UFC.com has a weekly series on nutrition with some of the biggest names in MMA. While The Gracie Diet has received widespread attention, The Renzo Gracie Diet is less well known, and has included some unusual fare.
"My wife is also an unbelievable cook. My father always told me, 'Make sure you marry a great cook because beauty doesn’t last but cooking does!'"
"Basically (The Gracie) diet was developed by my grandfather, Carlos Gracie. His idea was to alkalinize your body. The whole purpose of the diet was to make sure your body wasn’t acidic. He believed this would prevent many diseases and extend your life expectancy. He did a really good job developing that diet.
"Today, with all the studies they are better able to test what actually makes your body more alkaline. So we’ve started adapting superfoods into the Gracie Diet and it has really improved. My grandfather had always banned acidic foods like pineapple, oranges and berries – but in reality those are the most alkaline fruits out there. But back in his day there weren’t ways to test that stuff; today there are."
"I moved here to the United States when I was 37 and until then I followed the Gracie Diet 100 percent. I’m a guy that, thanks to my genetics, I can eat anything and I’ll feel great the next day. I’m different. I have resistance and I don’t get sick and I’m very thankful for that.
"I promised myself that I would try any food given the chance so I’ve eaten the weirdest foods you can imagine. I ate dog in China, I ate rattlesnake in Brazil, I’ve eaten scorpion, I ate alligator, I ate crocodile, ostrich … Man, all of them taste good! Why do the Chinese eat everything – because they fry everything! I just realized that if you deep fry ME, I will taste good! That’s the reality."
"Many people say that a rattlesnake tastes like chicken. A rattlesnake can never taste like chicken! If the chicken had a tattoo on her neck and an extremely bad-a—attitude then maybe it could taste like rattlesnake. It’s a very unique taste."
"I went to Iceland and that’s where I met Gunnar Nelson. They took me to eat a shark that had been dead and buried for six months. This is how the ancient people of Iceland used to eat shark. The shark dies, they dig a hole and put the whole shark in there and then a whole tribe urinates on the shark to preserve it. Funny thing is, the meat of the shark becomes like a cream cheese. The taste is not bad … but the smell! For that reason when they bury the shark they must do it far away from town. The smell was unforgettable. I wouldn’t eat it again. I can still smell it."
"You have to regret the things you didn’t do, NOT the ones you did," says Renzo.
Any thoughts of retirement?
"I really want to fight again and I’m preparing myself for that. I’m looking to fight at 155 pounds. In reality, when I fought Matt Hughes (at UFC 112 in April 2010) I was walking around at 168 pounds without trying to lose any weight. I feel great right now. I think by February of next year I will be back in the cage. And then I hope to fight one fight after another. I want it to be in the UFC. I’m looking to fight the best. I’m looking to make one last run."
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