Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How Outer Banks Star Chase Stokes Found Love by Becoming a ‘Flexitarian’

Image used with permission by copyright holder

When it comes to finding love, everyone is looking for something different. From physical appearance to favorite films, there’s a lot that goes into finding your perfect match. But for more people than you think, the deal breaker on a date is actually what’s on your plate.

These days connecting over food is vital and according to a new survey, singles are more interested in what their dates eat, ranking dietary preferences like vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian (semi-vegetarian) more important than over physical appearance, sexual chemistry, and political ideologies combined.

So does that mean a carnivore and a vegan can’t be a match made in Whole Foods heaven? Or is there a way for both worlds to come together in healthy harmony? Just ask actor Chase Stokes of the Netflix Hit Show Outer Banks, who’s gone through love in the time of different diets with his co-star and partner Madelyn Cline, who happens to vegan.

In a true Hollywood fairytale, Cline and Stokes met while on the set of the Outer Banks, where they play romantic love interests. Over time, art became real life.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maddie (@madelyncline)

“We were colleagues for a long time before it sparked a personal relationship,” Stokes, 28, told The Manual. “She knew I was a meat eater and she’s so great about not making it a big deal … So I felt a little bit of an obligation to learn more about plant-based diets.”

For Stokes, adding more veggies to his diet was easy, but he wasn’t ready to go full vegan, so they were able to find a happy medium between both lifestyles with him adapting a part-time plant-based diet, which he calls a flexitarian.

“I like to think of myself as being a flexitarian, which is just really kind of, trying different dietary options and opening my eyes to vegan and vegetarian dishes,” he said. “And now that I’ve done it, I mean, I’m super thankful for it. I feel like my energy levels are personally better when I’m adding plant-based options into my diet.”

For Stokes, the flexitarian lifestyle is more than just not eating as much meat for his love life, but it’s been beneficial for his relationship with his body. So the combination of plant-based products and meat has helped him find a new way to stay lean but also healthy.

“With my [work] responsibilities .. my physique is important, and fueling my body properly is always a priority,” Stokes said. “I try to do 50/50 meat and plant-based. I try to focus on how can I hit my macros, protein, carbs, fats, and my caloric intake for the day in a healthy, effective way.”

Making the switch to a more plant-based lifestyle has been nearly seamless for Stokes since he began adding meat alternatives like Sweet Earth products into his daily rotation. He also has noticed that it’s had a positive effect on his health and stamina which is vital when working long days on set.

“It’s been really great because my energy levels are higher,” said Stokes, who’s now a brand ambassador for Sweet Earth. “I’m feeling better when I’m working 15 to 16 hours a day.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by chase (@hichasestokes)

When he’s not eating plant-based, Stokes’s go-to animal protein is seafood, a nod to his youth growing up on the shores of Maryland. He tries to keep his protein light and clean.

“I am a seafood lover,” Stokes said. “I grew up in the DMV and the Eastern shore, pulling crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay. That was my childhood. So, if I had to choose one outside of a plant-based diet, I probably eat more seafood than any other animal protein out there. I try to sneak my way back to my mom’s houses as much as possible to get some crab cakes.”

Since eating at home has become so important lately, Stokes and Cline have found that cooking together has been better for their bodies and bonding activity in their relationship.

“Thankfully we can both cook. For me, one of those fun experiences in a relationship is getting in the kitchen together,” he said. “We like finding dishes, guiltily going on Pinterest and looking up some good recipes. We share the duties but more often I am the sous chef and on dish duty but we have a good time and have fun doing things in the kitchen together.”

There are a lot of options when it comes to cooking a flexitarian dinner and Stokes and Cline have been able to find recipes that incorporate both of their dietary preferences. Stokes, shares what’s been in their recent menu and how easy these recipes can be adapted.

“I’ve been on a big Thai food kick lately. Maddie and I did this yellow Curry Thai dish with white fish in it and it was unbelievable. To adjust it for her, instead of the fish, she added a lot of veggies. That’s something we’ve cooked kind of quite a bit because it’s so good and a great leftover dish. We also have a friend in Wilmington who has this incredible vegan cookbook, The Yoga Plate, and sometimes I will dive into that for inspiration.”

So as it seems Stokes has found the perfect way to keep his health and his relationship on track, the combination of being flexible and open to new foods and products is what he recommends for anyone else looking to make the switch to a flexitarian lifestyle.

“It’s important to find that common ground when mixing the two and just being open to it. Just going in with an open mind and not having any predisposed notions. When trying plant-based products like Sweet Earth, don’t think that just because it’s not a burger, it’s not going to taste like a burger. You might be surprised!”

In addition to perhaps becoming the next best flexitarian chef, Stokes has a lot of other things on his plate. Outer Banks is currently filming season two and he has a new Amazon Prime show Tell Me Your Secrets premiering February 19. Plus, stay tuned for his next project, One of Us Is Lying, which is based on the New York Times best-selling book by Karen McMannis which will be out on Peacock in the future.

“My goal with my career was always to try to do different things and going from a kid who would audition for any and everything and got told no a trillion times to be in a position to have three series come out, I’m so fortunate that somehow some way it’s worked out in my favor. I’m just so thankful and don’t want the ride to end, to be honest.”

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Lauren Paige Richeson
Lauren Paige Richeson is an author and artist specializing in written, visual, and edible content. She wrote about Food…
8 Unique Foods To Eat on Chinese New Year
what to eat chinese new year close up of fresh jiaozi served in plate

Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year) is a holiday celebrated throughout Asia. In China, it's known as the Spring Festival and like any holiday, special-occasion food is a major part of the festivities. Families will often hold an extravagant dinner featuring special-occasion dishes such as seafood or hot pot, many of them holding symbolic significance. Dishes can also vary greatly depending on province, as each area of China features its own distinctive local cuisine. This year, Lunar New Year falls on February 12 and is a great time to enjoy a special meal filled with family and tradition.
Whole Suckling Pig

In Southern Guangdong province, diners will often find a whole suckling pig as the centerpiece of their Lunar New Year tables. Guangdong is home to Southern Cantonese cuisine, famous for fresh seafood and delicate dim sum. But Cantonese cuisine also features a distinctive regional barbecue that’s both complex and flavorful.

Read more
10 classic summer cocktails everyone should know how to make
Enjoy your summer with these incredible, classic drinks
Gin cocktail

We are right at the cusp of summer. It's the season of backyard campfires, yard games, dangling your feet off a dock, and seemingly endless sunny days. It's a great time of year for refreshing, crisp beer. But it's also the perfect time for classic summer cocktails. Lucky for you, there are many to choose from. And while we love a rich, complex, boozy Old Fashioned or Manhattan any time of year, in the summer, we tend to opt for thirst-quenching, fresh cocktails.
Classic summer drink recipes

The best part? These iconic, refreshing summer drinks are all reasonably easy to whip up. You don't need an advanced degree in mixology and a whole cabinet of tinctures, herbs, and other ingredients to make them. Most of them are only a few ingredients and the ones with more are still fairly easy to shake up. These are the summery drinks that everyone should know how to make. Keep scrolling to see them all and learn a few new recipes to wow your friends and family this summer.
Margarita

Read more
You won’t believe these 6 ways to clean burnt pots and pans
You'll be surprised what a few household items that you already have can do for your dirty pots
Getting ready to clean a burnt pot

We've all had to say goodbye to an unfortunately burnt-beyond-repair pot. However, not all crispy pans are a lost cause. So before you cast out that crusty iron pan or that over-browned brownie sheet, we've got some tips that might keep them around a few more rounds.

With just a few everyday household products, you will be surprised at what a little bit of nature (and a lot of elbow grease) can do. Here's how to bring those burnt pots back to life. These methods aren't that hard to do, but they do take a little patience and some elbow grease. Fortunately, the reward is extremely satisfying! So, here is how to how to clean burnt pots and pans.
The vinegar and baking soda method

Read more