At the height of her career, Marilyn Monroe was undoubtedly considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. The curvaceous, full figured actress certainly represented the antithesis of the scary thin, androgynous models of today.
The drastic change in society’s view of female beauty over the past 50 years has coincided with an equally drastic change in diet.
Artificially made “health” foods, protein powders, bars, drinks, mixes and supplements take center stage instead of the basic, traditional and highly nourishing fare such as what Ms. Monroe preferred.
The September 1952 edition of Pageant magazine highlighted the Marilyn Monroe diet, which was comprised of extremely simple fare, written in her own words.
For breakfast, Ms. Monroe whipped two raw eggs into a glass of warm whole milk to drink. Interesting that she didn’t opt for skim. Eggs and milk were her favored morning fare even while traveling and staying in hotels.
Dinners were equally nutrient dense. Instead of opting for the best restaurant food which she undoubtedly could easily afford, Marilyn would stop at a market near her hotel and select steak, liver, or lamb chops for dinner. She would even broil them herself right in her hotel room with an electric oven!
Ms. Monroe also especially enjoyed raw carrots and usually ate several along with the meat she had chosen for the evening meal.
For treats, ice cream sundaes were the favorite on the way home from her evening drama classes. No mention of any bread, cakes, cookies or pies.
A diet focused on nutrient rich animal foods with a notable absence of grain based and starchy foods was likely a key reason she only required light exercise to maintain her enviable figure. While this doesn’t work for every woman, it does for many, even a curvy one like Ms. Monroe. She spent only 10 minutes each morning working out with small weights. Light jogging, yoga and horseback riding were other active pursuits she enjoyed. No special trainers, heavy lifting or sweaty workouts of the day were a part of her life.
Does the Marilyn Monroe Diet Offer Any Wisdom for Today’s Generation?
There has been renewed interest in the Marilyn Monroe diet since the marking of the 50th anniversary of her death in August 2012.
Many would find the very simple Marilyn Monroe diet unbearably boring and uninspired. However, the basic premise she followed was sound albeit controversial and perhaps even quirky for her day.
Low carb and high fat aptly describes the food choices for Ms. Monroe:
- No processed foods with the exception of an occasional ice cream treat. Antifreeze in commercial ice cream likely didn’t exist then either, and it certainly wasn’t lowfat!
- Minimal inclusion of starchy, grain based or sugary foods. This included favorites such as bread, pasta, bagels, cereal, crackers, cookies and other refined carbs.
- Frequent consumption of liver, the number one nutrient dense food on the planet and nature’s multivitamin. Clearly, the benefits of high cholesterol foods like liver helped Ms. Monroe’s health tremendously.
- Raw eggs and whole milk. No egg white omelets or skimmed milk on the menu!
- Balanced exercise without undue focus on constant or excessive working out to maintain one’s figure and muscle tone or to overcome poor dietary choices. As Paula Jager CSCS, owner of Crossfit Jaguar in Tampa is fond of saying, “You can’t outwork a bad diet!” Clearly, Marilyn Monroe’s focus on simple, self prepared, whole, nutrient dense foods afforded her the luxury of not having to find this out the hard way.
Could women both young and old derive some helpful pointers in their own diet and lifestyle regimens through knowledge of the Marilyn Monroe diet? I, for one, believe they could! What about you?
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
This article is promoting a very unhealthy diet. A whole foods, plant based diet (vegan) is the healthiest for humans as it’s what we are meant to eat. This article is dangerous as it promotes eating foods that contribute to illnesses, and often death. Humans do not thrive while eating animal products of any kind. The foods mentioned in this article apart from carrots are not healthy at all. Also, this article is so gendered. Gender roles are so outdated. There’s no reason this article can’t also be intended for men.
Sarah Pope MGA
Ummm, it appears that you have zero idea of the type of diet healthy humans ate historically. These diets ALL included animal foods … NONE were exclusively plant based. I suggest you read the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
The China Study has since been debunked.
Please keep your rubbish vegan agenda for you. Marylin was hot because eating meat and avoiding processed foods.
The special forces of Army eat a high animal products diet, with some vegetables, no carbs. Will you say that they are not healthy and have to strengh ?
Vegan stupid vegan. You have a stupid religion called veganism, please don’t look idiot wanting to put a “scientific” make up on it.
If Marilyn Monroe really followed the high-fat diet detailed in the article, then it makes sense that she had to have her gallbladder removed near the end of her life. High fat diets are a cause of gallstones and the subsequent necessity of gallbladder removal. Wow, you’re really triggered by the topic of veganism! Rather than getting so worked up and calling complete strangers names, why not just live and let live?
Sarah Pope MGA
It would be totally fine if vegans would just eat what they want and keep to themselves, but the fact that they are very vocal and harming others by convincing them (falsely) that their way of eating is superior is just plain wrong. This is why they need to be called out on the dangers and myths concerning their diet.
She was surrounded by sharks. She could have been drugged or mentally abused because she had close contact with JFK and might have known some things the snakes didn’t want to get out. Vegans come up with all sorts of illogical conclusions to get people into their diet.
She died aged 36. She also aged rapidly before her death, which can be seen in her photos.
We now know that dairy and meat increase the incidence of developing cancer (The China Study) and we know that fresh fruits and vegetables reduce the incidence.
As an example, Marilyn Monroe is a poor conflation of diet and beauty. She smoked cigarettes and drank too much alcohol whilst all the time relying on the skills of various make up artists.
If you want to find a diet that keeps you looking beautiful, try the raw vegan diet enjoyed by the youthful 70 year old Mimi Kirk.
There is a raw vegan community near me … scary! https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/warning-raw-veganism-will-steal-your-health/