Am I Tom Brady Yet?… A journey in plant based fitness

If you Google “Tom Brady Diet”, you will be bombarded with upwards of 4.5 million articles and blog posts about his infamously exclusive and unnecessarily dramatic diet plan. So naturally I decided to try it.

Well, a watered down version of it. According to the interwebs, Brady eats 80% organic vegetables and 20% lean meats. For my personal journey, I’ve decided to go 100% meat-free. I made the decision based primarily on two factors: I love animals (ever since I got my doggie Molly Belle, I’ve become more convinced that all animals have souls. You can read more about my adoption story here.) Also, meat is expensive. A pound of organic rice is $1.99, while a pound of organic chicken is closer to $11.

The rules he follows are seemingly simple:

  • Organic vegetables, but no nightshades
  • No white sugar, dairy, caffeine*, or gluten
  • No iodized salt**
  • Only whole grains
  • Only organic food***

Disclamer time:

* Real talk, I had a cup or two of black coffee a day. Sorry not sorry.

** In the early 20th Century, iodine was added to salt to account for a nationwide dietary iodine deficiency. Apparently this isn’t something we have to worry about anymore, and eating a balanced and varied diet will give you the iodine you need. Instead of using salt with a whole bunch of other weird stuff in it (I’m looking at you sodium aluminosilicate), I used Himalayan Pink Salt. Sea salt would also suffice. You can actually buy both of these options in bulk, which is WAY cheaper!

*** I did pretty well with organic food. The only thing I didn’t buy as organic was blueberries. Because organic blueberries are stupid expensive. Stupid. Expensive.

So, what did my first week look like?

Breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 TBSP of peanut butter (bought in bulk, natch)
  • 1 banana
  • Blueberries
  • A handful of walnuts

Lunch:

  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 2/3 cup black and red lentils
  • 2-3 TBSP organic salsa****
  • 1/2 avocado

Dinner:

  • Organic mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup sweet potatoes roasted with turmeric
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 TBSP sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Raw purple carrots (peeled and cut into coins)
  • Leftover rice and lentils
  • A liberal dousing of this dressing. Honestly thank goodness for Tessemae’s.

Snacks:

  • This protein shake
  • Coconut water
  • Mixed unsalted nuts

****Disclaimer again: Homeboy Tom does not eat “nightshades” because they cause “inflammation”. Nightshades include things like tomatoes and peppers. But it was unreasonably hard to find things to eat that would add color and flavor. So I added Whole Foods 365 Organic Mild Salsa. Again, sorry not sorry.

 

After a week of eating like Tom Brady, I wasn’t miraculously able to throw a football approximately 437 yards, nor did I wake up married to a Brazilian supermodel. But I will tell you what did happen-the good, bad, and ugly…

  1. I felt better. Really. My stamina was up, my workouts were more sustainable, I slept better, my mental focus was sharper. I swear to you this is not a gimmick. Even people close to me noted that I seemed to have a spring in my step.
  2. My skin cleared up a bit. Not all the way, but significantly improved from the beginning of the week.
  3. Fiber shock is a real thing. The bloating is real. The toots are real. Cut yourself some slack (and maybe open a window)
  4. I never felt deprived. You have to make sure you are eating enough calories and an appropriate distribution of nutrients. But this means (in most cases) the volume of food you get to eat is HUGE!

 

I plan on sticking to this vegan diet for the foreseeable future. I am aiming for about 90% vegan to start out with, just to make the transition easier. My body feels great and my conscience is clear. What more could you want?

This was my experience with a plant based diet. Obviously I am not a dietician or medical expert, so do your own research and discuss with your physician to determine what is best for you and your uniquely beautiful body. But I’m telling you, these plant based people might be on to something. I encourage you to implement plant based meals into your daily/weekly diet, if nothing else to save money!

 

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