Josh McCown cuts carbs, feeds brain and wins games

From ESPN - October 13, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The old guy at quarterback is defying Father Time, thriving, in part, because of what he calls a "holistic" approach to his job. It's a mind-and-body philosophy that includes a new diet (no carbs) and brain exercises (yes, really). He absolutely believes it's a big reason for his impressive start.

Say hello to the new Josh McCown.

What, you thought we were talking about Tom Brady?

He's doing OK too, but New England's most beloved health nut has been doing it for years -- eating right and winning, that is. For McCown, 38, who faces the 40-year-old Brady on Sunday in the NFL's version of the Grey(beard) Cup, this represents a new lifestyle.

McCown, who has led the New York Jets to a 3-2 start, has made a concerted effort to improve his diet and training regimen. Instead of waiting to rehabilitate bumps and bruises, McCown is proactive, hitting the trainer's room every day for prehab.

At meal time, he stays away from junk food. A typical day: oatmeal for breakfast; chicken breast or salmon and a salad for lunch and dinner. On the side, he enjoys a complex carbohydrate (e.g. sweet potato) and grilled vegetables.

No, he has not dabbled with the Brady staple.

"I have not tried avocado ice cream," McCown said with a laugh.

Except for fast-food stops on the drive from North Carolina to Texas -- he moved his family during the offseason -- the well-traveled quarterback has remained true to his diet. He started thinking about a lifestyle change a few years back while playing for the Chicago Bears, observing Jay Cutler, a diabetic, adhere to an ultrastrict diet. But McCown did not truly commit until he started preparing for the current season.

Which begs the question: Why did he wait until his 16th professional season?


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