Veg out with Hawks' vegan player
Stoudamire crosses over to healthy cuisine
By FAITH DAWSON
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/05/07
In June, Atlanta Hawks guard Salim Stoudamire abandoned his diet of junk food and animal-based foods to become the Hawks' only vegan player. (Vegans typically only eat food from plants — fruits, vegetables, legumes [dried beans and peas], grains, seeds and nuts.) So when team chef Bradley Rouse cooks turkey chili or Cajun catfish for the rest of the team, Stoudamire gets grilled tofu and quinoa (a high-protein grain).
Stoudamire recently sat down to talk about being a vegan in a sport dominated by carnivores.
Atlanta Hawks guard Salim Stoudamire has lost 3 pounds since becoming a vegan last June. "My endurance has gone up, and I haven't gotten tired at all during the whole season." His meal includes tofu and pasta.
SALIM STOUDAMIRE'S 5 FAVORITE VEGETABLES
Q: Why did you become a vegan?
A: I've always wanted to be one because of health, but I never wanted to go eat by myself or have people talk about me. But I finally reached a point where I just didn't care what other people thought, and I didn't have a problem with eating alone.
Q: None of your teammates goes with you?
A: They don't eat like I do. They look at my food and are disgusted. [They're] like, what's that, what's that?
Q: Did you lose weight after you became a vegan?
A: I lost 3 pounds, and I'm in better condition. My endurance has gone up, and I haven't gotten tired at all during the whole season.
Q: So this wasn't prompted by animal rights?
A: Sort of. I don't think you should eat something that had a mother. I don't think that's right.
Q: The Hawks Media Guide says your favorite food is macaroni and cheese. Explain.
A: It used to be! Not anymore.
Q: What's your favorite food now?
A: My favorite dish is brown rice with steamed vegetables and tofu.
Q: What would you say if I told you Philips Arena sells excellent hot dogs?
A: No — that's disgusting to me.
Q: I have a list of famous vegans for you: Prince ...
A: Prince is a vegan?
Q: Yes! Gwyneth Paltrow, Andre 3000, Pamela Anderson.
A: Pamela Anderson's a vegan? I don't believe that!
Q: It's true! She's a PETA spokeswoman. ... How are you on dates? Do you have to tell your date not to order the Buffalo wings?
A: I have a [non-vegan] girlfriend. ... She'll go to vegan restaurants with me. She's into it. She'll be converted one day.
Q: Vegan restaurant in Atlanta where we're most likely to see Salim Stoudamire?
A: Soul Vegetarian!
Q: How do you feel about the NBA's return to the leather ball?
A: I like that ball because I grew up with that ball.