Last post provided some interesting, and I use that word advisedly, information in comments, which in turn provided more fodder for internet diet rabbit hole exploration. It was dark and humid down there. There was also some actually-cool info that was not about horrifying diets; I definitely recommend reading the comments if you missed them. Includes a discussion of cooking with cricket flour. I would try it. Seriously.

Here are a few highlights, by which I mean lowlights:

I was introduced to the monomeal. I propose it as the villain for the next Godzilla movie. Monomeal Stomps Tokyo!

Some diet freaks think fruit is bad. Others claim that fruit is the One True Way and each One True Fruit should not be contaminated by eating it with anything else, including other fruits.

Meet Freelee the Banana Girl, a vlogger who is scarily thin despite devouring 50 bananas every day and who once dated another vlog personality by the you-can't-make-this-shit-up name of DurianRider. You will be unsurprised to hear that she thinks chemotherapy rather than, you know, cancer kills people with cancer. And also that periods are a sign that you have toxins in your body, so if your period stops when you go on an all-banana diet, that proves that it's good for you.

My conclusion is that any time anyone says cavemen did anything and follows that with diet advice, their knowledge of cavemen consists of The Flintstones.

And also that anyone can get rich or at least Instagram-famous quick by coming up with an idiotic diet with a catchy name and a scientifically illiterate caveman justification.

I propose Monkey Meals (TM). You can eat anything you like as long as you eat five bananas first. Guaranteed weight loss! (Because bananas don't have many calories, but if you eat five of them before you eat anything else, you'll be too full and/or nauseated to eat much else. Seriously, I think this would work. For as long as you can stand it.) Like the monkeys they evolved from, cavemen ate lots of bananas. So as long as you eat enough bananas, you will be as healthy and skinny as a caveman!
asakiyume: (nevermore)

From: [personal profile] asakiyume


I love this entry. You not only made me laugh out loud, I think you're absolutely right in your analysis of people getting rich via diet vlogs and what caveman diet advice givers know about cavemen. Also, I think your Monkey Meals would work, for exactly the reason you say. Eughh. (And I *like* bananas. Mildly.)

Can't wait to read your last entry and comments--and I intend to look in on Banana Girl, too.
princessofgeeks: (Default)

From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks


I think there really was a banana diet like that. I am not making it up.

Also in the 80s, my mom, who is the queen of crazy fad diets, went on a diet that focused on grapefruit and hard boiled eggs. It made her so cranky my dad had to beg her to stop it and eat regular food again.
mrissa: (Default)

From: [personal profile] mrissa


I am always astonished about grapefruit diets because grapefruit makes me hungry. For me this is very useful because I am on a med that makes me nauseated and also, separately, not-hungry, but what this med does not make me is not a human being who needs to eat. So things that make me hungry are very useful, and I try to get more grapefruit in my diet so as not to lose weight, which I and my doctor agree is a sensible plan.

Then I run across The Grapefruit Diet as a canonical diet thing and go, buh? But of course people, they do go varying.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore


There was indeed a banana diet in Japan in 2008: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_banana_diet

From the seventies, I remember my mother going on the Beverly Hills diet, the grapefruit diet, the Pritikin diet, the Scarsdale diet, the calorie restriction (1000 calories and under) diet, the ketogenic diet, the Slimfast diet, the Herbalife diet, and one other diet brand involving horrible fake chocolate powder in packages I don't remember the name of. Plus water fasts, juice fasts, and all-day fasts. Also the Atkins diet, which was famous in our family for when my dad fixed us a leg of lamb for dinner and she ate most of it.
oursin: Illustration from medieval manuscript of the female physician Trotula of Salerno holding up a urine flask (trotula)

From: [personal profile] oursin


No! no! you need menstruation to purge the body of bad blood! - these people just do not know their humoural theory, what is modern education coming to? Early modern medical recipe books have a plethora of prescriptions for bringing on the flow - and as I warn eager young researcher who are all 'whooo! herbal abortifacients!' it was considered generally important for women to menstruate regularly, and in girls, the failure of this could cause the green sickness. (I think that maybe this should become a thing again.)
(I wonder if Helen King, who works on classical to early modern medicine, has anything to say on this notion? she had great fun with the vaginal steaming thing.)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong


Early modern medical recipe books have a plethora of prescriptions for bringing on the flow - and as I warn eager young researcher who are all 'whooo! herbal abortifacients!' it was considered generally important for women to menstruate regularly, and in girls, the failure of this could cause the green sickness. (I think that maybe this should become a thing again.)

There's a fascinating book (which I have somewhere in a building in which I am not, but which I will attempt to locate) on theories of "regulating" menstruation (IIRC, both historically and in some developing countries where they've continued), which (IIRC) noted the way they allow for a certain slipperiness about what was actually being aimed for. Because obviously, women have to have periods to be fertile! So bringing on periods is pro-fertility and essential to ensure that women have lots of babies! Which is very helpful as a theory for women who might be ... worried ... about the lateness of their period.

Some Googling suggests the book is: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/R/bo3615570.html

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kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore


I remember "greensickness" from a Katherine Anne Porter story, ahahaha.
brigdh: (Default)

From: [personal profile] brigdh


These people just do not know their humoural theory

Yes! I was thinking the claims that food can "ferment and rot in the humid, dark interiors of our bodies" from last post sounded very humoural too. Maybe the next bestselling diet is based on avoiding foods that produce black bile?
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


I've told you the story about the Whole Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread diet, right? Where they did a study with a control group, and the other group could still eat anything they wanted . . . except they had to eat a whole loaf of whole wheat bread every day?

The latter group lost weight. The likely mechanisms are a) they had to pay close and specific attention to what they ate and think about every meal (having to eat a whole loaf of whole wheat bread in a day), which universally tends to result in at least temporary weight-loss because it eliminates thoughtless eating, and b) went further to eliminate thoughtless eating because every time they hit the "my mouth is just bored" kind of "hunger" or whatever they would remember that they probably had more whole wheat bread to eat and . . . had some water instead. Or went and found something to do.

So the Monkey Meals diet would probably be a best-seller. You should do it.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

From: [personal profile] rmc28


The hard part in producing the Monkey Meals bestseller is coming up with all the filler around the basic idea of the diet: justification, testimonials, recipes (hehehe 5-banana recipes), 28-day eating plan, etc.

(I mayyyy have read too many diet books in my life)
Edited Date: 2017-06-04 09:05 pm (UTC)

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sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

From: [personal profile] sholio


I propose Monkey Meals (TM). You can eat anything you like as long as you eat five bananas first. Guaranteed weight loss!

Especially for me, because I loathe bananas.

Orion and I have had a running joke for years that the paleo diet is eating anything in reach that will fit in your mouth, including the pets.

There's actually one recent theory about the survival of modern humans vs. Neanderthals that our consummate omnivorousness might have been one of the things that gave us the edge to survive in a hostile, changing climate. Studies of the composition of Neanderthal teeth/skeletons suggest that their diets were fairly monotonous and depended on where they lived -- e.g. they thought for years that Neanderthals tended to be largely carnivorous (as compared to humans being more omnivorous), but it turns out this was mainly Neanderthals on the steppe, whereas individual groups of Neanderthals in the Mediterranean area may have eaten a mainly vegetarian diet and little meat at all, or meat only seasonally. And Neanderthals in general appeared to have exploited fish as a dietary resource less than you would expect. Whereas all the evidence points to early modern humans eating literally anything in our environment that would feed us, regardless of season, and thus we might have been able to survive food stress more readily.
Edited Date: 2017-06-04 08:45 pm (UTC)

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the_rck: (Default)

From: [personal profile] the_rck


I seem to recall reading something on the NPR science blog about bananas being used to treat celiac, decades ago before they knew what was actually going on. Yes. here it is. This may be one source of people thinking that bananas are a miracle food.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

From: [personal profile] rmc28


I mostly don't have periods, but it's my Evil Brilliant Technological Contraception that does that, not my nonexistent banana diet.

Although: I have a yogurt+spinach+banana+[other veg/fruit] smoothie most days. Now I'm wondering if I could fit five bananas in the smoothie-maker ... (not sure I have five bananas in the house right now though)

redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)

From: [personal profile] redbird


How about the Flintstones diet: nothing but dinosaur and rocks.

Absolutely nothing. No breading, no sauce, no parsley, just salt. If you want fried dinosaur, you have to fry it in schmaltz from the previous dinosaur. (There's some debate about whether it's okay to use an iron nail instead of soup stones if you want boiled dinosaur.)
Edited Date: 2017-06-04 09:09 pm (UTC)

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glinda: I like bananas, bananas are good (bananas)

From: [personal profile] glinda


From my experience - as am small child I really loved bananas and would eat them whenever I possibly could - what you mostly get if you eat 5 bananas a day is constipation...
sartorias: (Default)

From: [personal profile] sartorias


I'm convinced that the only true diet is artisanal, certified organic breatharianism.
movingfinger: (Default)

From: [personal profile] movingfinger


I'm gobsmacked to find out Breatharianism is a real thing, because for all my life I've heard it as a joke in conjunction with confounded parents dealing with the type of picky-eating children who thrive despite eating only (e.g.) three saltines a day.

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sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)

From: [personal profile] sovay


I was introduced to the monomeal. I propose it as the villain for the next Godzilla movie. Monomeal Stomps Tokyo!

I was going to say I hope Tokyo eats it for lunch, but then I realized I don't wish anything that bad on Tokyo.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

From: [personal profile] rosefox


Ahahahaha some of this reminds me of my ex who did raw foods for a while. One day I was reading through her "cook"book and got to the bit about how raw foods have more "bio-enzymatic life energy" and I looked at her and said, "Laura, you're a biologist." And she rolled her eyes and said, "Don't read it, just eat it."

She's a primatologist, specifically, and would probably be entirely fine with eating bugs like our noble ancient ancestors did. But I think she got off the raw foods thing eventually.

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rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)

From: [personal profile] rydra_wong


I can definitely eat five bananas if you let me fry them first. ;)

I strongly favour cooking streaky bacon, then frying slices of banana in the left-over bacon fat in the pan.

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ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid


BRB, going to the store to get some bananas.
mrissa: (Default)

From: [personal profile] mrissa


You know the thing where words start to sound nonsensical if you repeat them too many times? Yeah.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore


'Nanny Ogg knew how to start spelling "banana", but didn't know how you stopped.'
akycha: (Default)

From: [personal profile] akycha


I vote someone tries to revive Fletcherism, where each bite of food has to be chewed 500 times (I'm not exaggerating...) and then you fall over exhausted before you're halfway through your plate.

It's also total bullshit, but at least it keeps the adherents from TALKING about their wonderful weight-loss technique to everyone else at the table.
akycha: (Default)

From: [personal profile] akycha


P.S. I've been told that monkeys like mangoes even better than bananas, would five mangoes before other food also do for the Monkey Diet? I think mangoes would have the opposite effect on the digestion than bananas, though...
callmeishmael: Wrex with cake (food)

From: [personal profile] callmeishmael


Diets, the neverending source of WTF. I can't fathom thinking eating only one thing is a good idea, augh. The weirdest subset of dieting fruit debate I've seen is juicing, which apparently has people who are all about THE ONE TRUE JUICE method. Apparently fruit juice is useless if you drink it later than 10 minutes post juicing, it must be fresh pressed not blended, and it all leads to a fucking $400 juicing machine.

I had a roommate who went on the keto diet. (We also had a diabetic roomie who was unable to contain his reaction when he realized what the diet was trying to do.)

My favorite part was the advice on reddit said "at first you'll experience flu-like symptoms, THAT'S COMPLETELY FINE AND NORMAL NOPE NOT WEIRD AT ALL" also "IGNORE YOUR DOCTOR if they tell you not to try this they don't know shit about nutrition anyway." Yeesh. I guess people can't resist a diet that emphasizes bacon.
.

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