We keep hearing about pro athletes going vegan. And our reaction is always: Um,how? So we asked Rastafarian bodybuilder Torre Washington to explain.

Published on: http://www.gq.com/

As a kid in Jamaica, Torre Washington ate his grandparents island cooking: fish, jerk chicken, curried goat. But as he grew up and started making his own decisions, he latched onto the Rasta concept of €œital,€ which means eating of the earth. Now a fitness coach in South Florida, hes part of a growing trend of jocks (like Serena Williams and 300-pound Chicago Bears lineman David Carter) who avoid animal products. Mike Tyson is now vegan. Even the definitive muscleman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, says we should eat less meat. Need convincing? Try Washingtons eco-friendly, critter-free diet plan.

1 | Come On Back to Carbs

€œCarbohydrates give you the energy you need,€ Washington says. €œWithout them you actually suppress your metabolism. Im seeing more people finally realize that they need carbs in order to fuel their bodies.€ Washingtons carb of choice is the Japanese sweet potato, the kind with purple skin and pale gold flesh, like a tuber in a Lakers jersey. €œThe Japanese sweet potato has the texture of a white potato,€ he says. €œAnd baked, it tastes like candy.€

2 | Chill With the Protein Powder

€œWe live in the age of €˜How much protein are you getting? Ive never, ever tracked my protein,€ Washington says. He doesnt sprinkle creatine on his oatmeal. Doesnt take supplements, period. And he says we dont need to down steaks and eggs to put on muscle€”or to stay healthy: €œWe only need about 35 percent of our calories from protein. When we take in more, were eating it just because we feel like we need it.€

3 | Eat (And Drink) Your Veggies

Ideally, Washington says, youd have a salad at every meal€”not only because the greens themselves are beneficial but also because you can put so much other good stuff (beans, fruit, nuts) on top. €œI even do a salad sometimes in the morning with my breakfast,€ he says. But a man can only chew so much escarole. Plan B: Blend a fruit-and-veg smoothie. Unlike juice, smoothies keep the fiber, which means youll get more nutrients€”and actually feel full.

4 | If You Miss Beef, Fake The Steak

You know those faux meats that you pass by at the supermarket? Theyre better than you think€”and theyre how to avoid giving into carnivorous cravings. €œFor example, seitan looks like and mimics the taste of meat,€ Washington says. Your first recipe: €œbeef€ stew over rice, with carrots, celery, herbs, and spices. €œIn a beef stew, the seasonings give you the flavor, anyway.€ So there you have it: Vegans actually do like flavor.