Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Skittles Diet = Giggles

Do not expect eggplant, purple potatoes, or grapes in Jen's future potluck offerings.

Celebritology 101: Mariah's Purple Passion [July 6, 2006]

Listen up, here's another for lesson Celebritology 101's growing syllabus: Do not look to the stars for advice or guidance on politics, diet, exercise, money management, driving or realistic aging.

Mariah Carey before embarking on her purple foods regimen. (Getty Images)Although some undoubtedly live sensible, exemplary lives (the ones you don't hear much about outside of press junkets), you can never be sure when a seemingly level-headed personality will detour into the land of the absurd. Absurdity can take the form of sitting in a tree for extended periods of time, penning self-help books, acting as one's own stylist and, as you'll read below, dispensing illogical dietary advice.

Mariah Carey, long considered a wit of some reknown acclaimed the world over for her demure outfits and scholarly bearing, has shaken my faith in her "smarts" by declaring that henceforth she will only eat purple food. No, I'm not kidding. The recently re-invigorated diva says that foods like red grapes, beets and plums will prevent her from developing wrinkles.

While my first inclination is to dismiss her bizarro food-color logic immediately, I thought I'd seek the opinion of people who actually have degrees and years of experience backing up their nutrition advice (instead of hair extensions and carefully PhotoShopped images).

Artist's conception of potential side effects to Mariah after a few months of eating all purple foods. (Photo courtesy food blogger and trained cook Kim O'Donnel says, "While it's true that blue and purple foods contain powerful antioxidants in the pigments of their skins, Miz Mariah should also know that all or nothing approach is a losing proposition."

O'Donnel advocates moderation in eating as in all things and suggests Carey get a copy of the "12 Best Foods Cookbook" by Dana Jacobi, which includes blueberries in a veritable rainbow of "superfoods" (black beans, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, salmon, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, chocolate, walnuts, soy and onions are the others).

Nutritionist Jennifer of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (which advocates a plant-based diet) agrees: "A single-colored diet is a limited one and I would encourage her to eat from the whole rainbow of food, and I'm not talking about Skittles." Reilly says a plant-based diet would provide Carey with a satiating and nutritious way to meet her goals.

Pop quiz:

1. Who dispenses the best diet advice?
a. Nutrition experts
b. Mariah Carey
c. The vending machine in the hall.

2. What kind of "bow" do two out of two nutrition experts say my food should resemble?
a. A crossbow
b. A rainbow
c. Bowfinger

Extra Credit: First person to convince Carey that green, leafy vegetables are a powerful de-skankifier wins my undying gratitude.

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