Cleveland Browns Cornerback Joe Haden Talks Food, Fitness, and Family

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1. What helps you stay in peak condition on the field?

I eat really well. I have an in-house chef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I tell him: organic, high-protein, low-carb. My favorite? Barbecue drumsticks. It’s like, “Oh my goodness, let me get seven of them!”

2. What’s your best health habit?

Willpower. I stay away from sweets, chocolate, and ice cream. I do like sodas, but I don’t get tempted too easily. I haven’t had soda in about 4 years.

3. Worst habit?

Eating really late. At 11:30 or 12, I’ll have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk, or strawberries and pineapples.

I crush that and go to sleep.

4. What’s your favorite body part?

My arms. I got them nice and tattooed up. They look kind of sweet, kind of toned, rather pumped. I’m happy with my body, the way it came out.

5. You’re a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. What inspired you?

My brother Jake. He plays bocce ball and runs track in the Special Olympics. He gets so excited when me and my brothers — there are five of us — watch. I see how happy those kids are no matter what — win, lose, draw. Getting involved was a no-brainer.

6. What’s Jacob’s disability?

He has a cognitive disability with his speech. He’s had it since he was born. He understands everything perfectly. It’s just the delivery — he can’t get out what he wants to say.

7. Best health advice you ever received?

Too much of anything is a bad thing. Keep things in moderation, and everything will be all right.

8. Which coach’s advice stuck with you?

Coach Hue Jackson said, “Effort is between you and you.” You can’t fake it. Only you know if you’re going your hardest.

9. Is it true you own more than 1,200 pairs of sneakers?

Yes! I just love having on a fresh pair of kicks. Growing up in Maryland, if you had on the fresh J’s [Air Jordans], you were the coolest kid on the block. When I made it to the NFL, I was able to buy whatever shoes I wanted. I was like, “I’m about to have the best shoe game.”

10. Do you worry about brain injuries from football?

Not really. It’s a high-contact game, but the NFL has taken precautions and the game has shifted. Everybody’s hitting a lot lower. They have a concussion protocol. I definitely respect that people would step out. But it’s the game I love. It’s my passion.

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