Tom Brady is one of the best (or the best) quarterbacks to ever play the game. On top of that, he is rich and hot and married to Gisele Bündchen, who is richer and hotter.
The couple seem to have it all - and now the online meal delivery service of pre-packaged plant-based foods, Purple Carrot, is selling the idea that you can too. It's as easy as subscribing to their newly launched meal service called TB12 Performance Meals - developed directly with Tom Brady.
Brady's diet has become a hot button issue for his fans and critics alike - in large part because of his self- proclaimed belief that it has been one of the cornerstones of his athletic success. On the Purple Carrot website, he states that "eating meals like these is what has helped me stay at the top of my game."
It is an understatement to say that the main components of the diet are healthy. Any diet that consists of almost all (80%) vegetables and whole grains with the other 20 percent made up of fish and lean meats is a healthy one. That being said, certain facets of the diet have garnered criticism from nutritionists and scientists because they are not backed by scientific evidence. For example, eating a mostly alkaline diet makes no sense, as foods (basic or acidic) cannot alter the pH of our blood. The pH of the gastric acid found in the stomach is extremely low—between 1.5-3.5— so, it doesn't really matter how alkaline foods are, since the basicity of the food will be overwhelmed by the acid in the stomach—a process called neutralization.
The diet's extremely restrictive nature and Brady's testament that he never cheats (deflated balls aside) is the part that seems, like all things Brady, a bit super human. On the diet, there is no sugar, white flour, gluten, nightshade fruits or vegetables (e.g., potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers), MSG, iodized salt, coffee, fungi or dairy.
So, let's get back to how I can look like Gisele....
For just $78.00 a week, Purple Carrot will deliver "fresh, perfectly-portioned ingredients and easy, step-by-step instructions" for three meals a week (two plates a meal) that adhere to Tom Brady's diet. Three sample meals are available on the website (1). But, what about the other four dinners, seven breakfasts and seven lunches throughout the week? Who is going to ginger your amaranth greens or add the za’atar season to your yogurt sauce?
Eating like that requires being someone who can have their own, full time cook - like Tom Brady does.
So, even though the predominant message of the marketing campaign is that this is how he eats (number 5 of the FAQ is "Is this What Tom Brady Actually Eats?") the diet would be incredibly challenging for the average person who has a job, kids, and doesn't make over $20 million a year.
That being said, if you already order out three dinners a week, I suppose that its better to buy this super healthy, plant based diet instead of pizza or Thai food.
So, this diet might well enhance your performance whether you happen to be a professional athlete who needs to achieve peak athletic performance or a 45 year old who plays in a flag football game on Sunday morning and then spends the rest of the day on the couch watching football. If the latter is the case, just remember, no beer with your citrus gremolata.
(1) Three sample meals on the TB12 menu
- WHITE LENTIL RISOTTO WITH WINTER ROASTED VEGETABLE, MEYER LEMON & CASHEW GREMOLATA - This creamy comfort dish gets an update with ivory lentils in lieu of Arborio rice, sweet roasted golden beets and romanesco, and an herby, citrus gremolata to brighten the meal.
- RAMEN BOWL WITH CHARRED BROCCOLINI AND GINGERED AMARANTH GREENS - In this ramen bowl we pair nutty brown rice noodles with a savory-sweet tamari and coconut broth, gorgeous watermelon radish, and bitter greens, for a dish that’s a balancing act of color, texture, and flavor.
- CRISPY TURNIP CAKES WITH QUINOA TABBOULEH AND ZA’ATAR YOGURT - Grated turnip shine in these crisp cakes. Quinoa tabbouleh packs more protein than the normal couscous, and tangy-sweet kumquats mimic tomato in a whole new way. Our favorite touch? The cooling, za’atar seasoned Kite Hill yogurt sauce for dipping.