For vegan chef Marley Ficalora, the creator of the viral Produce Section Challenge, the increasing amount of stars embracing a plant-focused diet has been nothing short of amazing.
“It’s come so far, and it has been a lot of the celebrities that have driven this growth of veganism and plant-based eating,” Marley told Access of the vegan movement’s growing popularity. “There’s these regimens and tough circumstances that you have to be under when you’re a celebrity. You have this pressure to look good – these superhero bodies, right? In order to maintain that, you have to have that peak health and fitness, eating healthy and eating lots of fruits and vegetables really allows you to do that.”
Among the stars going largely meat and dairy-free are Tom Brady, whose simple diet helps him perform well in the NFL; Meghan Markle, who brought her partly vegan diet into the royal family; and Serena Williams, who cut animal products and sugar in order to get into peak tennis shape post-pregnancy.
Beyoncé also famously went vegan ahead of her landmark 2018 Coachella performance, kicking her health into high gear with a “whole food, plant-based diet” after welcoming twins Rumi and Sir.
“She was looking for a diet that was going to be healthy, sustainable, but at the same time was going to have her lose weight quickly in order for her to perform in front of those hundreds of thousands of people with high energy, looking good and putting on the performance that we’ve all come to love with Beyonce,” Marley said.
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While veganism may be gaining traction in Hollywood, Marley assures it’s just as attainable for everyday people. To prove it, he started the Produce Section Challenge, daring himself (and his followers) to eat every single meal entirely comprised of items from their local grocery store’s produce section.
“My goal was to show people how affordable and accessible it can be to eat healthy food,” he explained.
For those looking to try a more plant-based lifestyle, Marley says starting out in the produce section – and not being scared to test things out – is the way to go.
“Make it simple. You don’t have to overcomplicate and think about replacements and this or that. Just go have some fun, try some things you’ve never tried before,” he said.
For more of Marley’s tips on trying out a plant-based diet (and his perspective on the vegan diets of Beyoncé, Meghan and more), watch his video interview with Access above.