Chris Woodward has not managed a game for the Texas Rangers, but one of his first orders of change was to follow the restaurant goer who sees someone else downing a good-looking dish and tells the waiter, “I’ll have what they’re having.”
Specifically, whatever Tom Brady eats, the Rangers now offer their players.
When you finish dead last, as the Rangers did last season, you change everything up to and including the food.
“I don’t know his process. I’ve never talked to him, but we get his food plan in the mail,” the new Rangers manager said last week. “It’s great. It’s super healthy and he has redefined all of it.”
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If you are unaware of the diet assembled and followed by the quarterback of the New England Patriots, picture riding on a roller coaster. Now take out all of the fun.
The meal plans, produced by something called “Purple Carrot,” are available on Brady’s website. For the low price of more-than-you-want-to-know, it provides a weekly meal delivery service and the food follows three basic principals: high protein, gluten free, vegan. Jelly donuts did not make the cut.
Welcome to hell.
At one of the team and staff meetings during the Rangers’ winter session at their MLB youth academy last week in West Dallas, Woodward specifically mentioned the New England Patriots.
The Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs the day before in the AFC title game to advance to another Super Bowl, and they were relevant to Woodward’s message.
He told them, ”Brady just won. Again. They are going back to the Super Bowl. Again. The Patriots, in a world of parity, have become dominant because of their structure. Is there a reason why? It’s not because Bill Belichick is the best coach on the planet, which he might be. He’s great. You have a great coach.
“You have a great quarterback. Do I think it’s more about Brady, or Belichick?”
Everyone of note within the Rangers’ organization was present at the meeting when Woodward posed the question.
“It’s not Belichick. It’s Brady. Did Belichick make Brady better? 100 percent. Yes. But it’s you guys.”
Woodward preaches process more than results, but given Brady’s results it’s hard to argue with his process.
The man is 41 years old and continues to win at an absurd rate. What’s exactly in his food that makes him so special?
Start with what he drinks.
He starts a day with a 20-ounce glass of water that is infused with electrolytes. He drinks water virtually all day.
In the morning, he will down a smoothie that consists mostly of blueberries, bananas, nuts and seeds.
At lunch, it’s time for fish and vegetables. His diet is mostly vegetables.
He avoids white sugar, white flour, MSG, iodized salt and dairy. He also doesn’t eat tomatoes or peppers, because they are nightshade foods.
When I eat a vegetable I’m celebrating and I don’t care what time of day it grows. Brady also does not consume coffee or caffeine. He does eat protein bars, and will pack in protein powdered drinks.
Brady has acknowledged that when he is done playing in the NFL he expects the diet to change. He is also a passionate critic of the way Americans eat, particularly foods that “do not exist in nature.”
(He’s 100 percent right; the way the American food industry works stresses only profit margin rather than a consumer’s health.)
Eating a protein bar rather than a tomato will not be the difference whether Joey Gallo can beat the infield shift, but Woodward’s message is about the entire makeup of the champion pro athlete. Some of that is what you put in your body.
“It’s my message to the group and it will be the to the day I get fired: If you want to be a champion you have to conduct yourself in a much different manner than the rest of the people,” he said. “Everything you do has to have a purpose. You are going to fall off the wagon sometimes; you are going to go to Taco Bell. You are going to stay up ‘til 5 a.m. playing video games.
“The less you do those things that the average person does, and I’m talking about the average elite athletes, the more you will succeed. There is a higher standard, and you have to do it now.”
Woodward has bought Brady’s plan, and now the Rangers can literally eat and drink it.