What Poker Champion Daniel Negreanu Ate to Get in the Best Shape of His Life
The stakes are high for poker champion Daniel Negreanu, who decided back in 2000 that a meatless diet is the safest bet. The six-time World Series of Poker winner and two-time World Poker Tour champion went vegetarian two decades ago for health reasons and gave up dairy six years later to go fully vegan. Now he regularly touts the fact that a plant-based diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds helps him stay focused, lowers inflammation, and reduces the risk of all chronic diseases.
Negreanu routinely shares his meals, workouts, and vegan life with his 315k IG followers and posted a photo wearing an apron that says "VEGAN" that his wife Amanda gave him because he's "the baker now." We're looking forward to when he can post about a full house... of vegans.
Negreanu is 15 Years Vegan and Proud of It
After choosing to eat a plant-based diet for health reasons, Negreanu now also promotes the other benefits of going vegan, like supporting a healthier environment and saving the lives of farmed animals. Negreanu has partnered with PETA to create a campaign with cards that spell out Vegan. The catchy line: Vegan? You Bet!
"My diet’s now as good as it’s ever been, and although my veganism started out absolutely about health, it’s also become about the environment and animal cruelty. The way animals are treated and the conditions are atrocious. They’re force-fed steroids, the chickens are de-beaked. You end up eating sick, diseased chickens because they’re living in shit. It’s like a holocaust on animals," Negreanu told PETA.
Here's What Poker Champion Daniel Negreanu Eats
During quarantine, Negreanu enjoyed time at home with his wife Amanda who he refers to as his "ride or die." He posted videos playing with their two puppies and showed off home-cooked meals and said that the time off was "built for me." He posted a photo of himself poolside, lounging in the sun with his laptop propped up wearing a baseball cap to provide the slightest bit of shade. The caption gave us a glimpse into his life when he explained his daily schedule:
- 10am wake up
- 10:30am breakfast
- 12:00pm Lift weights every other day. Off days 2 sessions of elliptical 45 min and 3min higher intensity. One rest day.
- 1:30pm Post Workout Meal
- 2pm-8pm Play Online Poker
- 4pm walk for an hour on treadmill and get 10,000 steps in.
- 5:30pm meal
- 8:30pm meal
- 9pm-midnight watch shows with the wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Masters of Sex, Billions
- Midnight: read. Currently reading The Last Don by Mario Puzo
- Rinse. Repeat.
If you want to eat like a highly focused, successful professional poker player, we pieced together the meals that Negreanu has posted on his Instagram to provide a picture of what he eats to fuel that winning streak.
For breakfast, Negreanu rotates every day between oatmeal with berries and tofu scramble with coffee for breakfast. He kindly provided the ingredients for each:
- 1/2 cup Oatmeal
- A handful of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
- Bell Pepper
His postworkout meal is homemade non-dairy ice cream, which may seem unusual, but Negreanu knows how to get creative. "This is a game-changer for me. Rather than drink a protein shake, I have the same ingredients in ice cream and I rotate flavors. I make it in the morning and let it freeze for 3-4 hours," he said.
Ice Cream with Almond or Coconut Milk
- 2 bananas
- Almond or Coconut Milk
- Optional Protein Powder
- Mixed Berries
For lunch, Negreanu enjoys a protein-packed and high-fiber salad that includes spinach, lentils, pistachios, cranberries, sliced apples, and half of an avocado. These superfoods provide iron for more energy, protein for muscle recovery, and fiber to help stay fuller longer, especially the avocado which can help you stay full for up to 6 hours after consumption, according to a study.
Protein-Packed and High-Fiber Salad
- Sliced apples
- Half of an avocado
Dinner is a healthy mix of beans, grains, and vegetables, particularly baked beans with brown rice and a side of sauteed zucchini strips seasoned in spices. Negreanu also adds chopped cherry tomatoes and minced cilantro to his rice for flavor.
- Brown rice
- Baked beans
- Cherry tomatoes
Exercise is just as important as nutrition for Negreanu
Aside from Negreanu's plant-based diet, he also relies on his steady workout routine for optimal health. Last year, the poker player got lean, posted a before and after picture and told fans: "I'm 45 and in the best shape of my life by a wide margin." He credits his transformation to his steady workout program with vegan fitness coach Fritz Horstmann. Coach's mission is to help "middle-aged vegans get toned and healthy," and has coached over 500 vegans to lose 20 pounds or more.
Negreanu posted his before and after photos showing his leaned down body with toned muscle definition that showed what he achieved on the program, which is designed to help you shed fat. "It's pretty easy overall and also highly effective," he said. "Once I cut away a couple more pounds of fat, the fun begins! Bulking allows for more eating which I’m a fan of," he added.
Speaking of bulking up, Negreanu enjoys a protein-filled plate for dinner on the fitness plan. The meal includes Gardein Teriyaki Chik’n strips, cauliflower mash, broccoli mash with nutritional yeast, and peas. Negreanu described the taste as "amazing." Nutritional yeast is often used to give food a cheesy flavor without the dairy and Negreanu is no stranger to experimenting with the yellow flakes. Over a year ago, he showed the ingredients he used to make a vegan cheese sauce and posted it on Instagram, and wrote: "My attempt at making a cheesy sauce using Nutritional Yeast and other fun stuff. No clue if this will be good, but I’ll give it a go!"