Newton scales back for Thanksgiving meal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jackie Newton has a big challenge facing her for Thanksgiving dinner.

How to stuff fish.

Her son, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, became a pescatarian in March. So instead of the usual Thanksgiving fixings, Jackie will be fixing some sort of fish on Thursday.

You might say he'll get stuffed to the gills.

"It's going to be kind of weird not eating the ham, the turkey, the chicken or what have you," Newton said on Monday, 24 hours after leading Carolina (8-3) to its seventh straight win. "It's kind of challenging my parents and my grandmother to think outside the box to try to incorporate fish."

Newton made this revelation as he and his parents helped serve, in conjunction with the Second Harvest Food Bank, 820 underprivileged kids turkey, mashed potatoes and other traditional holiday foods as part of Cam's Thanksgiving Jam at The Filmore.

Newton was asked about his Thanksgiving memories when he revealed he has no plans to break his new diet on Turkey Day.

"I've got to. I've got to," he said when asked if he would stick to the diet. "It's been kind of good luck."

Newton didn't elaborate, but he apparently meant the winning streak the Panthers are on heading into Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

The last three wins have come on fourth-quarter drives orchestrated by Newton, who had only two such game-winners in his first 40 games. The last two came on last-minute touchdown drives.

Sunday's included a 19-yard completion to wide receiver Steve Smith on fourth-and-10 from his own 2, a play that has been successful only 33.1 percent of the time since 2001.

So Newton's not willing to change his routine, down to his steady diet of fish.

"I'm a officially a pescatarian, which is you only eat fish," Newton explained. "It's been challenging at times, especially being around the locker room where you get guys eating hot wings, nachos, hot dogs and hamburgers all the time."

Newton started the diet during the offseason as part of a monthly dedication to sacrifice something for the season.

"I try to challenge myself off the field or out of training to test my discipline -- each and every month, from not eating solid food throughout the week to not eating bread or only eating water," he said.

"Ever since I gave up the meat ... I like it. I like the way I was feeling. I stuck with it ever since."

And his mom will stick by her son's choice on Thanksgiving Day.

"I'm momma," she said. "I'll hook him up. Thanksgiving is about family and just being happy. If I have to do something different, I'll do that. Turkey isn't the only thing that can get stuffed."