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Elizabeth Taylor’s Retro Diet Book Included Steak and Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Elizabeth Taylor, one of Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses, has many credits to her name. Over the course of her lifetime, she won three Oscars, two Golden Globe Awards, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute. Her well-publicized personal life included a whopping eight marriages (two to the same person), a vast $150 million jewelry collection, and championing charity causes such as AIDS research. What’s lesser known, or remembered, is the diet book she wrote in 1988 entitled Elizabeth Takes Off: On Weight Gain, Weight Loss, Self-Image, and Self-Esteem.

Taylor’s diet book, brought back to the limelight by NY Mag, is a mishmash of diet tips, recipes, and a personal memoir. She told interviewers at the time that she wanted to write it because she was used to extremes, black and white, and that then she wanted to cultivate the gray in her life. At mid-life, she wanted stability, and to pass this thinking on to others.

A good practice, for sure, but her diet food choices? Not so much. Many of Taylor’s food choices in the book are questionable. She eats things like cottage-cheese-sour-cream dip over fruit for breakfast and steak and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Dry toast, minted new potatoes, fillet of sole, and swordfish with lime are some other foods in the book. She advocates eating a lot of fish and not a lot of red meat or bread. Her diet also stresses eating fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. (more…)