Monday, February 04, 2013

Steve Jobs’ Fruitarian Diet Lands Ashton Kutcher in the Hospital

From Time Magazine:
Steve Jobs’ Fruitarian Diet Lands Ashton Kutcher in the Hospital
Ashton Kutcher spent time in the hospital after going on one of Steve Jobs’ infamous fruitarian diets to prepare for a new role in a biopic featuring the late Apple CEO.

“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to, like, some severe issues. I ended up in the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was, like, doubled over in pain,” Kutcher said. ... “My pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was really terrifying … considering everything.” (Jobs died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in October 2011.)

Jobs had a lifelong fascination with fruitarianism, a diet consisting entirely of fruits, nuts and seeds.

At one point, the practice also helped inspire one of Jobs’ first great strokes of genius. According to ABC News and Issacson’s biography:
"[Fruits] even served as inspiration for his company’s name. “I was on one of my fruitarian diets,” Jobs reportedly told Isaacson of his decision to name the computer company Apple."
Steve Jobs on the left, Aston Kutcher on the right.  - CNET

It's hard to know what Kutcher was actually eating. For that matter, it's hard to know what Jobs was eating. People aren't always up front with what they put in their mouth, especially when they have the kind of relationship with food that Jobs had.

When it comes to what Jobs ate ... Below is an excerpt from an article written by Kaayla Daniel for Psychology Today, iVegetarian: The High Fructose Diet of Steve Jobs. The bullets, she says, are "either quotes or close paraphrases of Isaacson's words." Walter Isaacson wrote Jobs' biography, Steve Jobs, released in 2011 shortly after Jobs' death. Kaayla Daniel, PhD, is vice president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a group that does not endorse vegetarian diets.

It's a fascinating account of Jobs' dietary history:

  • Jobs came to appreciate organic fruits and vegetables as a teenager when a neighbor taught him how to be a good organic gardener and to compost. (14)
  • Between his sophomore and junior hear of high school, he began smoking marijuana regularly and by his senior year was dabbling in LSD as well as exploring the mind bending effect of sleep deprivation. (18-19)
  • Toward the end of his senior year in high school, Jobs began his "lifelong experiments with compulsive diets, eating only fruits and vegetables so he was as lean and tight as a whippet." (31)
  • He attended the love festivals at the local Hare Krishna temple, and went to the Zen center for free vegetarian meals. (35)
  • During his freshman year at college he went to the Zen center for free vegetarian meals and was greatly influenced by the book Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe. At that point, he swore off meat for good and began embracing extreme diets, which included purges, fasts or eating only one or two foods, such as carrots or apples for weeks on end. (36)
  • For awhile at college, Jobs lived on Roman Meal cereal. He would buy a box, which would last a week, then flats of dates, almonds and a lot of carrots. He made carrot juice with a Champion juicer, and at one point turned "a sunset-like orange hue." (36)
  • His dietary habits became more obsessive when he read The Mucusless Diet Healing System by Arnold Ehret. Jobs then favored eating nothing but fruits and starchless vegetables, which he said prevented the body from forming harmful mucus, and determined to regularly cleanse his body through prolonged fasts. That meant the end of his consumption of Roman Meal cereal - or any bread, grains, or milk. At one point, he spent an entire week eating only apples, and then began to try even purer fasts. He started with two-day fasts and eventually stretched them out to a week or more, breaking them with large amounts of water and leafy vegetables. "After a week, you start to feel fantastic," he said. "You get a ton of vitality from not having to digest all this food. I was in great shape. I felt I could get up and walk to San Francisco anytime I wanted." (36)
  • As a $5 an hour technician at Atari, he was known as "a hippie with b.o." and "impossible to deal with." He clung to the belief that his fruit-heavy vegetarian diet would prevent not just mucus but also body odor. As Isaacson writes "It was a flawed theory." (43)
  • "He was doing a lot of soul-searching about being adopted ... (with) the primal scream and the mucusless diets, he was trying to cleanse himself and get deeper into his frustration about his birth." (51)
  • He was a fan of the Whole Earth Catalog and particularly taken by the final issue, which came out in 1971 when he was still in high school. On the back cover it said, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." (59)
  • The name Apple Computers came to him when he was on one of his fruitarian diets. "I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer.'" (63)
  • His mother Clara Jobs didn't mind losing most of her house to piles of computer parts and house guests, but she was frustrated by her son's increasingly quirky diets. She would roll her eyes at his latest eating obsessions. She just wanted him to be healthy, and he would be making weird pronouncements like, "I'm a fruitarian and I will only eat leaves picked by virgins in the moonlight." (68)
  • He was still convinced against all evidence that his vegan diet meant that he didn't need to use a deodorant or take regular showers. ... At meetings people had to look at his dirty feet. Sometimes to relieve stress, he would soak his feet in the toilet. (82)
  • A colleague who recommended he bathe more often was told that "in exchange" he would have to read fruitarian diet books. "Steve was adamant that he bathed once a week, and that was adequate as long as he was eating a fruitarian diet." (82-83)
  • In 1979 or so he "put aside drugs, eased away from being a strict vegan, and cut back the time he spent on Zen retreats." (91)
  • He decreed that the sodas in the office refrigerator be replaced by Odwalla organic orange and carrot juices." (118)
  • The kitchen was stocked daily with Odwalla juices. (142)
  • At the launch of the Lisa computer in 1983, he ate a special vegan meal at the Four Seasons restaurant. (152)
  • He had edged away from his strict vegan diet for the time being and ate vegetarian omelets. (155)
  • In 1984 in Italy, Jobs demanded a vegan meal and became extremely angry when the waiter very elaborately proceeded to dish out a sauce filled with sour cream. (185)
  • The menu for his 30th birthday day celebration included goat cheese and salmon mousse. (189)
  • He had a lot of mannerisms. He bit his nails. His hands were "slightly and inexplicably yellow" and in constant motion. (223)
  • At a meal with Mitch Kapor, the chairman of Lotus software, Jobs was horrified to see Kapor slathering butter on his bread," and asked, "Have you ever heard of serum cholesterol?" Kapor responded, "I'll make you a deal. You stay away from commenting on my dietary habits, and I will stay away from the subject of your personality." (224)
  • At a 1988 NeXT product launch, the lunch menu included mineral water, croissants, cream cheese, bean sprouts. (233)
  • Jobs was a vegetarian and so was Chrisann, the mother of his daughter Lisa. Lisa was not vegetarian, but Jobs was fine with that. "Eating chicken became her little indulgence as she shuttled between two parents who were vegetarians with a spiritual regard for natural foods." Jobs's "dietary fixations came in fanatic waves," and he was "fastidious" about what he ate. Lisa watched him "spit out a mouthful of soup one day after learning that it contained butter." (259-260)
  • "Even at a young age Lisa began to realize his diet obsessions reflected a life philosophy, one in which asceticism and minimalism could heighten subsequent sensations. "He believed that great harvests came from arid sources, pleasure from restraint. He knew the equations that most people didn't know: Things led to their opposites." (259-260)
  • Once he took Lisa on a business trip to Tokyo and they stayed at the Okura Hotel. At the elegant downstairs sushi bar, Jobs ordered large trays of unagi sushi, a dish he loved so much that he allowed the warm cooked eel to pass muster as vegetarian. Lisa later wrote, "It was the first time, I'd felt with him, so relaxed and content, over those trays of meat; the excess, the permission and warmth after the cold salads, meant a once inaccessible space had opened. He was less rigid with himself, even human under the great ceilings with the little chairs with the meat and me." (260-261)
  • Jobs had hired a hip young couple who had once worked at Chez Panisse as housekeepers and vegetarian cooks. (264)
  • At his wedding to Laurene Powell, the cake was in the shape of Yosemite's Half Dome. It was strictly vegan and more than a few of the guest found it inedible. (274)
  • "Since his early teens, he had indulged his weird obsession with extremely restrictive diets and fasts. Even after he married and had children, he retained his dubious eating habits. He would spend weeks eating the same thing - carrot salad with lemon, or just apples - and then suddenly spurn that food and declare that he had stopped eating it. He would go on fasts, just as he did as a teenager and he became sanctimonious as he lectured others at the table on the virtues of whatever eating regimen he was following." (477)
  • Jobs's wife, Laurene Powell, had been a vegan when they first married, but after her husband's first cancer operation, the partial Whipple procedure, she began to diversify the family meals with fish and other proteins. Their son, Reed, who had been a vegetarian, became a "hearty omnivore." They knew it was important for Steve to get diverse sources of protein. (477)
  • In early 2008, Jobs's eating disorders got worse. On some nights he would stare at the floor and ignore all of the dishes set out on the long kitchen table. He lost 40 pounds during the spring of 2008. Dr James Eason "would even stop at the convenience store to get the energy drinks Jobs liked." (485)
  • He remained a finicky eater, which was more of a problem than ever. He would eat only fruit smoothies and he would demand that seven or eight of them be lined up so he could find an option that might satisfy him. He would touch the spoon to his mouth for a tiny taste and pronounce ‘That's no good. That one's no good either.'" His doctor lectured him: "You know this isn't a matter of taste. Stop thinking of this as food. Start thinking of it as medicine." (486)
  • Early in 2010, Jobs went to dinner and ordered a mango smoothie and plain vegan pasta. (505)
  • At the launch of the iPad2, Isaacson reported "For a change he was eating, though still with some pickiness. He ordered fresh squeezed juice, which he sent back three times, declaring that each new offering was from a bottle, and a pasta primavera which he shoved away as inedible after one taste. But then he ate half of my crab Louise salad and ordered a full one for himself followed by a bowl of ice cream." (527)
  • Jobs's eating problems were exacerbated over the years by his psychological attitude toward food. When he was young, he learned that he could induce euphoria and ecstasy by fasting. So even though he knew that he should eat - his doctors were begging him to consume high-quality protein - lingering in the back of his subconscious, he admitted was his instinct for fasting and for diets like Arnold Ehret's fruit regimen that he had embraced as a teenager. Powell kept telling him it was crazy. ‘I wanted him to force himself to eat,' she said ‘and it was incredibly tense at home.'" (548-549)
  • Bryar Brown, their part-time cook would produce an array of healthy dishes, but Jobs would touch his tongue to one or two and then dismiss them all as inedible. One evening he announced, "I could probably eat a little pumpkin pie," and the even-tempered Brown created a beautiful pie from scratch in an hour. Jobs ate only one bite, but Brown was thrilled." (549)
  • During the final years of his life, Powell talked to eating disorder specialists and psychiatrists to try to get help, but her husband shunned them. (549)


RB said...

I knew about Steve Jobs as one of Apple's founders, CEO and a great technologist. I didn't realize he had a rather strange eating disorder. Perhaps one of the reasons he died to young.

Bix said...

He sure did ask a lot of his organs.

Look at that phone in the photo behind him. Wow. He was born in 1955, so if he was around 30 years old in this photo, that would put the year at ~1985. We've come so far in so short a time.

Angela and Melinda said...

Good grief--I had no idea he was practically psychotic--and I do mean psychotic as opposed to neurotic. Whew!

Anonymous said...

Angela and Melinda, you probably did mean neurotic. Psychosis presents with hallucinations and delusions...

Angela and Melinda said...

Possibly, Anonymous, but I do think some of his ideas and behaviors sound delusional.

Angela and Melinda said...

Possibly, Anonymous, but I do think some of his ideas and behaviors sound delusional.

Julie Groenewald said...

Hello Everyone,

As a fruitarian myself, I would like to respond to this discussion if I may.

Transitioning from any lifestyle to a fruitarian way of eating does not happen over night. ALL the long term fruitarians report the same, it takes a couple of years, even up to 8 years to fix sometimes the damage that has been done from previous bad health habits.

Just the fact that he did in actual fact land up with severe symptoms, is a response from his body to the fruit in terms of elimination. Fruit is known as a super cleansing agent which will not stop the elimination process once it has started. Fruit removes toxic substances from deep cell structures, repairs organs and cleanses, builds the blood.

This all takes time! A month is probably only enough to clean out a long constipated gut, but the cell walls and mucus sitting like glue inside such a gut, can take very long to clear out, all depending on how much juicy fruits, is included and how much nuts, seeds, avos which are high in fat. The more fat, the slower the transition and cleansing process as fat sits around cell wall structures blocking good sugars and nutrients to pass inside and perform its tasks.

Fruitarians have been in contact with the scientists and medical institutes world wide. Good long term examples:
Dr Johanna Brandt Author of the grape cure diet - cancer institutions world wide have great success.
Essie Honniball, 15 years + fruitarian, studies published by WNNR in the medical journal of South-Africa showed only positive results and nothing bad.
Professor Arnold Ehret fruitarian long term.
Dr Graham Fruit Eater long term.
Anne Osborne, long term fruitarian.

Well worth studying proper fruitarians, and what specialists really say. Best to take advice from people who do get good results and have made proper scientific public statements in medical journals instead of the next best actor who had a bad detoxing experience from all his own bad lifestyle habits he entertained before.

Awesome videos:
1 MILLION VIEWS IN 30 SECONDS - RawBrahs at Woodstock Fruit Festival - YouTube.
At the age of 86, the fruitarian pioneer, Essie Honiball talks about the benefits of a fruit diet. - YouTube
Short overview on what the fruitarian lifestyle means to me.

Fruitarians are the healthiest people alive.
Google Michael Arnstein, The Fruitarian, world class super athlete, Harley Johnston - Durianrider cyclist.

All the best, God bless.
Julie Groenewald
Fruitarian for Life reply to Ashton Kutcher's fruitarian experience.

Ronald said...


Bix said...

Well, no beer, Ronald. No pizza. No grains at all, if I understand fruitarian diets. It's a very restricted way of eating. From Wikipedia:

"Fruitarianism involves the practice of following a diet that includes fruits, nuts and seeds, without animal products, vegetables and grains. Fruitarianism is a subset of dietary veganism."

I'll admit, I don't understand Julie's comment. Claims such as, "Fruit removes toxic substances from deep cell structures, repairs organs and cleanses, builds the blood." make me curious about the mechanisms. What toxins? What chemicals? How does blood get "built" differently on a fruitarian diet than on a vegan diet or a vegetarian diet or a diet that includes vegetables or some animal food? Which deep cell structures?

mahasiswa teladan said...

hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)