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Why you might want to try Tom and Gisele's extreme diet

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen's intricate diet can work for us mere mortals too

Not a fan of mushrooms or tomatoes? Neither are Gisele and Tom Brady, which might be the first time you can say you've had anything in common with the world's highest-paid supermodel and a four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Ask Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady how they get their super-fit bods and you won't get any Hollywood nonsense about just walking their dogs and eating hamburgers. The celebrity couple and parents of two work hard for their physiques, both by exercising like it's their job (which it kind of is?) and eating a healthy diet. And by "healthy diet" I mean "healthier than anything you've ever heard of before and they might actually be robots."

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Allen Campbell, the duo's personal chef, recently spilled all the details on their super-strict diet to Boston.com. Gisele and Tom (Like how we're on a first-name basis now? Me too!) eat a diet that's "80 percent organic vegetables" along with some local, pastured meat, wild fish, and fruit. What's not on the menu? Flours, sugars, caffeine, dairy, gluten, and even iodized salt. Plus Tom avoids most fruits, fungi like mushrooms, and all veggies in the nightshade family, including tomatoes and eggplants. But perhaps the most shocking part of their diet is that their young kids eat this way too. (Call me, Gisele, and share all your parenting secrets with me!)

But before you call their diet "too extreme" and write it off as another celebrity fad, they have a lot of good things going says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, a nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day. She notes that studies have shown that only 15 percent of people in the U.S. get their daily quota of veggies so we could all take a page from their plant-based diet.

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"The main idea of their diet — to avoid processed food and focus on fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds — is a good one," she says.

However, Amidor likes Gisele's slightly less strict version of the diet better as the model embraces organic fruits and doesn't limit nightshades, which despite their "inflammatory" rep in some circles are quite healthy and are thought to fight inflammation.

Of course, the real kicker is the fact that they have a personal chef. It would be a lot easier for all of us to stomach things like raw lasagna (the "noodles" are zucchini) and winter root stew if we had a pro to whip them up for us. But Amidor says it's possible to take inspiration from their diet without needing chef-level skills (or an actual chef).

"It appears that they are very lucky to have a very knowledgeable personal chef on hand," she says. "Their chef cooks ancient grains like millet so they still get their whole grains. They also eat beans and quinoa. Anyone can learn to cook these delicious foods, although it may take some time to learn."

She adds that the kids' snacks are top-notch nutritionally and also easy to make. Homemade smoothies and dehydrated fruit leather, she says, are not difficult at all to do and just as tasty for adult palates. And while the simplest method is to use a food dehydrator, if you don't have one (or can't afford one), your oven will work too.

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But if there is one thing she could change about their diet, Amidor says she'd make it slightly less restrictive as she worries that excluding so many things could make people miss out on vital nutrients, particularly those of us without a personal chef to keep track of it all. She particularly encourages people not to cut dairy as it provides many essential nutrients, like calcium, potassium and magnesium which are particularly necessary for women.

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