Pietrus Seeing Results With New Diet

When it comes to physical fitness and keeping the body healthy, Ray Allen is tops on the Celtics - maybe in the league.

Mickael Pietrus probably isn't too far behind though. But it hasn't always been that way for Pietrus.

Talking to him a couple years back when he was with the Magic, I can swear that he told me his pregame meal at the time was 20 McDonalds chicken McNuggets. I was appalled. I remember eventually mentioning it to Allen, to which he shook his head and said something along the lines of it giving him a huge advantage over guys like Pietrus on the court.

Pietrus is a jokester though, and maybe he was yanking my chain as a rookie reporter back then, but that's what he said.

But whether it was before a game, after, or an off-day, Pietrus was doing his fair share of snacking, even if it didn't necessarily show with his weight.

That's not the case anymore.

"That's what I used to do like two years ago, but I changed my diet," he said of the junk food. "I changed the way I eat now."

"I was doing some extra [eating] after the game, like eating a couple of fried stuff whenever I wanted to. I'm not big on fast food, but some KFC once in a while is not bad, or Popeye's. But I cut all that stuff out."

Yes, KFC. The same KFC that offers the Double Down Sandwich ("so meaty, there's no room for the bun!").

What Pietrus says is true though - once in a while won't hurt. But it's not a good habit to get in, and certainly not for a professional athlete.

There was a worry that many veterans would come back from the lockout out of shape, and it's safe to say that we've seen it with many of them - including some Celtics. But Pietrus isn't one. In fact, he learned a lot about taking care of his body better during that time.

"On my trip to China," he said when I asked when he really started to watch what he ate. "I took a trip to China in November, so they teach me how to eat healthy and stuff like that."

"They eat different. They eat very healthy. No meat. So I kind of learned from them a little bit and on the floor I'm feeling better."

China has seen obesity become a growing problem recently, but they are nowhere near the United States as far as percentage of population goes (U.S. is at the top). And some of China's issues can be traced back to American fast food chains like McDonalds and KFC invading the country.

Pietrus still eats meat (not fast food), but not as much - or as he put it, "I'm not big time like I used to."

So how is that translating on the court this season?

"I'm faster on the floor, I feel lighter so I run faster," he said. "And I have to keep that. I feel like I have more energy because you can tell because for somebody who hasn't played in 11 months I feel like I'm in great shape. I feel like the diet really helped me."

It wasn't quite 11 months in-between games once Pietrus went down with a knee injury on March. 23, but it's been long enough where it would have made sense to see him look a little sluggish to start the season.

And for the record, he eats pasta before games.

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