What To Eat



The obvious question when considering eating more great tasting foods that are close to the source, and cutting back on meat products is "what should I eat"?   The good news is there is an amazing amount of great tasting food that does not involve meat and you probably eat it right now!


Below are links to quick lists of all the great food options that what we eat – foods you know and love that don't have meat products.  You can also download the list here. There are lots of great tasting options, and here are some sample meal menus to help get you thinking about what you can eat for breakfastlunch and dinner.

Many fighters prefer to eat more than three meals per day, and not as much at each meal.  We actually recommend this since large hits of food can cause large drains of energy to digest, and you get that tired feeling which can slow your training down. This is not as much of a problem if you are eating  foods closer to the source because they are easier to digest, but you still should try out eating more, smaller meals. 

General foods you can eat

Middle Eastern

Desserts are easy.  Almost no deserts contain meat, and many cakes, sorbets, and pies don't contain dairy.  But go easy on the deserts because unless they are made with natural fruits and other ingredients, they can be loaded with sugar and fat.  Stick to fruit salads and fruit shakes.

Drinks are also easy.  Drink everything you drink now (but go easy on the alcohol and soft drinks).  So there's beer, wine, orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, juice of any kind, lemonade, coffee, tea, iced tea, soft drinks, etc.


If you're interested in seeing how your performance and energy level changes when you improve your diet, you don't have to make a 100% change overnight.  Check out these foods to see some great options for meals, and when you are ready to make a change, you can phase it in bit by bit.


Beans and nuts, and products made from them (tofu, casseroles, stir fries, bean and vegetable burritos, peanut butter, etc.) have a good deal of protein, but without the cholesterol, hormones or pesticide concentrations.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say the average American is eating significantly more protein than they need.  Our experience as fighters is we have more energy to train and and we build more strength by eating a variety of healthy foods from the source.  Remember, it is not food that builds muscles, it is training and exercise. The food gives you the nutrients to repair and grow your tissues, and the best fuel for the fighter is whole, unprocessed foods direct from the source.  If you are want to increase protein intake beyond what a healthy varied diet can deliver, you can use protein shakes with soy protein, but this is a processed food product.  For more information, check this out.


If you are eating out at restaurants, there is almost always good "close to the source" foods on the menu, and don't be afraid to eat "OFF THE MENU", meaning if you see a dish that looks good but has meat products in it, just ask to have the chef substitute in grilled vegetables or tofu instead of meat.  Ask for what you want, and you can almost always get it.

For home, there's always the pre-made foods in supermarket deli counters, great packaged and frozen food options at stores like Whole foods and Trader Joes, and most supermarkets now carry great lines of frozen lunches and dinners from healthy manufacturer's like Amy's Organics and others.  If you cook, here is a link to resources and recipes.  If you are looking for a vegetarian restaurant in your city, check this out and you can also look on Yelp.com, and for gourmet vegetarian friendly restaurants, click here.



If you want to avoid cow's milk and all it's antibiotics, hormones, etc., most supermarkets now carry various other types of zero cholesterol milks such as rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, hemp milk, etc.  There are also now widely available meat and cheese substitutes that taste ranging from pretty good to great.  They are processed foods, so are not the ultra-healthiest way to go, but they definitely can make a transition to less meat products easier. You also always have the option of ordering a dish with some meat, but asking the chef to use half the meat he/she normally would.

Limitless Options

Spicy tofu stir fry Tofu and vegetables in peanut sauce Vegan Rueben Sandwich Vegetarian bean soup Spinach Lasagne Tofu Club Vegan Stuffing Veggie "Bologne" Sandwich Spinach Salad Tofu Curry Vegetable Biryani Veggie Burger Split Pea Soup Tofu in brown sauce Vegetable egg rolls Veggie Burrito Squash stuffed with rice and veggies Tofu Kabobs Vegetable Chow Mein Veggie Chili Stuffed Shells Tofu Pot Pie Vegetable Fried Rice Veggie Pizza with Soy Cheese Saag Paneer with Tofu Stuffed Tofu Tofu Quiche (no egg) Vegetable Lo Mein Veggie Sloppy Joe Seaweed Salad Sweet & Sour Seitan Tofu Teriyaki Vegetable Pot Pie Veggie Wrap Seitan Kabobs Tabouli Tofurky Sandwich Vegetable Samosas Stuffed Grape Leaves Seitan Lasagne Tacos with Tempe Tomato Coconut Curry Soup Vegetable Soup Seitan Marsala Tempe and Acorn Squash Tomato Soup Vegetable Spring Rolls Setian Stir Fry Tempe Burger New Tostada with soy cheese Vegetable Sushi Roll Soft Tacos with Tempe Tempe Club Sandwich Udon Noodles Vegetable Tamales Southwest Bean Salad Tempe Lasagne Uttapam Vegetable Tom Kha Pak Soy Cheese Enchiladas Tempe Salad Vegan Cheesecake Vegetable tortellini Spaghetti Thai Green Curry Tofu Vegan Fettucini Alfredo Vegetable Tempura Peppers stufffed with vegetables Quinoa Salad Quinoa Tofu Salad Ravioli Rigatoni Quinoa Risotto Cakes Roasted Veggie Burrito Risotto Dal Masala Dosa Marinated Olives Marinated Mushrooms Marinated Artichokes Mu shu vegetables Lima Bean Salad Linguini Lentil Soup Green Beans Grilled Seitan over Salad Curry Vegetable Wrap Corn on the Cob Cashew Butter and Jelly Sandwich Breads Garlic Naan Fresh Fruits Japanese Cucumber Salad Humus and Pita Grilled Veggie Salad with Tofu Garden Salad Mashed Potatoes Morrocan Veggie Wrap Corn Flakes Butternut Squash Soup Mixed Veggie Sushi Rolls Miso Soup Grilled Tofu Grilled Vegetables Cooked Carrots Burrito Bowl Greek Salad Curried Red Lentils Figs Fruit Juices Fruit Salad Fruit Smoothie Cucumber and Tomato Salad Chips, salsa and guacamole Cheeseless Pizza Buckwheat Soba Noodles Granola Dried Fruits Edamame (Soy Beans) Eggplant Parmesan (no cheese) Enchiladas with soy cheese English Muffins Falafel Sandwich Couscous Chana Masala Brown Rice Pilaf Aloo Gobi Aloo Mataar Angel Hair Pasta Apple Pie Artichoke Baba Ganoush Bagels Baked Beans Baked Potato Baked Tempe Barbecued Tofu Barbecue Setian Barbecued Seitan Sandwich Basmati Rice Bean Dip with Soy Cheese Beet Salad Bran Flakes Bean Curd Casserole Kale and Tofu Mushroom Casserole Mushroom Mataar Mushroom Rotelle Pasta Nachos with soy cheese Nuts Oatmeal with Bananas Oatmeal with Raisins Orange Glazed Tempe Pad See Ew Tofu Pad Thai Tofu Papadam Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Peas Penne Pasta Veggie Burrito 3 Bean Salad Agedashi Tofu