Phil, who retired as a player with Everton last season, reckons his energy levels may be even higher than it was when he helped lead the Red Devils to the Premier League trophy six times.
Phil credits his wife Julie’s influence with prompting the switch.
“My wife’s been vegetarian for about four, five years now”, he says. “I promised my wife that I would try it for two weeks.
“I started to feel healthier, leaner. I started to feel great!”
And he now knows that athletes can get all the nutrition they need, including protein, from plant-based foods such as quinoa, seeds, soya protein and nuts.
“It’s made me feel better,” he says. “I hope it makes me live longer.”
Phil recognises that he is part of a growing movement towards plant-based diets as society learns more about the health risks associated with meat-rich diets, the damage that animal agriculture has on the environment and the suffering endured by animals raised and killed for their flesh.
“I think people are understanding the benefits, not just for yourself but for the environment,” he says. “Two and a half million animals a day are being slaughtered. That is a damning statistic that we need to do something about.
“If everyone can just do one day of not eating meat, then that will mean that we live in a better world.”
IN THE current issue of All Together NOW! another former footballer, Neil Robinson (Everton and Swansea) talks about his campaign to get more players to cut out meat from their diets.
Neil hung up his boots in 1990 after being either vegetarian or vegan for his entire professional career.
His upcoming talks include:
June 7: North West Vegan Festival, Lancaster Town Hall
Sep 13: Northern Vegan Festival, Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Oct 25: West Midlands Vegan Festival, Wolves Civic, Wolverhampton