home News I tried Tom Brady's vegan meal-kit delivery service — and learned I don't have … – Business Insider UK

I tried Tom Brady's vegan meal-kit delivery service — and learned I don't have … – Business Insider UK


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Tom Brady, 40, is the greatest quarterback in football history, according to the NFL, sports bloggers, and this New England-bred sports fan. The five-time Super Bowl champ didn’t reach peak condition at an age when most players have already retired by eating chips and dip.

Brady owes his longevity to an intense diet and workout plan, which the GOAT (“greatest of all time”) touts in his new book “The TB12 Method.” Vegetables make up 80% of what he and his supermodel-wife Gisele Bündchen eat, along with whole grains, nuts, and lean meats.

In 2016, Purple Carrot, a meal-kit delivery service that serves 100% plant-based foods for a vegan diet, partnered with Brady to bring meals based on the way he eats to customers. Using the guidelines laid out in his book, TB12 Performance Meals deliver aim to “help athletes and active individuals stay at their peak” — just like the GOAT. (Though Brady is not a vegan.)

For $78 a week, subscribers receive three meals with two servings of each. 

I recently tried the TB12 Performance Meals for two weeks. Here’s what it was like.


My first delivery from Purple Carrot and TB12 came with its own locker-room pep talk plastered on the side of the box.

My first delivery from Purple Carrot and TB12 came with its own locker-room pep talk plastered on the side of the box.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

“What we get out of our bodies is a direct result of what we put in. Food is your fuel, and we believe that food can help you achieve and sustain your peak performance,” the box read.

When I opened it up, I found this “hand-written” note from the Super Bowl champ himself.

When I opened it up, I found this "hand-written" note from the Super Bowl champ himself.

Thoughtful!Melia Robinson/Business Insider

For $78 a week, subscribers receive three meals with two servings of each. Ingredients for each meal were bagged separately, which made it easier to prep for cooking later.

For $78 a week, subscribers receive three meals with two servings of each. Ingredients for each meal were bagged separately, which made it easier to prep for cooking later.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Each recipe includes an ingredients list, step-by-step instructions, and photos of the meal prep. Nearly all the ingredients needed were included, except for salt, pepper, and oil.

Each recipe includes an ingredients list, step-by-step instructions, and photos of the meal prep. Nearly all the ingredients needed were included, except for salt, pepper, and oil.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I decided to start with the tofu rancheros, because it sounded like something my super-carnivorous boyfriend would still eat. The meal had a cook time of 30 minutes.

I decided to start with the tofu rancheros, because it sounded like something my super-carnivorous boyfriend would still eat. The meal had a cook time of 30 minutes.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The ingredients were portioned into small containers with the quantity the recipe called for, which saved time. But I was unprepared for the sheer number of steps involved.

The ingredients were portioned into small containers with the quantity the recipe called for, which saved time. But I was unprepared for the sheer number of steps involved.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

By step three, I had rinsed and dried my produce and tofu; preheated the oven; peeled and diced a red onion; chopped the roasted red pepper; halved the cherry tomatoes and grapes; and warmed the corn tortillas in the oven. I had already killed 20 minutes, and it was unlikely I would finish in another 10. The 30-minute cook time started to seem unrealistic.

It was my first time ever cooking with tofu, and it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. My boyfriend crumbled the tofu over a skillet, and it came apart like a hard cheese.

It was my first time ever cooking with tofu, and it wasn't as weird as I thought it would be. My boyfriend crumbled the tofu over a skillet, and it came apart like a hard cheese.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The mango wasn’t nearly ripe enough to serve in the coconut fruit salad. A side of halved grapes tossed with freshly toasted coconut and lime juice would have to do.

The mango wasn't nearly ripe enough to serve in the coconut fruit salad. A side of halved grapes tossed with freshly toasted coconut and lime juice would have to do.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I toasted my own shredded coconut. The meal was shaping up to be quite an effort.

Voilà! The tofu rancheros weren’t as pretty as the tacos pictured on the recipe. But they were hearty and flavorful. Taco seasoning and turmeric enlivened the plain tofu.

 Voilà! The tofu rancheros weren't as pretty as the tacos pictured on the recipe. But they were hearty and flavorful. Taco seasoning and turmeric enlivened the plain tofu.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Here’s my mango-less coconut fruit salad. It was sugary like a dessert.

Here's my mango-less coconut fruit salad. It was sugary like a dessert.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

By the end of the meal, we felt satiated and surprised to find we didn’t miss the meat.

By the end of the meal, we felt satiated and surprised to find we didn't miss the meat.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

A couple days later, I set out to make Thai coconut rice bowls. The recipe described classic Thai flavors of mint, cilantro, and creamy coconut piled on top of fluffy jasmine rice.

A couple days later, I set out to make Thai coconut rice bowls. The recipe described classic Thai flavors of mint, cilantro, and creamy coconut piled on top of fluffy jasmine rice.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I whipped up a chutney made with cucumber, Thai chili, mint, cilantro, rice vinegar, and lime juice. I enjoyed trying something new, but again, it was more work than I was used to.

I whipped up a chutney made with cucumber, Thai chili, mint, cilantro, rice vinegar, and lime juice. I enjoyed trying something new, but again, it was more work than I was used to.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The rice bowls came together beautifully, with charred rainbow carrots and red cabbage adding a crunchy texture to the creamy coconut-infused rice. The colors were stunning.

The rice bowls came together beautifully, with charred rainbow carrots and red cabbage adding a crunchy texture to the creamy coconut-infused rice. The colors were stunning.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to cook all three meals that first week. The meals were taking at least an hour to prepare, and I struggled to find the energy on a weeknight.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to cook all three meals that first week. The meals were taking at least an hour to prepare, and I struggled to find the energy on a weeknight.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The last meal was the most unusual — romanesco and hazelnut-and-hemp-seed crumble served on a bed of beet noodles. I threw out the ingredients after they started to rot.

Another week, another delivery. I decided to tackle one of the more ambitious meals.

Another week, another delivery. I decided to tackle one of the more ambitious meals.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The Japanese yam fritters dish included fried pancakes (like a classic latke) seasoned with the herbal flavors of a tabbouleh. I grated the yams and squeezed out the excess liquid.

The Japanese yam fritters dish included fried pancakes (like a classic latke) seasoned with the herbal flavors of a tabbouleh. I grated the yams and squeezed out the excess liquid.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Then I prepared the Greek tabbouleh. The whole grain millet took at least a half hour to cook, and I continuously added water so it wouldn’t burn. I grew hungrier.

Then I prepared the Greek tabbouleh. The whole grain millet took at least a half hour to cook, and I continuously added water so it wouldn't burn. I grew hungrier.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The recipe called for a lemon yogurt that combined a bunch of remaining ingredients. I used the ingredients without measuring them and wound up with an over-seasoned soup.

The recipe called for a lemon yogurt that combined a bunch of remaining ingredients. I used the ingredients without measuring them and wound up with an over-seasoned soup.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

That’s when things really started to go south. My Japanese yam mixture wasn’t wet enough to form fritters, and they fell apart as soon as I tried to flip them with a spatula.

That's when things really started to go south. My Japanese yam mixture wasn't wet enough to form fritters, and they fell apart as soon as I tried to flip them with a spatula.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

In my mind, it was a disaster. I already spent 45 minutes getting the meal together, and now my latkes turned to a potato scramble. I missed my easy stovetop mac and cheese.

In my mind, it was a disaster. I already spent 45 minutes getting the meal together, and now my latkes turned to a potato scramble. I missed my easy stovetop mac and cheese.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Still, the fritters had all the bright, herbal flavors of Greek cuisine, and the crusty bits added a nice texture. I had a second helping of the tabbouleh.

Still, the fritters had all the bright, herbal flavors of Greek cuisine, and the crusty bits added a nice texture. I had a second helping of the tabbouleh.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I dreaded preparing another meal. The recipes were just too demanding for a week night. I waited until lunchtime on a Saturday and attempted the simple green curry.

I dreaded preparing another meal. The recipes were just too demanding for a week night. I waited until lunchtime on a Saturday and attempted the simple green curry.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

My favorite part of the preparation was building the curry from coconut milk, green curry paste, tamari, turbinado sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. It was out of my comfort zone.

My favorite part of the preparation was building the curry from coconut milk, green curry paste, tamari, turbinado sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. It was out of my comfort zone.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Smoky curry served with steamed vegetables and jasmine rice was a slam dunk in my book. This is probably the only meal I made that I would do again on my own.

Smoky curry served with steamed vegetables and jasmine rice was a slam dunk in my book. This is probably the only meal I made that I would do again on my own.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

During my two weeks of eating TB12 Performance Meals, I learned that I do not have what it takes to cook like Brady. Making the meals was more exhausting than enjoyable.

During my two weeks of eating TB12 Performance Meals, I learned that I do not have what it takes to cook like Brady. Making the meals was more exhausting than enjoyable.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I did discover a new appreciation for plant-based meals, however. Each meal filled me up without using meat. And I will definitely seek out (easier) vegan recipes in the future.

I did discover a new appreciation for plant-based meals, however. Each meal filled me up without using meat. And I will definitely seek out (easier) vegan recipes in the future.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider



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