So. Turns out Tom Brady’s on a diet. OK. Fine. Name a person who isn’t on some kind of food plan and I’ll show you a fairly unusual individual.
Thing is, Tom Brady’s on a very interesting diet.
Allen Campbell talks about why our quarterback rarely eats tomatoes, where he shops for groceries, and why he doesn’t serve mushrooms. Ever.
He rarely eats tomatoes. That’s fine. Store bought tomatoes can be rather unappealing. He never eats mushrooms. “Ever.” OK. To each their own.
Where I get tripped up is the reasoning for this plan. Chef Allen Campbell explains:
My philosophy starts in my own life, and with my own lifestyle and eating habits. I make conscious decisions to buy local and organic, and to stay away from GMOs, and to think about the future of the planet and the future of humans.
I took a plant-based nutrition course earlier this year. It was an online course through Cornell, and it’s taught by a doctor named T. Colin Campbell, who’s behind “The China Study.”
My philosophy is that a plant-based diet has the power to reverse and prevent disease.
Oh boy. Is he talking about the same T. Colin Campbell who claims to reverse cancer?
Turns out he is. Sigh. I take T. Colin Campbells claims with a very large grain of salt.
So, 80 percent of what they eat is vegetables. [I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.
It’s very different than a traditional American diet. But if you just eat sugar and carbs—which a lot of people do—your body is so acidic, and that causes disease. Tom recently outed Frosted Flakes and Coca-Cola on WEEI. I love that he did that. Sugar is the death of people.
OK. Organic. Lots of people do that, although from what I’ve read organic crops use pesticides as well.
Second paragraph: Americans eat more than “just sugar and carbs.” Good grief. According to the link, Americans eat meat, fat, dairy, grains and a small amount of fruit and vegetables. I guess Campbell is unable to google. It’s possible that he was over simplifying and/or had his reply edited. But still.
As for his acidic body comment. Just read this.
Finally, Campbell says, “Sugar is the death of people.” I googled that and got a ton of alternative health hits. It took some doing but I found this nuanced piece from Scientific American. Well worth the read.
So. What does Campbell prepare for Brady and his family?
No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. 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. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt.
[Tom] 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.
What else? No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy.
The kids eat fruit. Tom, not so much. He will eat bananas in a smoothie. But otherwise, he prefers not to eat fruits.
Yup. Sounds a mite restrictive. Looks like the children eat the same diet. That could be interesting.
But to each his own. Personally? I’m not sure I’d enjoy this plan. I certainly wouldn’t force my child to engage in such restrictive eating. If they’re following this diet for scientific reasons, I haven’t noticed any good science backing much of it. I guess I’m more aligned with the conclusion of the Scientific American article I mentioned earlier:
Then there’s all the stuff we really should eat more of: whole grains; fruits and veggies; fish; lean protein. But wait, we can’t stop there: a balanced diet is only one component of a healthy lifestyle. We need to exercise too—to get our hearts pumping, strengthen our muscles and bones and maintain flexibility. Exercising, favoring whole foods over processed ones and eating less overall sounds too obvious, too simplistic, but it is actually a far more nuanced approach to good health than vilifying a single molecule in our diet—an approach that fits the data. Americans have continued to consume more and more total calories each year—average daily intake increased by 530 calories between 1970 and 2000—while simultaneously becoming less and less physically active. Here’s the true bitter truth: Yes, most of us should make an effort to eat less sugar—but if we are really committed to staying healthy, we’ll have to do a lot more than that.