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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Clear Skin Foods

When I went to the drug store the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the ENTIRE SECTION dedicated to cosmetics. There’s liquid foundation, powder, concealer, blush, bronzer, highlighter… all promising to help you get a “natural” glow. That got me wondering, why do we find smooth, clear skin attractive?

Turns out, our skin is the last organ to receive nutrients. This means that clear skin=awesome health. Back in the day, our Paleolithic ancestors used the appearance of a potential partner’s skin to determine his/her health and genetics, and to ultimately decide if they wanted to have kids with that partner.

Instead of using topical products to give an illusion of health, here are some foods that can help you achieve clear skin from the inside out (and probably make you feel healthier overall):

Water

Ok I know this is technically not a food, but proper hydration is a main key to clear skin. The average person should consume 2 liters a day, and even more if you are exercising or sweating a lot.

Avocado

This may be the best news I’ve gotten all day. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat chains that help your skin produce lipids, which keep your skin feeling soft and smooth. They also contain vitamins E and C, which help to reduce inflammation.

Kale

The term “super food” is no joke when it comes to this leafy green. Kale contains densely concentrated vitamins, including vitamin A, B, C, E, and K, as well as potassium, iron, folate, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. The best part? You can usually find a bunch for around $1. Kale is not messing around!

Beets

I love the taste of beets! They are a great source of vitamin A and E, which help the skin to restore itself. They also boast a slew of minerals that help to reduce toxins in the body. If you cant stand to eat a beet by itself, try putting it in a juice or smoothie with orange juice. I have found that the orange flavor melds nicely with the beet flavor, and reduces some of its “beety-ness”.

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans contain protein and vitamins, which helps the skin to repair itself. They also function as a source of complex carbohydrates, which help to regulate blood sugar levels. You really could substitute any legume in for similar benefits.

Sweet Potatoes

Like every other food on this list, sweet potatoes are high in vitamins that help the skin to restore itself and reduce inflammation. But what you might not know is that sweet potatoes can help to regulate cortisone levels. Cortisone is the main hormone produced as a response to stress. Eating sweet potatoes can help reduce some of the internal stress on your body, which could lead to fewer stress-induced breakouts.

 

If you incorporate some of these foods into your diet, don’t forget to let me know how it goes! Questions, comments, concerns, ideas??? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Avocado Toast

Guys, I seriously LOVE this breakfast. When you think of avocado toast, you most likely think of a glitzy Hollywood celebrity daintily eating a $20 piece of toast. I am here to tell you that does not need to be the case.

Why it’s Good for You

The healthy fats in the avocado help your body to absorb other nutrients. The sprouted bread is rich in fiber, which will keep you satisfied all morning long. The sprouts, though they may be small, are rich in vitamins and minerals and are a great source of plant-based protein.

What You Need

  • Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread
  • Avocado
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Toast 2 slices of bread to your desired toasty-ness. I think you can handle that one.
  2. While the toast is toasting, scoop a whole avocado (minus the seed, obviously) into a bowl. Mash it up to a relatively smooth consistency. Think homemade guacamole texture.
  3. Top the toast with avocado, sprouts, a drizzle of olive, and salt and pepper
  4. Enjoy!

Cost Breakdown

  • Sprouted Bread- $5 for 12 slices; About $0.42/slice
  • Avocado- $5 for 5 Avocados; $1/avocado
  • Sprouts- $3 for a container with 3 servings; $1/ serving
  • Olive Oil/Salt/Pepper- you likely already have these items, so FREE!

For a whole week of avocado toast, you would likely pay roughly $16 for 5 meals, which breaks down to around $3.20 PER BREAKFAST! Come one, you know you spend more than that when you go out.

 

And there you have it! A whole food, nutritious, inexpensive breakfast that will make you feel fancy AF.