Former U-M football player says going vegan changed his life, reversed diabetes
ANN ARBOR, MI -- It's been 30 years since Marc Ramirez was recruited to play football for the University of Michigan Wolverines.
The 6'2" right guard from the Chicago area came here in 1986 to join Michigan's offensive line, playing under legendary coach Bo Schembechler.
Jim Harbaugh, who is now the team's head coach following a career in the NFL, was the quarterback Ramirez's freshman year.
"It was just an amazing experience here," Ramirez said. "The first time running out of that tunnel, I'll never forget it -- 1986, it was against Oregon State. It really was an amazing feeling just running out of that tunnel. Bo has got the whole team pumped up. You're so pumped up, and you are fired up. It just felt like I was floating."
Because he was so physically active, Ramirez said he didn't really have any health problems back then.
That changed in the years after he graduated from U-M in 1990. No longer a college athlete, he eventually became out of shape and was diagnosed as diabetic, and he was taking various medications to manage his health problems.
But for more than four years now, he's been sticking to a whole-food, plant-based diet, no longer taking any medications, and he says he's never felt healthier.
"When I played football here at Michigan, I was 305 pounds," he said. "Today, at 48 years old, I weigh 210 pounds, so I'm almost 100 pounds lighter, and I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life at this point. I feel great."
Ramirez said doctors don't consider him diabetic anymore because his blood sugar levels are no longer in what they consider the diabetic range.
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