Real Talk: How We Feel About Tom And Gisele’s Diet

Tom Brady’s very public 9-to-5 requires lasting and precise physical performance. He’s an elite career athlete, married to a woman paid (more than anyone on Earth) to show up in front of the camera radiant, strong, svelte and full of energy.

When Tom and Gisele’s personal chef Allen Campbell recently divulged details of “the most beautiful couple in the world’s” diet, it sent the interweb into a bit of an uproar. Some of the negative chatter has focused on just how disciplined and specific the diet is, others at the notion that such specially-attuned diets might be required at all.

We don’t always weigh-in on celeb health stories, but we wanted to weigh-in on this one. When celebrity diets come under fire, it’s usually because something remarkably imbalanced is going on. But with Tom and Gisele, we see two career professionals looking to sustain prime physical condition and a couple who is deeply committed to achieving optimal health. Offense? Besides being “incredibly good-looking,” as Derek Zoolander would say, we don’t find any.

Although a strict diet may not be feasible for everyone, we’re definitely inspired by the level of commitment these two have to their health. Here are the basic tenets of Chef Allen’s dietary guidelines for the famous couple…

80% Plant-based:

Not only do Tom & Gisele follow a mostly plant-based diet, 80% to be exact, their chef is informed and influenced by T. Colin Campbell’s work, The China Study. He bases their uber-healthy diet off of many of the studies that show a plant-based diet helps us restore and maintain health and live longer. Only 20% of Tom and Gisele’s diet is made up of more acidic foods such as lean meats, poultry and fish, and to be sure they are sourced locally, sustainably, and every ingredient is GMO free.

Zero refined foods:

No refined foods means no white sugar, white processed flours or additives. Most of their diet is made from scratch, focusing on the quality of ingredients used and the nutritional integrity of these ingredients. Tom and Gisele’s chef believes in using ingredients under the right conditions for optimal health: keeping olive oil away from heat, for example, because it breaks down at high temperatures. 

Anti-inflammatory only:

A plant-based diet is naturally anti-inflammatory, but T + G’s chef takes it one step further by cutting out even natural inflammation-causing trigger foods such as coffee, caffeine, mushrooms, dairy and nightshades (think potatoes, chocolate, tomatoes and eggplant). Keeping inflammation low means faster muscle recovery and longer lasting energy.

A little real talk on this celeb diet story? Writing about wellness every day, our team is firmly aware of just how much the discussion of food, fitness, beauty, weight, and habits – good or bad – can stir up some real emotions. Every topic that relates to how ‘what we do’ effects ‘how we look’ has the potential to stir both frustration and inspiration.

When we’re confronted with the news that we could, should, must or may make a greater effort when it comes to our health – or simply the news that someone else is – our emotional responses can run the gamut in some unexpected ways. “It’s all about balanced living,”–until we’re confronted with someone who’s disciplined level of excellence in one area or the other seems to make our ‘livable’ goals seem less than.

Is the idea of the “the world’s most beautiful couple” enjoying life on a strict, cheat-free diet just too much for some of us to take? Reader weigh-in: What do you think about Tom and Gisele’s diet news? Is this couple’s lifestyle aspirational, inspirational, controversial or just plain frustrating?

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  1. I think it’s great to live a healthy lifestyle and their eating habits support that. I eat lots of healthy food and lots of junk food, too. I don’t opt to try to cut out the junk bc trying to do so usually ends in a very metally unhealthy guilt stricken feeling like a failure when I don’t measure up. For those who don’t have this relationship with food and can eat the way they do, good for them!

    Gaby | 02.05.2016 | Reply
  2. It’s very admirable, in my opinion! Although, I’m an avid reader of this mag and follow numerous vegan bloggers, so I guess its to be expected that I’m not a hater. Anything that opens a dialogue where it concerns food and how it relates to health is a win as far as I’m concerned. Our kids aren’t properly educated on how food translates to fuel in our bodies. We need to eat to live well…not live to eat.

    Sheryll | 02.05.2016 | Reply
    • well said: “We need to eat to live well…not live to eat.” It’s the diet/nutrition trends disguised as education that most concerns me…

      emma | 02.05.2016 | Reply
  3. Tom and Gisele are attractive people but I think we need stop putting celebrities on a pedestal. As someone who studies nutrition, I’ve learned that most people can’t afford to eat like T&G for a number of reasons and there are not enough health articles about those people. I personally don’t care about what “the world’s most beautiful couple,” eats. There are too many hungry people in the world.

    Noni | 02.05.2016 | Reply
    • I’m in agreement with Noni. While it’s great that they eat a plant based diet made for them by a personal chef (something 99% of the population cannot afford), I can’t understand why it is a topic of discussion at all.

      SusanRose | 02.05.2016 | Reply
  4. Finally a celebrity who is honest about how they stay in such incredible shape. How many time have we rolled our eyes when a model claims that they have a huge appetite, they don’t restrict them selves, they eat what they want and stay in shape by simply running around after their children. The truth is it takes hard work and commitment, if it didn’t we would all be walking around looking like super models and professional athletes.

    Louise | 02.05.2016 | Reply
    • My thoughts exactly! In addition, I reference celebrities not because I I idolize them, but because they have the money and resources to find things that work–good workouts, good products, etc. So it’s a nice reference point, not someone I’m trying to copy so I can be just like them. So it is so eye roll inducing when this false ideal of “oh I don’t do anything but go to yoga” is presented. I’ve been following a similar nutrition plan for about a year for health reasons and it makes a big difference. (I eat nightshades, but no gluten.) It is difficult–more planning, more choosing wisely at restaurants, but it’s also really nice, you end up feeling good and looking better because of it. And I never think about calorie counts because all of the bad stuff is gone and I’m not going to sweat whether I had two servings of salad or one. (Also, there’s too much to think about food-wise and you have to give yourself a break). I’ve leaned out eating this way and my health issues have improved.

      Margot | 02.06.2016 | Reply
    • My thoughts exactly! In addition, I reference celebrities not because I I idolize them, but because they have the money and resources to find things that work–good workouts, good products, etc. So it’s a nice reference point, not someone I’m trying to copy so I can be just like them. So it is so eye roll inducing when this false ideal of “oh I don’t do anything but go to yoga” is presented. I’ve been following a similar nutrition plan for about a year for health reasons and it makes a big difference. (I do eat nightshades, but no gluten.) It is difficult–more planning, more choosing wisely at restaurants, but it’s also really nice, you end up feeling good and looking better because of it. And I never think about calorie counts because all of the bad stuff is gone and I’m not going to sweat whether I had two servings of salad or one. (Also, there’s too much to think about food-wise and you have to give yourself a break). I’ve leaned out eating this way and my health issues have improved.

      Margot | 02.06.2016 | Reply
  5. Not the exact same diet works for everyone. I am vegan, this diet does not work for the rest of my family household. That is fine. I do feel a strict diet like this would be easy to keep if we all had a person who did the shopping and cooking for us. They have a private cook who takes care of the time consuming meals they eat leaving them to other activities with their time, not a norm in most households. Truly, I could care less what a celebrity eats.

    Turtle | 02.05.2016 | Reply
  6. Vilifying real food leads to a disaster every time. How many times have food trends been debunked by yet more research? The point of nutrition that has been proven over and over is to eat a variety of different foods, with appropriate portions. We need to stop holding up the latest and greatest nutrition trend as the only way to eat (looking at you anti-inflammatory/paleo), there will be another study tomorrow that debunks todays trend. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/no-food-is-healthy-not-even-kale/2016/01/15/4a5c2d24-ba52-11e5-829c-26ffb874a18d_story.html

    emma | 02.05.2016 | Reply
  7. I read the article about their diet a few weeks ago. I was surprised to read how they eat and thought it was great! I’m no super model or famous athlete, just your average chick who happens to eat very much like they do. Aside from my regular job, I work a few shifts at a local co-op where I buy my organic food. Not having a personal chef, I cook it myself. 🙂 I have autoimmune issues and eating this way keeps me well. Why can’t people just eat and let eat?

    Heather Elizabeth | 02.05.2016 | Reply
    • I agree 100% with Heather Elizabeth. I eat and live this way as well, and am healthy and thriving as a result. Choosing to eat for wellness and excluding processed foods is not more expensive or costly. Does it take more time and effort? Sure, but, the results are clear and undeniable in terms of tangible health gains. I am a believer. Is it for everyone? Perhaps not. I do not expect others to agree with or live like me. However, I am thankful to have found what works for my life.

  8. I agree with T and Elizabeth. After health issues and cancer in our family, eating well is more important. When I eat like T&G, I feel so much better! We took baby steps to achieve it, it’s worth it.

    BeckVela | 02.06.2016 | Reply
  9. I always take celeb diets and exercise plans with a grain of salt. They are paid money to look the way they do; regular people are not. Celebs have the time, energy and MONEY to have personal chefs and personal trainers paying attention to everything; regular people do not. So take the good from their diet that you can, and ignore the rest.

    pamb | 02.07.2016 | Reply
  10. I am glad that for once a celebrity is honest enough to admit that this is what it takes to look as amazing as she does. In health there are no shortcuts, unfortunately. When I read the article a few weeks ago and despite being strict, I didn’t think it was that extreme. Going back to my earlier point, I think it is far more responsible for celebrities to show that it takes some effort to think about what you eat and choose healthy ingredients to achieve that physique than saying they eat burgers every day. The first can lead to younger girls eating well – the latter leads to self loathing and everything that comes with it, including depression and eating disorders.

    Inma x

  11. I have never really been into celebrity gossip, but Tom and Gisele’s diet and the criticism it is receiving hits close to home and so I really wanted to weigh in here….

    I initially heard about the power couple’s diet from a lady who is taking part in an American Heart Association Go Red for Women 12-Week “BetterU Challenge” I am helping coach where I live in Palm Beach, Florida. I didn’t hear all of the details of the couple’s diet at first other than the lady said it sounded like it was exactly what my husband, Andy Larson, M.D. and I promote on our website, Clean Cuisine, and in our book, “Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel” (Penguin, 2013.)

    So of course I had to Google the matter, which is how I stumbled upon this article on The Chalkboard Mag!

    Anyway, it turns out from what I have read and from the GMA segment I heard, it really does appear Tom and Gisele’s diet is almost exactly aligned with Clean Cuisine, which has never fit into any of the most popular diet categories. Clean Cuisine is not low-carb, low-fat, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, raw or Mediterranean and it is not a way of eating that can be summed up in one word. Clean Cuisine can best be summed up as an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet with a heavy emphasis on unrefined plant food.

    It is also the “diet” (although I hate to call it that because it’s not at all about limiting calories, food quantity, etc.) I have been eating now for over 17 years, ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1998 at the age of 22. My husband also started eating this way to support me (the “side benefit” was that he promptly lost the 15 pounds he had gained in medical school & lowered his blood pressure in the first 5-weeks!) and we have raised our son, Blake, who is almost 15-years old to eat this way ever since he was weaned.

    I was only able to find the following 3 differences between Tom and Gisele’s diet and the way I eat.

    • 100% Organic (I think this is amazing that they are able to eat 100% organic. I just can’t seem to do it the world I live in. But I so WISH I could!)
    • No Coffee/ No Caffeine (YIKES!! This one I could not do. Besides, if you take a close look at the scientific literature on coffee, that cup of joe seems to offer more perks than drawbacks. But clearly Tom and Gisele seem to have plenty of energy without it. Whatever they are doing, it’s working for them!)
    • No Nightshades—such as Eggplants, Tomatoes, Peppers, etc. (In recent years, there seems to be a lot of speculation surrounding nightshade plants and whether or not a chemical in them, solanum, increases inflammation. However, my husband and I have not found solid evidence in human studies to back this up. In fact, there is actually research on PubMed showing that solanum in nightshades might actually reduce inflammation. Besides, the antioxidants in nightshades should, if anything else, reduce inflammation in and of themselves. I suppose eliminating nightshades won’t cause harm, but it just seems to be an unnecessary dietary restriction. But again, it does seem to be working for Tom and Gisele…)

    And so, do I think Tom and Gisele’s diet is extreme? The short answer is no.

    Eating clean or eating the way Tom and Gisele do DOES take effort, pre-planning and time, but I wouldn’t say it takes sacrifice. I never go hungry. I never have food cravings. The food I eat now is considerably tastier than the packaged and overly processed junk foods I ate before I cleaned up my diet almost 20 years ago. At this point, even if I were to all of a sudden hear tomorrow morning that cutting-edge new research has revealed the absolute healthiest diet on the planet is one based on pro-inflammatory, packaged foods, I would have an incredibly difficult time giving up the clean foods I have come to thoroughly love and enjoy. I don’t personally know Tom and Gisele, but I have a feeling they might feel the same way.

    Over the years I have learned that good food—and I mean really good food—does not come in a brightly colored package. And it’s not sold at a restaurant that can serve a “full meal” in less than 2 minutes either.

    I can’t say with absolute certainty that the anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle I follow is the reason my MS has been suppressed for all these years, but one thing is for sure, it hasn’t hurt. I have not yet (knock on wood!!) needed to take the disease-modifying MS medications. And I have enjoyed some pretty amazing “side benefits”. Of course I’ll never look like Gisele Bunchen in a million years no matter how clean I eat, but at almost 40 years old I don’t have to worry about my weight and my blood pressure, cholesterol ratio, C-reactive protein (a marker for whole-body inflammation), triglycerides, blood sugar, resting heart rate, bone density, etc. are all in tip top shape. Is it all from eating clean? I guess I will never know for sure, but what I do know is that eating this way isn’t hurting. And it DOES taste good!

    I wrote an article examining Tom and Gisele’s diet in the link below, including the numerous similarities between it and Clean Cuisine as well as links to research backing up the incredible health benefits of thie way of eating. Here is the link:

    • I don’t know about all the scientific evidence around nightshades but last year I decided to stop eating them to see if it helped my arthritis. I was pretty amazed I improved about 30% after several months. It might not work for everyone but I noticed a huge difference myself and I have had ankylosing spondylosis for over 20 years.

      Angela Barkley | 02.11.2016 | Reply
  12. This is exactly how I eat, except I don’t eat any animal products except maybe fresh fish once a year. I am not rich nor am I famous. I am a single female working two jobs and I don’t have a personal chef. I have eaten like this since 2008 and have been vegetarian since 2003. It’s not unattainable, it just takes discipline, passion and drive. I am passionate about my health so it’s not a big deal for me to spend my time and money on my health.

    Anna | 02.18.2016 | Reply
  13. But you only have to do for yourself. Not so easy with a family. And time consuming for most moms.

    Lolly | 03.08.2016 | Reply
  14. I agree with Lolly.. a husband, three children ( one with severe food allergies), a full time job, grad school, no personal chef or shopper makes this diet a little too constrictive and time consuming. I think my family eats well…fresh fruits and veggies, poultry, fish, nutrient-dense carbs, and very lean red meat the few times it’s consumed. We get lots of exercise and still enjoy the occasional french-fry:)

  15. Agreed. I am working on giving up gluten, but could not eat like this unless I had someone preparing things from scratch for me. I just get too hungry (and I’m not overweight) and it’s a full-time job to eliminate everything they have eliminated. (Yeah, like I’m going to be vegan AND not eat nightshades? Not happening.) Not interesting to me.

    Leslie | 03.11.2016 | Reply
  16. We need to acknowledge their privilege here. If I had a personal chef then eating would be different. Not all of us have personal chefs that we can afford that can source this food with perfect balance. If they were doing the buying, the prep, the cooking etc. all themselves I bet this would be a different story….Lets try to look less at their DIET and more at their ABILITY to eat a certain way. Its not always about the food.

    Erin | 03.24.2016 | Reply
  17. Well said Erin

    Monique | 03.26.2016 | Reply
  18. I actually find their diets refreshing! Sure we can’t all commit to eating like this all the time because we don’t have a personal chef cooking for us, and probably someone buying all our groceries but at least it’s a lot more well balanced and healthier than other celeb’s and models that starve themselves or only eat a piece of lettuce for lunch (exaggeration). It is much more attainable I think to the everyday person.

    Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian | 04.18.2016 | Reply
  19. This “diet” is not that extreme. A whole foods plant based diet is optimal for health for ALL humans. It’s actually kind of sad that this is looked at as “crazy” and sending people into an “uproar with negative comments”. Educate yourself and take the right steps towards a healthy lifestyle. I’ve personally been living similar (100% plant based) to this way for 2 years, it’s easier and cheaper. No starving, eating till satisfied. I work 40 hours a week + enjoy physical activity, cook almost all my meal: whole foods like all kinds of potatoes, every vegetable you could think of, endless types of rice, pseudo-grains, lots of spices from all over the world. It’s not crazy at all.

    Dee | 04.21.2016 | Reply
  20. it’s great but they also have private chef to make all this, it’s not practical time wise for people who work demanding jobs and are rasing families etc -that’s why everyone doesn’t look like a celebrity too, they have the time to work out more also. I agree no process foods is the way to go I’d say that should be everyone’s 90% rule and think that’s achievable once you get in the swing of things.

    panda | 04.25.2016 | Reply
  21. Its frustrating that people criticize Jennifer Aniston, Tom Brady and Giselle for eating this healthy. Its not that challenging and doesn’t have to be expensive. But when Amy Schumer eats a pizza, people cheer. More people need to focus on eating what makes them feel healthy and nourished, rather than what is convenient.

    Teri | 04.29.2016 | Reply
  22. When I read about Tom and Gisele diet I thought wow that sounds amazing . I have always tried to eat well, but after a cancer diagnosis a healthy diet has become a top priority for me and I strive to eat the way they do all the time – not having a personal chef and unlimited money means I sometimes fall short. But I love eating this way and never feel deprived or hungry. I was surprised by the amount of hate directed towards them for choosing to eat this way. I have found people are very sensitive about what they eat and suspect that most of the criticism comes from a place of shame that people have about their diets. I agree there’s nothing to cheer about when celebrities eat junk food.

    Susan | 05.06.2016 | Reply
  23. If I had somebody making me my meals everyday, I would definitely be enjoying life! I honestly believe 90% of the “bad” food decisions I make is because I am too lazy to whip up anything else. If the food was there for me already, I truly believe I would not mind eating a strict plant-based everyday. It just makes you feel so good when you are properly nurturing yourself. I even thought about buying Tom Brady’s cookbook, but for $200, I guess I will just have to do my own online research.

  24. I think it’s a goal to aspire to as its not just good for their health but there kids and also for our planet.

    Heidi | 07.27.2016 | Reply
  25. If it works for them, why do we care???

    Elaine Morgan | 08.02.2016 | Reply
  26. I did this diet and my penis stopped getting hard. Even with hot looking women.
    Once I stopped, everything started working again. Thank God!!!
    Goes to show you what a joke all these diets are.

    Chris Robert | 08.10.2016 | Reply


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