Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is a meat and potatoes kind of guy—literally. A first-round pick by Philadelphia in 2013, the 10-year NFL veteran eats a version of the classic combo for dinner at least two to three times a week, according to his personal chef Justin Massie.
“I try to take the foods he really likes and clean them up a little bit,” says Massie, 36, a California Culinary Academy graduate who served as the executive chef of Newark Airport restaurants before heading up the culinary department for a New Jersey hospital until March 2021. That’s when he reconnected with his longtime friend, Gabe Rangel—a former Marine and athletic performance trainer to Johnson and other pros—and signed on to cook meals that taste good, but also fit the nutritional needs of a 6'6", 325-pound NFL offensive lineman.
During the season, Rangel and Massie collaborate to make sure Johnson is eating around one gram of protein per pound of body weight, which adds up to roughly 300 grams of protein and 4,000 calories each day. During the season, Massie says he spends an average of $300-500 per week on groceries (Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, Whole Foods and Costco are some of his staple stores to shop) and he preps, cooks and cleans all meals in Johnson’s restaurant-style home kitchen in Moorestown, N.J., about 30 minutes from the Eagles facilities.
“Ingredient wise, there is no skimping on quality or price,” Massie says. Free-range chicken, grass-fed meats, sea salt, non-inflammatory oils and organic fruits and vegetables—everything is selected to make sure Johnson is getting each food’s maximal health benefits.
Chicken fried steak with gravy and mashed potatoes is one of Johnson’s favorites, so Massie makes simple swaps to whip up a healthier, higher-quality version than your standard, butter-laden diner fare. “Instead of all-purpose flour, I batter pounded-out sirloin steak in healthier flours, like rice, oat or quinoa, and pan-fry in avocado oil, instead of deep-frying it in vegetable or peanut oil,” he says. “And for the gravy, I make a cashew-based sauce, to up the protein, add some bacon bits and season it with the same spices.”
Massie isn’t planning to change his menu anytime soon—Johnson hasn't given up a sack since Nov. 22, 2020, a dominant streak that spans 29 games and nearly 2,000 snaps. But as the Eagles eye the championship trophy, Massie will continue to stay away from the two ingredients his client won’t eat: onions and bell peppers. Safe to say there won’t be any Philly cheesesteaks in Johnson’s future.
WHAT A LINEMAN EATS IN A DAY
Johnson’s typical meal plan adds up to roughly 4,000 calories and 300 grams of protein per day.
4 eggs, over-medium
5 pieces of thick-cut bacon
3 protein waffles
LUNCH: Fried chicken BLT sandwich
8 oz chicken breast
4 oz thick cut bacon
2 slices whole wheat sourdough
Lettuce, tomato, homemade spicy bacon aioli
Side of roasted potatoes
DINNER: Meat and potatoes
16 oz ribeye
Sweet-and-spicy steak sauce
Side of candied sweet potatoes
DESSERT: High-calorie protein shake
Brazil nuts, walnuts or cashews