During the NFL season, which runs early September through January, players have to treat holidays like business as usual. If the Patriots play on Thanksgiving Day, Rob Gronkowski will pregame with the same meal he eats before every game: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk.
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“Ever since being in the NFL it’s really tough, because some Thanksgivings we’re playing football games and if not, I’m at practice,” the 29-year-old tight end told The Daily Meal. But at the end of the day, he still gets to partake in the Turkey Day feast.
“I’ll find a teammate’s house or a friend’s house and I’ll go over there and I’ll smash whatever they have,” Gronk said. “That’s a time when I’ll take whatever’s in the way.”
As for the rest of the season, he maintains top performance by eating a clean, organic, heavily plant-based diet. He doesn’t like to call himself a vegan “because that gets people confused,” but whenever he’s able to skip out on meat, he does (until the end of the season, when he gorges on a hefty serving of red meat all at once).
He even uses non-dairy almond milk in his cereal — Cheerios, to be exact. Gronk is currently involved with the brand to raise money for his charity, the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, which helps young people stay involved in school and athletics, and have access to the proper equipment needed to play sports.
Although pro footballers typically don’t make their own meals, Gronk has a few tricks up his sleeve. His go-to breakfast is avocado toast with olive oil, lemon and an egg on top, and for dinner he’ll sometimes make sweet potato with avocado, broccoli or asparagus, and a quinoa burger.
He only eats fast food once in a blue moon because “once in a while when you need to, you need to.” But you won’t find him at McDonald’s or Burger King. This 6-foot-6 powerhouse goes to Chick-fil-A for an original chicken sandwich and a milkshake.
“I like Chick-fil-A, definitely. Chick-fil-A’s a great spot to do. I get the chicken sandwich with pickle — gotta ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ — and also you gotta go with a milkshake if you go there. An Oreo milkshake,” he said. We can relate to that. What we can’t relate to, though, are these 20 absolutely insane professional athlete diets.