Soccer and baseball season may be over, but football and basketball season is upon you! Some people think that vegan and sports shouldn’t go together, but it most definitely shouldn’t be thought of as opposites!
Once you have adopted a vegan lifestyle, you may often feel out of place in sports bars, stadiums, and other sports-related settings. After all, part of being a spectator involves eating copious amounts of decidedly non-vegan food.
Just because you are leading a more conscientious and cruelty-free lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to give up your love of sports. There are many ways you can combine the two so that you get the best of both worlds. Here are a couple of guidelines to help you on your way.
Take an Interest in Soccer
The number of soccer fans in the US is growing. It is estimated that the sport is the third-most watched sport in the country after football and basketball, respectively. So, why is this something you should know about? Well, recent research has uncovered some impressive results.
It has been discovered that, as a whole, soccer fans are a great deal more health-conscious. Even better, they are eight times more likely to be vegan as well!
In case you want to be able to watch games with likeminded people. Taking an interest in soccer may be the right decision. You may just end up finding more vegan friends.
In case of soccer isn’t really your thing, there are still plenty of other ways to enjoy sports as a vegan.
Rep a Vegan Player
For the longest time, world-class athletes were associated with meat-based, high-protein diets. While several sports stars still follow such meal plans, a significant number of athletes are changing the way they eat. In particular, numerous athletes are going vegan, at least during the sports seasons.
Of course, these individuals are doing it for health purposes. As you are aware, a vegan diet can cut down many health issues such as inflammation and heart disease. At the same time, athletes can also enjoy improved energy levels and higher productivity.
Some of the better known vegan athletes include Venus Williams and Lewis Hamilton. If you are a football fan, though, there are still several players to rep.
This includes DaQuan Jones, Derrick Morgan, Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard, Griff Whalen, and Andre Patton. And while Tom Brady isn’t a card-carrying vegan, his diet is 80 percent plant-based.
If you are a basketball fan, there are a few vegan players as well. Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Al Jefferson, Wilson Chandler, and JaVale McGee are just some of the players that have switched over to a vegan or vegetarian diet.
These individuals can also be a great source of inspiration to you if you are an athlete. You can follow them on social media and learn some useful vegan diet tips. In turn, you may be able to improve your own performance.
How to Survive a Stadium
Let’s face it, there are a few things more exhilarating than watching a live game in a stadium. It’s true even if the players on the field or the court are pinpricks from where you are sitting.
The action of the game and the roar of the crowd is all you need for the ultimate experience. Well, that and food, of course.
Now, this is where it can get a little tricky for vegans. Stadium food isn’t just overpriced, it is overwhelmingly meat-based as well. So, the options for anyone on a plant-based diet can be pretty low. Not to worry, though, there are some ways to get around this.
The good news is that technology has caught up with your vegan needs. There is now a site called Veggie Happy that shows you all the sports stadiums and arenas that offer up a veggie-friendly fare.
What’s even more impressive is that the website also displays the menu, letting you know precisely what is available. So, if you are someone who has season tickets, this is something you need to look into.
Needless to say, not every stadium and arena is equally equipped to offer up vegan food. In this case, you may need to get a little creative with the snacks. More often than not, these snacks tend to be vegan.
So, at the very least, you will be able to munch on French fries, chips, pretzels, and butter-free popcorn.
Another handy tip can be to see if there are ways you can make certain foods vegan. For instance, if there are nachos, ask if they can just eliminate the cheese.
Then with just salsa, pico de gallo, and jalapenos, your meal will be vegan. The same thing can be done with salads and even individual wraps.
You don’t have to accept the situation as it is merely. If you are unhappy with what your local stadium has to offer, you should bring it up with the people in charge of the food.
While vegans and vegetarians may be in the minority, there are bound to be others that will join you in demanding more plant-based meals. So, this is undoubtedly an option to consider.
How to Be Vegan in a Sports Bar
At the end of the day, it isn’t financially feasible for many live sports games all the time. This means that you are going to spend quite a bit of the season in a sports bar. Once again, this can be tricky territory for vegans if you aren’t careful.
Fortunately, there are now more vegan spots than ever before. So, your first step should be to do some research and figure out if there are any such bars near you. If there are great! Your next obstacle, of course, would be to convince your non-vegan friends to go with you.
Just because there isn’t a vegan sports bar nearby doesn’t mean you are out of options. There are plenty of bars that offer at least a couple of vegetarian options. You can figure out which ones have the best items on the menu by looking online.
Even if an actual menu isn’t posted online, there are sure to be reviews talking about specific dishes. Visiting the bar’s social media page will also give you some idea of the kind of fare they serve. After this, you can figure out if there is any way to veganize the meal so that you can enjoy it.
If you are going to a bar, it is almost guaranteed that you will be ordering a beer. Luckily for you, most alcohol is naturally vegan.
Nonetheless, some brands use non-vegan procedures to process beer. To be on the safe side, you may want to look up some of the local brands and determine if they are safe for you to drink.
When you are in a sports bar, you should be mindful of the non-vegans around you. So, in case your menu options are limited, don’t make a fuss.
Instead, just order a potato-based, vegan option and munch on that. You will leave everyone with a much better impression of what veganism is like.
Host a Vegan Sports Night
If your local sports bars are letting you down, then the only thing left to do is to host your own sports night. This is actually pretty simple to do and gives you more control over what you consume.
So, not only can you ensure that you get vegan food, but you can also make sure it is moderately healthy.
In case you are inviting a mix of vegans and non-vegans, you need to offer food that is going to appeal to everyone. What’s more, you shouldn’t go overboard with the options – snacks and appetizers are fine.
After all, the whole point is to enjoy the game, not to spend the entire evening slaving away in the kitchen.
It is a good idea to stick with finger foods so that you can cut down on the mess. Not to mention, it is a little difficult for people to jump up and down with full plates in their hands.
Your to-go option should be a couple of different types of chips with lots of vegan dips to choose from. Loaded nachos are yet another crowd-pleaser.
In case you want your friends to fill up on actual food, there are a couple of things that you can make without too much of a fuss. At the top of the list is tacos.
You can simply lay out all the ingredients for the filling, and people can make their own dinner. Oven-baked sliders can also be made all at once and are perfect for a more massive crowd.
As you can see, being vegan doesn’t mean that you can’t be a sports fan. There are lots of ways to enjoy your favorite game while still adhering to a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle.
And hopefully, when your non-vegan friends see you having so much fun, they may consider making small changes as well.
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