Given the degree to which their careers depend on their bodies, you might expect Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen to be conscious about what they eat. And you’d be absolutely correct in that expectation, according to a recent interview in the Boston Globe. Allen Campbell, the personal chef to the Brady-Bündchen clan, spilled all the details about what an average meal looks like for this distinctly non-average couple and their children.
“No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy,” Campbell told the Globe. “Tom also doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants.” Scientifically, excluding nightshades from your diet to prevent inflammation makes about as much sense as excluding water to avoid feeling bloated. Tomatoes, which are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, have actually been shown to reduce inflammation, for example. But that’s a subject for another article (stay tuned).
So what do Tom and Gisele eat? Vegetables—specifically, organic vegetables—constitute 80 percent of their diet. “The other 20 percent is lean meats: Grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken,” explained Campbell. “As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.” They also eat whole grains—like brown rice, quinoa, millet—and legumes, like beans.
Working within those guidelines, many of which are quite different from what top nutritionists recommend, Campbell creates meals for not only Tom and Gisele, but also their two children. A popular dish in their household is veggie sushi made with brown rice, avocado, carrot, and cucumber. “I do it with a ponzu sauce, which is yuzu and tamari, because we stick to gluten-free for everything,” said Campbell.
Surprisingly, Campbell’s meals aren’t dictated by the Patriot’s game schedule. He said he always has that in mind, but he mainly focuses on cooking foods that are in season. “In the wintertime, it’s going to be more red meat and more soups and root vegetables,” he said. “And in the summer, they eat lighter, so I’ll make raw lasagna and more salads.” He does most of his shopping at farmers’ markets, Whole Foods, and a local high-end butcher shop.
Campbell is also a big fan of dehydrating foods. So much so, in fact, that he has three dehydrators in Tom and Gisele’s kitchen. For snacks, Campbell makes fruit rolls from bananas, pineapple, and spirulina. “I also make raw granola,” he said. “And chocolate chip cookies.” We’re willing to bet that his version is a lot different from the warm, buttery, gooey goodness that most people imagine.
Another of Campbell’s favorite culinary tricks: Serving food in bowls. “I just did this quinoa dish with wilted greens,” he said. “I use kale or Swiss chard or beet greens. I add garlic, toasted in coconut oil. And then some toasted almonds, or this cashew sauce with lime curry, lemongrass, and a little bit of ginger. That’s just comfort food for them.” And that’s comfort food we can get behind. Campbell might spout a lot of faux science to back up his nutritional choices, but it’s not all bad. Indeed, some of it sounds pretty darn good. And when you get right down to it, while Tom Brady’s diet might not be the smartest eating plan for a super athlete, it certainly doesn’t hold him back.