If you think the paleo diet is strange, think again. While some people cannot grasp the idea of eating healthy, whole food with minimal processed meals, other people around the world are taking their food choices to another level altogether. Here are the top 3 weird and wonderful (some might call them wacky) diets.
This diet, like its name suggests, is a diet consisting largely (more than 75%) of raw fruit. It is a subset of veganism and closely related to raw foodism, which we will talk about later. The other 25% of this diet usually include vegetables, nuts and seeds.
First up, we have Freelee the Banana Girl, who hails from Australia. She stirred up controversy when she posted a YouTube video of herself eating 51 bananas a day.
She eats no cooked food until 4pm, usually eating mono meals – which means making meals out of one type of food only – of melons, pineapples and of course, bananas. After 4pm, she then eats cooked food, which could be 3.5kg of potato baked in the oven, or another meal of fruit.
She credits her toned physique to her diet and said she lost 40 pounds following her fruity diet.
Now we check out Michael Arnstein, whose claim to fame is more legitimate than just simply a hot body. He is an elite endurance athlete who consumes 30 pounds of fruit each day and little else. He has won 100-mile races fuelled by fruit alone.
Another notable figure in this movement is the late Steve Jobs, who dabbled in fruitarianism in the 1970s – and supposedly named his company Apple as a result of that.
2. Blood Type Diet
The blood type diet is advocated by Peter D’Adamo, via his book Eat Right 4 Your Type. The premise is that blood group signals a population’s evolutionary background – primarily agrarian or hunter-gatherer – and that ancient history inclines people of certain blood types to thrive or suffer when eating one kind of diet or another.
These are the four blood types:
- Type O: These people are descendants from hunter-gatherers who relied mainly on animal protein to survive their strenuous lifestyles.
- Type A: When hunter-gatherer Os started thinning out, our ancestors started relying on agriculture and expanding their diet to include a semi-vegetarian approach. Type As have the digestive enzymes and bacteria it takes to digest grains and plants.
- Type B: They emerged when type Os moved to the Himalayas as nomads, domesticating animals and living on meat and dairy. Modern Bs should rely on lean red meat and fish, and choose turkey over chicken. Bs should work dairy into their diet each day.
- Type AB: Since ABers share traits with As and Bs, they’re able to digest a wide range of foods. However, they have type B’s adaption to meats, but A’s low stomach acid, which means meat often gets stored as fat. An AB’s staples should be veggies, seafood and turkey. Red meat should be eaten sparingly. ABs, like Bs, thrive on dairy and eggs.
My blood type is A, which means that I should eat fruits, vegetables, bread and pasta, and limit my intake of meat. I’m all for fruits and vegetables but I’m not sure my body actually needs grains. This also means that people with Blood Type O are the perfect candidates for the paleo diet.
Proponents of this diet include Miranda Kerr (Blood Type A).
When I first heard about this diet, I was really skeptical. But it turns out that some other people really put a lot of power into blood types. The Japanese use blood type for matchmaking purposes, much like astrology, and employers will even ask candidates for their blood types as an indication of their personality!
3. Raw foodism
As mentioned, raw foodism is closely related to fruitarianism simply because fruits are usually eaten raw. However, raw foodism extents to much more beyond fruits. Technically speaking, you can eat anything that has not been heated beyond 48 degrees celcius, although there is no universal consensus.
Consuming food in its natural state is said to impart the most nutrients to the body. Most raw foodists are vegans but there are also people who consume raw meat.
Instead of international figures this time, I have two examples of Singaporeans who follow this diet (the vegan version). Click on the photo to go the Straits Times article.
Ngoi Kian Huay (left) has not eaten cooked food for the past 12 years and converted to raw food as he feels that it keeps his body clean and helps him “to be more grounded and have clarity of mind”.
Linda Loo turned to the diet nine years ago because nothing else she did cured her eczema. She runs Light, Love, Laughter, a place that holds workshops on raw food preparation and yoga classes.
Smoothies and salads make up most of the diet but it is possible to create food that look similar to cooked food by using equipment such as dehydrators and mandolin slicers.
The Rawyal Kitchen is a Singapore raw vegan meal delivery service. This is an example of what you can make with a dehydrator instead of baking.
More intriguing for me are the people who choose to eat raw meat primarily as part of their diets. There is something quite primal about this dietary approach as well because it brings to mind cavemen and hunting spears.
The Primal Parent, aka Peggy Emch, is a blogger who eats only raw meat and also feeds her children raw meat. She started out drinking raw milk, then raw salmon, then raw eggs and then she progressed on to raw meat.
This is what she looks like seven months after giving birth.
Aajonus Vonderplanitz, who has appeared on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, takes raw meat eating one step further by eating rotten meat.
The story of how he came to eat raw meat is even more incredible. After being dignosed with cancer, Vonderplanitz decide to take matters into his own hands by dying of starvation.
“Rather than fight it. I chose to die. I selected an old Native American burial ground and began fasting myself to death. After several weeks fasting I had an unusual experience with coyotes. They gave me a freshly killed wild jackrabbit. I thought it would kill me if I ate it raw. (I had been told by all of my medically and scientifically minded relatives that wild rabbits contained bacteria or virus that would kill a human.) I knew that fasting to death could take at least 60 days. I wanted to end my life more quickly, so I ate the rabbit raw. I returned to my campsite and lay down to die expecting severe stomach cramps that I was told accompanied bacterially or virally contaminated food. I felt euphoric, calm and happy. I thought that I was leaving my diseased body because I felt so good.”
Those were very generous coyotes.
Bonus (wacky) diet
This is the strangest diet I’ve heard so far. I refuse to include it in my list because I think it’s just ridiculous. This diet is called Breatharianism and followers believe they can give up all food and water and live on light and air alone.
Ukranian model Valeria Lukyanova reportedly stopped eating and drinking water and claims to solely subsisting off “cosmic micro-food.” She’s more famous for looking like a human Barbie than being a Breatharian but they both go hand in hand in terms of wackiness.
This diet is also known as starving yourself, idiot.
So these are some of the more extreme diets out there. There are many crazy ones but I’ve highlighted those three that are actually sustainable and not just a weight loss quick fix. People who follow these diets actually believe that it’s a lifestyle and they can eat that way for the rest of their lives. They do it for more than weight loss and believe that they are enjoying better health thanks to the change in their eating habits. That’s what makes them both weird and wonderful at the same time.