Going vegan isn't as hard as it once was. There are a plethora of milk substitutes. Plant-based meat alternatives are readily available at restaurants and grocery stores. Gone are the days of your vegan friend resorting to fries and a side salad when out to dinner.
Even in the world of professional sports, plant-based and vegan diets have become more common, and that includes the Patriots locker room. In a Q&A posted on GQ.com, Lawrence Guy talked about how he made the switch to a vegan diet gradually, beginning a few years back. He paid attention to how his body felt as he swapped out dairy and meat and continued to cut from there.
"Every offseason I wanted to truly help my body fully recover. My wife and I started taking out heavy red meat products and my body felt better, my joints felt better. I never really drank milk. Then we started taking out chicken," Guy told GQ's Danielle Cohen. "Then you go to the fish. We didn't cut it down immediately. I needed to make sure I slowly worked myself into this. When people jump straight into it, you get the headaches and you start losing too much. We did it over the years, constantly going towards a more plant-based diet."
Guy said there were a few guys in the locker room who are either vegan or dabble in plant-based diets. For the most part, he said he hasn't faced much skepticism. Even when training heavily, Guy manages to fuel himself in a way that supports the demands of a career as a professional athlete.
Though Guy said this kind of diet isn't for everyone, it's been working for him.
"You're not as bloated. You're running and your knees don't hurt as much. You stop waking up in the morning feeling groggy. Many people say they wake up after a hearty meal and feel bad and sick," Guy said. "I never wake up after eating a whole bunch of food and say, 'Man, I feel terrible that I ate that last night.' You feel energized. When you take all the heartier stuff out and put the plant-based in, you don't have to overwork to digest everything."
In season, Guy said he relies on potatoes and sweet potatoes to carb up, loves the versatility of cauliflower and relies on vegan pancakes for breakfast. He even got his kids to love kale smoothies, so it's a true family effort. They are constantly trying to new recipes and figuring out what works.
"You get more recipes and everything gets a little bit easier," Guy said. "Your body's gonna adapt to everything you're putting into it, you just have to make sure you're fueling it enough for what you're putting out on the field."
You can read the full interview here.