The press often focuses on how fighters train, but how fighters eat is just as important. We interviewed Chef Quiana Jeffries, Floyd’s personal chef, to ask her how she makes sure Mayweather steps into the ring with Pacquiao in peak physical and mental condition.
Chef Q went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu and served as executive chef at Soul Dog in LA before being discovered on Instagram by a member of The Money Team. After being flown out to Vegas last June and completing a culinary try out she joined Floyd and has been in charge of the champ’s meals ever since- at $1000 a plate.
Recently the headlines have focused on Floyd’s love for Twizzlers, fried hot dogs and Top Ramen, but when we talked to Chef Q we learned that the truth is that Floyd’s diet is just like his style in the ring- well thought through and tuned for the moment.
Here are her insights into how Floyd uses food to go 48-0:
Listen to your body
Mayweather has been boxing for over 25 years so it is safe to say he knows his body’s signals. After training Mayweather gives Chef Q a call to put in an order: “Usually nine times out of ten he is specific. He will say fish or beef and then I decide what kind of fish to get. I go upon what he tells me his body needs because he knows depending on how he feels and how he trained.”
Chef Q goes on to say, “He is big on either beef or seafood. Beef for the protein and fish for the omega-3s.”
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to listen to what your body is telling you. Chef Q recommends watching for the following:
Dehydration: “If you are dehydrated you can tell because your mouth will be dry or your lips might be chapped.”
Energy: “If you wake up tired after you have had 8 hours maybe you need to get more nutrients and vegetables to get your energy levels up.”
Bathroom habits: “Depending on your diet, you are supposed to use the bathroom regularly. When you do go to the bathroom you know how your bowel is supposed to look. When you use the bathroom, if you feel stopped up you need more vegetables and greens in your diet.”
Eat with a goal in mind
Mayweather tailors diet based on his opponent. “If you notice from the Maidana fight he was a little bit smaller,” observed Chef Q. “This fight he is buffed up a little more. We changed his diet to have more beef to give him protein and because he has been working out like alot alot so he needs it to rebuild his body.”
Chef Q fine tunes Mayweather’s meals as the camp approaches weigh in. “The closer to the fight, depending on his weight- that determines what he is going to eat.”
“If he is underweight I will add more protein and carbs to his diet. If he is overweight I will do something light like fish and vegetables and something with less water.”
Don’t rely on unnecessary supplements
In his the run up to his bout with Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez famously drank his own urine to “replenish vitamins.”
In contrast, Chef Q says that Floyd “doesn’t add any supplements to anything.” The only juicing that is done in the Mayweather camp is 100% organic.
“He is all natural so we do all natural organic fruit,” says Chef Q. Pineapple, apples, red pears, strawberries and oranges. Sometimes I throw in some kale or spinach. That way he is getting everything he needs to rebuild his body. I juice watermelon for him with the black seeds to give him energy.”
Chef Q’s philosophy is: “If you use supplements you have to stay on supplements. If you use supplements and get off you will see a change.”
Food that tastes good can be good for you
Like all of us Mayweather likes good tasting food. Chef Q delivers on taste and health by using herbs and spices rather than relying on salt.
“He likes aromatic food,” says Chef Q. “He likes food with a little kick, but not too much heat. He likes Caribbean spices, jerk, seasoning with onions and bell peppers, different things to highlight the food.”
Freshness = fitness
Chef Q has been in Vegas for about a year- enough time to scope out the local food scene. This is helpful because Mayweather is huge on fresh, organic food. In fact, Chef Q says she goes to the market almost every time she cooks to buy fresh ingredients. “Nothing is kept in the fridge.”
“Where you shop matters,” Chef Q says. “I like to shop at farmers markets so I know where the food comes from.”
On the post-fight celebration
“It all depends on what mood he is in. Usually he doesn’t go out after a fight. He likes Caribbean food, oxtails or gumbo.”
Bonus: Chef Q’s Hit List of Floyd’s Favorite Foods
Steak: “He likes really well done steak- almost to the point that it is burnt. Really any kind of food he likes well done. He likes a good choice of steak, he will go with the fillet mignon. He likes it well done but juicy. I brine it for a good 30 minutes, then I stab it to tenderize. Then I cook it in almost like a pressure cooker. I grill it on both sides but also have a lid on top so the inside gets cooked. A lid helps the heat get the middle of the steak quicker. Also, he likes his steak cut up, so I cook it to about a medium, then cut it up, then finish it. That way its still juicy, not dried out.”
Omelets: “In the morning I’ll make a vegetarian omelet with mushrooms, spinach, onions, three kinds of bell peppers. He will have some kind of meat either turkey bacon or turkey sausage. Then on the side he will have some kind of healthy starch like country potatoes or yams.”
Broccoli: “He loves broccoli, he eats it with every meal. I make it with the Cajun seasoning. I grill it with a little water so it has a crunch.”
Gumbo: “I make his gumbo with king crab and all different kinds of meat: shrimp, Cajun sausage, chicken, andouille, celery, onions, bell peppers. Champ doesn’t eat pork”
You don’t need to spend $1000 a plate to eat like a champ.