Name: Garth Davis
Year of Birth: 01/28/1970
Birthplace: Johannessburg, South Africa
Current Residence: Houston, Texas
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions
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
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.