DeAndre Jordan Is Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is
As a socially and environmentally-minded philanthropist, an investor in plant-based and sustainable brands, a host of his own plant-based TV show and of course, as center for the Brooklyn Nets— DeAndre Jordan is a busy guy.
In the midst of his relentless schedule, he finds a way to squeeze in a half-hour Zoom call with me, and if there’s anything that I notice it is that despite the time constraints he does not appear to be distracted or rushed. Rather, he is reflective and in the moment.
“I’m always learning. I’m always changing. I’m always evolving,” he says of his journey to mindfulness and plant-based living.
Just under a decade ago, during an NBA trip to China, Jordan would take his first steps on the road to mindfulness. It was here that he would learn about and begin to embrace Buddhist practices such as meditation, as a means of transforming and calming his mind.
“It’s a cool way to be able to harness my own energy and my own space,” he describes. “To be aware of my body, my surroundings and the energy emanating from everything. It helps me to deal with the craziness of the world on a daily.”
When he returned to China two years later and then, following a trip to Thailand, he would continue to immerse himself in Buddhist teachings in a quest for harmony across all facets of his life— spiritual, psychological, physical and in his contribution to his community and the environment.
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In 2017, an experiment with plant-based eating turned in a total lifestyle change that would extend to his career, his investments and his philanthropy.
“I invest in things that I truly believe in and so naturally, it’s also the path that I’m walking,” he explains. “I want to inform and help others to live this lifestyle.”
Cooking Clean, Jordan’s plant based cooking show is one medium through which he is educating the public on how to live a plant-based life.
Launched on May 30th on athlete-owned lifestyle and culture TV network and media company, Players TV, Cooking Clean features the NBA All-Star pairing up with guest chefs to make healthy and delicious plant-based dishes.
“I hope that the show teaches people that going plant-based will benefit their bodies, benefit the planet and benefit those around them,” he says.
Many of the dishes that Jordan creates on the show call for JUST Egg and Beyond Meat, animal protein-substitutes for which he is not only an ambassador but also an investor.
In one episode, Chef Latisha Daring shows Jordan how to make a frittata using Portobello mushrooms, bell peppers and JUST Egg, an egg protein substitute made of mung beans— a protein-rich legume that is thousands of years old.
“When I heard of JUST Egg, I hadn’t eaten eggs in over a year. I was skeptical, and I didn’t know what mung beans were,” admits Jordan. “But once I tried it, I was craving more and more of it. Plus it’s good for you and the environment.”
Jordan addresses misconceptions surrounding the traditional‘healthy eating plate’. “People think that you need these specific things on your plate to be healthy— that typically include animal-based protein,” he explains.
“But when you think about where animals get protein from, you realize that you are actually going through a third party to get what you need. Why not get it directly from plants?”
JUST Egg uses 98% less water, has a 93% smaller carbon footprint, uses 86% less land than conventional animal products and has the same amount of protein as one chicken egg in a single serving. As of March this year, the egg substitute sold the equivalent of more than 100 million eggs— all made from plants.
“It helps to know that I’m having a positive impact on the planet with the things that I’m eating,” says Jordan. “When I think about the amount of water that is wasted or the carbon emissions associated with a piece of chicken or beef, that also helps to remind me that I’m doing the right thing.”
Jordan explains that cooking clean means keeping his body or “temple” as pure and as clean as possible, which has had a significant positive impact on his game and his life.
“Since I changed my lifestyle, I feel like my entire aura has improved,” he says. “I feel the benefits both on and off the court. As a human being and as a professional athlete, what I put into my body is what I’m going to produce and how I’m going to perform. It all comes down to that.”