“The Game Changers” by James Cameron is not only the best-selling documentary film documentary film ever on Itunes, but also really changes something: It shakes people awake to deal now with vegan nutrition. And all this without proselytizing.
One of the main characters of the film: Patrik Baboumian
The strongman is passionate about throwing washing machines around, lifting tree trunks, lifting beer barrels, and since the Strongman Championships in 2011, he has officially been the strongest man in Germany. In the interview, he tells us what strength means to him, why he lives vegan and who his personal“game changer” is.
You're one of the main characters in the documentary "The Game Changers," which recently appeared on Netflix. What can viewers expect here?
Patrik Baboumian: The film offers an extremely entertaining combination of scientifically proven nutrition facts and rousing stories of top international athletes who eat a purely plant-based diet.
The focus is on plant-based nutrition and associated performance-enhancing effects on a wide variety of levels.
How was the shooting and which moments do you remember most?
Patrik Baboumian: The film was extremely lavishly produced over many years and from the very first hour I felt like I was part of the personal journey of producer and former UFC fighter James Wilks, who also stars in front of the camera as the main protagonist.
My personal highlight was the record attempt in Toronto Canada, which is the highlight of the film along with the course record set by ultra endurance athlete Scott Jurek.
You have broken several records with your power. What does "power" mean to you personally?
Patrik Baboumian: For me, power is a multidimensional concept that involves the body, the intellect, emotions and social aspects of the human being. I try to be “strong” on as many of these dimensions as possible. For me, strength is also the ability to protect oneself and others. Only those who are strong themselves can be there for others.
How did you come to eat a vegan diet?
Patrik Baboumian: I was already a vegetarian for animal ethical reasons and when I realized that I could inspire others through my athletic achievements, I simply wanted to do a better job. The decision came shortly after I won the Strongman national title in 2011.
What were the effects on your body?
Patrik Baboumian: I was very surprised at the beginning how quickly I got used to it and that it only had a positive effect on my performance.
Health-wise, for example, my iron deficiency, which I had as a vegetarian, has completely disappeared. My joint pain from the sport has improved and my blood pressure has improved so much that my doctors are regularly shocked that one can have such good values at all with such a high body weight as I have during competitions.
Who is currently your biggest "game changer"?
Patrik Baboumian: Anyone who is able to question themselves in order to grow from it.
How do you respond to people who still think you can't build muscle vegan?
Patrik Baboumian: Depends, if they listen, I explain to them why they are wrong. It is usually the case that such people assume that vegans eat mainly salad and vegetables. If I were to eat this way, what I do would not be possible.
However, if you provide the body with the right nutrients, calories and protein, then a vegan diet is far superior to a mixed diet, as you no longer consume a large number of harmful substances, such as cholesterol, TMAO, Neu5GC, HemIron and other substances that are only found in animal products and are harmful to health, while at the same time still covering all the important nutrients.
What are your tips for anyone who wants to start eating vegan?
Patrik Baboumian: A little bit about nutrition so you don’t make mistakes.
There are many good books on the market for each target group that help with this.
What is the most beautiful change in terms of "vegan nutrition" that you have been able to observe so far?
Patrik Baboumian: The fact that the idea is imprinting itself on the collective consciousness of people all over the world. In a few generations, the vegan lifestyle will be the norm and eating meat will be the exception.
Is there anything you want to get rid of at the end?
Patrik Baboumian: I hope that more and more people will realize the power that lies within each of us to make the world a little better or a little worse every day.
Photos by: Courtesy of The Game Changers | Peta Poster by PETA Deutschland e.V.
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