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Oprah’s Reality Check

When we last left Oprah and her “spiritual” vegan cleanse (all I’m saying is, my diet will often be vegan for several days, but that doesn’t stop me from getting irritated at the slow person in front of me at the supermarket checkout line who sloooowly counts their pennies), she was enjoying the perks of having a vegan chef ship her foods to Las Vegas (because what’s more spiritual than having a private jet deliver your cruelty-free meals?) and absolutely loving every second of her vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free life.

By now, Oprah has finished her 21 day journey. What happened in the last week and a half is certainly interesting.

No longer armed with a vegan chef, Oprah is forced to endure the rest of the “challenge” as any normal person would.

Off the bat, I notice her entries start to get shorter, and comments along the lines of “just two more days” or “I was really craving some cheese!” begin popping up.

Although Oprah later waxes poetic about what an eye-opening experience this was, and how it provided her with heightened awareness of her food, she forgets to mention a more important point — that overly restrictive eating plans are doomed for failure.

This entire “project” felt like a silly crash diet. After twenty-one days of strict rules, old eating habits apparently returned, in large part due to constant cravings.

On her last day, Oprah’s lunch consists of “a large baked potato with sautéed onions, herbs and olive oil, and [a] fresh green salad with avocado,tomato, lemon, garlic and olive oil.”

As two side dishes, those are wonderful, filled with nutrition.

However, as a meal, they are inadequate.

In that same entry, Oprah considers it “progress” that she’s just “wishfully thinking” about having some grilled sea bass with it.

Huh? Grilled sea bass would be a wonderful accompaniment to that potato and salad, offering lean protein, healthy fats, and zinc.

This idea that it is but an indulgent fantasy is rather twisted. We aren’t talking about a Twinkie here.

Besides, being vegan is not about subsisting on vegetables. Why not accompany those side dishes with grilled tofu, roasted tempeh, a soy patty, or even some quinoa?

A few days prior to that entry, Oprah mentions craving wheat. I still feel like breaking through the computer monitor and saying, “What is so spiritual about denying yourself wheat? Just have some already!”

Anyhow, I hope her viewers and readers took away the most important lesson — non-sensical strict rules and banning multiple food groups overnight is not healthy, spiritual, or smart.


  1. Anonymous said on June 22nd, 2008

    I couldn’t agree with you more – that whole thing drove me nuts and all the vegan web-sites just ate it up. I mean really, a private jet (fuel) to bring you a dinner in Las Vegas, ugh, I think she has gotten totally out of touch.
    She does do alot of good in the world, she is human, capable of mistakes/learning, I think everyone needs to remember that with her and not bow down to the alter of Oprah. You should read her producers revelations too.
    Not much news in moderation and sensibility. It is just a shame with all her resources and she still cannot figure out her health and settle into a routine – her show probably doesn’t help her as that plays into what is new and “hot” – the next big thing.
    Really like your blog by the way.

  2. La Diva Laura said on June 22nd, 2008

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Greg! Obviously, Oprah has NOT found balance in her diet and lifestyle otherwise she would not always be searching for the perfect diet and yo-yo-ing with her weight. I remember having a cook book of her personal chef from years ago (In the kitchen with rosie, i think?)The recipes seemed reasonable, what happened to that diet? She made all Oprah’s favorites but altered them and lowered the fat/calories, etc.

    Keep up the good work, Andy!

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