Keiser University Seahawk Basketball forward Chris Lee has found success both on and off the court, and credits his KU professor, his vegan lifestyle, yoga, and other healthy choices for helping to get his groove back on the basketball court after a physical injury and for providing more energy than he’s ever had before.
When Lee first joined the Flagship Campus as a freshman in 2014, nutrition wasn’t his focal point. But things soon changed for the 6’5” 240 pound basketball forward while taking an Environmental Science class. “One of our lessons opened my eyes to the fact that almost all of what we Americans eat is made of unhealthy corn products, so I wanted to learn more about the benefits of an all-vegetable diet,” said Lee, a Lexington, Massachusetts native who credits Sport Medicine & Fitness Technology, Exercise Science Professor Julie Snyder for helping him to expand that journey and make great physical and academic strides.
The first week of transition to a vegan diet of fruits, vegetables and protein powder proved a bit painful, and caused Lee to be extremely tired. “I think it was my body adjusting,” he said. “I didn’t yet know how to properly portion my meals and learned that I had to eat more carbs, so I loaded up on oatmeal, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and wild rice that my mom would send from Minnesota,” he said. After about a week, Lee began to feel a lot ‘cleaner,’ and the joints that had given him problems over the years due to sports injuries stopped hurting completely. He can now outrun most competitors and his recovery time is much shorter.
But his professors say that isn’t all they appreciate about Lee. “Chris uses the same high energy, intensity and motivation in the classroom as he does on the court. Truly an inspiration and mentor to his classmates, as well, he has set the bar high through his dedication, humility and work ethic, and remains a cornerstone and an asset to have in our program,” said Professor Snyder.
Lee’s recipe for success includes:
- Water consumption early in the day to kick start metabolism
- Loaded oatmeal for breakfast
- Avoidance of processed and boxed foods
- When visiting the supermarkets, concentrating on the outskirts of the stores where the fresh items are usually located
- Drinking a protein shake immediately after a workout