Actress Marie Wilson on her journey to a plant-based diet

Why she went vegan

Marie Wilson

Anyone considering trying a plant-based diet might want to heed the words of Marie Wilson, a veteran actress who swore off animal proteins in her teens and hasn’t looked back.

“You feel amazing,” she says. “It’s interesting how when you take a week, you just try it for a week and then you go back, it’s amazing the difference you feel between the two. … I have more energy. I have more alertness. You just feel better and your body can process it better, too.”

Wilson, who stars in “Ladies of the Lake” and its follow-up “Ladies of the Lake: Return to Avalon,” both of which are currently streaming on Amazon, has a long history with plant-based diets, longer in fact than her acting credits, which include stints on the daytime dramas “General Hospital” (1999-2003), “Port Charles” (1999-2003), “As the World Turns” (2005-10) and “Days of our Lives” (2014-16), as well as roles in the movies “Say You Will” (2017) and “To the Beat!” (2018).

She originally went vegetarian at 17 because that’s what her friends were doing and then later when she tried a hamburger, she found it difficult to digest and painful. So out of necessity, animal fats were out and plants were in. For good.

These days, she’s a lover of salads and quinoa, which she says is delicious and a great source of protein.

“Quinoa has more protein than even meat protein,” she notes, “so that’s been very enlightening. And also my stomach and my body appreciate it more because I can’t really break down meat protein. … So I’ve just been using quinoa with a lot of dishes and salads, and instead of rice you do a quinoa dish. There are so many choices, especially nowadays. It’s not like we’re living in the ‘50s, where it was a raw carrot and you’re done.”

As for advice she’d give to prospective vegans or vegetarians, Wilson is succinct.

“Be open-minded,” she asserts, “because a lot of people have this judgment on what it’s like and what the food tastes like and I think when we start judging anything in life, we kind of put limits up and it kind of cuts off great opportunities that might be available to you. So I think just being open-minded and trying something. And there’s stuff I’ve tried and didn’t like.

“You won’t love everything,” she adds, “but that’s the fun of experimenting and trying new things and just seeing what happens.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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