It’s now been made official, at least as official as possible. Tom Brady is the GOAT. For those who don’t know, that is an acronym used to describe the Greatest Of All Time, not a friendly barn yard garbage eater.
With a 5th Super Bowl under his belt, which also netted him his 4th Super Bowl MVP, the 39 year old 12 time Pro Bowler has put himself so far beyond anyone else that there is little doubt about whether or not he is the greatest. Oh, and I left out his 2 League MVP wins too. Not bad for a player who wasn’t drafted until the 6th round and had many saying he was too stocky and not athletic enough to succeed as an NFL Quarterback.
Oh, and he’s married to a super model, but that’s just the icing on the cake.
Some may question how Brady continues to turn out season after season of greatness as he pushes 40, in a league where the average career length is 3.5 years leading to 30 seeming old.
The answer to how he’s still going strong may well lie in his body. He’s always been known around the league as a health and fitness nut, and a lot of that starts with his diet. According to his personal Chef, Allen Campbell, his own obsession with a plant based diet is something that he has preached loudly to Brady.
“80% of what they eat is vegetables… If it’s not organic, I doesn’t make the cut”, Campbell says and adds that when it comes to grains, you have to go whole, focusing on foods like brown rice, quinoa, millet, and beans.
It can’t all be vegetables right? Right. Campbell confirms that , “the other 20% is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.”
Campbell goes out of his way to reduce fat and sodium everywhere that he can, saying, “I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats and I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt.”
A lot of times, what you do eat is only 50% of the battle, with the things you avoid, making up the other 50. For Tom, “No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy.”
Those seem like pretty obvious no’s, but there are plants that make the no fly list for Brady’s diet as well. “He doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but just maybe once a month. I’m very cautious about tomatoes. They cause inflammation and while, “He will eat bananas in a smoothie. But otherwise, he prefers not to eat fruits.”
As one final piece of advice regarding Tom’s Diet, Campbell adds, “We stick to gluten-free for everything.”
Registered Dietitian and Trainer, Dana Angelo White, points out that there are a lot of benefits to choosing a Plant based diet, saying, “Eating a wide variety of vegetables and whole grains contributes substantially to fiber intake and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plant-based foods are also loaded with cell-protecting antioxidants and photochemical.”
She does, however, also point out that, “This diet is also incredibly restrictive, and cutting out entire food groups (such as dairy) can leave you at risk for nutrient deficiencies, including bone issues from lack of proper calcium and vitamin D.”
Not that the negative seems to have had any effect on Brady.
Back in 2014, Dr. David Katz of Yale’s Prevention Research Center took a look at every mainstream diet, including that of Brady, and came to the conclusion that, “No one “diet” is superior; however, minimizing processed foods, and selecting ones that are “close to nature . . . is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”
So in terms of that Study, it’s hard to argue with how Brady has applied the Plant Based Diet to his life.
At this point in his life, it definitely seems that Brady is onto something, and it doesn’t seem impossible for him to live up to his claims of playing until he is 45. With Bill Belichick and the Patriots behind him, it is completely conceivable that he could add more accolades to his career and truly cement his place as The Greatest Of All Time.