Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Purple Carrot, and I’m definitely not affiliated with Tom Brady. I’m just a customer and now fan of Purple Carrot’s TB12 Performance Meals, and I buy them with my own money. I just want to talk about them because, quite honestly, I love them, and I think that maybe you would, too.
I saw the TB12 meal service advertised online a few months ago, so I thought I would check it out. I had recently been talking to my husband about reducing the amount of meat we prepare our meals with, I just feel like we are consuming too much and also wasting too much. I don’t think it is necessary anymore to eat meat at every meal, and for several reasons think it would be helpful to reduce animal-based protein by even one day a week. I feel like if we are going to consume animal flesh then we should make sure we are purchasing it by the happiest animals that ever lived, who are respected in life and in death, and how can we guarantee that if we’re not doing it ourselves?
You might have thought I was blaspheming the Almighty God in heaven above for suggesting we do not NEED meat all day all the time, and that I should just take up residence in the crunchy city of Northampton and start my totally unnecessary vegetable commune all by myself. You know you’re on to something when the children start getting upset by your crazy Earth-mother ideas, because you have my son. My son who told the
Subway sandwich artist to load up his sandwich with bacon when she asked him what he wanted for veggies. The son who at 5 years old started crying when I informed him I would no longer be purchasing chicken nuggets for him anymore after reading the book Skinny Bitch and I could no longer fathom preparing animal flesh. We definitely eat vegetables at our house, and somehow my bacon-loving son prefers vegetables to anything else he is plated and will finish them first like they are some kind of green deciduous dessert. We also definitely prepare meat. We are also aware of the CAFO Industry, and if you’re not, please educate yourself on it. I started to become aware when reading Skinny Bitch which quite frankly disturbed me and changed my life. I recommend The Omnivore’s Dilemma as great starting point.
So back to plant-based stuff. Another disclaimer — as you might have guessed, I’m not a food photographer, I’m barely even an adequate food describer. All my pictures were taken with my iPhone in available lighting, and sent through an Instagram filter because did you really eat it if you didn’t show everyone on Insta? I don’t usually take pictures of my food, either, but I took pictures of *this* food because it’s like, Tom Brady’s food and also I wanted to show comparison between my plate and the recommended image on the recipe card.
So this TB12 meal service. The menu is pre-planned and is shipped out on Monday. I’ve been getting my delivery on Tuesday. It comes in a nice box with two great big ice packs, like the one you stole from the school nurse if that ice pack was a baby and the Purple Carrot ice pack was Vin Diesel. x2. You can opt-out of any week completely hassle-free by logging in and checking a box. Super easy, no guilt. (But after tasting this food–why would you want to?)
So I’ve got to say, Tom Brady knows what’s going on in the kitchen. Or his people do. Every meal I have cooked up so far–and that is every meal delivered to me from week one–has been fabulous. My favorites so far have been the turnip cake meal (pictured above), and tonight’s stuffed sweet potatoes. I love that everything is pre-portioned, I don’t need to rummage through my cupboards for seasonings. At most–olive oil, salt, and pepper. Seriously. Everything I have received has been super-fresh. The past couple of weeks, these ingredients have sat in my fridge until the weekend before I could do anything with them. Like Sunday. It’s been crazy over here, don’t ask. But everything has seemed as fresh as the day it was delivered–a testament to the quality of these ingredients. No produce, none, that I buy from the grocery store lasts 3 days never mind the 5, 6, 7 days it’s taking me to pull this stuff out of the crisper. And the grocery claims to source local. I have worried about the time it takes me to start cooking up, but it’s been for no reason. All ingredients have been pristine.
The flavors in these recipes have been such a pleasure. I have tried food I didn’t know existed, and with the exception of the radishes — have loved everything.
Some of the reviews of the TB12 performance meals call these meals a pain to make. I guess that’s true if you’re used to preparing boxed food. I am not a stranger to preparing meals from scratch, and am also not intimidated by cooking, either. I guess if you don’t consider yourself a cook or are unable to follow recipes, then this might not be the service for you. You will have to prepare everything. That naan over there? I had to mix it WITH MY BARE HANDS! That was probably the most challenging thing I have made so far. Also I scorched the sorghum a little but it tasted FINE and who knew what sorghum was or that it popped like popcorn and you can put it on your mung beans? I never even knew about the mung bean until yesterday. I like the mung bean with tamarind paste. I was afraid of the chili peppers, but for no reason because there wasn’t too much heat, in fact, I didn’t detect any heat.
My husband finds it to be a hassle, but I don’t mind. I have actually enjoyed it, as I have found the whole thing an experience, really. Maybe I’ve been dazzled by the intriguing new recipes. Whatever the case, it’s been worth the work! And look at Tom and Giselle. Those bodies are WORK, people! Yes, work that they hire other people to help them do, but work nonetheless!
Another thing I have liked it that they tell you it is 2 servings, but in most cases–it’s more than what 2 people can eat. And I don’t eat like a normal person, and even I can’t eat half of what is prepared. I discovered that you don’t have to eat meat to fill your belly. Seriously. You know on those diets how people are always lying to you, saying “there’s so much food–I’m never hungry!” That is shit. They’re starving and 2 seconds away from inhaling a box of oatmeal creme pies.
You know it. I know it.
I’ve always wondered how the heck I would stay full if I went plant-based. All I could imagine was endless, sad passes at the Stop N’ Shop salad bar, scooping the same old lettuce leaves and sunflower seeds into my crappy plastic container. It was a sad, sad thing to imagine. But Tom Brady fixed me. I just didn’t know how to put these things together into meals and make them taste good. You really can get filled up on plants. I seriously had no idea before now.
These meals are high in calories, I have noticed. Not sure why, other than maybe the olive oil? I know there’s some diet doctrine that says a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Look at the dude who lost weight eating twinkies every day. But there’s other doctrine that tells us the type of calories you consume are important. 1,000 twinkie calories are not going to be processed in the body the same way 1,000 vegetable calories will be. Know what I’m saying? Insulin is a really important factor in why bodies store fat, which begins with diet and the type of sugars you consume, and the body’s reaction to those sugars. There is a difference.
I never feel bad stuffing myself full of this food because I know everything in the meal is good for me. The meals are vegan and gluten-free, yes high in calorie, but super low in guilt. You know how they say the Americans are an over-fed but under-nourished population? It’s important to your health to understand that paradox. You can feel good putting these meals into your body knowing you’re fueling yourself with wholesome nutrition… And if it helps me to look anything like Giselle, just take my money!!