I recently read an article about Allen Campbell, the personal chef to Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, and I was immediately reminded of that phrase from yesteryear. Here are two people whose bodies are literally their livelihoods. Being healthy isn't just a desire but a requirement. And guess what?
They trust the skinny chef.
When I say "skinny" here, I'm not necessarily being literal. But rather a "skinny" chef by my definition is a chef who cares about and understands health.
It was great to hear that these two super celebs eat a mostly plants-based, gluten-free diet, filled with whole grains and lean proteins and free of refined sugars and flours, genetically modified and/or heavily processed foods, and foods that cause inflammation. It was even better to hear that they found a chef who cared about the exact same things.
In many ways, Tom and Gisele's diet falls under what health guru and physician Mark Hyman refers to as "pegan"---a blending of the two very popular diets, vegan and paleo.
While the term has been newly coined by Dr. Hyman, I've been eating "pegan" for many years now. Not because it is the diet of the NFL's most successful quarterback or Brazil's most famous model, not even because one of my favorite health heroes advocates for it. I eat pegan because it just seems to make a whole lot of sense.
GMOs? Bad. Refined sugars? Bad. Heavily processed foods? Super bad. Gluten? My body (and lots of other bodies) straight up rejects that gooey stuff.
My point is that I trust the skinny chefs who care about the health of those they serve and who care about the health of our planet. I trust the chefs who understand the principles of good nutrition and get that eating mostly whole plant-based foods is the way to go.
There's just one problem: skinny chefs are hard to find. They're currently working private chef gigs for celebrities or are confined to working in the micro hubs of healthy eating (namely in places like California or Vermont). Why? Mostly because the restaurant and food industries don't understand or appreciate their value. YET.
Most restaurants still serve GMOs and refined sugars and highly processed C-R-A-P. And guess what? They don't have to disclose it. They name a dish "Atlantic salmon over potato purée and kale" and they don't have to tell you that the salmon is farm-raised and fed genetically modified corn or that the potatoes and kale are treated with harmful pesticides and not organic.
So what's a conscious consumer to do?
For one thing, be your own skinny chef in 2016.
But even more so, start asking questions, making requests, and voting with your wallet and your fork. Knowledge is power. The more people who care, the better.
Sooner or later the world is going to shift its views and start demanding more skinny chefs. Until then, I'll continue cooking up pegan goodness in my own kitchen. And YOU are welcome at my table any time.
The Gluten-Free Yogi