Jim Morris has been bodybuilding for over fifty years and has been vegan since 1999. He has won many bodybuilding awards, and still trains to this day. Born in 1935, he started weight training in the 50s.
A post on his blog provided a succinct view on how to eat in a healthy manner: “If I were building a residence where I planned to live the rest of my life, I would use the finest quality materials available to me. Because I am going to spend the rest of my life in my body, I’m using the finest quality materials available to me, unprocessed, unrefined, whole natural vegetables, beans, grains, fruits and nuts.”
Below is an interview with Mr. Morris.
1. How long have you been following a plant-based diet?
I became a vegetarian in 1985 when I retired from physique competition and a vegan in 1999.
2. What are your favorite foods?
Beans, grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. All equally.
3. Are you able to find your foods at restaurants and which do you prefer when eating out?
I do not eat out.
4. What are your top sources of protein?
I do not think in terms of protein, carbs or fats.
5. Same question for iron?
I do not think in terms of specific minerals or vitamins.
6. What are some of your top sources of food information, such as websites?
7. Do you take your own food with you when you travel, or identify places to eat online before you travel?
If I travel by car I pack enough for the drive. If by plane I do not eat en route. I only travel to visit friends or relatives, so I eat at their homes.
8. When people find out you have a plant-based diet, do you find it easy to converse with them?
I rarely get into conversations with them about my diet beyond the fact that I am a vegan.
9. You are a bodybuilder. What must you do to build muscle and stay lean, in relation to your diet?
Listen to your body and eat from the five food groups above. Eat only when you are hungry and only what you have an appetite for. Do not think in terms of carbs, fats, or proteins, do not count, weigh or measure anything and eliminate all processed and refined foods from your diet.
Here is a long video interview with Jim. The subject matter is more about his biography. He says his approach is not just bodybuilding, but a way of life. Control of what he wants he says is part of how he chooses certain foods. For example, he says he gets sugar too, but from fruits and vegetables not from refined sugar in ice cream. This interview with Morris was conducted when he was 75.
Image Credit: Jim Morris