The dining hall at the Rio Olympic Village is teeming with meat prepared in a multitude of ways, all there to fuel Team USA athlete's Olympic dreams. But for one Team USA weightlifter, he doesn't need it.
"I had some beans, some rice, some peas, and I had some cauliflower. And it was just a small plate," Team USA's Kendrick Farris told USA Weightlifting about his pre-Olympic competition meal.
Farris is vegan. He chose the lifestyle two years ago after the birth of his son. Living as a vegan means no meat, no dairy or any product that derives from animals.
Farris' mindset when it comes to eating turns traditional dieting on its head.
“When people think about particular diets, they often think about it in terms of what they can’t eat,” Farris said to Men's Fitness. “People ask me, ‘Do you walk around and eat salads all day?’ I actually don’t even eat salads that often. But I like to think of it as having a lot of options. There are a lot of things you can eat.”
Farris follows just a few rules when it comes to his diet; he only eats when he's hungry and he stays hydrated.
"I do like to eat," Farris told NBC Olympics. "I have a huge meal and I can go a long time without eating food."
So, where does this elite athlete find the protein needed to lift twice his bodyweight? Farris looks to the ground.
"Black beans are my go-to food," Farris told Men's Fitness. "I eat a wide variety of fruit—grapefruit is one of my favorites, and I love blackberries and blueberries."
Farris' food preferences caught the eye of the international media at the Rio Games. Beyond Men's Fitness and NBC Olympics, Farris had interviews with Sports Illustrated, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as well as local Brazilian media outlets.