Behind the Scenes of Marilyn Monroe’s “Bizarre” Thyroid Diet…

By |2018-02-08T09:15:15+00:00February 7th, 2018|Healthy Foods, Hypothyroidism|13 Comments
  • Marilyn Monroe thyroid diet

What can we learn from Marilyn Monroe?

A lot apparently.

Marilyn Monroe was considered to be one of the most beautiful women of her time.

But, we’re not talking beauty tips.

(Well, to be honest, much of what I’m about to discuss is largely responsible for her incredible beauty.)

More specifically, we’re going to talk about Marilyn’s diet, which she herself called “absolutely bizarre”.

But, the reality is, it wasn’t that bizarre at all.

In fact, while she probably never considered it a “thyroid diet”, it’s quite thyroid-supportive in many respects.

Yet, what might leave you scratching your head is what Marilyn Monroe ate to lose weight.

Some might call it unconventional, but it’s based on the same principles that we use to help our clients lose weight.

More on that in minute.

First, let’s dive in and take a closer look at what Marilyn Monroe’s diet primarily consisted of.

(Please note that this is Marilyn’s Monroe’s diet as she detailed it in the September 1952 edition of Pageant magazine.)

Marilyn Monroe Ate Lots of Eggs and Dairy

marilyn monroe breakfast

Believe it not, Marilyn’s breakfast consisted of a cup of warm milk with two raw eggs stirred in.

With so much dietary misinformation out there, many would probably consider this breakfast to be quite bizarre.

Yet, that’s not the case at all.

  1. It’s fairly balanced with adequate carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, all of which are necessary to support thyroid function.
  2. It’s extremely nutrient dense, containing good amounts of many essential vitamins and minerals required to support proper thyroid health.
  3. It’s rich in calcium (and milk lactose improves calcium absorption.)
  4. It contains healthy cholesterol needed to support thyroid-protective hormone production.
  5. It’s very metabolically stimulating.

(NOTE: Don’t tolerate dairy? See how we help our clients overcome their dairy intolerance in this post on How to Overcome Dairy Intolerance Once and For All.)

Unfortunately, the anti-dairy movement has done a fairly good job of scaring many away from the benefits of dairy.

Due to hypothyroidism, gluten-intolerance, and generally poor diets, your digestive tract can become inflamed, impairing your ability to produce the necessary enzymes to digest dairy.

However, studies show that even in coeliac patients, lactase enzyme production and lactose digestion often returns to normal.

Regression of lactose malabsorption in coeliac patients after receiving a gluten-free diet.

“CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that a large proportion of CD patients experience a regression of lactose malabsorption after receiving a gluten-free diet. This may be related to normalization of the brush border with an improvement of lactase enzyme activity.”

Plus, dairy is a good source of calcium, which helps to lower the inflammation too.

So far, so good.

Marilyn Monroe Also Ate Lots Ice Cream

marilyn monroe ice cream

We do know one thing that’s certain, Marilyn Monroe was quite fond of fudge sundaes…

…And that’s just fine.

Ice cream can be beneficial for many reasons, and it’s something we often use with our clients.

Again, it’s fairly balanced with adequate carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which is necessary to support thyroid function.

We use ice cream therapeutically because it does contain a higher percentage of fat.

This increased fat helps to slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates/sugars.

Ever felt tired in the afternoon sometime after lunch, or had trouble sleeping at night?

Both are commonly caused by a drop in blood sugar.

Using Ice cream properly can help in both circumstances.

Maintaining blood sugar levels throughout the day is also important for reducing stress responses commonly associated with the hypothyroid condition.

But, it’s important to use real ice cream that doesn’t contain gums, carrageenan, or other thyroid-suppressive ingredients.

Finding ice cream without these adulterants can be more difficult than you might realize.

Check the ingredients. And stick with vanilla.

Of course, ice cream should always be consumed in moderation.

Don’t Forget the Steak, Lamb Chop, and Liver

For dinner, Marilyn typically ate steak, lamb chop, or liver.

Her use of liver was extremely thyroid-supportive.

It was much more common to eat liver and other organ meats back then than it is today.

(NOTE: Want to see how organ meats can help save your thyroid? Take a look at this article on “How Did Your Ancestors Survive Without Thyroid Medication?”.)

Organ meats, especially liver, offer many benefits that muscle meats don’t.

  1. Liver contains large amounts of the essential vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  2. Liver is rich in thyroid-supportive B-vitamins.
  3. Liver contains healthy amounts of the essential thyroid cofactors including selenium, zinc, and copper.
  4. Liver helps promote the production of pregnenolone, the precursor to all of the thyroid-protective youth hormones.

Liver is one of the most thyroid-supportive foods you can eat.

(NOTE: We have a great liver recipe that we use and recommend to many of our clients, which you can find among these “7 Amazingly Delicious Thyroid Healing Recipes”.)

Last (But Not Least) Carrots

marilyn monroe carrot

Another important and beneficial food that Marilyn Monroe ate was raw carrot.

She said she ate four to five raw carrots every evening with dinner.

As I’ve written before, carrots are an important part of supporting thyroid health.

Among other benefits, eating raw carrot helps to detoxify and reduce thyroid-suppressive estrogen from your digestive tract.

The antibacterial properties of carrots also help to lower endotoxin levels in the gut, which further promote the production of thyroid-suppressive cortisol and estrogen.

(NOTE: Want a delicious, easy, and extremely pro-thyroid raw carrot salad recipe? Check out this blog post for step-by-step instructions.)

Who knew that Marilyn Monroe’s diet was so thyroid-friendly?

Yet, maybe liver wasn’t the most interesting part of Marilyn’s diet…

Marilyn Monroe’s Weight Loss Diet

When Marilyn Monroe wanted to lose weight, she didn’t starve herself, that’s for sure.

Let’s take a look at what her typical weight loss diet consisted of…

Breakfast (8 AM)

  • Orange juice or stewed prunes
  • Hot cereal
  • 2 Pieces buttered white toast
  • Milk or Cocoa

Snack (10 AM)

  • 1 Cup milk and 1 cracker

Lunch (1 PM)

  • Choice of 1 egg or 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  • Choice of 1 Potato (baked or mashed); or spaghetti, boiled with tomato or butter or butter (no cheese); or 1/2 cup noodles boiled in milk
  • 1 Piece buttered toast
  • Jell-o or cooked fruit

Snack (3:30 PM)

  • 1 Cup milk and 1 cracker

Dinner (6:30 PM):

  • Choice of lean beef, chicken, lamb chop, sweet bread, fish, or chicken liver
  • 1 Potato (any way but fried)
  • Choice of 1/2 cup tomatoes, beets, carrots, string beans or peas
  • 1 Piece of bread

Dessert (11 PM)

  • Choice of junket, custard, tapioca pudding, rice pudding, or baked apple
  • Eggnog

I think it’s safe to say that most people today wouldn’t think of this menu as being the key to weight loss.

Yet, Marilyn Monroe understood one of the most important concepts of weight loss that we teach our clients today.

The best way to lose weight IS NOT to restrict calories or cut out carbohydrates (or any other macronutrient group for that matter). This is the fastest way to ruin your thyroid health.

The best way to lose weight IS to eat a nutrient dense diet full of highly metabolically stimulating foods.

By eating foods that stimulate your metabolism, you burn more calories; you can effectively eat more and lose weight, without ruining your thyroid in the process.

Yet all in all, what’s pretty incredible is that Marilyn Monroe’s diet consisted of many foods that we use and recommend to our thyroid clients.

Her diet was pretty simple, and might be considered ‘bizarre’ by many today.

Yet, we don’t see it that way.

Not only was her diet extremely nutrient-dense…

Those nutrients were also very thyroid-supportive.

For those reasons, I would consider her diet to be overall thyroid-friendly.

If anything, her diet could be a little better balanced, but her diet met most of the requirements for our Thyroid-Diet Rule #1 of our 3 Essential Thyroid Diet Rules All Thyroid Sufferers Should Follow (…But Don’t).

While Marilyn Monroe might have considered her diet to be “bizarre”, it isn’t nearly as bizarre as some of the popular, yet thyroid-suppressive, diet fads today.

Looking for a simple and easy diet trick to boost your thyroid health?

In this 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol, I show you how combining these 3 simple foods can help exponentially boost your thyroid function and metabolism.

The Simple 3 Food Triple Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol

Get more information about the 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol here.

About the Author:

Tom Brimeyer is the founder of Forefront Health and the creator of the popular Hypothyroidism Revolution program series. Specializing in thyroid and metabolism disorders, Tom's work has impacted over 50,000 people spanning more than 60 countries. Tom is also a highly sought after practitioner who runs a successful health consulting practice where he continues to help clients across the globe to take back control of their lives from their devastating health conditions.


  1. Robert Vincelette February 8, 2018 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Today’s ice cream is not the same as the ice cream of the mid-Twentieth Century, nor was the meat she ate ( not spiked with hormones and antibiotics). Otherwise she had it right.

    • Tom Brimeyer February 8, 2018 at 7:01 am - Reply

      Actually, the FDA approved the use of hormones and antibiotics in livestock in the 1950’s. Of course, we recommend eating quality foods, which are still readily available.

  2. mary Brand February 8, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

    I love milk but it doesn’t love me. Raw milk is okay but I got some bad raw milk and thought I was going to die!

  3. Lisa February 8, 2018 at 11:19 am - Reply

    What are your thoughts on the bread and pasta? I know most people recommend going gluten free for hypothyroid.

    • Tom Brimeyer February 8, 2018 at 11:40 am - Reply

      It’s best to avoid gluten because thyroid sufferers (especially with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) tend to have excess estrogen, which can significantly worsen gluten-intolerance.

  4. LaLa February 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    To ask was Marilyn Monroe hypothyroid is a bit much and an exaggeration . She ate from all the 4 food groups. In the 50s women especially actresses ate this way. I have been researching to write a 50’s recipe book. Women had tiny waists, did a lot of walking and dancing( a.k.a exercise) and loved their gelatin desserts. Yes the 50’s had processed foods too-(TV dinners were a big thing) , shortening , saccharin , margarine which is not good for one’s health. But they were big on cooking from scratch, using the whole animals and gelatin and using spices and herbs not the chemical kind. But they ate fresh baked white bread and white rice/pasta too. I have used Ray Peat’s and Tom Brimeyer principles since May. The use of gelatin improved my sleep 80%. My dr cleared me from 13 years of severe insomnia. But I was not losing weight. (BTW There are all natural ice cream like blue bunny all natural vanilla bean (only that flavor) and some Haagen -Dazs. )By adding sourdough bread again and other foods plus exercise (non cardio), my health has not been affected , I have been losing weight b/c I feel fuller with bread. If you have Hashimoto’s or Celiac , avoid wheat. But the strict legalism with food like avoiding grains stresses me out and reminded me when I did the Paleo diet.

  5. Shasha February 8, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Gluten may cause diarrhea…then lose weight or constipation due to low thyroid. Dairy gave me seizures. Ice cream greatly hurt me. Carrots/prunes help constipation. She maybe Celiac.

  6. Diana February 11, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    I wondwr what can be done to reduce the amount of time in the kitchen. I read somewhere you have a family of 6, Tom, and I understand foods made at home are best, but what are some shortcuts to feeding a big family healthy?

    • Tom Brimeyer February 12, 2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

      Hi Diana, we actually added another last June, so we’re now a family of seven. There are some things that can help reduce cooking time, such as crock-pot meals. We often make very simple meals and use a lot of fruit. But, both my wife and myself are very committed to eating healthy and cooking at home, so it does take a lot of time and commitment. That’s not something we’re willing to compromise on. My wife has also trained a couple of our older ones to cook a few simple meals too. Teaching kids how to cook and getting them involved is a great idea because it gives them the tools and resources from a young age.

  7. Nina February 15, 2018 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Tom, I wanted to hear your opinion on insulin resistance and how to overcome it.

  8. Nina February 16, 2018 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom, thank you very much!!! I simply adore you!

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