Although transitioning to a flexitarian lifestyle can be daunting for many individuals, Dan Norton, a rugby union player and leading all-time try scorer in Rugby Sevens history, has not let the perceived difficulty deter him from making the switch.
Dan flew to Dubai two weeks ago and met Arlene®’s Founder Helene Raudaschl and CEO Arnaud Thulliez. A delicious Arlene Brunch was held at Maxzi the Good Food Shop, which was also Helene's brainchild to share wellness and healthy eating ideas with the community.
The brunch featured a variety of dishes, such as Arlene's Classic Kebab served on red-onion flatbread, Arlene's Falafel & Kibbeh with hummus and generous size of pomegranate & walnut salad; Arlene's Siew Mai & Crystal Dumplings; Arlene's Truffle & Cabbage Gyoza; and Arlene's Tom Yum Spring Rolls.
It was Dan’s first time to try Arlene® but it wasn't his first time eating vegan food. He admits that, “To be fair, I have tried vegan foods, especially when Meatless Mondays were gaining traction in the UK. While I like the idea of eating more vegan food, it proved to be time-consuming to create new dishes and difficult to find alternatives that suited my taste buds.”
Among the dishes served, the Arlene® Kebabs were Dan's favorite. Dan stated that he was "pleasantly surprised by how great they tasted.”
"From the taste to the texture, it's a whole new experience! My fellow athletes should definitely try Arlene®."
He added that he was glad that Arlene® has created exciting options for people like him who want to become flexitarians. There are currently 17 Arlene® plant-based meals in the range including dishes from Chinese, Mexican, and Mediterranean cuisines.
He shared that athletes have very diverse diets these days. "In our team, for example, there were two vegans and about three pescatarians or flexitarians. They understood their body's needs and how to supplement them. However, they sometimes found it difficult to stick to a diet when traveling or around teammates who like to consume more meat,” Dan observes.
Dan noted that his children, ages 5 and 4 months, do not seem all that interested in healthy food. According to Dan, he and his wife are very open-minded to trying healthier options in order to inspire their children to eat healthily.
As a result, Dan was inspired by Helene's story about how her son, Max, a basketball player, inspired her to create Arlene® plant-based meals. “It was very enjoyable to hear the story behind the creation of these delicious plant-based meals," he says.
In a brief discussion about flexitarianism, Dan summarizes his dining experience as a “palate awakener” for him. He believes that, “Getting your protein from meat products is an old-school philosophy. I believe that a flexitarian diet, when properly planned, can provide all the nutrients and proteins you need. Eating less meat and choosing healthier options are not only healthy for you and your family, but they are also beneficial for the planet and future generations.”
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