Benjamin Beeler sits down at a table in Goudy Commons on the Willamette
His dinner consists of a green salad with two pears on the side and a
dressing he made. Instead of plates, Beeler just puts his food right on the
And then it begins. Glances from peers across the table. A small chuckle.
Someone breaks the silence.
"What happened to your plate?"
The summer of 2012, Beeler read the book "Thrive." Written by former Iron
Man Brendan Brazier, the book showed how Brazier developed a whole-foods
and plant-based diet to maximize his vitality for competing.
That summer, Beeler adopted the mostly raw, whole foods, plant-based,
gluten-free diet he eats now. His parents, whom he said, "gave me lots of
freedom to do what I want," are fully supportive of his lifestyle changes,
which haven't always been easy.
"Gluten-free is a giant change," he said. "The American diet is focused
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