Bernard Hopkins: An Inspiration in the Boxing Ring and in the Kitchen

Bernard Hopkins has been called many things in his life. Fighter, boxer, inmate, champion, and most unexpectedly, "health nut".  On May 21st, 2011, Hopkins became, at 46, the oldest fighter to win a significant belt in boxing. Where many athletes might turn to performance-enhancing drugs, Hopkins swears by his diet to keep him in tip-top athletic shape.

A June 3rd profile in the New York Times profiled how someone can turn an stint in jail, where he hated the food, into a successful boxing career, and a healthy, home-cooked diet. Hopkins spent 4 years and 8 months in prison for strong-armed robbery and assault. Only 17 when he was incarcerated in Pennsylvania's State Correctional Institution, the "powdered eggs, yeast, and starch"-based food propelled him to start working around the food and creating better food out of almost nothing.

Now, 25 years later, and many titles to his name, Hopkins eats only whole foods, nothing processed, all organic. He swears that his diet is how he keeps in boxing shape.

He treats his body "like [his] favorite car", which in terms of cooking means a lean diet of "egg whites, fish, and vegetables." He eats red meat exclusively during training, and then only buffalo or venison.

What will he do after he sets aside his boxing gloves? Maybe write a "lifestyle book, compile recipes, or pitch his own cooking show." Bernard Hopkins is an inspiration to older athletes and to anyone who wants to eat more healthily.