http://www.worldsnooker.com/page/NewsAr ... 77,00.html
Former World Champion Ebdon will be on Colin Murray's show on BBC Radio Five Live on Friday evening (sometime between 8.30pm and 9pm) - and in fact Murray influenced Ebdon's decision to take the next step in his health-motivated diet.
"I did a few interviews with Colin during the World Championship and he was very interested in veganism," explains 42-year-old Ebdon, whose China Open victory at the end of last season confirmed an emphatic return to form. "On the radio on Friday night he will be pledging to go vegan for a month and calling it 'Vegan September'
"I then decided to go the extra mile myself and go raw vegan for the month. It's something I have been thinking about for a while as the only cooked foods I eat are pasta, soup and porridge. I do love porridge - I make it with organic oats, water and organic bananas - but otherwise I'm confident I can enjoy a diet of mainly raw fruit and vegetables. It might be a bit tricky finding the right foods when I go to the Shanghai Masters."
Ebdon has been a vegan for nine months and was persuaded to give up all meat and dairy products after his dad died of cancer last year.
"Soon after that I was talking to Rory McLeod, who has been vegetarian for ten years, and he started me off on a lot of research into diet, and how cutting out certain foods can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer," said the London-born cueman.
"I got another wake-up call when I went to the doctors to have my blood liver count tested and it was ten times higher than normal. That was because I had been addicted to Pepsi for 20 years and ate a lot of sugary things.
"I was inspired by a book called The China Study by Professor T Colin Campbell, and another called The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr Doug Graham, which advocates a minimum of 80% carbohydrate in your diet, with 10% protein and 10% fat. I will be a vegan for life now, there's no way I'd ever go back to eating meat and dairy. I believe it's the healthiest diet for humans and I also believe strongly in animal rights. I have lost two and half stone this year, I'm now 11 stone, and my cholesterol level has gone right down."
Ebdon insists that he doesn't get cravings for carnivore's favourites like bacon sandwiches, and in fact the only thing he really misses is hot chocolate, a speciality in Budapest where he lives with Hungarian wife Nora.
And it's hard to argue that his change in diet hasn't had an effect on his snooker, as his results have improved dramatically over the past six months. At one stage he looked sure to drop out of the top 32, but now he's pushing for the top 16, with a ranking title captured in Beijing last April and another run to the final at the Australian Goldfields Open in June. There was no doubting his renowned stamina last week when he came from 5-1 down to beat Nigel Bond 6-5 in the International Championship qualifiers.
Reflecting on his recent life on and off the table, Ebdon said: "I went through a very difficult time in my personal life in 2008 when I got divorced from my first wife and missed being with my four children. It was soul destroying, I was absolutely gone mentally and my form was awful. I couldn't make a 30 break until somehow I managed to win the China Open in 2009.
"Last year I felt things were getting back to normal, then I found out that my dad had terminal cancer. It was heart-breaking to see him deteriorate. But I take great comfort from the way he accepted it very calmly and stayed in control of his emotions. We were very close - he was a huge influence on my career and gave me so much advice and wisdom.
"On the positive side I have seen a lot more of my kids and the youngest three recently came to stay with me for a month. I went with my 15-year-old son Tristan to watch Liverpool play Manchester City last Sunday - he is a massive Liverpool fan and that was the first time he'd seen them live. It was such a special moment. And my eldest, Clarrisa, is studying law in Sheffield so I see a lot of her when I'm practising at the Academy there.
"The new diet has helped me to get through the past few months and now I am able to focus on my snooker. Not being in the top 16 still doesn't feel right and going to the qualifiers has been a shock to the system. I feel I am capable of big things this season."
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