the film. A top-10 Olympic distance triathlete in the United States for over a decade, he attributes his success to a diet that strengthened his immune system.

“Even though I was putting all this stress on my body every day, I very, very rarely got sick,” Esselstyn says. “As an athlete, a huge nemesis is getting sick.”

In the film, Esselstyn challenges 35 New York City firefighters to take his Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Challenge to see how their weight, blood pressure, and internal biochemistry could measurably shift in just one week. “When they're doing whole plant-based foods, we've got an average total cholesterol drop of 31 points, weight loss of almost seven pounds, and blood pressure at 10 over 5 — and these guys were just blown away,” Esselstyn reports.

The reasons athletes and normal folks alike experience these physical changes are multifold.

“A whole food plant-based diet is inherently rich in unprocessed carbohydrates,” Dr. James Loomis, a plant-based-diet doctor interviewed in the documentary, explains. “It helps us maintain adequate glycogen stores, which is the energy we use for shorter duration exercise and short bursts of energy.” Inflammation is also reduced significantly while antioxidant consumption rises, leading to improved recovery time. “The compounds that make blueberries blue or raspberries red or sweet potatoes orange—those are all very potent antioxidants. By eating a plant-based diet, it significantly increases your ability to offset this oxidative stress.”

Of course, people often ask: But where do you get your protein?

“There is more than enough protein in the plant-based diet to help build and repair muscle and body tissue after athletic performance,” Loomis says. “I mean, you don't see mountain gorillas or elephants and ask, ‘Oh my God, where do they get their protein?’ But what do they eat? Well, they eat plants.”

Plant-based athletes load up on protein by eating lentils, beans, tofu, seitan, peanut and almond butter, and seeds, among other foods, according to Derek Tresize, a professional vegan bodybuilder.

According to published studies, 97% of Americans get more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein. And overconsumption of protein is associated with kidney disease, diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, and even osteoporosis. Fiber, on the other hand, is what most people are actually deficient in — 97% of Americans don’t get the RDA, increasing risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases. More immediately, this deficiency can also hurt athletic performance.

Meat has zero fiber,” Esselstyn adds. “We now know that fiber is so imperative in giving us even stores of energy over the course of the day, in allowing us to be as regular as a Swiss commuter train so we're not backlogged, constipated, and having all this nonsense basically festering in you for days at a time.”

Another common question is whether you need dairy for strong bones. In reality, we can get all the calcium we need from plants and may actually be hurting our bones with high dairy consumption. On average, we absorb just 30% of the calcium in milk, yogurt, and cheese, but we absorb twice that percentage if we eat dark leafy greens, nuts, and legumes.

“If you look at population data, countries with the highest milk intake, dairy intake, have the highest rates of osteoporosis,” Loomis says. Theories as to why this might be are numerous. Dairy lowers pH levels in the blood because of increased amino acid intake, and we have to neutralize that acid by leaching calcium out of our bones, Loomis explains. “The calcium that's in milk, where did that calcium come from? It actually came from the dirt that the plants were grown in.”

In his opinion, no distinction should exist between sports medicine and regular medicine—we were all designed to be active.

“There's no such thing as sports nutrition; there's just healthy nutrition,” he says.

For Loomis and a growing consensus of doctors, nutritionists, and athletes, that nutrition plan couldn’t be clearer.

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

Keep Reading Show less
Viral


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less
popular