When I first came across the Taylor Swift diet on WebMD.com, I was instantly inspired. Really, who wouldn’t be? TSwift is beautiful, extremely likeable and represents the epitome of 21st century popularity. Whether you like it or not, Swift’s appearance sets the standard of what a North American “should” look like, at least according to popular media.
Following the advice of the well-known saying, “you are what you eat,” I had to find out what exactly Swift was putting in her body. I wanted to eat exactly what she was digesting and fully embrace the Swiftie lifestyle (yet without the inclusion of Henry Styles — I could skip that part). So I popped in her latest hit album, 1989, into the CD player, turned it up really loud and despite my male gender, embarked on a mission to become a healthier Michael Robinson under the guidance of one of the continent’s most successful celebrities.
This is my story.
After reading the WebMD interview over and over again, I simplified Taylor’s diet to include the following:
- During the week, she’ll eat salads, yogurt and sandwiches (and apparently that’s it). She purposely excludes sugary treats except her one daily treat: a skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks.
- During the weekend, she indulges in common comfort foods such as hamburgers and fries, ice cream and cookies (but not necessarily in that specific order).
So on Jan. 12, 2015, what we shall now refer to as Day 1 of this infamous trial, I woke up with the intention to begin my new balanced lifestyle.
Now before we begin, you should know, my current lifestyle isn’t particularly conducive to implementing a healthy diet or routine. I’m fast-paced and reactive to the day’s events, as a journalist should be, which neglects my ability to stay grounded in a specific routine. Food and fitness come second to my scholastic and extracurricular endeavours, otherwise known as my career goals. Obviously, this isn’t sustainable so that is why I am trying out Taylor’s Rules for Healthy Living (that’s right, her and I are on a first-name basis).
Back to the trial: we can safely say Jan. 12, 2015 was a write-off. I began the day with some oatmeal, which was gross but its description sounded healthy on the box. I had no yogurt so this was my alternative. When I went to school however, temptation gave in and I bought a caramel frap from Starbucks. That was my lunch-hybrid because I didn’t eat again until the evening where I had chicken tossed in hot sauce.
Jan. 13, 2015 was a different story. For breakfast, I had toast, eggs and home fries (along with two strips of bacon). For lunch, I opted for a salad and B.L.T. (which stands for a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich in case you didn’t know). When supper time arrived, I had KD before leaving for school and didn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.
Jan. 14, 2015: Tim’s for breakfast (but in my defense, class was early). I recall I bought an ice cap with a breakfast sandwich. Yum! I went back home and ate yogurt (which I had purchased, finally). For supper, I didn’t eat anything sizeable because I wasn’t feeling well but I actually consumed some soup (it was called Santa Fe something, I didn’t make it — I picked it up while running errands). I hit the sack hard early that night.
Jan. 15, 2015: It was a crazy day so I went for breakfast at the local pub in my neighbourhood – opting for scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and home fries (except I didn’t eat the home fries)! I think lunch was skipped because I was busy finalizing some applications. For dinner however, I made myself a peanut butter and jam sandwich, with a banana on the side.
Jan. 16, 2015: Breakfast was some yogurt and fibre-laden cereal (the only type I had for some reason). Oops, I bought Tim’s again (but I’m pretty sure I bought a coffee this time instead of an ice cap). That was for lunch. Dinner was, you guessed it, chicken.
Jan. 17, 2015: Breakfast was eggs and toast. Had a salad for lunch, and ate turkey, beans and potatoes for supper. I had a piece of cheesecake for desert. I bought one of those ‘Freal’ strawberry milkshakes because after all, Taylor indulges on the weekends, right?
Jan. 18, 2015: Pretty sad day to be honest. Had breakfast, which included eggs and bacon. Ate some KD for lunch and more chicken for dinner. I think I am eating too much chicken but I detest fish so that’s where I am right now.
Overall, it is painfully obvious I did not do a good job incorporating T’s diet into my lifestyle. However, some small advances were made. And apparently, this is a good way to adopt a healthier diet. I sat down with local health expert, Meghan Perrin, who works as a health promoter at a nurse practitioner-led clinic, to find out more about lifestyle changes.
Perrin said she is usually offering general nutrition advice to men and women who want to lose weight quickly or are too inpatient for taking on a healthy lifestyle. Sure, I can fit in that category. Patience is something I definitely need to embrace full-time.
This is only part of the solution however. While I made an effort initially to self-identify my ‘attitude’ problems when it comes to adopting a healthier lifestyle (where I put my work first and health second), Perrin made it clear I need to have this realization at the forefront of my efforts.
“From a professional standpoint, I always talk to people via the balanced approach,” she said. “Health is influenced more by than just a number on the scale…you have your emotional, mental and spiritual factors.”
She also told with me that defining healthy doesn’t necessarily begin or end with a number on a scale.
“I personally don’t even own a scale,” Perrin said. “I don’t care how much I weigh because healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes.
“Accept yourself and celebrate your own unique qualities… people are always too focused on the small details like, ‘why don’t I have a six-pack’?”
Keeping this in mind, I also learned that what may work for my friend Taylor may not necessarily work for me.
“Taylor Swift may not eat carbs during the week… if it works for her, whatever,” she said.
“She’s a singer/songwriter who doesn’t have a degree in nutrition… but a lot of the people get caught up in the hype.
“Are you health literate? Because you can make informed decisions as opposed to, ‘if Gwyneth Paltrow juices then I should too.’”
Yup, that’s me.
P.S. I love Gwyneth too, but certainly not as much as Tay.
Perrin then mentioned that not everyone is built for a thigh gap, to which I responded saying I had no idea what she was referring to. Apparently, this gap of sorts is reserved for women only, so I’ll let Taylor worry about body shape and just aim for an overall healthy image myself.
“Just remember, if you are putting in the highest quality gas in your car, it will run better,” Perrin said. While I don’t own a car, I still understood the importance of what she was saying. If I eat healthier, I’ll feel better too.
So while this diet of mine may have initially started due to my infatuation with Swift, I realize now that I have to pay some serious attention to my perception of what body image is considered healthy. I also have to re-evaluate my attitude when it comes to healthy lifestyles, most notably, elevating its importance to match that of my scholastic and career efforts.
“And remember, if you attempt any change, habits form in as little as 21 days,” Perrin said. “Stick to it and eventually it’ll become a lot more natural.”
In the end, while I wasn’t able to maintain the diet Taylor follows, I still learned a lot in attempting the process. I realize now that a healthy lifestyle takes time to develop and simply cannot be accomplished in a week’s time. However, the most significant lesson was realizing Taylor’s an entertainer, and while as much as I love her music, I’m a journalist who has to stick to the facts… even when it concerns the people I love.
So moving forward, I’ll leave Taylor Swift to enjoy her sandwiches and weekend ice cream, because after all, it could very well be “a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”