James Newbury has won the title of 'Australia's Fittest man' four times (Photo: Instagram/James Newbury) - Media Credit:

Australia’s Fittest Man Goes Plant-Based For Animals And The Planet

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Australia’s Fittest Man has revealed that he is now plant-based – and has shared the reasons why.

James Newbury, who has won the title of ‘Australia’s Fittest man’ four times, has also clinched the title of ‘Fifth Fittest on Earth’ at the Crossfit Games. He is also an Ironman finisher.

Newbury took to Instagram to detail the rationale behind his decision to go plant-based – revealing that the idea has ‘been on [his] mind since about 2013’.

Plant-based diet

The athlete said he had tried to make the transition before, but as he was unprepared, and ‘didn’t take the time to make good eating habits’, he stopped. He added that his motivation at this time was ‘performance benefits rather than ethical reasons’.

“I guess since then I’ve almost turned a blind eye to a lot of what you see on YouTube with how animals are treated, and I avoided videos like that like the plague because it made me so sad,” Newbury wrote.

“Then I started to think to myself by not watching the video because it makes me sad, this doesn’t actually contribute to a solution, yet it actually supports it. No matter the size of the contribution, it’s still a contribution, so I made the choice to do it properly. Not only for the animals but the environment too.”

View this post on Instagram

Ok so a few questions have been coming through about the plant based meals I’ve been posting so this post should nail them for you guys, here goes. Turning more plant ? based has been on my mind since about 2013. I even did a couple of months of it. To say I was prepared at the time would be a lie. I didn’t educate myself and didn’t take the time to make good eating habits, so I stopped. Back then it was looking at performance benefits rather than ethical reasons. I guess since then I’ve almost turned a blind eye to a lot of what you see on YouTube with how animals are treated, and I avoided videos like that like the plague because it made me so sad. Then I started to think to myself by not watching the video because it makes me sad, this doesn’t actually contribute to a solution, yet it actually supports it. No matter the size of the contribution, it’s still a contribution, so I made the choice to do it properly. Not only for the animals but the environment too. Before the @crossfitgames open started in the beginning of October I stopped eating 99% of animal products. I did however keep a collagen protein in my diet as I wanted to ease my way into it. 3 weeks later I fell off my bike and broke my back, ribs and punctured a lung. I continued eating 99% animal free through this period. 2.5 weeks later I went in for follow up xrays. I then received a call later that arvo from the cardio thoracic doctor saying there was no fractures left to be seen. Not to say the way I was eating is the cause of this because I’m sure the shape I was in played a role and my ATT to recovery is almost obsessive. As of the 12th of November I quit 100% of animal products. December 1st I completed my ever full distance Ironman and then finished a 7 day fast in Bali. I’m now back in the gym and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey of getting back to CrossFit weight from here. My collagen of choice now is @atpscience vegan aminos ?- At no point am I going to push this choice upon anyone else but hopefully it allows everyone to keep an open mind just like anything in life regardless of the stigma attached. #livekindly however looks for you ??

A post shared by James Newbury • Adelaide (@jamesnewbury) on

‘Looking forward to sharing the journey’

According to Newbury, he stopped eating 99 percent of all animal products at the beginning of October, before the CrossFit Games. He kept taking an animal-based collagen supplement as he ‘wanted to ease my way into it’.

He added: “Three weeks later, I fell off my bike and broke my back, ribs, and punctured a lung. I continued eating 99 percent animal-free through this period. Two-and-a-half weeks later I went in for follow up Xrays. I then received a call later that arvo from the cardiothoracic doctor saying there were no fractures left to be seen. 

“Not to say the way I was eating is the cause of this because I’m sure the shape I was in played a role, and my [attention] to recovery is almost obsessive.” 

Quitting all animal products

The sportsman concludes that he quit 100 percent of animal products on November 12 – and since then, has completed some impressive sporting feats.

“[On] December 1, I completed my ever full distance Ironman and then finished a seven-day fast in Bali. I’m now back in the gym, and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey of getting back to CrossFit weight from here,” he said.

“At no point am I going to push this choice upon anyone else, but hopefully it allows everyone to keep an open mind just like anything in life regardless of the stigma attached.” 

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The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

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