To this day, Marilyn Monroe is the epitome of Hollywood glamour. She’s a fashion icon and a timeless example of feminine beauty.
As we’ve mentioned before, Monroe took some strange measures to keep her curvaceous figure in peak shape. And one such measure was eating some bizarro foods that would make most people queasy. Clearly, Monroe had an iron stomach — and we’re not just referring to her 1950s’ corsets.
Monroe, who based her “blonde bombshell” image on *the* sex symbol of the 1930s, actress Jean Harlow, opened up about her technique for staying in shape in a 1952 interview with Pageant magazine.
The Some Like It Hot actress never spoke much about her day-to-day activity and eating habits, so much of what we gathered below was learned posthumously from friends, family, and investigative reporters.
Compared to the popular diets of today, Monroe mostly stuck to a paleo-like menu.
Accordingly, she ate mostly lean meats and protein-heavy meals. However, she seemingly didn’t keep to any specific diet. In fact, she confessed to Pageant that she hates the feeling of being regimented. She even admitted to “developing a habit” of picking up an ice cream sundae after her evening drama classes. (Obviously eating ice-cream isn’t a “habit” — treating yourself to sweets in moderation is A-OK.)
Although she ate some pretty questionable foods here and there, Monroe’s diet was fairly simple for being such a public figure (pun intended). For the most part, she ate what she liked and did her best to eat as healthy as possible without restricting herself.
That’s honestly a “diet plan” we could get on board with.
1. Stewed Prunes
This was if she was aiming to lose weight, according to Stover.
Otherwise, she’d stick to the day-starting meal listed below:
2. Raw Eggs In Warm Milk
“Before I take my morning shower, I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room,” Monroe told Pageant magazine in 1952.
“When it’s hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork, and drink them while I’m dressing.”
As gross as this sounds, it seems like some people still find it delicious. Rebecca Harrington over at The Cut tried the concoction and reported that it tasted “utterly delicious” and reminded her of “bland eggnog.”
Of course, she used pasteurized eggs to conduct this experiment — something to keep in mind if you would like to try it.
3. The “Master-Cleanse Diet”
Actress Renée Taylor, perhaps best known for playing Fran Drescher’s mother on The Nanny, met Monroe back in the ’50s at the Actors Studio. Taylor told the New York Post that Monroe gave her the recipe to her “master-cleanse diet.”
It was a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. Woof.
This master-cleanse still has waves of popularity, although it doesn’t really keep weight off — plus, you should be eating a balanced diet! This is one of Monroe’s eating habits we probably shouldn’t mimic.
Didn’t think a starlet would enjoy this?
Well, think again. “Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops, or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room,” Monroe told Pageant.
However, liver — the organ that filters out toxins from the blood — doesn’t sound particularly appetizing.
But when cooked rare, it supposedly tastes great and has a creamy texture.
If overcooked, however, it can be grainy and tough.
Still, liver is considered a nutrient-dense food, as it is packed with vitamin A, B vitamins, and iron.
It also boasts loads of lean proteins.
What can we say? She liked to get her nutrients.
It’s true — there’s nothing bizarre about the multivitamins of today. However, when Monroe was taking her multivitamins back in the 1950s, they only consisted of the bare-bones basics: vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and D, calcium, and iron.
It wasn’t until the late ’60s that vitamins E, B6, and B12, and magnesium joined the list.
Vitamin nutrition labels of the mid-century looked tiny compared to the labels of today.
6. Raw Carrots With Dinner
Why not cooked, Marilyn?
“I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all,” Monroe told Pageant. “I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.” We certainly would.
7. Milk With Noodles
We want to think this is normal.
But Stover wrote in her book that Monroe would often eat half of a cup of boiled noodles with milk for lunch — without cheese.
If not the noodle and milk duo, she’d opt for a baked or mashed potato or spaghetti, boiled with tomatoes and butter.
There are more modern takes on this dish, which include cream of mushroom soup and other additives, if you feel like getting your Monroe on but crave a little more than plain ole noodles and milk.
8. Stale Toast
Fresh bread was apparently a no-no.
Alongside her noodles with milk, Monroe also frequently enjoyed a slice of stale toast with lunch, according to Stover.
She’d eat it with a pat of butter.
9. Cooked Fruit
For dessert at lunchtime, Stover said Monroe would either have a serving of Jell-O or cooked fruit. Interestingly, though, it’s unclear what fruits Monroe would cook and eat, or how she cooked them.
But it’s an odd choice when one can more simply eat fruit raw.
10. Turkey Heart (Giblets) Stuffing
Taken from a collection of personal notes, recipes, and poems that were discovered after Monroe’s untimely death, this recipe for turkey heart stuffing was most likely inspired by the Italian flavors her former husband, Joe DiMaggio, would use in his cooking.
If turkey hearts were unavailable, Monroe would substitute them for… turkey liver. Yum?
She’d also add raisins, hard-boiled eggs, and walnuts to the dish. Um, did anyone else know that Monroe was a lowkey domestic goddess? Because we are impressed.
11. Overly-Washed Lettuce
This is just a silly thing that Monroe once did before she actually started cooking later in life. Her former roommate Shelley Winters once asked Monroe to wash some lettuce for a salad she was preparing.
When Winters went to check on Monroe’s progress, Monroe was washing each individual leaf “with a Brillo pad.”
Hey, better safe than sorry!
According to Stover’s research, Monroe would end each day with an eggnog nightcap at around 11:00 p.m. The woman definitely had a thing for eggy drinks.
A cache of Monroe’s old shopping lists resurfaced in 2008. And on one of those grocery to-buy lists was endives. Endives certainly aren’t for everyone, though, with their bitter, nutty flavor.
They can be eaten cooked or raw.
And knowing how Monroe liked her raw carrots, we have a feeling she probably opted to eat her endives sans seasoning or heat.
14. English Muffins, Strawberry Jam, And Cheddar Cheese
For a woman who was known for flaunting her figure, Monroe allowed herself to stray from her “diet” more often than people realized.
Her weekly shopping lists proved the actress ate English muffins, strawberry jam, and cheddar cheese.
But she also admitted to Pageant that she indulged in ice cream sundaes more often than she should. You go, girl.
15. Fettuccine Leon
This recipe — supposedly Monroe’s favorite, according to her sister — is bizarre because no one really knows what it is.
As explained in the video on the YouTube channel HOW TO BE AWESOME SAUCE, when “Leon” or another name appears after “fettuccine,” this is usually because it’s a specific chef’s specialty.
So, the video basically predicts what Fettuccine Leon may have been, which was probably a seafood and Alfredo/white wine dish.
Okay, this probably wasn’t part of Marilyn Monroe’s daily diet.
But she was a fan of the bubbly drink. An old receipt shows that the movie star once ordered 12 splits (bottles that are a quarter of the amount of traditional champagne bottles) of Piper Heidsieck Champagne. It cost her $26.21.
Cheers to you, Marilyn.
The takeaway from investigating the diet of Marilyn Monroe: eat the foods you like while trying your best to do the right thing for your body.
Marilyn’s diet is just one of many bizarre aspects of the late actress’s life.
To this day, fans of Marilyn Monroe are still trying to piece together her untimely demise. Some of these conspiracy theories are just that — conspiracy theories — but other ideas surrounding her death hold some water.
We’ve all heard the rumor that she and President Kennedy had a secret affair.
Some people think that it went too far and the administration actually had her offed to prevent the downfall of the Kennedy political dynasty. Somehow, this isn’t the most wild theory surrounding her death.
Like the fact that there were no traces of drugs in her stomach, even though the coroner suggested that’s how she died.
The Independent reported that “Sgt. Jack Clemmons of the LAPD claimed that it looked as if her body had been posed on the bed, legs stretched out perfectly straight, unlike the contorted bodies of most victims who have overdosed on sleeping pills.” Her cause of death was never updated.