I (like everyone) am reading excerpts from Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson’s new biography. I had not realized that Steve had more than a bit of Howard Hughes in him. It turns out that Steve was eccentric, obsessive–compulsive and all around bizarre about his diet.
Isaacson writes that Steve had “…a tendency to embrace extreme diets, which included purges, fasts, or eating only one or two foods for weeks on end.” In 1977, Steve was said to exclaim, “I’m a fruitarian and I will only eat leaves picked by virgins in the moonlight.” That was the year Steve ate only fruit. There is a story about Steve turning orange from eating so many carrots. And “He would sanctimoniously lecture others at the table on the virtues of whatever regimen he was following.” What a bore. Steve definitely “Thought Different-ly” about how the body works. But, to be fair, he really believed in an ascetic route to enlightenment.
Steve’s tumor was caught very early, by chance on a CAT Scan looking for kidney stones. It was at an easily operable stage, but Steve chose to forgo surgery, treating it instead with a vegan diet, juice fasts, herbs, and other CAM therapies. (Disclosure: I am into CAM, but as an addition, not as a replacement for reliable therapies.) Diet-wise, there was not a shred of proof that Steve’s regimens cured cancer, and any diet that omits major food groups is a potential danger. But, until the end, against medical advice, Steve chose to follow a narrow, low protein, low fat diet. And that’s too bad because RDs like me are trained to plan diets for malabsorption and cachexia - if only he would widen his variety.
And so, in the end, Steve’s diet was a part of his undoing. He just kind of wasted away from cancer and malnutrition. But he saw his actions as divinely inspired, and so do I. On some level, he had to die young to fuel the eternal flame.
In Steve’s speeches, he had a line about connecting the dots. He would say, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” From up there now in the higher dimensions, I want to know what Steve thinks about the dots that made up his lifelong diet.
I like this infographic from CelebrityDiagnosis.com, Steve Jobs Cancer Timeline.
Question: What does Steve think about his lifelong diet? What do you think?