'Glee's' Lea Michele Credits Vegan Diet for Slim Figure

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"Glee's" Lea Michele credits her vegan (meat and dairy-free) diet for her newly-slim figure. As Lea Michele told US Weekly, "My recent diet and exercise routine has been "Glee's" dance numbers. Our show is so active, and I am a vegan. I'm really proud of that."

The change in Lea Michele's lifestyle was gradual. In 2005, the book Skinny Bitch inspired her to change her eating habits. Still, going vegan was not an easy decision. Coming from an Italian family, they couldn't understand her decision to give up meat.

Lea Michele loves the fact that "Glee" gives her a platform to speak on behalf of animal rights. Her character Rachel is similar in that after Vocal Adrenaline egged her, she had nightmares about dead baby chicklets.

And although fans speculated whether or not Lea Michele had become too thin, her slim figure has nothing to do with eating disorder or body image problems. She just enjoys the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. As she told OK last summer, "You need a lot of energy to play spunky Rachel Berry, so I've tried a lot of different things — and so far, this [her vegan diet] is working."

She feels that the vegan diet gives her energy and vitality, which in turns helps her singing and acting. Lea Michele also tells Women's Health Magazine that giving up dairy has caused her skin to clear up. (From personal experience, I've definitely found that cutting out dairy works wonders for the skin as well as the throat and nasal passages!)

And vegan Lea Michele is in good company. Fellow "Glee" cast member Dianna Agron is also vegan. Jenna Ushkowitz is a vegetarian. Other famous vegan actors and actresses include Alicia Silverstone, Betty White, Woody Harrelson, Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, and Mariel Hemingway.

According to PCRM, benefits of a vegetarian (and vegan) diet include lower rates of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gall stones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and even asthma. Yet vegetarians (and vegans) may not consume the daily required intake of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, copper, Vitamin D & Vitamin B12. Still, many dark green vegetables and beans are a good source of calcium while a normal variety of plant foods can provide the body with sufficient amounts of protein.

Looks like some of these "Gleeks" are turned onto a growing trend.

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