When Gisele and Tom Brady’s private chef revealed the celeb duo’s diet to the world last week, they were met with a healthy amount of mockery.
Though celebrity diets have always been abnormal, most people couldn’t believe that Gisele refused to consume seemingly healthy staples like mushrooms and dairy.
However, when I read through the list of foods, I was actually more astounded by what they did eat. While many celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow or Beyonce promote green juice detoxes or cleansing mixtures of lemon and vinegar, Gisele and Tom seemed to consume a wide variety of rich and healthy food options instead.
No pain no gain! The brown rice vegetable sushi that is one of Gisele’s favorite meals was less than tasty without the gluten-filled soy sauce
A rare catch: Gisele is happily married to a man who shares her extreme food philosophies
Say (no) cheese! Gisele loves to indulge in warm fresh vegan soups
‘How hard could it be?’ I thought. And so I decided to put Gisele’s diet to the test, following the strict guidelines outlined by their chef for a full week.
The first hurdle I had to face came almost immediately, when I set out to buy all the food supplies needed to survive for a full few days of Gisele-esque eating.
I think it is important to note is that Gisele does not eat groceries from your run-of-the-mill supermarket. Her private chef, Allen Campbell, reveals that in a perfect world he would only go to farmers’ markets, however in order to remain practical he often shops at Whole Foods. Gisele only consumes local and organic produce, and never anything genetically modified.
‘Eighty per cent of what they eat is vegetables,’ Campbell says. The rest of their diet consists of whole grains, lean meats, fish, and limited fruit. Gisele does not eat: sugar, flour, MSG, canola oil, iodized salt, coffee, caffeine, mushrooms, dairy, gluten, or nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and eggplants).
While this might sound like a worst nightmare to some, truth be told, I’m a bit of a health nut already, and found the prospect of sticking with the strict eating plan more exciting than restrictive.
I stopped drinking coffee a long time ago, don’t consume dairy, and have limited the amount of gluten in my diet. When I initially embarked on this culinary adventure, I assumed it would be a breeze.
However, a five minute stroll down the Whole Foods produce aisle quickly gave me pause. I scanned the shelves trying to develop potential meals in my head. I initially thought of preparing spiralized zucchini that evening with a rich garlic vegan marinara sauce. ‘Nope,’ I realized. Tomatoes and tomato sauce are all fully off limits for the model, who believes nightshades lead to inflammation.
Taco salad: Gisele loves fresh salads (left). After picking off the corn chips and chopped peppers, I enjoyed a hearty salad of black beans, lettuce,and avocado (right)
Salty snacks to the max: I replaced my usual daily bag of potato chips with healthier organic seaweed snacks and dehydrated fruit
It costs money to eat: My grocery bill skyrocketed as I tried to purchase only the finest produce and snacks from Whole Foods
I ended up leaving with a boatload of apples, spinach, tons of greens, fresh fish and more. I felt pretty good about my choices until I realized that the total bill was nearly double what I usually pay on a grocery run.
Nevertheless, armed with canvas bags full of produce I set back to my apartment to prepare my meals for the week. I happily realized that many foods in my diet were already compliant with Gisele’s meal plan.
For instance, my favorite breakfast of a raw apple with almond butter and a bottle of GT’s multi green Kombucha wouldn’t need to change, though now the apple would now be organic. I also discovered that my favorite kombucha flavor was packed with spirulina, Gisele’s chef’s favorite type of algae. I beamed.
Lunch proved slightly more of a challenge. Sandwiches and pre-processed veggie burgers were out, so I set to making a big batch of vegan kale soup. I substituted nutritional yeast for cream and added beans and boiled sweet potatoes to make the soup extra hearty.
Once prepared, I froze several batches for easy transport to the office. The soup was satisfying, but to get my protein in I snacked on wild caught smoked salmon and locally-raised, organic, antibiotic free slices of turkey wrapped around avocado and dipped in locally-produced mustard.
My dinners, on the other hand, mainly consisted of large green salads. A particular favorite included spinach, asparagus, beets, walnuts, drizzled with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for dressing.
Kombucha crazy: I realized that my favorite brand of kombucha was Gisele-diet approved and even contained her favorite type of algae
Gisele tries to eat more whole foods than green juice, but even she would approve of these healthy brussels sprouts tossed in coconut oil (left) and this detox shake made of coconut water, banana, honey, multi vitamin, liquid antioxidant, soy protein, ginseng, gingko, ginger, sunflower lecithin, and ice (right)
Gisele’s diet is heavy on veggies, but even she finds ways to pack in the protein: Here is a homemade dish of wild rice and fresh sea scallops
So far, so good, but as the weekend approached I became more nervous.
And, it seems, I was right to be apprehensive. Because while maintaining this type of diet at home alone was doable, eating out proved to be an entirely new challenge.
On Friday I dined with my friend and ordered locally-caught sea scallops on a bed of quinoa and greens and felt quite pleased with myself, but by the time Saturday brunch rolled around I couldn’t help but sneak bites of sauteed mushrooms and fried calamari.
I figured that even Gisele must cheat a bit when she dines out.
Sunday is my ultimate comfort food day. Normally I relax by making a large plate of vegan nachos and kicking back to a good podcast, but I quickly realized that the word ‘nachos’ is not in Gisele’s culinary vocabulary.
Her chef explains that her version of comfort food is, ‘a quinoa dish with wilted greens… garlic, toasted in coconut oil. And then some toasted almonds, or this cashew sauce with lime curry, lemongrass, and a little bit of ginger.’
I was pretty maxed out on wilted kale from the soup I’d been consuming for days, but I did whip up an incredibly delicious warm quinoa bowl featuring red quinoa, blueberries, pistachios, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, and a dash of OJ. I wouldn’t call it ‘comfort food’ but it hit the spot and I ended up polishing off two large bowls.
Sushi anyone? Gisele favors raw vegetable sushi over less healthy options like spicy tuna or California rolls
Packing in those veggies: This vegan taco wrap substitutes tortillas with romaine leaves and greens filled with a seasoned nut meat, sliced avocado, white onion topped with a cashew sour cream… but those tomatoes have to go
Worth it: After a few days of adjustment, the diet wasn’t nearly as restrictive as it initially thought
Quinoa-binging aside, Gisele’s diet was surprisingly filling. I found that throughout the week I was rarely hungry. Maybe it was the mix of fresh, raw ingredients or the fact that many of my favorite mindless snack foods were off limits, but I never had cravings that weren’t satisfied by a few bites of wholesome Gisele-approved snacks. By Monday afternoon I glanced right over the unwrapped chocolate bar on my counter and noshed happily on dehydrated persimmons.
My stomach was also noticeably flatter and when I stepped on the scale at the end of the week I was happy to see that I was down four pounds (though I’m sure much of that was water weight).
THE FOODS THAT ARE BANNED ON GISELE AND TOM’S DIET
Cooking with olive oil (raw olive oil okay on salads, cook with coconut oil)
Iodized salt (pink Himalayan salt only)
Nightshades – no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants
Most importantly, my entire body felt better. I noticed that my afternoon slumps were far less severe and my standard morning headaches were completely gone. I can’t prove it, but my skin also felt clearer and more fresh. I can see why a supermodel whose career depends on her looks would do well on such a diet.
That said, I think it would be incredibly hard to continue to eat this way without a supermodel paycheck. My grocery bill totaled around $258.00, which is nearly double what I normally pay.
I’m also single and live alone, so I only had to worry about preparing meals for myself. Preparing these type of meals and homemade snacks for a family of four would be, quite literally, a full-time job. Gisele is also happily married to a man who shares her extreme food philosophies. While I didn’t do any dating during my week on the plan, I imagine that even a woman who looks like Gisele might find it difficult to order this type of food on a date without judgement.
Judgemental onlookers aside, the biggest thing I took away from a week on Gisele’s diet is that ingredients matter. Processed food, even gluten free and vegan processed food, is still processed and will make you feel like junk. Healthy eating isn’t about recreating your favorite junk food with ‘healthy’ ingredients, it’s about learning to appreciate and prepare healthy, wholesome foods in delicious new ways.
Gisele’s diet may have been semi-difficult to adjust to for the first couple days, but those who claim the diet is ‘miserable’ or that ‘just reading it makes them crave junk food,’ should take a serious look at the quality of the ‘food’ they’re putting into their bodies. I’m already craving my next quinoa bowl.
TAYLOR’S DAILY MEAL PLAN
1 Organic apple with two tablespoons organic raw almond butter
Bottle of GT’s Kombucha in Multigreen flavor
¼ cup raw organic blueberries
2 cups homemade kale soup
Baked sweet potato with garlic salt and coconut oil
Organic carrots, celery, and homemade hummus
Wild caught smoked salmon or slices of organic locally-raised turkey with avocado and mustard
Raw ‘tacos’ made of cabbage leaves stuffed with a chopped blend of avocado, raw tahini, olives, capers, white and red cabbage with lemon tahini dressing
Black bean and lentil salad
Dehydrated organic apple slices dipped in cinnamon