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Mac Danzig: Athletic Prowess on a Plant-Based Diet

By August 22, 2013August 7th, 202319 Comments

Today on the show I sit down with my friend Mac Danzig, a fascinating PlantPowered force in the MMA / UFC world.

Before we go any further, throw away any UFC fighter stereotypes that may come to mind.  Mac is one of the more intelligent, introspective and out-of-the box thinkers you are likely to meet — a personality and perspective forged from transcending a challenging upbringing to rise to the highest echelons of the UFC, including victory in Season 6 of the Ultimate Fighter  and a decorated career that includes twelve consecutive wins in 2006.

Accomplishments all achieved on a 100% plant-based diet.

I first met Mac a couple years ago and was immediately struck by his contemplative, low key personality.  A guy at peace with himself, far more comfortable alone in nature than navigating the spotlight.  A guy who really thinks about the authenticity of his actions, his place in the world, how to best father his daughter Nova, and the impact his decisions have on others and the planet at large.  So it was fascinating to finally sit down with him and hash it out.  Not short on opinions, Mac broke my record in episode length today, exceeding 3 hours and expounding upon everything from his career and diet (of course) to the benefits of meditation, the perils of our education system and sport as art.  Yeah, it’s a long one.  I know.  But I am really proud of this interview and essentially guarantee that you will be completely engaged throughout.

It’s one thing when a triathlete, marathoner or an ultra-runner demonstrates plantpowered prowess.  We’ve seen that. But what about an athlete whose success depends upon brute strength, lightning speed, incredible power and world-class agility?  Well that’s another thing altogether.  Simply put, Mac’s success takes all the wind out of the tired argument that you cannot excel athletically on a plant-based diet.

Now Mac is taking his game to a whole new level, experimenting with the 80/10/10 Diet – a regimen heralded by Douglas Graham in which 80% of all calories come from carbohydrates, 10% from protein and 10% from fat. Translation?  Most of what he eats is fruit — a protocol that stands in direct counterpoint to the high fashion, high fat, low carb craze currently in vogue.

How is it working for Mac? You’ll have to listen to the whole episode to find out.  It might take a few sittings, but I promise it’s worth your time investment.

I genuinely hope you enjoy the show.

Just a reminder that we’re now up and running on  Soundcloud  for those of you that prefer this service.  Check out the show there & follow us – I even created a few albums to help you find the episode and subject matter you are looking for, including a most popular episode album and episodes catalogued by subject matter – i.e., nutrition, fitness, entrepreneurs & spirituality.  Good stuff.  For those unfamiliar, Soundcloud is great because it allows you to share your favorite episodes across your social networks and even embed shows on your website or blog with their super groovy player widget.  You can even add comments to the show specifically tagged to the referenced section / time code.  And it’s an amazing tool to further help get the word out about the podcast, so we appreciate any sharing or spreading you are inclined to do! For more info, click  HERE.


*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Thanks for listening and thanks for the support!


  • PorfirioVonLeichtenstein says:

    FOIST …… !!!!

  • Carbsftw says:

    Great stuff. Love it <3

  • ToothShucker says:

    Very interesting. People should experiment with their diet and find their groove.

  • Lorie M says:

    OK, I have to say I’ve been enlightened by practically EVERY guest you’ve had on your podcasts Rich! (Also I am SOO Excited to hear you speak at the Toronto Vegfest in September). However, I wanted to say;of all the people that have been on your podcasts, (besides Vinnie, love that guy! LOL), is your interview with Mac Danzig! I related on a few levels with kids and schools, and not dwelling on the past, and trying to become more in the present! I found this interview to be very humble, relaxed, and moving. Thanks to you both.

  • BYOL says:

    The UPS stroy reminded me of this gym teacher back in the 1960s who disciplined a few students for growing their hair long. He called them degenerates and told them they would never amount to anything. The gym teacher’s name was Leonard Skinner. Those students eventually formed the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    This was a great interview. Rich you are really growing in this role as host. Very nice job, looking forward to whats next!

  • 30bananaguy says:

    If anyone wants to know more about 80/10/10 or Durian rider than shoot him an email at .. [email protected] … FRUIT STRONG!

  • IronmanNoob says:

    “Accomplishments all achieved on a 100% pant-based diet” – Quick edit needed Rich (Pants – Plants), great podcast though, the more I hear about 80/10/10 the more I like. Not sure about eating pants though.

  • richroll66 says:

    Ha! Thanks for the catch. Kinda funny:) Fixed it:)

  • Rick says:

    Great interview. Here is a link to articles by “Plantpositive,” certainly one of the best, most scientific bloggers on plant-based nutrition:

  • Rick says:

    I agree with Lorie. This may be the best interview so far. It is hard to find content where two thoughtful individuals spend 3 hours going deep versus the intrusive goofball stuff that is standard on so many podcasts.

  • Paul Avila says:

    Skaters have more talent that most ‘regular’ sport athletes. Bring it Danzig!

  • Petar says:

    So Rich, when are you going to try a couple week 801010 experiment? 🙂

  • tartmuffinsmom says:

    I loved this podcast. If you listen to this amazing conversation, believe (yourself) in trying to do what is right, and see this guy’s photography website, it is really hard to not be a fan of Mac Danzig. His skateboarding background is a great bonus to me and explains a lot about his personality. He is so thoughtful, talented, hard working and genuine, I am now a fan and I will spread the word!!!

    Thank you Rich!

  • Matt says:

    Great Podcast, one of my favourites. Now you need to get Durianrider on the pod….
    Keep it up Rich, bes wishes from the UK

  • Emeric says:

    I didn’t think I’d actually listen to the majority of this podcast; kind of skipped the bit about kids, but have stayed with it for over two hours. And as a vegan for over 13 years, I’ve got to say that the raw vegan lifestyle is calling me more and more.

    Rich, it would be a good time if you did an experiment with 80 -10 -10 and brought us along with you. Kind of like a mass experiment with you and your listeners who are into it.

  • Nicho says:

    This is great Rich! Thanks for letting athletes like Mac or Timothy Olson tell their story and share their beliefs. Awesome stuff and definitely inspiring !!!

  • Josh Meckel says:

    Great episode. I am definitely not a fan of fighting, but I enjoyed this episode like the Fight Shark Miller episode. Thanks for being such a great role model 🙂

  • Julie Moen Berg says:

    I have been enjoying your podcasts so much that I went back to listen to some of the earlier ones. I knew nothing of MMA or Mac but wanted to listen to his vegan / 80-10-10 journey. I loved how his voice became excited when speaking of the results he has had with 80-10-10; all of a sudden he had so much to say and began to speak with joy. Three hours went by so quickly! As a 100 mile ultra runner I often times have unbearable inflammation. I turned to veganism a few years back, then low fat raw-my inflammation has decreased to almost nothing. I can’t believe how great recovery has been. I enjoy hearing that others are having great results and that I am not the only one! People around me thought I was crazy being an ultra athlete, then vegan, now eating a fruit diet. It’s good to know that I’m not alone. Thank you!

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