In the late 1990s, Diamond Dallas Page was one of the most popular professional wrestlers out there. A multi-time world champion, Page feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Goldberg, and Sting. Which is especially impressive for a guy that didn’t start training to be a wrestler until he was 35 years young.
Although he was inducted into WWE’s Hall Of Fame earlier this year, wrestling is only one facet of DDP’s career. Beyond acting in a variety of film and television projects and working extensively as a motivational speaker, he is the founder of DDP Yoga. Purchased by hundreds of thousands of people — and prominently featured on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank — DDP Yoga is something that anyone can partake in, no matter their age, fitness level, or athletic background. Celebrity followers of the brand include Darius Rucker, Chris Jericho, Gabriel Iglesias, and Mick Foley.
More than just an exercise program, DDP Yoga teaches its followers how to eat in a healthy yet delicious way. For The Daily Meal, I caught up with DDP by phone to learn how a globe-trotting yoga guru who’s always on the run — the seventh annual DDP Yoga Retreat hits Mexico from July 15 through 21 — stays on-point with his gluten-free diet and to find out more about what goes into the cooking demonstrations in the DDP Yoga Now app.
On finding gluten-free sushi:
“I went to Wegmans twice in the last two months — once here in Baltimore and once in Buffalo — and this Wegmans blows Whole Foods out of the water. I would never go to Whole Foods if there were a Wegmans. So many fruits and vegetables, way more organic stuff than Whole Foods, and I've been getting some of their sushi. ‘Sure, it looks great, but it’s got to have soy sauce. Okay, I’ll ask.’ I said [to the gentleman at the sushi counter], ‘Is there any chance any of these gluten-free?’ He said, ‘All of them.’ ‘Seriously?’ ‘We don’t use anything gluten at all when it comes to making sushi.’
“I get one of the crunchy ones, with fried shrimp. I bite in and feel the crunch. I walk over and ask him, ‘Bro, is the breading gluten-free around this?’ ‘Oh yeah, it’s rice flour.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god they’ve figured it out.’ I've been saying this for 10 years: You could take a restaurant — and I’m not even a chef but a decent enough cook — I could change 85 percent of your menu to be completely gluten-free, and you’d never even notice. The only difference is that it might even taste better.”
On eating gluten-free on the road:
“What we do is an app called Find Me Gluten Free. People search the top 10 restaurants in Buffalo. Then we’re going to take the top 10 gluten-free restaurants in Buffalo. Oh look, number one in top gluten-free is also number two in top restaurants. They will cater to you. This isn’t McDonald’s or Taco Bell, where you can get three things for two dollars. What can be in that?
“What was really interesting out in California was a burrito fast food place. Eighty percent of the menu was gluten-free and I was blown away. The corn-based tacos were organic, and I was shocked. The leader of all this is Chipotle. They were the first one to put all organic ingredients. They don’t have the [gluten-free] wrap yet... Then you get places like Yeah! Burger in Atlanta that has the gluten-free bun, gluten-free onion rings, and grass-fed beef. You’ll see the same thing in LA at a place called the Burger Lounge. These are places where you’re paying eight bucks for a burger, but it’s a real burger.”
On the menu at his upcoming DDP Yoga retreat:
“I work with a company in Mexico. The only reason I worked with them at the beginning was that they were gluten-free-friendly and the first year they were okay. But now, they’ll do a full banquet, completely gluten-free and delicious. I’m talking about from desserts to meats with seasoning and everything, because this is the future. It’s not the gluten-free fad. I can talk about this all day.”