Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, and that is partially because he is a health nut with a good diet — but that hasn’t always been the case for the six-time Super Bowl champion.
Before he became the Patriots’ starter and a household name across America, Brady had a much worse diet than he does now. Back then, his diet was closer to the type of foods that regular people would eat, rather than that of a world-class athlete. Here are the foods that Brady used to eat before and after games.
The first time Tom Brady met Robert Kraft
Brady was famously a sixth-round pick — No. 199 overall — by the Patriots in the 2000 NFL draft, so needless to say he wasn’t as famous or recognizable as he is today.
Because of that, he felt the need to introduce himself to Patriots owner Robert Kraft when the two first met during Patriots training camp in 2001. The initial meeting was right before Brady’s second season with the team, and Kraft recalls what he describes as a “skinny beanpole, with this pizza under his arm.”
Brady introduced himself to the owner, who responded with “I know who you are. You’re our sixth-round pick.” A confident Brady then promised Kraft that he’s “the best decision this organization has ever made.” Kraft admits that kind of bravado would usually turn him off of someone, but it resonated coming from Brady, for reasons he can’t explain.
Tom Brady’s unhealthy diet when he first entered the NFL
When Brady first came into the league, his diet was a far cry from what you would expect NFL players to eat. In 2000, when he was a fourth-string quarterback with the Patriots, Brady would eat nachos before games — kind of like tailgaters do while waiting for the game to start.
His “go-to lunches” at the time consisted of “ham-and-cheese subs with onion rings, washed down with orange soda.” And for dinner, pizza was often on the menu for Brady.
For many people, those would be enjoyable meals on an average day, but if Brady continued to eat like that he probably wouldn’t have turned into the all-time-great quarterback that he is today.
Eating much healthier now
Nowadays, Tom Brady’s diet is much more reminiscent of what you would expect to see a world-class athlete eat, thanks to chef Allen Campbell — the personal chef for Brady his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and their kids.
Campbell says his philosophy as a chef is to buy local and organic, avoid GMOs, and focus on a plant-based diet plan. He says that 80% of what Brady and his family eat is vegetables — fresh and organic. There’s also a lot of whole grains in their meal plan, including quinoa, brown rice, millet, and beans.
As for the other 20% of what Campbell makes for the family, it’s lean meats. Those include “grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken.” When fish is on the menu, Campbell says wild salmon is what he mainly cooks.
What’s not on the menu
There’s also a list of foods and ingredients that Brady won’t eat, including tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and eggplants because they aren’t anti-inflammatory.
Brady prefers not to eat fruits, and coffee, caffeine, fungi, and dairy are also not part of Brady’s diet. As for Campbell, he doesn’t use white sugar, white flour, or MSG when cooking for the Bradys. He uses raw olive oil, but he doesn’t cook with it — he only cooks with coconut oil. Campbell also never uses iodized salt, preferring to stick with “Himalayan pink salt as the sodium.”