Saturday, March 24, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #24 - John Salley

John Salley

Know him from: John Salley is a former NBA championship athlete. He played for the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and the L.A. Lakers. After his retirement from professional basketball, he tried his hand at acting, and appeared in the Bad Boys movies (1 and 2) alongside Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. He also appeared in the Whoopi Goldberg movie Eddie and, more recently, he played a shopaholic attending group therapy with Isla Fisher in Confessions of a Shopaholic. Salley has also hosted a number of tv shows, including The Best Damn Sports Show Period, which he hosted for 7 years. He was also host of BET's Ballers, and VH1's Basketball Wives.

Why he's vegan: A bad breakup back in 1991 spurred John to start taking control of his health and well-being. He tried a few different diets before adhering to vegetarianism. He said that he didn't want to age quickly or become out of shape, and the vegetarian diet helped him meet his goals - even while playing championship basketball. Salley went a step further and became a vegan in 2008, to help control his genetically-high cholesterol. He then became a raw vegan in 2010 when he heard that that diet could help to reverse or prevent diabetes, a disease from which John's father suffered. John even produced a documentary film called Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. I can't say I know a ton about the science behind the raw food movement, but I will say that John Salley appears to be in very good shape at 47 years of age. I will also note that he has tweeted a few times recently (twitter handle above) that "Healthy is the new SEXY."

In addition to promoting the health benefits of veganism, Salley encourages people to "vote with your fork, 3 times a day," and stop supporting factory farms. When Salley saw behind-the-scenes videos of slaughterhouses for the first time, it just solidified the vegetarianism he adopted back in 1991. When you see something like that, he says, "you're either hot or cold, you can't be lukewarm." Salley says that vegan food also makes him feel good, healthy, and strong, and he wonders if he might not still be playing basketball today if he had dropped animal products from his diet sooner.

Why he's awesome: John is certainly not a one-hit wonder. He is a multi-talented athlete, actor, multimedia personality, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is affiliated with Operation Smile,which helps children around the world, Farm Sanctuary, an animal rescue and rehabilitation center, PETA, an organization dedicated to exposing and preventing animal cruelty, and the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). An avid foodie, John contributes to magazines and makes appearances promoting his healthy vegan lifestyle. He also runs his own production company these days, where he works to spot new talent for tv and film. In addition, he writes for his blog and posts videos on his website (please see above). In fact, his most recent post says he's hosting a cooking class at the Northridge, California Whole Foods on 3/27! Line up now Californians!!!!

In a way, John Salley is kind of like a tall vegan hear me out on this one....This guy continues to reinvent himself, and he always looks for new opportunities to get involved with something great, challenging, and fun. He comes by it honestly too, because he even managed to get his mother to go vegetarian at the age of 84. So in case you're thinking vegetarianism is only a younger person's game, just look to Mama Salley.

So Mr. Salley, you are formally invited to join the Hot Vegan Army. And not just to reach the stuff on the high shelf either...I think you'll have to be the host of our new reality show: Hot Vegan Naked Chef. Are you in, or are you in?

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