I first went plant-based in October of 2012. I was in Bucharest [Romania] shooting a commercial for Coca Cola and got into a conversation with a vegetarian friend. I told him I’d go vegetarian for a week, and then I tweeted about it. Someone sent me a link to a video by Gary Yourofsky after seeing the tweet. I happened to click and watch it (I don’t always tend to the many messages, videos, and links sent to me every day) … and it changed my life!
I had already done some introspection, including reflecting on where my beliefs came from, so I was able to really understand and take in his message. Not one to do things by halves, I committed at that point to becoming 100% vegan.
My previous diet wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst. I’m a professional athlete, so I knew not to eat burgers and chocolate at every meal, but I did eat animal flesh a couple times a day and chocolate every day. Diet is a tough thing to change; it’s really ingrained. Within three days of going plant-based, I felt a positive difference. With all the running, jumping, and climbing that I do as a parkour athlete, the right strength to weight ratio is important. Going vegan put me at my optimum weight (I lost weight but not strength), so now my ratio is better. Going vegan also eliminated the knee aches I used to have in the winter. Plus, my recovery time improved, and I have less fatigue. I feel spiritually cleaner, as well.
I still eat a lot of the same foods, like burgers and pastas, but now they’re vegan.