I took on the challenge of trying Tom Brady’s famous TB12 diet, which focuses on 80 percent plant-based foods and 20 percent animal products, with about three to four protein shakes per day. While I couldn’t guarantee this amount of protein, mainly because I don’t own Brady’s special TB12 protein powder, I felt prepared after reading his website, which details a day of eating in his life. Turns out, he doesn’t eat exorbitant amounts of calories, and says he leaves the table feeling “75 percent full” each time.
Before breakfast, Brady downs 20 ounces of water. This was doable, but the next part got tricky. Brady does not drink coffee. In fact, he doesn’t drink any caffeine. I put away my Keurig for the day and moved on to breakfast, which was a smoothie made from bananas, blueberries, almond milk and chia seeds, minus Brady’s protein. So far, so good. I left the kitchen feeling virtuous and 75 percent full.
Brady’s first snack of the day arrives at 11 a.m., which—now suffering from a no-coffee headache and no protein—I was more than ready for. Alas, his snack is another scoop of special protein powder mixed with a glass of almond milk. I drank the almond milk and hoped that lunch would be more exciting.
Boy, was I wrong. Brady’s lunches consist of “mostly plants,” with a lean protein like fish or organic chicken. I ate baked chicken breast with steamed broccoli and cauliflower and added brown rice and a pinch of salt. Was the rice and salt cheating? Of course. Don’t judge me.
This is when my body began to resist. I didn’t want my next meal, the “nuts and seeds for a snack,” that his website suggests, plus the two to three more almond protein shakes after the nuts and seeds and before dinner. I’d already chugged enough almond milk to last a month and I was far from Brady’s daily consumption of at least half his body weight in ounces of water. I would have drowned if I’d tried that. The easiest part? Taking a multivitamin, per Brady’s recommendation, because he knows nobody’s perfect. I surrendered at about 1 p.m. I guess I may never win a Super Bowl.