The quarterback, who famously doesn’t drink coffee or eat strawberries, said he’s relaxed his strict diet

By Julie Mazziotta
August 06, 2019 12:57 PM

Could nightshades be making a comeback in Tom Brady’s diet?

The famously strict quarterback — who has said he doesn’t drink coffee, has never tried a strawberry (until Stephen Colbert coerced him into it) and declines nightshades like tomatoes and eggplants to reduce inflammation — said he’s being less restrictive about his diet these days.

Brady, who turned 42 on Saturday, said he’s more relaxed than some of his friends.

“I have a friend who freaks out if it’s not the most organic this or that, and I’m like, ‘That stress is going to harm you way more than eating that chip is,” he told Men’s Health for their September cover.

RELATED: Tom Brady Expected Son Benjamin, 9½, to Love Sports as Much as Jack, 11: ‘It Was Hard for Me’

And if Brady wants a previously-denied food, he’ll eat it.

“If I’m craving bacon, I have a piece. Same with pizza. You should never restrict what you really want. We’re humans, here for one life,” he said. “What’s changed as I’ve gotten older is now if I want pizza, I want the best pizza. I don’t eat a slice that tastes like s—, and then wonder, ‘Why am I eating s— pizza?’ ”

Tom Brady
Photographed by Eric Ray Davidson for Men’s Health
Tom Brady
Photographed by Eric Ray Davidson for Men’s Health

For the most part though, Brady sticks to the same foods — pre-workout smoothies, eggs and avocado afterwards and lots of nuts, fish, salads, vegetables and chicken for his other meals. He said that while no one has to eat or workout like him, people can’t expect to get stronger while eating junk food.

“No one has to be Tom Brady. I just get to be Tom Brady. You get to be you,” he said. “Everyone has a choice. But if you want to be good at sports, you have to work hard at it. If you want to be healthy, you have to work at it. But you can’t say, ‘I want to be healthy,’ then eat s—– food and do crappy workouts.”

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Brady said that his idea of what constitutes a good workout has changed through the years — as a kid, he “believed that if you want to get good, you gotta go squat and bench, and that’s all I ever did.”

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But he now emphasizes stretching and pliability with his personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, at his TB12 facility. Brady says he’s aware of the criticism waged at the program, that there’s a lack of scientific research to back up Guerrero’s practices, but the dad of three said it helped him immensely.

Tom Brady
Photographed by Eric Ray Davidson for Men’s Health

“I absolutely know 100 percent that it works, and the reality is I’m just a client who lives by the teachings,” he said, adding that he wants his teammates on the Patriots to follow it too. “Say I see a guy who has a sore hamstring. I’ll think, ‘His hip flexors are too tight; his hamstring is too tight.’ But the guy might say, ‘My hamstring must be weak; I must do more hamstring curls.’ It crushes me. I freak out. I need this teammate on the field!”

Tom Brady
Photographed by Eric Ray Davidson for Men’s Health

Still, Brady, who is rumored to have signed a two-year contract extension with the Patriots worth $70 million, said that as a quarterback, brain is worth more to him than his body.

“I’m more of a thinker obviously than a physical specimen,” he said.

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