Five years ago, if I thought about a vegan I would picture a skinny man with an activist t-shirt and some very greasy hair holding a stand near a beach in California, selling some very unappealing cakes and offering me to try some homemade fizzy kefir lemonade that tastes rather strange. As a real French man (my name is Jean-Daniel… can’t do more French than that) and a circus performer, I was very much enjoying my cheese and my foie gras and I would often make a joke of my vegetarian friends: -“Oh man, you’re missing out… this duck leg is soooo nice… I don’t know how you do it”.
But surprise surprise, 5 years later I’ve now been vegan for 2 years. The image of veganism has changed hugely in the past years but I still had some worries going into it. When it comes to food and heath we hear everything and it’s contrary all the time. Hard to know what to listen to. Doing a very intense physical job like I do, I was scared that I was going to suffer from my choice physically. Where do I get enough protein from? What about B12? Am I going to feel tired all the time? And more important than anything (I am vain), am I going to lose my muscles?
So after two years here is what I can say. First of all, my muscles are still around! Relief. Other than that, at first I felt like I had a lot more energy. But that might have been just the placebo effect of doing something new. I always try to eat quite a balance diet and get as much different fruits and vegetables as I can. The famous five a day as a vegan is definitely easily reachable and I often have five vegetables in one meal. I try to have smoothies in the morning, eat some fried tofu and avocado. When it comes to training, I just haven’t really felt any change for the better or worse. My body feels good…I mean that’s a lie… my body always feels achy but unfortunately I have to blame that on my job rather than my nutrition. Basically there is definitely some adjusting to do. Like eating out can be quite tricky and sometimes if I stay in hotels during touring period it feels difficult to find something vegan that is not just a bit of salad with one pepper and no dressing. But other than that I just try to eat enough and to be completely honest I don’t check how much carbs or protein I’m taking in. I just eat…Basically if you’re a physical person and you’re thinking about going vegan and you’re just worried about your energy level, from my experience you’ll be just fine! I recommend it to anyone. Only one thing… when you become vegan your guts flora changes for the better, a lot of good bacteria develop. You’re gonna tell me, that sounds great. Yes it does, but in the process, your body produces a lot of extra…air… ask Nikki, my acrobatic partner, training in the first three weeks was challenging,.. but it does regulate eventually and you’re ready for your new vegan adventures!