Featured Athlete – Jay Oliveira

Vegan athlete, Jay Oliveira shares the vegan lifestyle through personal experience, tips, and advice. He’s an elite athlete based in Miami, Florida. Jay is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a Masters World Champion, and focuses on harnessing the power of plants for sustainable long term results.

He’s in his mid-40’s and crushing it! He’s healthy, strong, lean, and continues to complete. All while vegan, and without following or promoting any silly diet trends. He has a common sense approach, no crazy restrictions or gimmicks.


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What attracted you to the vegan lifestyle?
Originally I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives which lead me down the rabbit hole to becoming Plant Based, and eventually Vegan.

Which sports & activities are you passionate about?
I grew up playing 3 sports all through a High School and played Rubgy in college. I grew up lifting weights and running as well. However, my passion now is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I spend a significant amount of time training and competing all over the World.

What is one of your greatest athletic moments?
Winning Masters Worlds in August of 2016, and then receiving my Black Belt on the podium that day from my Professor Robert “Cyborg” Abreu.

What goal(s) do you currently have, and how do you plan on achieving it?
I would like to Master Worlds at the Black Belt level. I’ll achieve it by remaining consistent with my training, diet, drilling, and competing.


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What is your favorite food before activity?
Usually fruit, and particularly high water content fruit. I don’t like to train on a full stomach so I will typically eat a small amount of fruit a few hours before training.

What is your favorite food for recovery?
That would be fruit again haha. I find the high water content easily digestible fruit is non acidic and allows my body to recover quickly versus my body using energy to digest a heavy meal.

What/Who inspires you?
I’m inspired to spread the vegan health message through my daily actions and by showcasing my Jiu-Jitsu so people can realize you don’t need animal flesh to thrive as an athlete. My professor Cyborg is someone who personally inspires me through his contagious enthusiasm for Jiu-Jitsu and life.

What is a random fact about you that people might not know?
I’m quite the introvert and prefer small groups over big parties.


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Describe yourself with the first 3 words that come to mind.
Consistent as f&$ck;)

What advice would you give to someone wanting to go vegan?
Stop overthinking everything and just make the decision to eat vegan today. If you do that every morning and remind yourself why you’re doing this it is pretty easy.

Complete this sentence: I am a Meat Free Athlete because… after my inflammation went away in less than 2 weeks eating this way and my recovery and cardio improved drastically I realized if I can feel healthier, and animals don’t need to suffer, and the environment benefits it seems like the only logical choice. It’s simply the best lifestyle for health, the animals, and the planet.

THANK YOU Jay for sharing your inspiring story and great advice!

Anne-Marie Campbell

Anne-Marie is the Founder of MeatFreeAthlete.com (est. 2012), and is a vegan athlete and animal rights activist. A competitive athlete for over 20 years, she is a former gymnast and hockey player, and is currently a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Anne-Marie went vegan, for the animals, in 2011, and her mission is to help people go (or stay) vegan by sharing her personal journey, and creating this free vegan lifestyle resource.

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