LOS ANGELES – Larry Fitzgerald has undertaken an unusual dietary regimen that he believes has helped him lead the Arizona Cardinals to a perfect start this season.
The Pro Bowl wide receiver has been in some of the best form of his career as the Cardinals have stormed to a 3-0 record and are one of only three teams that remain unbeaten.
Fitzgerald believes his offseason decision to begin the Genotype diet, a concept based on cutting out certain foods depending on an individual's blood type, will prolong his career.
"The older you get, you start fine-tuning what works for you and what doesn't work for you," Fitzgerald told Yahoo! Sports. "You stick on the things that you know work and can help you have that longevity that you are looking for.
"A couple of friends of mine had tried it and I wanted to do something different. I have been on it three months and I feel great."
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The Genotype diet is the brainchild of naturopathic physician and now author Dr. Peter D'Adamo. As with most dieting fads, the routine has met its share of controversy as well as attracted a loyal legion of disciples.
Critics claim there is little scientific evidence backing up D'Adamo's claims that a diet structured around blood type can greatly enhance the way foods are processed and improve factors such as alertness and general wellbeing.
However, Fitzgerald is a sworn follower and insists that overhauling his eating habits have not only helped him feel healthier, but increased his overall level of performance – though his pass-catching numbers don't back up those sentiments. He has 14 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown reception – his third-lowest yardage total in the first three games during his nine-year career.
"There are certain things that I do – I don't eat chicken or pork," Fitzgerald said. "I stay away from red meat a lot; I eat fish most of the time. I think it makes me feel cleaner, not just body wise. I feel good.
"They take your blood, our blood types are all different. I am B+, so we digest some things better than others and some things we don't digest well. So for instance, tomatoes. For me the acid has a kind of allergic reaction to my blood type.
As a result, Fitzgerald has stopped eating tomatoes among other favorite foods.
"Chicken … I am a black man, we love our chicken, but I don't eat it anymore," Fitzgerald said. "My genotype means I don't process it as well as other things. But I eat lamb twice a week, that is a super food for me.
"My energy levels are off the charts, I can run all day, I breathe well and I sweat a lot so the toxins and impurities come out of my body. I stay away from too much sugary drinks, I just drink a lot of water and pee a lake pretty much."
The 29-year-old was in Los Angeles this week to promote The Jersey Report by Dick's Sporting Goods, an initiative where the retailer tracks the national sales of player jerseys to see which stars are trending throughout the season.
Peyton Manning currently tops the list with his Denver Broncos jersey accounting for 5.1 percent of total sales. For Fitzgerald, who collected player jerseys from all the sporting teams of his home region of Minnesota as a teenager, the subject is close to his heart.
"I had Kevin Garnett jerseys, home, away and alternate," Fitzgerald said. "Kirby Puckett, Daunte Culpepper home and away. I probably had at least 20 of them and I loved it."
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