This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Detoxing The Sweet And The Strange Ways We Eat

I hadn't worked in the entertainment business long before I'd first heard the word, "detox." It came out of the mouth of a make-up artist. She'd just finished her fifth chocolate chip cookie from the craft service table. With cookie crumbs still dancing on her lips, she was absolutely determined to detox as soon as the movie wrapped.

Later, I worked on another project in which the lead actress only ate tuna. She'd request tuna salad kits which I'd dutifully bring to her trailer. (I wasn't too far up on the production totem pole then, nor am I now--in all reality.) Standing there in her trailer, I'd witness her grab the itty bitty can of tuna and discard the accompanying crackers and mayo packet. Often, I wondered why I bothered with the "tuna kit" but apparently a can of tuna was just way too pedestrian for an actress of her C-level status.

Roscoe Chicken and Waffles, Chinese Fast Food & Donuts.... if there's a mecca for eating oddness, fad diets and strange eating habits, L.A. would be the place. On an indie film, I met an extra that wasn't joining the rest of the crew when we broke for lunch. When I asked her why, she told me she was fasting. For the past three days, she'd only consumed fruit and vegetable juices.

"After five days, I can graduate to solid foods," she said.

Funny, I thought. She didn't look like an infant. She looked like a healthy, adult woman. As adults, hadn't we both qualified for solid foods for quite awhile?

Just as restrictive, I once had a boss that ate only yogurt and shredded wheat. Sometimes, she'd make sugar-free Jell-o and on very special occasions, she'd treat herself to a Lean Cuisine and a 2-liter of Diet Coke that disappeared well before it ever had a chance to go flat. I used to think that I had strange eating habits. I confess to sometimes eating ice cream for dinner or cereal after 10 p.m. -- even eating raw cookie dough even though I know I shouldn't (the eggs, people, the eggs!)

The beat went on. Everyone I looked people in L.A. and the world at large had stranger habits than I ever had. There's the old time Cabbage Soup Diet, The Lemonade Diet
(brought to the surface by Beyonce after Dreamgirls), The Special K Challenge, The Raw Food Diet, and my personal favorite: The Hollywood Cookie Diet. (Does anyone actually fall for that one?)

Less official is The Coffee Bean Diet (where I worked for a time.) My co-workers and I coined the diet after witnessing the number of regulars that came in for ice-blendeds more than two or three times a day. We surmised that they were consuming nothing else and, as it turned out, we were mostly right. Some would even say that they'd skip lunch every day to make room for their ice-blended. Great if you're treating yourself once in awhile, horrible if your body is expecting some semblance of nutrition beyond caffeine, SUGAR, and milk in the middle of an activity-filled day.

For those of you who have suffered through the wacky, I'm telling you: the best diet isn't a diet at all, it's a lifestyle of making healthy choices and a philosophy of treating yourself well, body and all. I'm not perfect at it myself, but I do know that there's always room for ice cream. And that advice applies whether you work in Hollywood or not.

Copyright © 2008 KLiedle

Photo credits: Christi Nielsen/flickr

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