Vegan Olympians living a plant-based lifestyle serve as a huge inspiration for many just entering into this way of living. Often, one of the largest hurdles we face when converting from a Standard American Diet to a whole foods, plant-based diet is that motivation can be difficult to come by in the early stages, especially when you are "going it alone." As with anything in life, having a role model to look up to and a story to connect with will help make the journey far easier. Early on in my conversion from the SAD to my plant-based diet (of 3+ years now) was Dr. John McDougall and his book The Starch Solution. As we are entering a time where the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be kicking off in just a few months in Rio, I thought it would be great to share some stories of plant-based Olympians to educate and inspire you to live a better life for yourself.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if the food advertised in cookbooks is all it is made out to be. Food can be made to look good in pictures, but in real life might not taste so good. I thought it would be a neat idea to try putting the unique cookbook Vegan Under Pressure to the test, as I was so nicely provided with a free copy to send to one lucky winner of our Plant-Smart Living Giveaway. I am pleased to say that the end result of this hummus recipe is great!
V is For Vegan by Kerstin Rodgers (not to be confused with V is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind) provides 150 vegan recipes with the intention of making veganism attractive to newcomers to a plant-based diet and healthier lifestyle. From the first glance at the included, high quality photographs (by photographer Jan Baldwin), one can tell that much of this food is meant to be the “comfort food” of the vegan world. The vegan recipes included in this cookbook is a great starting point for new vegans and non-vegans alike. It provides some easy starting points to expand your palette wherever you may be on your personal journey.
Dr. Greger, the creator of NutritionFacts and plant-based diet advocate, did an IAMA on Reddit in 2015. While this may be "last years news," it is still chalk-full of useful information. For those who are not aware, Reddit has a forum called IAMA that allows any user on the website to ask questions to all types of people ranging from celebrities to politicians to doctors, scientists, athletes, and more! Dr. Greger's responses to some of the questions put forth by his online audience are too hard to just ignore, so I felt compelled to throw a few together for you to easily digest here.
The full IAMA is available on Reddit, and be sure to check out our review of Dr. Greger's infamous book How Not to Die.
V is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind by Ruby Roth is not a book I would have thought to pick up on my own, but I am glad it made it my way. The reason I can say this is because it is a book that would be attractive to my grandson with it's engaging art style and positive message. Not exactly grandpa reading material, but pretty perfect for the young ones among us!
Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes is a plant-based cooking guide geared towards families and children. This is a unique selling point given that it can be difficult to even get adults excited and interested in eating vegan, but it is crucially important that we start to raise new generations to better appreciate the bounty nature provides for us time and time again.
One of the most intimidating aspects of switching to a vegan diet is learning how to make the food more interesting and desirable. This is especially true if you are used to eating food that is particularly unhealthy. Not just meat, but rather food that has been highly processed, and coated in salt, sugar, and grease. These taste sensations can be replicated to certain degrees within a healthy vegan diet, but they are properties that make the Standard American Diet (SAD) so addictive.
We started Plant-Smart Living in 2015, and early into our exploration of social media and other people living a plant-based lifestyle and talking about it online, we stumbled upon Potato Strong. I was immediately interested in what it meant to be "potato strong," and could quickly tell that Will was discussing some things close to my own lifestyle as a result of our shared appreciation for Dr. McDougall's The Starch Solution. While that book has been very influential for myself and Will, it has only served as a starting point by which we have developed our own takes on what it means to live a plant-based lifestyle.