By Yasmin Fahr
The words "professional athlete" bring to mind toned bodies, strength, endurance ... and incredibly large appetites. The average fan would naturally assume that the diets of athletes like Olympian Carl Lewis and slugger Hank Aaron include a lot of meat as a source of protein and bulk for their strong-bodied machines.
But that's not necessarily true. In fact, more current and former professional athletes than you would think have given up animal proteins and turned to a variety of alternative veggie-based diets instead.
Who, you ask? Carmelo Anthony, New York's most recent sports star, turns to vegetables when he's on a diet. Legendary boxer now turned TV host and pigeon-owner Mike Tyson is a recently converted vegan (yes, it's true!).
Former NBA star Robert Parish chose to chow down on vegetables before slam dunking for the Celtics while two of the greatest female tennis players in history (Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova) are also both veg-heads. But the list does not end there, and includes multiple hall-of-famers and rising stars alike.
For those of you who are looking for inspiration to follow a meat-free diet and want a famous role model, or for those of you who just want to see who else is on this list, see The Daily Meal's list of more vegetable-loving athletes.
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