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Name: Garth Davis
Year of Birth: 01/28/1970
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 175
Birthplace: Johannessburg, South Africa
Current Residence: Houston, Texas
Sports:Triathlon

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have:
I am a weight loss surgeon and run a very large medical weight loss clinic. I have been studying nutrition for many years and work very hard to teach my patients how to follow a vegetarian diet. I teach PCRM approved cooking classes and give talks all around the country on vegetarian diet and its implications for health. I have a book coming out soon and currently have an active facebook account at dr. Garth with over 12,000 followers. I had a TV show called “Big Medicine” that aired on TLC and Discovery for 26 episodes and is now showing all over the world. I also had a book called “The Experts Guide To Weight Loss Surgery”.

Why did you become vegan?
About 6 years ago I went for an eye exam and was shocked to find out I had cholesterol deposits in my eyes. It turns out I was hypertensive, had high cholesterol and fatty liver at 36 years of age. I was shocked because I thought I was healthy. I ate the same diet I suggested to my patients. I began to really question diet. After all, in medical school I received a grand total of 1 hour of nutrition. So I began really reviewing the scientific literature. As I learned more about the power of a plant based diet I began to shift my diet. As my diet shifted my illnesses resolved and I found the same reaction in my patients as they adopted my diet. I have really enjoyed my new lifestyle as a vegetarian and love that I can practice what I preach to my patients.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
As I changed my diet towards a vegetarian diet I really began to feel energized. I decided that I never wanted to be the typical hypocritical doctor who tells people to exercise and then does nothing himself. So with my new found energy I began running. I also was quite impressed with how I had completely changed from a pure carnivore to a vegetarian. I had somewhat accepted the notion that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. So the fact that I could completely change something as integral as diet made me wonder what other self constructs I had developed that I could actually overcome. I had never really run, hadn’t ridden a bike since grade school, and never swam. A triathlon seemed impossible, which mad it the perfect test. Since then I have completed 2 marathons, multiple Olympic and sprint triathlons, a half Ironman, and a full Ironman. In 4 years I have gone way beyond what I ever thought was possible and now am becoming quite competitive finishing in at least the top 1/3 in just about every race and getting faster every year.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
I really try to make sure that every day I get citrus fruits, berries, and apple, some nuts, beans, and dark green veggies. A usual day of eating is oatmeal with berries, almonds, and flax for breakfast, salad with beans for lunch, apple and walnuts for a snack, and lentil tacos for dinner.

How would you describe your training program?
Depends on time of year. During summer I am in triathlon mode and swim about 3hrs/week, run about 5 hours/week and bike about 6 hrs/week. Off season I do weight lifting, yoga and crossfit style programs.

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I am not big on supplements and believe you should get your nutrients from food. That being said with my demanding triathlon training I have to add nutrients. After workouts I like Vega supplement powder as a quick source of carbs and protein.

How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Most people are very interested because of my line of work and because of how healthy I am. I give talks to patients and to doctors and this is met with a surprising amount of interest. I have converted many a doctor to this lifestyle.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The obvious misconception is that you cannot get enough protein and therefore will become a frail weakling. We eat more protein in this country than any other country and yet we are the sickest and fattest civilized country in the world. Meanwhile, societies that thrive on a high carb diet of plants and fruits are thin and live much longer than the typical American.