Category Archives: Veg Celebrities

Vegan celebs making a difference

Many veg celebs give the veg world a big boost.  When they talk about vegan food many people listen and are inspired to try it, when they visit a restaurant people want to go there, and this can influence a restaurant to start offering vegan options.

So when a vegan celebrity, Lizzo, announced that she’s going to visit a meat and dairy-heavy restaurant, FoodChasers Kitchen in Philadelphia, the owners took on the challenge of making a vegan meal for the star and her guests.  They opened the restaurant on a Wednesday, when they are typically closed, and tasked the chef with creating a delicious vegan menu.

According to local outlet The Philadelphia Inquirer, the five-item, mushroom-focused menu featured vegan versions of FoodChaser classics such as plant-based cheesy grits topped with seasoned mushrooms; tacos stuffed with fried mushrooms, avocado, and pico de gallo; a meatball grinder made with portobello mushrooms and smothered in vegan cheese; a cheesesteak sandwich with mushrooms; and mushroom ravioli in vegan butter sauce. 

Lizzo enjoyed the food, while playing Uno with her guests, and you can be sure she talked about it on social media.  As a result the eatery has started serving some of the vegan dishes that were created alongside its regular menu.

Many celebrities are choosing a vegan lifestyle these days.  Some do it for ethical reasons, for the animals and the planet; others do it for their own personal health or their athletic performance. 

In Lizzo’s case, she chooses a vegan lifestyle for her health.  “I just feel better when I eat plants” she said. 

Whatever their reasons, celebrities talking about their vegan food choices, and requesting vegan options when they visit a restaurant, has an outsized influence on restaurants and their desire to include vegan offerings, which benefits all of us.

Stella McCartney leads the way to plant-based fashions

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney, daughter of the famous Beatle Paul McCartney, has been a vegetarian all her life.  As a fashion designer, she is well-known for using mostly plant-based materials.  She has been using various leather-alternatives, including one made from grapes and another that is mushroom based. She recently launched a $200 million investment fund for eco-friendly businesses and vegan leather brand, Bolt Threads, was one of the recipients.

Her latest quest is to find a plant-based alternative to using the ordinary silk produced by silkworms.  The worms are killed in the production process, when they are dropped into boiling water so that they unravel the silk they have formed into a cocoon.  The silk can then be collected, but the worms die before they are able to transform into moths.

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Vegan athletes compete at Mr America contest

Robert Cheeke – vegan bodybuilder

A team of 28 vegan athletes just participated in this year’s Mr America competition in Atlantic City, NJ, to show the world that vegans can be just as strong, muscular and fit at meat-eaters, if not better.

The Mr America contest includes 4 different challenges for both men and for women:

  • Bodybuilding, where the judges score each athlete based on muscular development, proportion, conditioning, posing and general appearance,
  • Olympic weightlifting, where the athlete lifts a 400-600 pound barbell from the floor to an overhead position,
  • Kettlebell sport, where athletes have to repeat a certain movement with a designated weight in a certain amount of time.
  • Crossfit, which is designed to test the athlete’s level of physical fitness, measuring strength, speed, agility and overall fitness.
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Singer/Songwriter Sia is vegan for the animals

Singer/Songwriter Sia Kate Isobelle Furler

Sia has always loved animals, and as a young artist struggling to survive, she vowed that if she ever found success, she would make it her mission to spend the rest of her life trying to help and protect animals.  She loved her dogs and became vegetarian when she realized that chickens and cows could feel, care and empathize just like her dogs could.

Sia, full name Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, is an Australian singer and songwriter, who started her career in the acid jazz band Crisp in the mid 1990s in Adelaide.  She released her first solo studio album in 1997, and then moved to London, and subsequently New York.  By 2014, she broke through as a solo recording artist, when her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, debuted at No 1 in the US Billboard 200, and has continued to produce albums and to write many songs for film.

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Quarterback Justin Fields chooses vegan for performance

Justin Fields 2022

Justin Fields, the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, has discovered that following a plant-based diet makes him lighter and faster.  He first tried it in May 2020 while he was quarantined with his family, and they all decided to do a one-month plant-based challenge.  During that month, Fields noticed how his body felt better, and so at the end of the month, he continued with the diet, while the rest of his family went back to eating meat and dairy products.

Fields was drafted as the Bears’ number one choice in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, after playing college football at Ohio State university. He continued with the Bears into the 2022 season.  Of his vegan diet, he says:

“It’s changed the way I feel and the way I perform dramatically. I just feel so much lighter and faster. Football as a sport is so hard on your body so I just want to do anything I can to have the longest career possible.”

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Musician Travis Barker is passionate about his vegan diet

(Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

The 46-year-old drummer, Travis Barker, is passionate about his diet and health, and puts his money where his mouth is by financially backing vegan businesses.  Barker is also a music producer, entrepreneur, fashion designer and recently married Kourtney Kardashian.  He has been the drummer for the rock band Blink-182, since 1992, and also collaborates with hip hop artists.  Rolling Stone lists him as one of the 100 greatest drummers of all time.

He has been a vegetarian since the age of 15, but switched to a vegan lifestyle after being seriously injured in a plane crash in 2008.  Barker sustained second-degree burns on over 65% of his body and required numerous surgeries and skin grafts.  Barker told Men’s Health that going vegan was part of a promise he made to himself after the crash. The benefits have been significant for him.

“Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating I have endless amounts of energy,” says Barker. “I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired. No matter what kind of shows I have done, or workouts I do on top of it, I still have to force myself to sleep at night.”  

For Travis Barker, maintaining his vegan diet isn’t an issue. His Los Angeles location puts him close to many excellent healthy, vegan shops and restaurants, so he doesn’t have to worry about not having access to healthy foods. He is so passionate about his vegan lifestyle that he has even invested in a vegan restaurant in LA, Crossroads Kitchen.  He joins many other entertainment celebrities, such as Carrie Underwood, Billie Eilish, and rapper RZA.

Champion surfer Tia Blanco is a vegan

Champion surfer, Tia Blanco, choses a vegan lifestyle, and has found it to have a positive impact on her performance. As she grew up in California and Hawaii, Tia Blanco took to surfing at a young age, and by age 17, she was already winning national titles. She now lives in Southern California. She represented Puerto Rico as a pro-surfer in the Pan-Am Games, and continues to compete at a high level, ranking in the top 50 female surfers internationally.  

To maintain this level of performance, she trains daily, spending up to 8 hours a day in the water or working out on land.

She says, “I feel healthier on a clean, whole foods diet that is very simple — especially during competition. And since a plant-based diet is less calorically dense than other diets, I need to make sure I’m eating enough food so I up my portions a lot. I think of veggies as nutrition and water, not a food where I can get energy so I don’t even count veggies when I’m counting calories and nutrition. For energy, I go to potatoes, whole grains, and starchy veggies. I’m obsessed with carrots and sweet potatoes.” 

She also makes sure to consume plenty of legumes and nuts, along with protein shakes, although she admits that’s more because she likes the taste, as she doesn’t feel short of protein.

Having been raised vegetarian, Tia decided to go vegan in 2013 after thinking about her food choices carefully.  She recognizes the benefits of a vegan diet from both a compassion for animals, environmental and a health perspective, and has become active in promoting plant-based diets. Although she’s very open about her ethical beliefs regarding animals when it comes to veganism, and how a vegan diet has fueled her through her impressive athletic accomplishments to date, Blanco strives to keep her relationship with food and others positive — especially with so many other pro surfers adhering to meat-heavy Paleo diets.

“I definitely get my haters,” she says. “Even when I was vegetarian not everyone agreed with it, obviously. But I don’t push my beliefs on others. I express the benefits if people are asking, and in my case people were asking. I never tell people how to eat. Respect what’s on my plate, I’ll respect what’s on yours.”

Chris Paul, 12 year NBA all-star, credits plant-based diet

Chris Paul 2022

NBA veteran, Chris Paul, made his 12th appearance on the NBA All-Star team in February, and credits his plant-based diet with helping him gain energy and reduce muscle aches both on and off the court.  The 37-year-old Phoenix Suns point guard decided to give a plant-based diet a try in 2019, and after experiencing many health and fitness benefits, he chose to stick with it.

“When I first went plant-based, it was for performance purposes but once I saw how my body changed and how I felt—it was for life,” Paul said in an interview with GQ. “Years ago, I probably wouldn’t have even gone outside to run around with my kids and all the other activities because my body would be aching. Now, with the constant lifting and making sure that my body is always ready, it’s been a good lifestyle change for me.” 

Before he went vegan, Chris enjoyed foods including fried chicken and burgers, but his commitment to a plant-based diet has led him to try a lot of new foods.  He finds vegan versions of his favorite foods, such as chocolate chip cookies and pancakes, and uses substitute products such as JUST Egg and Beyond Meat sausage as staples in his breakfasts.  For lunch, he typically eats a salad or a veggie bowl, along with a protein smoothie, while his dinners are prepared by a professional chef using plenty of beans, grains and vegetables.

Chris has managed to convince his father to give the diet a try too, and Charles Paul noticed health benefits such as lower cholesterol since he replaced chicken eggs with JUST Egg.  In October, Chris will lead the Phoenix Suns in his 18th season of professional basketball – a feat that only a few have achieved.  We think his diet has something to do with that!

Country music stars who went veg

You might think that country music stars only eat meat and potatoes, and especially barbecue.  But in fact several of the top country stars have chosen to go meatless.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and didn’t think about the fate of the animals being raised until she thought to ask what happened to them. Once she learned that they were slaughtered, she removed meat from her diet. When she moved to California at the age of 22, she found it much easier to completely cut meat from her diet. As she became more famous, she became a vocal advocate for animal rights and adopted a fully vegan diet in 2011.

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Shaquille O’Neal goes vegan

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal in 2017

Retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has announced that he’s going vegan, during a May 2 interview with Rip Michaels, host of the show Urban Eats & Treats.  He had previously followed a high-protein, low-carb diet, but he’s realized that following a vegan diet, including vegan versions of many of his favorite junk foods such as cheeseburgers, gives him many advantages, including enabling him to continue to eat the way he prefers, while avoiding packing on too many pounds.

At 7-foot-11, and 320 pounds, the former NBA star is now 50 years old and wants to look after his health, while still enjoying his favorite foods.  He has discovered that is possible, by frequenting a vegan restaurant in Atlanta where he can get a cheeseburger without the guilt.  He used to think that a healthy diet consists of salad, steak and fish, but finds that eating vegan food helps him feel lighter and more energized, and healthier than he used to feel.

For breakfast, he enjoys a vegan smoothie, with blueberries, peanut butter and bananas, inspired by vegan NFL star Tom Brady.  Shaq joins many other vegan athletes who have discovered the benefits of a plant-based diet, including female athletes such as tennis champion Venus Williams and soccer star Alex Morgan.

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