My Chat With A Vegan

J.D. Goldschmidt is a busy husband, father, actor, producer, model and healthy living advocate. Based in New York City, he’s kept busy over the years working on independent films and web series, while most currently working as the stand-in for Aaron Paul (see Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad) in Aaron’s new show. With such a hectic career, J.D. needed optimal nutrition to feel his best and maintain his busy schedule. After stumbling upon a YouTube Channel called Vegan Gains, and exploring further into the subject with documentaries like Forks Over Knives, J.D. had learned enough about animal cruelty, plant-based nutrition and the healthy lifestyle veganism could offer to completely change up his diet and refocus his nutrition to assume his new nutritional quest as a vegan.

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J.D. was kind enough to chat with me and give me a little insight over his lifestyle, the changes he has made, and how it affects his daily life. Keep reading for more information on how and why this multi-threat SAG member maintains his vegan lifestyle with his busy schedule.

J.D. decided to make the change to veganism about a year ago. Pushed to adapt the lifestyle for the health benefits, J.D. has found that he has tons of energy, less skin imperfections, “Superman-like” bloodwork and a little more creativity in the kitchen. Not to mention the positive effects he feels veganism contributes to the world, like feeling more connected to nature and doing his part to end animal cruelty.

He made this decision on his own terms and never felt the need to push his wife into the lifestyle, however after seeing how the diet affected his health and energy, J.D.’s wife did her own research and decided to adopt the new diet with him. The couple also has a daughter, who they are raising currently as a vegan, but will let her and any of their children decide the nutritional options for themselves when they are old enough to make those choices.

Perhaps feeling rather strongly about getting the message across that he is not critical of others for their nutritional choices, J.D. mentioned this to me, “I would never judge anyone who is not vegan. I was an omnivore most of my life…I do like to chime in and try to expand people’s horizons.” He contributes his knowledge of being vegan only when people are shocked to hear that he maintains his physical fitness on a plant-based diet alone. People are confused how one can be physically fit and active when not eating animal protein, so J.D. likes to take this opportunity to share that it is indeed possible.

People have a lot of excuses for sloppy nutrition. Traveling, time constraints, level of difficulty in meal preparation, etc. However, J.D. assured me that it’s actually not hard to eat vegan while on the road. “You would be surprised you can get a great vegan meal at a steakhouse. Order a baked potato with no butter, a side of veggies and beans, a salad and you have a meal.” At one of the “meatiest” types of restaurants, who knew a vegan dish lingered on the menu?

As far as fueling up on the go, J.D. finds his favorite vegan options to be Kind bars and Clif bars, noting however that he always prefers to eat “real” food before reaching for these options. And when it comes to alcohol, J.D. rarely engages. If he does, he chooses champagne.

Do vegans have any fun? What about holidays… do those count as cheat days? Actually yes, they have fun, and no, they don’t have to cheat to indulge in holiday fare. Such things as vegan ice cream, cheesecake and other plant-based desserts allow vegans to feel like they are partaking in the festivities. For holidays, expect a menu like vegan quiche, mashed potatoes, yam casserole, and a form of baked seitan or tofu with veggies. While this may seem strange to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas without the ham, turkey, or other meat option, J.D. does not feel like his missing out in any way.

As for considering whether or not to adopt the lifestyle for yourself, J.D. recommends a slow approach and a reason for making the change.

“Keep educating yourself through books, documentaries, articles… have a legitimate reason for going vegan… animals, health, environment. Don’t think of veganism as some cult, or religion, or that all vegans are skinny tree hugging hippies. It’s simply not true. It’s a lifestyle, and you don’t have to be perfect.”

J.D. suggests starting slowly, perhaps cutting out animal products and starting something like “meatless Mondays” and working your way up from there. He believes every bit counts and that not only will the planet benefit, but so too will your body.

For more on J.D. check out his website here: Follow him at @tofu_fit_guy to keep up to date on both his acting and his lifestyle.


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