Courtney Love, Food Journals and My “Efficient” Metabolism [Watching other people eat]

by Charlotte on May 8, 2012 · 29 comments

I… have no caption for this picture. Courtney Love defies description.

“Hershey leaves me my usual tray of foods.” An entire story in one sentence, written by Ms. Courtney Love as her ode (or eulogy, I’m still not sure) to food when the Grubstreet page of New York magazine asked her what she normally ate. They should have known that putting “normal” and “Courtney Love” together doesn’t end well. Of course I found the whole thing utterly fascinating: That they would ask her. That she would answer them. And that she would answer them truthfully because I swear you couldn’t make this up if you tried.

I’ll break it down for you. See, Hershey is her “house manager” and he wakes her up every morning with “a hot washcloth for my face, a leg rub, and a plate of toast soldiers.” So many questions already! What are toast soldiers? (Seriously I must know – my kids would love them whatever the heck they are.) Why a leg rub and not a foot rub? And most importantly, what is a house manager and where can I get one?

Moving on. The latter part of the sentence is where the story really gets good. It turns out that Courtney is very specific when she talks about “my usual tray of foods.” Every day she eats the same thing:

- Sugar in some form (but never chocolate!) from 4-5 a.m., a habit she says is a residual coping mechanism from giving up dope in the 90′s. “When I lived at the Mercer Hotel, they literally called an admin meeting on how to make the perfect warm sugar cookie for me in the middle of the night. Last night I got into some Jeni’s Ice cream in Ugandan Vanilla Bean.”

- A chicken pot pie and potato salad from Dean & Deluca. She adds, “If I can’t afford D.D., I just don’t eat.” (A place which I love solely based on the fact that Felicity worked there while she was in college and I was obsessed with watching Felicity when I was in college, which makes me sound like a crazy stalker if you are too young to remember the hair-lopping amazingness that was the television show Felicity.).

- A fresh cake. “One thing from living next to Paris Hilton in L.A. … she always had a fresh cake in her house. So I make sure someone gets a full, fresh new one every day, like marzipan. My house manager tries to put it in the fridge, but I don’t like refrigeration.”

See what I mean? Every “answer” only leads to more questions! Like, who lives in a hotel besides Eloise? And who takes life tips from Paris Hilton? And who hates refrigeration?! Courtney Love, that’s who.

As I was reading through her interview (and you really should go read the whole thing if only to see how she turns meeting Michael Stipe and “some people from U2″ into an ode to food porn) my first reaction was “She eats what?!” And then I realized that my reaction had morphed from disgust to respect. Say what you will about the Hole lead singer but girl eats what she wants. I’m not saying it’s a healthy diet – she doesn’t even recommend it – but I do give her props for knowing what she wants. She’s a woman who unapologetically eats cake! Every day!  And that is a rare breed.

Thinking about Courtney Love’s strange diet made me think about my own. (Because everything is about me, right?) First, here is proof that I do not have the weirdest diet on the planet, Gym Buddy Krista! And second because I just got the results of my metabolic testing* back. The short of it is that when The End comes, it will be the cockroaches and I left on the planet (and maybe Courtney Love too) because apparently I don’t need food to live.

While Thom Rieck, my metabolic specialist at Lifetime Fitness, said that my RMR (resting metabolic rate or the number of calories I need for basic daily survival) is not the lowest number he’s ever seen, it was pretty low. Even worse, it’s down 150 calories from the last time I was tested. For a moment it sent me into a depressed funk contemplating all the food I don’t get to eat compared to other people and how unfair it is that one Dairy Queen Blizzard is more than my entire daily calorie usage. But! As I sat pondering my numbers I realized that thanks to Intuitive Eating, I don’t have to be afraid of hunger because I’m never hungry (in the extreme deprivation sense – I absolutely do feel hunger pangs between meals). I eat as much as I need to feel full and I, like Courtney Love, eat pretty much what I want. (Although my diet contains vegetables not encased in pastry and way less sugar – I’d feel like crap during the day if I ate her diet.) How cool is that?! Every day I get to eat all kinds of yummy foods and I’m never starving. So who cares if my calorie burn is less than most peoples’? I’m happy. And I’m really efficient! Like I said, me and the ‘roaches. Who knew I could learn so much from Courtney Love?

Are you fascinated by celebrity food journals? Normally I skip right over those articles because a) I think they lie and b) they depress me but I’m glad I read this one! Anyone else have a really “efficient” metabolism? And what’s up with hating refrigeration? Is this like A Thing now?

*This portion of my metabolic testing was the easiest assessment I’ve done so far! All I had to do was show up in a fasted state (only 9 hours so it just meant skipping breakfast), sit in a dark room and relax as best I could with a mask over my face. Of course I managed to make it harder than it needed to be because my body refused to relax. Took me a half hour before they could even start the assessment. Sigh.



{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

radioactivegan May 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I’ve never read a celebrity food journal before – I didn’t know it was a genre into itself. But I’m glad I saw this one. Juicing kale AND shit … that’ll make up for anything. That does seem like an odd way to eat.


Charlotte May 9, 2012 at 7:59 am

Buwhahah! Fun way to start the day, no?


deb the librarian May 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Toast soldiers is just toast cut into strips

looks like its mostly used with soft boiled eggs


Morgan May 9, 2012 at 6:07 am

That is the most sumptuous photo I have ever seen of an egg and toast!


Charlotte May 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

I am both slightly disappointed (no Tin Soldier?!) and intrigued. I want to dip my toast in an egg like that!


Alyssa (azusmom) May 9, 2012 at 12:07 am

Normally a house manager is someone who manages the front of a theater; the part where the audience hangs out (rather than backstage, in the booth, etc.) I’m guessing Courtney Love’s H.M is exactly what the title suggests: a guy she’s hired to manage her home (and her life, apparently).
I LOVE Dean & Deluca! I went in a lot when I lived in New York. I usually didn’t buy anything, but it was the best window shopping ever, lol!
I do not have a super-efficient metabolism. Hubby does. Grrrr…
I’m discovering, however, that I do best with 5 or 6 smaller meals than 3 large ones. I know the thing now is not snacking and just eating those 3 squares, but I find it just doesn’t work for me. Always better to listen to our bodies than what the magazines say, eh?


Naomi/Dragonmamma May 9, 2012 at 6:29 am

Assuming you mean your husband can eat a lot and you can’t, you’ve got it backwards; YOU have the super-efficient metabolism. I see this get mixed up a lot even in “professional” articles. The more efficient you are, the LESS you can eat!


Charlotte May 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

Exactly. And I am super efficient!


Alyssa (azusmom) May 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

Right, yes!
Nice to know SOMETHING about me is efficient, lol!


Terri May 9, 2012 at 12:20 am

Yummm – Toast Soldiers with soft-boiled eggs. I used to have them often as a kid. Deb is right – just toast sliced into about 3 or 4 strips.

I’d feel like crap too if I ate like her, but good on her for not lying and spouting the latest diet fad (whatever that may be !)


Morgan May 9, 2012 at 6:12 am

I loved this…diary?, but you’re so right, every sentence just begs for more details. Why toast soldiers if there is no egg to dip them in? In what circumstances would she have days she could not afford D&D but could afford a house manager? How does she hate chocolate, not for taste, but on principle because it’s “too easy,” but can justify breakfast in bed served with a side of massage FROM HER HOUSE MANAGER?


Charlotte May 9, 2012 at 8:19 am

Hahah true! All good questions! And ones we’ll likely never know the answers too…


Abby May 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

I usually have an unnatural interest in what other people eat, if only out of morbid curiosity. The thing is, when it’s someone like Courtney Love, I’m amused. If it’s someone who is extremely restrictive, I’m pissed. Go figure.

Anyway, I eat the way I eat because it’s what I want to do and how I feel best. But there are most certainly times I really wished I couldn’t care less and that I actually WANTED things like ice cream and so-called “unhealthy” items over what I feel like I always want. Part of it is not knowing if what I eat is what I do truly want or what I feel I “should” want that has become a way of life, and part of it is not knowing what it’s like to not care about what I eat. I wish I could be much more casual about it–and also about exercise, as I often wonder what it’s like to hate to do it–but it is what it is.

And Courtney is…one of a kind. ;)


Carrie May 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

I’m always dubious of the celebrity food journals too. But Courtney’s sounds too crazy NOT to be real! The most shocking thing to me was that Paris Hilton always has cake in her house. For what purpose?? She really doesn’t look like she eats cake every day.


Abby May 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

Yes, damn my efficient metabolism! Drives me nuts when I watch other people eat constantly and never gain weight and I have always had to be sooo careful. You have a great attitude Charlotte, I’m still grumpy about it!


julie May 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

The first apartment my friend rented in SF had no regrigerator. The landlord was surprised that she would even want one. The country that most of the folks in that neighborhood were raised in shop every day, eat no dairy, keep no leftovers, have no need for a fridge. Talk about culture clash!

BTW, I wouldn’t feel very good if I ate her diet, but the food I grew up on, until I was mid-twenties or so, was not much better. I left that way of eating because of excess weight, but would not have guessed it was making me depressed and neurotic as well.


Lauren May 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

And where I live now, you can buy cake by the slice in the bakery. No need for a whole one. Why waste 3/4 of it? That’s just about opulence. Not that being able to walz into any bakery and order up a tray of 4 different kinds of cake to take to coffee with a friend isn’t decadent…

My mother visits and says ‘what a tiny fridge!’. My mother in law visits and says ‘typical North American GIANT fridge!’.


SeeAlliRun May 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Even when I’m training for a marathon I cannot eat cake every day. So unfair!


Leslie Goldman May 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I tend to eat the same thing everyday, too – lots of fruit, oatmeal, greek yogurt and challah for breakfast, granola, milk, banana and lots of PB for lunch, guac and candy for snacks, spinach and salmon or chicken for dinner. So I guess I’m like a healthy C. Love? I thought the whole sugar-replacing-heroin things was fascinating…


Sarah May 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

As a kid I always had soldiers with my boiled egg, not toast soldiers. So basically bread and butter cut into strips and dipped into the egg.


alice May 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Ah felicity… good times.

When I was a kid and sick, my mom would make toast for me and cut it up into little squares, it would be nice to have someone bring me that in the morning…


Quix May 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Crazy. I am always fascinated by what other people eat, and Mrs. Love is no exception (toast soldiers? cake? crazy!). However, I’m sure people might think my routine is bizarre too perhaps, so whatever works…

While I didn’t do one of those tests, I just did the electric shocks one and I actually burn a lot for my size, frankly, I have more lean mass than the bottom of my healthy BMI (My range is 115-150 for my weight, I had 118 lbs of lean mass last time and we were working on bringing it up to 120), so my RMR is pretty high, which makes sense, because dang if I’m not hungry all the time. I guess that means my metabolism is inefficient.

However, my body is VERY efficient at activity unless it’s at a hard effort. I burn a lot less than expected while moderate activity as I’ve seen with my body bugg – if I’m not busting my butt running fast, I may as well be just sitting on my butt. I burn more running errands than doing a spin session :P.


redhead May 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

A- Charlotte, it is AWESOME that reading a food journal like that made you feel MORE comfortable with your intake instead of sending you into compare mode! That is a big deal!

And B – what is up with sugar helping with cravings for heroin addicts? I’ve heard that before and been fascinated by it. Isn’t heroin a depressant, or do I have it mixed up with opium or something? Wouldn’t sugar be more of a stimulant? How does that work?


Lauren @ Short Circuit Workout May 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

People with high metabolisms suck! I’ve had to struggle my whole life with weight management… I gain weight if I look at cake – afraid to see what I’d look like if I ate it every day!!!!


Heather Eats Almond Butter May 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

HUGE Felicity fan over here. Ben!!!!!

Don’t get the whole anti-refrigeration thing either…her Jeni’s ice-cream would melt, and that would be a darn shame.


Matt May 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

no refrigeration?! Is that some sort of off-shoot from paleo?

In either case I find celebrities interesting. They are like subjects in a real life experiment of what would happen to people if they had loads of fame, money, power and influence.

That’s much the reason I started following your blog as a matter of fact, but this is so much more fun than reading People magazine.


CourtStar May 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

What a great article…(btw I am obsessed with Courtney Love) but it is interesting to see she eats chicken pot pie and cake everyday and looks like a skeleton? I swear there is a special drug out in hollywood that no one else can have that lets you eat what you want lol


Lauren May 10, 2012 at 6:22 am

She eats one slice of toast, a couple pieces of cake, and a potpie with potato sald (so carbs, sugar AKA carbs, and carbs) for a total quantity equal to half a snack and one supper portion, and that’s hedonism? Sounds like a very expensive disordered menu to me. She is taking body-shape advice from Gwenyth Paltrow.
High insulin could be related to her high sex hormones ( and, or hyperthyroidism.


Lauren May 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

Charlotte, totally DON’T post that if you feel it will hurt your readers (or you)! I was just surprised how many comments focussed on the word “cake” without noticing the context.


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