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Going 'cold-tofu': Thunder guard Chris Paul joins Partnership for a Healthier America summit as guest speaker

Competitor or ambassador? 

By switching to a plant-based diet, Chris Paul believed he had found a competitive advantage. 

“I almost don’t like to tell nobody about it, to be honest,” the Thunder guard said during the Partnership for a Healthier America summit on Tuesday. “It’s almost like my secret. But I’m just not built that way. I like to try to share that knowledge with other people because it also goes back to education.”

Paul is now an investor and ambassador for Beyond Meat, a company that produces meat substitutes. Beyond Meat secured the keynote speaker slot in PHA’s virtual 10-year anniversary summit. After CEO Ethan Brown gave a presentation on the science and history behind the company, Paul joined him for what they deemed a “laptop-side chat.” 

Paul delved deeper into his transition to a plant-based diet last June. He said he’s already begun to eat Beyond Meat after games, and he felt “lighter” than when he consumed animal protein. So, Paul quit meat cold-turkey.

“Or some might say, cold-tofu,” Paul said, chuckling.

As he’s said in the past, it wasn’t an easy transition. But he liked the results. 

“The first week I saw my body transform, just the feeling of it,” Paul told the summit attendees. “Just to tell you a quick story, I was working out at the time, I was training. I’ve been playing for years and years, and usually when I’m training I wake up with a lot of muscle soreness. That’s just part of training, and when you’re an athlete, you’re just used to it. You’re like, ‘Ah I’m achy, I’m achy.’

“I got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, and I wasn’t aching. I was walking; I was feeling good. I was like, ‘Hold on, I’ve been playing too long for this not to be hurting.’ So, I went in with my trainer the next day, and I was like, ‘Are we doing something wrong? Am I not going hard enough?’”

Paul, 34, had battled injury for the previous three seasons. But by the time the NBA went on hiatus this season, he had already played 63 games for the Thunder, the most he’d played since 2015-16 . 

Paul has shared his diet-change experience with the next generation, through his foundation and NBA platform, but also his own family. His grandmother, he said, has been in the hospital with health problems.

“My parents have taught me almost everything I know,” Paul said. “So, It’s been really cool to actually teach them things about health and wellness.”

Related Photos
Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City,  Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.  [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5a534bd6ececad556ec045b7d6f420e8.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (3) reacts after a basket during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Maddie Lee

Maddie Lee followed an NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City, she just took a 10-year detour in between. Lee joined the Oklahoman in October 2018 as a Thunder beat writer, fresh off a stint in Oxford, Miss., where she covered Ole Miss for the... Read more ›

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