LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers punched their ticket to another Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday after sweeping the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. If you're wondering how LBJ keeps getting through the postseason year after year, it may have more to do with what he's eating than you think.
The former MVP recently revealed that he's been on a pork-less diet for seven years now. More than half those years ended with James making it to the NBA Finals.
In an interview with Cleveland.com on Friday, James said that nixing the pork started with a suggestion from his uncle. James initially resisted the idea, but finally accepted the challenge and began feeling healthier and more energized.
"Oh, you can tell the difference," he told Cleveland.com. "It's in how I recover, the energy I have. It has helped a lot with my performance. Overall, I've just been feeling good."
James has played in 987 of 1,050 possible games in his career, an amazingly consistent record given the physical demands of each season. For three of the last seven years he also abstained from red meat—primarily eating fish, chicken and pasta—but a nutritionist advised him that he needed more iron in his diet.
Still, James is apparently so stringent in his distaste for pork that he refuses to even eat pepperoni pizza. Last year, he became a founding investor in Blaze, a fast-casual pizza chain based in Pasadena, California, but word is still out on whether the restaurant will be adopting a Paleo menu.
"It has worked for me," James said. "It has been one of the best things I've decided to do for my career."