This Man Was The Only U.S. Vegan Weightlifter In The Olympics

Growing up with a bad temper and with a diet based on burgers nobody would have ever thought that this man was ever going to go vegan. Even his wife was laughing out loud when he wrote her a text message from the gym that he was thinking about going vegan. However, Kendrick Farris, made a flip-flopper and turned totally vegan. In fact, in the Olympics 2016 he was the only US vegan weightlifter. After being vegan for two years he even won twice the gold medal at the Pan American Championships. Read on to learn more about his story.

“One might wonder how a competitive weightlifter gets his daily fill of protein. But Kendrick Yahcob Farris isn’t just any weightlifter ― he’s the only U.S. male weightlifter competing in the Rio Olympics, and he’s also been vegan since 2014.

So how does he get all the protein he needs to lift as much as 800 pounds? “I just research the foods I’m eating,” he told HuffPost, and “try to be efficient. How much protein is in this avocado?”

Cutting the meat out of his diet hasn’t held him back. Farris won the gold medal at the past two Pan American Championships (and lifted more than 800 pounds at each) in the time since he discovered his heritage: “Israelites from the lost tribes of Israel. I knew I needed to do more research to understand the ways of the ancient,” which includes their kosher diet.

He eliminated meat completely, out of respect for animals. “I don’t necessarily trust the way the food is being processed,” he said. “I don’t agree with the way the animals are mass-slaughtered. So that’s one thing that kind of got me looking at what they call a vegan diet.”

And when Farris made up his mind, he did it instantly. “When I initially told my wife [Katrina], she laughed at me, like ‘I don’t know how you’re gonna do that,’ because I didn’t really mind what I ate.”

Katrina, the cook in the family, agreed: “It was so random. I believe he sent me a text message ― when he’s at the gym, he always sends me these random things ― and I believe he said, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about going vegan,’ and so I was like LOL.”

Katrina, 32, said that Kendrick, 30, would eat a lot of different foods pre-epiphany. “He loved burgers and all the things you think of when you think of Olympic athletes. Meat! So I didn’t think he was going to stick with it. But two years later, I think it’s made him better.”

Kendrick said that he feels lighter these days, cleaner and more clear-headed. “My mind is extremely clear. I’m not easily flustered [now]. My attitude is totally different. I had a really bad temper growing up, something I worked on for years. And now I’m able to recognize different emotions and I’m not governed by them. Doesn’t mean I don’t have them. I’m human. But I’m not easily moved.”

Katrina told HuffPost that she’ll cook two or three meals a day, and mix Kendrick up some snacks, such as guacamole or avocado quesadillas. “If he needs a snack, it’s something quick.”

Here’s an example of how his day breaks down:

For breakfast, Kendrick will have oats or pancakes; for a midday snack, a vanilla or chocolate flavored plant-based protein shake. For lunch, avocado quesadillas and then he’ll head to the gym. He’ll come back and eat another snack, this time of guacamole and black bean chips, and then a dinner of black bean quesadillas. “I use black beans for everything,” Katrina said. 

He might have another protein shake before bed, if he’s hungry.

Here are some tips to learn from his lifestyle:”

Read the full story at!


  1. Michael W. Marcano Reply

    I meant exactly what it says. It’s typically harder to get all vital nutrients from a vegan diet. Notice I did harder and not impossible. It’s still a less than ideal diet for those in Athletics.

  2. Amy Rowe Brown Reply

    I’ve was anemic since the 5th grade-about 45 years. Since becoming vegan, my hemoglobin has been in the normal range. I’ve had a kidney transplant & I struggled for the first 7 years post transplant. My anti rejection meds compromise my immune system. Since becoming vegan, my health is much improved. My kidney function has been consistently at 57%, compared to bouncing between 22% (stage 4 renal failure) and 45%.

  3. Kasmira Thompson Reply

    Wrong again. Check out Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness as well as Vegan Bodybuilding & Nutrition. Google vegan athletes. He is by far not an exception to any rule. Further your research. You’d be surprised what you come up with

  4. Kasmira Thompson Reply

    Lol, I was just about to ask him how many links he’d like for me to provide because I could link vegans at the top of their game in every area of athletics/sports. Next response will like be “because they are on steroids.” Very typical response but it is not vegan to use steroids so I wonder what the next line of defense will be before acceptance. But unfortunately most have too much pride to accept the truth for what it actually is though. So they vent there frustration on vegan sites like so^^^:-/

  5. Michael W. Marcano Reply

    Lmao…. Kasmira Thompson you are Kai ignorant thinking you’ll know how I’m gonna respond and as a person who is ignorant your responses are now deemed of no value. I wasn’t going to mushroom steroids at all but you do know at the most elite level MOST athletes are on performance enhancing drugs…. Even the ones that beat drug tests….. Remember Lance Armstrong by any chance. Myveganwellies Myveganwellies I can also go on Google and type in “Proof vegan diets less than ideal” and come up with a ton, and what I would imagine a bunch more responses. Would that make any difference…. NO! WHY? Even Phillip-Morris has studies that “prove” smoking is fine and healthy for you. At the end of the day you have all chosen your way of eating that you decided was BEST FOR YOU. I did not come on here to talk down to people who are Vegans, I was tagged in this by a friend and I gave her my opinion on things. I have no problem with any of you thinking I’m ignorant for my choices…. We don’t know each other in real life so you guys mean nothing to me as I’m sure I mean nothing to you. It’s the internet for crying out loud. Plus why would I try to change the opinion of someone who has the word Vegan in their name TWICE. Either way, have a great day…. Say what you want but it really would be pointless to continue this “conversation” that won’t go anywhere. Respond all you want and call me what you want but I have responsibilities the real world and won’t be responding. Gretel Martinez thank you for tagging me into this post lol. If anyone is wondering I’m about to have some eggs and turkey bacon lol….. YUM!

  6. Gretel Martinez Reply

    ابو امينت Michael W. Marcano my apologies again. Not all vegans feel the need to defend their point by insulting other. Whenever you are ready to talk more about it feel free to reach out. Don’t let this bad experience put you off, sometimes being passionate can come off as abrasive.

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