Healthy Diet & Veganism: Life of a Superbike Racer & Porsche Specialist

Imagine this…

You’re watching a superbike race in Sepang International ring track, for the prestigious gold medal.

The contestants get set in their lanes, the crowd roars, then… BANG!

The motorcycles take-off.

And approximately 40 minutes later… we have the results.

Gold. Silver. Bronze.

The gold medalist gets all the applause, the money, and the rewards. The silver medalist gets some praise for coming close.

And almost nobody remembers the bronze medalist.

But let me ask you… How much did the gold medalist win by?

Sometimes, the winner only beats out second place by only 0.13 seconds!

Yeah, you read that right.

That’s 0,13 seconds!

But what gave up for the drivers in the shadow?

What is the difference between an ultimate motorcycle racer and others that will soon be forgotten?

The answer is the edge.

You see, the same is health-wise. Often, the people who are much healthier than you aren’t smarter than you or even more prosperous. They just know how to how to gain that competitive edge, especially when you live your life on a fast lane.

And living on the fast lane is something that former motorcycle driver and Porsche specialist Leonardo Sachetto know a lot about. At mid 40’s, his life is filled with testosterone-fueled activities that demand the highest level of mental focus and physical stamina.

The AKARALI team met him to hear his amazing life journey and his thoughts on staying fit, healthy diet and veganism.

“My story was pretty unusual; said, Leonardo…I was always a car person, someone who likes to dismantle engines. Pretty much my whole journey from superbike racer to a Porsche specialist was a fast lane track.

The heart-pounding thrill of more speed, outsmarting the competition, and having that superbike edge was what lured me in the first place.

But when I came to Malaysia, I was actually too old for superbike racing.

I didn’t know how to pick myself up.

You know…Living on the fast lane can be demanding. You need to gain concentration, speed, and possess mental alertness and focus.

But I had the right team taking me in.

I got faster and faster thanks to the support of a healthy diet.”

So what was Leonardo's secret?

“There are particular schedules that you want to follow if you’re going to be as fast as you possibly can. Motorcyclists have a certain diet and exercise plan.

We all had tremendous success—especially me. I dropped 15 kilograms within four months and got fit at the same time.

People would say; you dropped your weight, you must be weak?! But no, that was not the case.              

I was keeping myself fit, and at the same time, I was able to compete on the superbike race. In fact, the first was one of my best races. It was in the pouring rain in the 2015 season. In the same year, I won a championship in Malaysia.”

How did you start being a vegan?

“I haven’t think about it earlier, but nothing good comes from eating an animal.

When I went to my medical check, the doctor told me that my cholesterol level was a little bit high and that I need to change some things in my diet, or I would have to start with medication.

But I knew better.

I feel that a plant-based diet is not just about high cholesterols. I feel extraordinarily different, but in the right way. And it seems that my brain works faster”- smiles Leonardo, also known as ‘The Porsche Doctor’ of Malaysia.

So what is a healthy diet?

Any idea of ​​a healthy diet that tends to mystify food, customs, and establish crazy rules that only serve to complicate your life, and not make it easier, you will not find here.

We find this approach to nutrition to be a completely demotivating concept for most people.

This is why so many people choose to give up because they think that everything is complicated, and they do not see the purpose of being slaves to some special rules, or they believe that if they are not slaves to a healthy diet, then they do not even eat healthy.

Are there stringent rules that you have to adhere to say that you have a healthy diet?

We don’t think so.

And as Leonard said during his interview; “you are not sticking to a strict racer’s diet., whatsoever. You live a normal life.”

A healthy diet and, in general, a healthy lifestyle should be part of you, fit into your life, and not something that will end up forcing you.

But what is the answer to that age-old question? - Is healthy diet more important than exercise?

For all those who have a dilemma, a new study claims that what matters more is what you bring to yourself then how active you are.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains why nutrition is so much more important than exercise.

Philip Stenfort said that when it comes to losing weight, analyzes have shown that diet plays a much more significant role than exercise. Besides, exercise consumes fewer calories than most people think.

He explains that exercise takes time and constant effort to see results.

“There is a lot in our diet rich in sugar, fat, and calories that we can give up to see a change relatively quickly. You have to walk 56 kilometers to spend 3,500 calories. That's a lot of walking. And one chocolate has about 500 calories. It's much easier to skip that chocolate than to walk eight miles."

In other words, skip those last four bites, no matter how tempting they are.

Science confirms what Stenfort is saying. A large research study of more than 3,000 people, published several years ago, found that eating fewer calories was more effective in losing weight than exercising.

But exercise is essential later on because a workout routine leads to a significant increase in self-control. Other studies have shown that people who manage to lose weight will best retain such weight with regular exercise.

Why Plant-Based Diet is growing popularity?

The word vegan itself originated in the UK in 1944 when Donald Watson wanted to create an assembly of vegetarians who do not consume milk and milk products within the already existing Vegetarian Society. When he was rejected, he made his own, the Vegan Association.

Of course, since then, many things have changed.

Veganism might have recently acquired a hipster flow at buzzy London events such as Vegan Nights and the weekly Hackney Downs market established by influential blogger Sean O’Callaghan, AKA “the Fat Gay Vegan.”

Still, its surging popularity is a global phenomenon, with plant-based food festivals and businesses booming from Bristol to Inverness says The Guardian.

Why people become vegans?

According to this Oregon State University survey, the number-one motivation for cutting out animal products is personal health. 

Former Olympic medalist, in competitive cycling Dotsie Bausch, noticed results from her new way of eating almost right away.

"I wasn't feeling as inflamed, creaky or sore, or just kind of blah in the morning. I was bouncing out of bed – I felt ready to go. I was more energized.”

Why can a plant-based diet be beneficial?

The American Dietetic Association has confirmed that a vegan diet meets the basic nutritional requirements of the body, and benefits are multiple.

Veggy foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron and zinc, the deficits of which are most often discussed when criticizing the vegan diet. Also, there are far fewer toxins in the vegan body, and the absorption of nutrients is much better.

Initial experimental studies proposed novel microbiome-related pathways, by which plant-based diets modulate the gut microbiome towards a favorable diversity of bacteria species.

Vegans are much less likely to suffer from some forms of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, allergies, stroke, rheumatic arthritis, high blood pressure, and asthma.

If you are someone who’s doing more strength training and a lot of hard training, you should be aware that your need for protein is higher, about twice what it would be for a sedentary vegan.

And here’s what a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, and a professor at the University of Wyoming, D. Enette Larson-Meyer has to say about the healthy vegan diet and keeping you fit:

"Overall, beyond that, we really recommend a diet based on minimally processed grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Meat certainly serves as a source of protein – we all know that – but it's not necessary to have that as your protein source."

The p-word has long been a contentious issue for vegans who have to put up with non-vegans constantly quizzing them on where they get proteins from.


David Rogersona Senior Lecturer in Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning, at Sheffield Hallam University, says that pulses – such as beans, lentils, peas – and grains – like rice, oats, wheat – are all protein-rich, with complementary amino acid profiles. And eating a range of these foods throughout the day will set your needs comfortably. Full article here.

In the end..

This interview and thoughts from well-respected people in the health and sports world reflect not only the rise of veganism and other more restrictive diets. But also an increase in the reduction of animal-based foods that are driven by many health or personal reasons.

Some, like Mercedes F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton, think that “going vegan is the only way to truly save our planet.”. You can read more about Lewis Hamilton’s diet here.

But as a Porsche Motorsport and superbike racer Leonardo Sachetto said; 

"Some are doing it for health reasons and some for ethical reasons, but for me, at the end of the day, when I look at my self in the mirror, I must decide what is good for me."

At the end of the day, most people will embrace new diet plan as they reach a certain age to complement their regular exercises. Whilst this is ideal for most people, you need to sensitive to which diet plan or nutrition is good for you.

So if you have tried a plant-based diet or herbal supplements to improve your performance, let us know in the comment section below. We would like to hear your feedback!

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