Eating for work: what celebrities can teach you

You get to the office and your energy level is through the roof. Your commute went smoothly, you’re actually excited to get back to work on that one project today, and your coworker who usually seems down on his luck is in a good mood.

By noon, it’s been hours since you started the day and your energy level tanks— your spark is fading. It’s a struggle to finish out the day, and a Starbucks and cupcake stand between you and your evening commute.

So what do celebrities have to do with all this? Some of them seem to know just what to eat to manage their energy– both for work and personal time.

Tom Brady and Giselle Bündchen

The New England Patriots quarterback and internationally-known supermodel play exactly zero games when it comes to eating healthy foods. While some have found it incredibly difficult, their diets are designed to help them perform well at their high-stress jobs.

So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: how do a supermodel and a star quarterback keep their energy up?

Allen Campbell, personal chef for the couple and their kids, spoke to about specific food he uses to power their days.

Apparently, veggies make up 80% of their diet.

“…I buy the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon,” Campbell told

But some items are a definite no-go for Campbell.

“No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt,” Campbell told

Reportedly, “coffee,” “caffeine,” “dairy” and “fungus” are off-limits, and Tom doesn’t often eat “tomatoes” and other “nightshades.”

On another note, who could forget Deflategate after the Patriots won the Super Bowl?

Brady reportedly relied on a book called “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz to get through that. He says he re-reads the text every year, and Bündchen also likes it.

So take a page out of Brady’s book if you can, and start with eating as many greens with your work lunch as possible— maybe even pick up a copy of the same book during a rough patch in your career.

Oprah Winfrey

The media personality knows what it’s like to have one of the most high-powered jobs in the industry  so she understands that what you eat impacts how you feel.

Winfrey publicly struggled with her weight for years, and eventually joined Weight Watchers. She also became a stakeholder in the company in 2015.

In a video, Oprah told People what she eats as part of the program— she gets “30 points a day.”

For breakfast, she has “scrambled eggs with whites,” for lunch, a salad with “beans,” “beets,” “carrots” and just “a teaspoon of oil,” plus “some kind of soup.”

For dinner,  Winfrey has “shrimp and vegetables” or a specific type of “fish, big vegetables and some starch” and splurges with an alcoholic drink of some kind.

She also enjoys some snacks during the day.

While you definitely don’t have to jump on a diet program to feel your best at work, there are some key takeaways— greens and healthy proteins are the key to a good lunch.

Shaquille O’Neal

So how does a 7-foot-1, former NBA player fuel himself? Shaquille O’Neal told Bon Appétit all about it.

He said that he’s never had coffee and instead, prefers orange juice at the beginning of the day. He also enjoys “the egg-white omelette.”

O’Neal claims to be “a sandwich guy,” enjoying “turkey sandwiches, turkey burgers,” but that his idea of unhealthy eating is having “too many sandwiches.”

Here’s what his typical turkey sandwich looks like: “…just low-fat mayo from Whole Foods, and then thin wheat bread, a couple slices of turkey, a couple slices of cheese, lettuce and tomato, and that’s it. So lunch is a sandwich, and dinner is either salmon, chicken, or steak,” O’Neal told Bon Appétit.

But things weren’t always this way— he reportedly grew up eating a lot of fried chicken and doesn’t “really cook” now, but has had “the same chef for 12 years.”

But you don’t have to have a personal chef to make a solid turkey sandwich with vegetables on it for lunch.

Yes, these celebrities probably have the resources and staff to get them any foods their hearts desire— and maybe even on command– but there’s something we can learn from the foods they eat to manage their energy, especially for work.

And hey, if it all gets to be too much to think about, there’s always the NBA’s favorite energy option: two peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.