What started out as a way to stay injury-free and healthy, soon developed into a full-blown ethical vegan lifestyle. Soccer player, Chris Smalling, of the UK’s Manchester United, just recently announced his transition from plant-based to vegan for the animals!

With a little help from his wife, Sam Cooke, who has been vegan for years, Smalling was easily persuaded to go vegan. Smalling notes that it was easy to transition to this lifestyle as he was practically eating vegan at home, since he always enjoyed his wife’s cooking.

The dietary shift started when Smalling began cutting out red meat from his diet to reduce his tendonitis flare-ups. After removing red meat from his diet, his pain was virtually non-existent. The way his body responded to the reduction of animal products, led Smalling to explore a plant-based diet. However, soon enough, he began interested in the ethical standpoint of veganism.

Smalling says that, “The main reason I started was my health. At first, I was half and half so I was cutting out red meat but still eating some meat. But the missus throws quite a lot of documentaries at you and it opens your eyes a little bit in terms of different industries, and that persuaded me to go full vegan.”

Chris Smalling is not the only soccer player to form the connection and go vegan. Other players like Jermaine Defoe and Hector Bellerin also live a vegan lifestyle!

Interested in a high-protein plant based diet?

You can still receive high levels of protein on a plant-based diet that will keep you performing optimally as an athlete. Here are some high protein recipes from our Food Monster App that will keep you strong and aid with recovery.

Chickpea Spinach Stew with Lentils and Quinoa

Chickpea Spinach Stew

This stew is packed with high protein ingredients like lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, and cashews. Not only will it help refuel the body, but it will also satisfy your taste buds!

Beet Tacos with Mung Beans, Blackened Tofu, Radish Slaw, and Crispy Corn


These tacos are smoky, crispy, spicy, and refreshing all at once while delivering a heaping dose of protein to fuel your body. This meal is unique and flavorful and will definitely not let you down.

Bangin’ Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza


Who doesn’t love pizza for dinner? This buffalo cauliflower pizza is one you can feel good about eating because it’s rather healthy and topped with protein-rich ingredients!

For more high protein recipes, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out! 

Lead Image Source: bluesbby/Flickr