What Dwyane Wade’s Chef Taught Him About Eating Healthily

JAX Wellness Wednesday Richard Ingraham Julie Frans July 2018 skinnylegzz Social Media Size
The Wade family’s personal chef and cookbook author Richard Ingraham, with our our own Julie Frans at Jackson Hall. (photo: @skinnylegzz)

When we were younger, it was hard enough to hear our parents constantly tell us to “eat our vegetables.” But what about getting a renowned basketball player to do the same? 

The struggle to attain a perfect veggie-to-carb ratio is definitely real, but Chef Richard Ingraham has learned to master the balance between fine cuisine and expert sports nutrition. As personal chef to power couple Dwyane and Gabrielle Wade, founder of Private Chef network ChefRLI, and author of Eating Well to Win, his mission is to raise the bar of performance eating through high-level home cooking (think: delicious food as opposed to dry, ascetic protein bars.).

When he first started out as Wade’s personal chef, Wade’s diet mainly consisted of smothered pork chops, fried chicken, and lots of sugar to top it off. But Chef Ingraham knew he had to start taking responsibility for his clients. He told the Palm Beach Post I started to have conversations about bringing in more vegetables, less butter. I tried to preach portion size and moderation.”  Balance is key with the nutritional diet that keeps Wade healthy, fit, lean, and ready to perform on and off the court.

While we can’t all be pro basketball players, we can definitely perform with the same level of energy throughout our day. Chef Ingraham let us in on a few of his most important tips and tricks for peak performance in our daily lives:

First. Drink lots of water. It increases brain power, provides energy, and prevents cramps and sprains just to name a few.

Second. Eat breakfast. This is essential in preparing not only your body but your mind for the day ahead.

Third. Positive energy: This reduces stress, enhances work performance, and provides an alternative outlook on negative situations. Richard says, “As a personal chef it’s my responsibility to not only feed my client’s body with food to help him perform but also positive energy to help free his mind. This is very important in performing at a higher level.”

Chef Richard Ingraham doing a Wellness Wednesday demonstration at Jackson Hall. (photo by @skinnylegzz)

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Richard became fascinated by culinary arts at a very young age. After completing culinary training at the Art Institute of Atlanta he began work as a private chef right away. Not only is he responsible for planning the diet of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, but also the dozens of other NBA, NFL, MLB and entertainment personalities across the country, all served by elite his elite chef network ChefRLI. Notable current and past clients include: Yonder Alonso, GOYA Foods, BET,  Demarcus Cousins, Olivier Vernon, Sean Diddy Combs, and Ricky Jean Francois to name a few.      

His most recent accomplishment, the cookbook Eating Well to Win, was published in September 2017 and highlights healthy and delicious dishes prime for peak performance (see this recipe for garlic shrimp and white bean ragu).

Readers will get advice on how changing what you put in your body will change what you put out into the universe and make you feel better physically and emotionally. It’s not just about making sure you get the right mix of veggies and carbs. This is about feeding your spirit as well. Eating Well to Win serves up recipes for inspired living.”

81tWpzfQzFLFor our final July Wellness Wednesday, Chef Richard Ingraham hangs with us as July’s featured Books & Books author. Books & Books joins us in celebration of local cookbook authors every fourth Wednesday of the month.

Books & Books, the highly regarded independent bookstore, collaborates with Jackson Hall in the Positivity Library and brings in featured authors once a month, or more. Their mission that “our stores are dedicated to building a community of writers and readers, issues and ideas,” makes them a perfect partner for Jackson Hall.


Find out more about our upcoming Wellness Wednesdays schedule!



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