Torre Washington, a bodybuilder who’s been vegan since 1998, spoke to the Insider about building muscle on a plant-based diet. Washington has been speaking out about how he gets protein from a vegan diet and uses it to thrive in his career.

Source: Torre Washington/Youtube

Source: Torre Washington/Youtube

“I don’t use the word diet. I’m not here to die — I’m here to thrive. It’s a lifestyle,” he told Insider recently. A competitive bodybuilder since 2009, he was inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger to swift from simply lifting weights to bodybuilding. He said people doubted that he could compete with a plant-based lifestyle.

Check out Washington on Instagram:

“Some people didn’t think it was possible with me being vegan, but by my second show I went pro,” Washington said, “They’ve seen me look the way I look, and I kick their butts onstage. I’ve had some judges say they’d like me to try eating meat to get bigger, but I’m not interested. I’m doing just fine putting on muscle.”

So what does Washington eat to keep his physique? He told Insider that he eats a lot of lentils, oatmeal, tofu, pea protein, and rice and beans.

To complement protein, he eats Japanese sweet potato, greens, and fruit smoothies.

Interested in becoming a vegan athlete? Check out these resources

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!