Kelly Slater – Health Tips.
Achievements and beginnings…
At 42 years old, he is still at the top of the ASP World Tour, and is as good lookin’ as ever. That is saying a lot, as Kelly was voted in the top 50 of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People in 1991. He was also voted Best Looking by his Cocoa Beach High School class. He was hoping to get the award for ‘Most Talented’ – his track record has proven that now, with 11 World Title wins under his belt.
He was the youngest and is now the eldest winner of an ASP World Title, the next most successful surfer was Mark Richards with four world titles, followed by Kelly’s childhood hero Tom Curren, who earned three titles.
He is also an accomplished musician and has toured including performed live performances at the Australian Opera house and in California with Pearl Jam.
So what the secret to his diverse achievements?
Well, I mean, apart from being incredibly brainy (he was not only a whizz at high school math but also completed a Masters Degree in Criminal Law at Sydney University, Australia in 2004).
He directs this super brainiac power toward learning about nutrition, and has a huge competitive drive.
Kelly started getting into healthy living around the age of 20 and says he is self educated on nutrition through the Internet and friends. He spends hours researching online about nutrition. He reads every ingredient panel of everything he buys. He believes everyone should do this and can’t understand why people wouldn’t, although he acknowledges that he used to be the same in this way.
Kelly Slater – Health Tips.
He grew up eating whatever he wanted: Ice-cream and lollies. He believes that parents have a great responsibility to teach kids healthy eating habits and regrets that this was something his own mother didn’t prioritise, while recognising her value as the woman who raised him. His father was a drunk and abandoned them. His dad later died from cancer.
The thing I like about K.S, is that in spite of all the fame and hysteria, he has retained enough humility to actually publicly confess his wrongs. Like the fact that he didn’t call his daughter for three years or keep in much contact with her at all. (Yes, he has a daughter. He was also married once.)
He has carried a lot of grief and guilt over not being there for his daughter, and over cheating on a partner – and one might say “so he should.” The thing is though, this kind of humility and recognition of wrongdoing is rare in the surf scene. To see humanity remaining in someone so revered and idolised is refreshing.
Kelly has expressed some of his feelings of regret through music and has recognised the power of living and enjoying the present moment without carrying old baggage into it. He has been open about the many years he would reach goals but find that when they were obtained his mind would always be somewhere else, striving and regretting. Being able to let go and move on has been an important change to him.
A competitive streak…
Clearly a very intelligent man, he loves to surf and has an extreme competitive drive.
“I remember playing golf with Kelly a few years back, probably one of the few times I’ve ever had him beat on the front nine of the course. And I said something to him like, ‘Looks like I’ve got you down pretty good,’ and I looked in his eyes and saw something change. That scary competitive side was coming out, that fierce determination. Immediately I knew I’d made a mistake, and then he just buried me on the back nine. Kelly just wants to rip your throat out competitively. He is definitely the most extremely competitive person I ever met in my life.” — Al Merrick, founder of Channel Islands Surfboards and Slater’s longtime shaper. Speaking in Stab Mag.
Yet while Kelly recognises that growing up as a younger brother taught competitive skills, he claims that his main aim with surfing is to stay fit, healthy and strong. Knowing that his father died of cancer has spurred his own health journey on. He has also made the choice to rarely drink alcohol, although one time he had a big night drinking and combined it with marijuana and ended up vomiting his guts up. Not a fan.
“If you eat lunch or any meal with him, you’ll see why he’s got all the money and you’re broke.” — Kalani Robb, former ASP world tour competitor, speaking in Stab Mag. Kelly has a lot of know how and self control.
Ahead of the times with nutrition…
He has been drinking kombucha, a fermented, probiotic tea for many years and drinks other teas as well as almond and coconut milk based smoothies and fresh pressed juices throughout the day. Being a professional athlete, he feels that natural sugars in the form of fruit are an important source of energy and carbohydrates, but he avoids carbs from refined products and junk foods.
He occasionally has a hot chocolate as a treat or additive free coconut milk based ice cream, sweetened with raw honey and fruit. He also says that he makes a mean pancake (Somehow I can’t imagine these would contain wheat flour and processed sugar!)
He sees the obesity epidemic in Western nations as being a direct result of the SAD “Standard American Diet.” He varies his diet according to his sense of what he needs (eg. recently cutting down on meat).
When he consumes meat, he likes it lean and chooses clean, ancient meat sources like Bison. He also likes chicken and fish. His basic ideology is to stick to what is natural.
He loves avocado and coconut in spite of being perceived by some as high fat and therefore unhealthy, he feels that they are natural and therefore good. He incorporates all the macro nutrients into his diet (carbs, fat, protein), but from natural sources only.
Kelly accredits eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle to making all the difference in his athletic ability and states “you’ll never see a fat professional surfer.”
Eating on the road…
He loves eating in Singapore as he is a fan of Asian and spicy foods. He also loves fish tacos. His fave restaurant in the world is a seafood restaurant on the coast of France, near Spain. However, he is an advocate of sustainable fishing so that the oceans resources are not depleted. He loves salmon but likes to eat locally, so that means he rarely has he opportunity to eat it, but when he does, he loves it cooked simply, with crispy skin (Yum! My fave!)
He is outspoken against Genetically Modified Organisms and the seed owners Monsanto who have great control over the food chain and do a lot of experimenting in Hawaii. He avoids non-organic food. He is a poster boy for chia seeds grown in Western Australia and claims that he will never stand for something he doesn’t agree with ethically for financial gain.
Starting the day right…
He has started eating chia in the mornings and finds it fills him well until later in the day. His morning routine for many years has included a glass of detoxifying lemon in warm water with honey, followed by fruits for energy before surfing. He has also been trying paleo breakfast cereals. Paleo cereals might contain such things as activated nuts, seeds like chia and perhaps activated buckwheat (no grains or dairy).
He eats quinoa and brown rice. I couldn’t ascertain if he soaks them to remove anti nutrients and bitter/irritating saponins, but I imagine with all his research that he would be well informed about that. He can cook for himself and eats a lot of salads with his meals and comforting soups in cool weather.
A healthy lifestyle…
Living a healthy lifestyle covers more than just what you eat and Kelly extends that to the point that he doesn’t wear conventional sunscreen or take medications as he tries to avoid toxic chemicals on or in his body.
In addition to surfing, he plays golf and is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and does other core building exercise. He aims for at least 8 hours sleep a night – even if it means being late for meetings in the morning.
Regardless of age, Kelly believes he can improve his health further from now. He has some old injuries but feels that this gives him room to improve and that he can continue to grow in his skill as a surfer. He looks at Tom Curran as an inspiration in this respect, recognising that Tom surfed better in his retirement than he even did while on tour.
Kelly himself once retired but later came back to the surf circuit and has only improved and won title after title. He claims that he feels very fit and as strong as he always has and hasn’t found that his metabolism has changed as he has gotten older either.
Slater is still leading the fray in the surf scene. Who knows what he will achieve in years to come? For now, he continues to look for ways to improve his health and life in the surf scene and beyond and is working on opening several wave parks as well as being committed to his surfing schedule and keeping in touch with his daughter, Taylor. He also has a girlfriend who has of a couple of years who supports him, often by travelling with him on the tour.
In retirement his goal is to be self sufficient and have an aquaponic farm – growing veggies in fish poo rather than soil! At the rate he is going, who knows if that day will ever come?
By Gem, (my wife) aka Mrs Barefoot in the Kitchen.