In a recent interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience”, writer, director, and actor Kevin Smith discussed the benefits of a vegan diet after suffering a massive heart attack.

“[The doctors] were like, ‘you know, if you go plant-based you’ve got a really great chance of dropping your cholesterol,'” he said.

Smith’s daughter, the actress Harley Quinn Smith, is vegan and had been “bugging” him to make the shift as well for several years.

After his heart surgery, Smith’s nutritionist at the hospital noted that with 100 percent blockage of the artery, it was “definitely” time for him to change his diet. So he did.

First, it was “nothing but potatoes” for two weeks. It’s a diet made popular in magician Penn Jillette’s book about his own health. Jillette, says Smith, had major heart disease and lost a significant amount of weight subscribing to the “just sides” diet where one eats nothing but baked or boiled potatoes for two weeks, slowly adding in more vegetables. Smith reportedly lost 19 pounds in two weeks on potatoes, but more than that, he said it reprogrammed his relationship with food.

He now only eats one meal per day and feels healthier than ever. After a month of plant-based eating, Smith’s doctor ran lab tests and said the results looked “fantastic,” even needing to cut Smith’s Lipitor cholesterol medication in half because his levels had dropped so radically.

Smith, an ambassador for Weight Watchers, noted that he doesn’t like vegetables, but he also doesn’t love meat, either– after the diet program reduced points for turkey and chicken, a move he says “broke” his heart, he realized “I didn’t love turkey and chicken as much as I thought.”

What does the actor love to eat then? Smith says he eats a lot of beans, having recently discovered chickpeas, “in vegan comfort food cooking, they use it as a versatile ingredient,” he said, likely alluding to aquafaba and chickpea flour, which have numerous applications in cooking.

But if you really want to score points with Smith, take him to LA’s most popular vegan fine dining spot, Crossroads Kitchen. The restaurant, founded by chef Tal Ronnen and which boasts investors including Travis Barker of Blink 182, makes a meatball sub that Smith is rather fond of, “it’s so good I’d suck a [expletive] for one,” he said. “It’s [expletive] bliss.”

Rogan and Smith also discussed Champs, a vegan diner in New York, and another LA staple restaurant, the Follow Your Heart Cafe. Rogan complimented the nearby cafe’s vegan pancakes, “I don’t know what kind of voodoo they’re doing to make a vegan pancake taste that good.”


Image Credit: Kevin Smith/Instagram