Emil Johansson on Autoimmune Disease and His Diet
Emil Johansson isn’t the typical athlete I’d feature on here, since normally I write more about women on this particular site, but when I interviewed him, his story of coming back from autoimmune disease (and back injuries) and how it impacted his eating was so interesting, and so impressive. I’ve been talking to so many different cyclists for this Bicycling feature, from MTBer Kate Courtney to roadie Tayler Wiles, but talking to a dirt jumping slopestyle rider? I assumed he would be all about the Doritos and Red Bull, since he’s a 22-year-old extreme athlete. But that wasn’t the case. Emil eats pretty much the same as Tayler Wiles does: lots of whole foods. The main difference is that he’s much more limited, since he got a ton of testing done when diagnosed with autoimmune in order to optimize his diet to avoid foods that were causing gut issues and inflammation. The result? One of the most mature approaches to food I’ve ever heard from an athlete.