Marilyn Monroe died tragically 50 years ago, but her diet would be almost trendy today. Since this week marks the anniversary of her death there have been a number of tributes to her, and one I stumbled upon is blog post (on the site of a New Orleans boutique called Trashy Diva) of reprinted highlights from a Pageant magazine article about Marilyn's diet and exercise habits back in 1952.
Her exercise regimen sounds sweetly old-fashioned and decidedly casual by today's standards, but her diet was bizarre. This was Marilyn's typical breakfast:
I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room. When it's hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork and drink them while I'm dressing. I supplement this with a multi-vitamin pill."
Um, yuck—is it even safe to eat raw eggs? According to the FDA, no. To avoid salmonella poisoning they advise against eating anything that might contain undercooked or raw eggs, including Caesar salad, chocolate mousse and Bernaise sauce. But Marilyn was stirring them into warm milk, and eggs do cook quickly, and clearly it did her no harm.
Her nightly dinner was similarly no-nonsense:
Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots."
Although her diet sounds hugely unappetizing to me, it clearly worked for her, and even though sixty years have passed those meals would be almost a perfect fit with one of today's trendy-again high-protein/low-carb diets (The 4 Hour Body, the new Atkins, Paleo, Primal, take your pick).
But true to legend, the Marilyn Monroe diet did allow for some moments of decadence:
It's a good thing, I suppose, that I eat simply during the day, for in recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright's ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I'm sure that I couldn't allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods."