The most successful people follow daily rituals that keep them aligned and consistent, and free their minds to think about more important things.
But some of their habits, particularly eating habits, are downright strange.
Actor Nicholas Cage only eats animals that he considers to have “dignified sex.” Apple’s Steve Jobs ate only carrots for so long that his skin took on a bright orange hue. Business magnate Howard Hughes used spoons with a protective covering that included two layers of tissue paper and cellophane tape.
We pored through years of biographies and interviews, as well as “What the Great Ate” by Matthew Jacob and Mark Jacob, to find out what the super-accomplished subsist on.
Here’s a look at the most bizarre eating habits of highly successful people.
This is an update of an article originally written by Vivian Giang.
When Jolie travels abroad, she prefers to eat as the natives do, and encourages her family to do the same, Matthew and Mark Jacob write.
In Cambodia, she called the cockroach a 'meaty ... high-protein snack food,' but admitted that 'there's this very pointy bit on their stomach you just can't eat. You have to kind of pop that off.'
Business magnate Howard Hughes had his employees wrap his spoons with tissue paper and cellophane tape.
A longtime germaphobe, Hughes gave his employees complex instructions on how to handle household duties. For example, in an apparent attempt to ensure it was germ-free, before any spoon was handed to Hughes, it would need to be wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with cellophane tape. Next, a second piece of tissue needed to be covering the first protective wrapping.
Zuckerberg told Fortune magazine in 2011 that he was only eating what he killed. The Facebook CEO said:
'This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have to eat. I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have. This year I've basically become a vegetarian since the only meat I'm eating is from animals I've killed myself. So far, this has been a good experience. I'm eating a lot healthier foods and I've learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals.'
The next year, Zuckerberg announced that he was no longer sticking to his eat-what-I-kill dining rules.
Ford thought of the body much like a car, as a combustion engine that needed fuel. With this mindset, Ford never went to the grocery store, but, instead, ate weeds out of his garden. He often ate sandwiches filled with weeds.
According to 'What the Great Ate,' Ford was also convinced that soybeans were the key to a nutritious diet. In fact, he instructed his cooks to prepare an all-soybean dinner for the 1933-34 Chicago Century of Progress exposition, included celery stuffed with soybean cheese, soybean croquettes, and apple pie with a soybean crust.
While working as a programmer at a computer facility in 1970s Oregon, Gates often stayed up all night working, Matthew and Mark Jacob write.
He would drink Tang, but instead of stirring it into a glass of water, he and his colleagues would scoop up the power with their hands and eat it.
He may take Playboy models out to eat at whatever restaurant they want, but Hefner has been quoted as saying his food always comes from his personal chef at the mansion. '(The Playboy models) pick from the menu, but I have lamb chops and a baked potato sent in from the mansion, so (my meal) is set.'
Djokovic follows a strict gluten-free diet, and also avoids dairy, caffeine, and refined sugars. His eating habits have also ventured to the truly odd.
After beating tennis pro Rafael Nadal in 2011, Djokovic sank down to his knees and started eating the grass on the Center Court lawn. During a press conference later, he joked that the grass was 'well kept' and 'tasted quite well really.'
'I felt like an animal. I wanted to see how it tastes. It tastes good,' said Djokovic. 'It came spontaneously really. I didn't plan to do it. You know, I didn't know what to do for my excitement and joy.'
According to 'What the Great Ate,' Nabokov ate butterflies while spending time in Vermont.
'I didn't see any difference between a monarch and a viceroy,' he told Sports Illustrated. 'The taste of both was vile. ... They tasted like almonds and perhaps a green cheese combination.'
After eating the ox, according to 'What the Great Ate,' he would fast for three days.
While exiled in the Channel Islands, he ate two raw eggs and drank a cup of cold coffee before writing every morning.
Matthew and Mark Jacob write that customs agents once searched Warhol's bags at an airport and found them full of candy, chewing gum, and cookies.
Even when he prepared meat for dinner, Warhol would often end up eating bread and jam instead. 'I'm only kidding myself when I go through the motions of cooking protein,' he wrote. 'All I ever really want is sugar.'
In an interview with Glamour magazine, Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie said she never misses her daily shot of organic apple cider vinegar.
'Two tablespoons. For some reason I've noticed a difference on my stomach,' she said. 'I just trusted (my trainer) on this one. I'm sharing. I'm all about sharing secrets.'
Other famous fans of the vinegar-a-day shot include Megan Fox and Cindy Crawford.
Armstrong's mother used to instruct her family to consume laxatives because they'd often eaten rotten food, Matthew and Mark Jacob write.
His favourite laxative was Swiss Kriss, which was a collection of herbs that he would often give away to people in small envelopes.
According to 'What the Great Ate,' some people theorised that because Presley had been born alongside a stillborn twin, he always had to eat double portions.
Presley was serious about dining: In his mansion in Memphis, he had cooks on staff 24 hours a day. He even had a closed-circuit television with cameras on the kitchen so he could watch the cooks working.
He was also a bit of a primadonna, requiring that his cooks or his wife Priscilla cut up his food into bite-size pieces before he dug in.
According to 'What the Great Ate,' Washington loved eating nuts, but figured that years of cracking walnut shells with his teeth had caused his dental problems. So he switched to ice cream instead.
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