The Daily Beet

16 Aug Happy Birthday Mr.Awesome!

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Today we are re-running an interview with boxer, Cam F Awesome in honor of his 25th birthday!

Happy Birthday Cam!

This week I would like to introduce you to one of my plant-strong clients, Cam F Awesome.  Cam is an amateur boxer, 8 time national champion, volunteer with the Big Brothers & Sisters program and champion for cancer prevention via plant based living.  Cam and I met at his boxing gym in 2012 and shortly thereafter, he became a client of mine, learning all there is to know about living an oil-free plant-based lifestyle.  Cam sat down with Plant-Based Adventures to talk about eating plants, boxing and more.

PBA: What was it that made you decide to give The Engine 2 Diet a try?
Cam F Awesome: I never really considered being plant-based. To me it wasn’t worth the hassle. Then a man named Bill Mackey came into my boxing gym. I became his boxing coach and watched a man who was 45 years old and weighing 225 with a knee brace tell me he was going to drop down to 178 to fight in 6 months. Week by week he became stronger and stronger, eventually leaving the knee brace at home. I watched this man drop fat and put on muscle like a beast. He attributed it all to his plant based diet. Although I was nervous about it, I decided to do the 28 day challenge. After 2 weeks I fell in love with it. I am known in the boxing world as “pinky” because I box in a pink skirt that says “I heart boobs”. I have always been big on breast cancer awareness but what E2 taught me was cancer prevention methods and that a plant-based whole foods diet can slow and even prevent certain types of cancers. I then thought, “Why make people aware of a problem when there is a way to prevent the problem all together?”. I immediately wanted to shift my energy to prevention methods while still supporting awareness, like Dr. Esselstyn. I started telling everybody about Engine 2.
PBA: What was your diet like before starting Engine 2?
Cam F Awesome: My diet before starting Engine 2 was pretty disgusting looking back at it. Every night I would go out to McDonald’s and order:
4 McDoubles no mustard no pickles extra onions extra ketchup
3 McChickens extra mayo no lettuce.
I would eat a lot of Chinese food and what ever was cheap and convenient. I would fill my stomach the way I would fill my car. I would consume as much as I possibly could, then not eat until I was on empty and starving. I did not eat breakfast and when I did it was left over McDonald’s from the night before.
came2
PBA: How has Engine 2 changed your life?
Cam F Awesome: E2 has changed my life tremendously. I was going through a hard time in my life. I was eating horrible, become a recluse, gaining weight, drinking and becoming unhappy with myself. After being introduced to the E2 28 day challenge it gave me a goal. I told myself I would stop drinking for the 28 days, eat right, workout and see what the program was about. I ended up losing 32 pounds in the first 28 days. I stopped drinking, I became a happier, more motivated person.  I feel better, I have more energy, I can workout harder and more often than ever before.
PBA: Being so busy with training and work, is it hard for you to maintain a plant-based lifestyle?
Cam F Awesome: Anything in life that is worth having won’t be easy, but you set your priorities in order. I know that if I am going out all day I will prepare food and bring it with me. I do not find much trouble in preparing a container of food before I leave the house. I often cook ahead so I have things ready to grab and go. Plant-strong cooking is really easy if you just keep it simple.
PBA: What is your favorite plant-strong dish?
Cam F Awesome: There are a lot of great plant based dishes I like but I would say my favorite would have to be zucchini lasagna with rinotta cheez.  I also love Jeff Novick’s Red Bean Burgers and home made plant-strong pizza.
PBA: What do you say to people who give you a hard time about not eating meat, eggs, dairy etc.?
Cam F Awesome: If you have been plant strong for at least 4 hours, you would have heard the number 1 question. Where do you get you protein? I have two choices in this situation. I could explain to a very close minded person the benefits of being plant based and how it gives me the edge on other fighters in the ring and how I get better quality protein than the average carnivore by being plant based or I can say “hey, not everyone loves themselves enough to know the truth, understand the truth and are strong enough to display the discipline it takes to follow a plant based diet,” shrug my shoulders and say “it isn’t for everyone, but it seems to be working for me.”
PBA: Being a boxer means a lot of travel.  How do you manage to eat when you are on the road?
Cam F Awesome: I do travel a lot and at first I thought it would be difficult to eat on the road but them I realized that the earth is made up of veggies and they are everywhere. From the local grocery, to even finding fresh bananas at the gas station.  I keep easy to eat foods in my hotel room, like McDougall Soups, oatmeal, fruit, carrots, Ezekiel bread, peanut butter and raisins. If I am ever in a predicament where I am out of food I can go to almost any restaurant and ask the chef to prepare me a steamed vegetable plate, whether it’s on the menu or not, they will usually do it for you. I also carry around fruit/raisins and nuts for an emergency snack. I make sure I have my Vitamin Code Raw B-12 capsules with me, and I usually buy a case of water to keep in my room/car.
PBA: What events do you have coming up Cam?
Cam F Awesome: My next event will be March 1st in Ohio at the Arnold Invitational Classic. I will be fighting 2 days in a row. Next, up to Minnesota for sparring for a week and meeting with potential sponsors. Then heading to San Diego for more sparring then  back to Kansas City to fight and coach on March 23rd at the Turner Boxing Show in Kansas City, Kansas. I will then be flying out to Spokane, Washington to fight in the US Men’s Nationals.
PBA: Where can fans follow you on the web?
Cam F Awesome: You can keep up with me on my blog: http://plantbasedboxer.com on twitter @plantbasedboxer or www.facebook.com/CamFAwesome

 

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Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Leah

    Happy Birthday!