– Robert Cheeke, best-selling author of Shred It! and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, 2-time champion bodybuilder, and founder/president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness – www.veganbodybuilding.com
1. How long have you been plant-strong?
I have been following a plant-based diet since 1995, but I have only been following a whole-food, plant-based diet since 2012. After watching Forks Over Knives and spending time with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., and Rip Esselstyn, to name a few, I transitioned to a cleaner and healthier plant-strong diet.
2. What kind of meal really turns you on?
In my mind, there is nothing better than fresh fruit. If I could have a platter of fresh whole fruits including mangos, nectarines, peaches, oranges, and berries, I would be pretty turned on!
3. Name one condiment you can’t live without:
I can live just fine without any condiments so no struggle there. But if I had to select a favorite I would say guacamole. Does that count as a condiment? If not, I’ll say fresh salsa. I think that counts as one.
4. What do you love about your kitchen?
I love that my kitchen is full of fresh food and it is not a burial ground of animals whose lives were cut short for a human palate preference. I also love that the fruit bowl is always overflowing and tends to turn into a fruit counter.
5. When did your plant-strong “ah-ha” moment come?
Growing up on a farm in an agriculture town in western Oregon, I had farm animals as friends. As a 15-year old, in 1995, I decided I no longer wanted to eat my friends, and became a vegan. When I enrolled in the Dr. T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Nutrition Course through Cornell University in 2012, I had my true “ah-ha” plant-strong moment, and transitioned over to a whole-food, plant-based diet.
6. If stranded on a deserted island, what one food and beverage would you have with you?
I consider myself to be fairly logical, so I would analyze this question based on the nutritional return on investment I would get from my food and beverage selection. I’d also want to know what vegetation, crops, and trees are on this island, but for simplicity, I’ll say potatoes and coconut water. If I can’t find the tools to prepare the potatoes, I’ll swap them out for mangoes and some dental floss.
7. Who is the one person you’d like to see plant-strong and why?
I would try to determine which individual has the potential for the greatest positive influence on society and select that person. At this time, I’m not sure who that is, so I will consult with Twitter to find the most followed person. Right now, that is Katy Perry. Barack Obama is third on that list and I have a feeling he could be more influential than Katy Perry or Justin Bieber, who are the top two most followed people on Twitter. So right now I’d go with President Obama. I would also like to see the top athletes in all major sports become plant-strong because they have such a powerful influence on the millions of sports fans who look up to them for inspiration and guidance.
8. Curly or Lacinato?
Is this a Three Stooges question? I’ll go with curly on this one. Can I get a kale yeah?
Robert just released his second book, Shred It!, on November 4, 2014, and it is in its third printing. Shred It! is a step-by-step guide to burning fat and building muscle on a whole-food, plant-based diet, complete with case studies, transformation stories, 75 whole-food, plant-based recipes, exercise programs with photo demonstrations, and featured 35 plant-based athletes. Shred It! is available on www.veganbodybuilding.com. Robert continues to tour all over the world with upcoming trips to Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and all corners of the United States, speaking about the plant-strong fitness lifestyle. Follow Robert on Twitter at @RobertCheeke and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VeganBodybuildingAndFitness for tour updates and general news about plant-based fitness.