All he wanted to do was chew food again, and now after completing a 30 day juice diet that raised $5,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer, Oakland men’s basketball head coach Greg Kampe can finally do just that.
Over the summer, Kampe watched the documentary “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross. The juice diet program was developed by Cross who suffered from obesity and was forced to make a life change or suffer possible death. On August 7th, Kampe began the program, taking pledges for how many days he could stick to it.
“The beginning of it was easy because I was so motivated to do it because it was a good cause,” said Kampe, who lost 36 pounds during the diet. “Then you saw the change that was happening to you physically, so that was motivating.”
As anybody who has tried any kind diet knows however, they are easy to start, but not so easy to maintain.
“By about day 12, 13, 14 it became a chore, it really did. It was on your mind. Every smell that you smelled, everywhere you went,” Kampe said.
Kampe gave credit to the people who so generously donated the $5,000 that will go to Coaches vs. Cancer for the strength to help him continue.
“If it hadn’t been for the people who pledged, if we hadn’t had so many people that reached out and wanted to be a part of this, I don’t think I could have made it. I just want to thank everybody that got involved, and because so many people got involved, I felt I just couldn’t fail.”
The toughest part of the diet was just the countdown until it was over.
“It’s like anything else, when you count the clock, the clock takes longer. I had 21 days left, and then it seemed like three weeks went by and then I had 19 days left. The hardest part was in the evening, I really tried to stay busy after seven o’clock at night because there is only so much juice you can drink and I’m a big late night eater anyways. You need to lock up the potato chips after nine o’clock or I’m going to find them.”
Now that the diet is complete, the big question is: What was Kampe’s celebration meal for his triumphant return to eating?
“I went to PF Chang's. I had the chicken noodle soup, and then I had the Spicy Won Ton Appetizer, and then the Spicy Dynamite Shrimp. Oh boy, did I miss those!”
The trip to PF Chang’s aside, the experience has led to some long term change for Kampe. “I’ve been good. I’ve changed my eating habits. I’m really trying to have this make a difference, not just for the charity, but also personally.”
For now, the potato chip industry can breathe a little easier.