I Tried…The Purple Diet


Ryan Quan

The purple diet is exactly what it sounds like; a diet consisting only of purple foods. Celebrities like Mariah Carey swear that eating only blueberries and eggplant is the surefire way to lose weight.

Caroline Zemsky, Staff Writer

When I first agreed to follow the purple diet for a week, I had no idea what it was. After getting a very brief explanation — “you can only eat purple foods, like eggplant” — I thought sure, why not? When I got home on Sunday night, I searched “the purple diet” online and found that Mariah Carey is the chief proponent of this particular eating fad, swearing it helped her shed baby weight.

I was completely devastated while looking at the list of foods I was allowed to consume — the diet chiefly consists of grapes, berries, plums, pomegranates and eggplant, as well as blue foods like blueberries. This is extremely different from my ordinarily rainbow-filled diet of pizza and pasta. Transitioning to the purple diet seemed impossible, but I still visited Trader Joe’s to purchase all these new foods. On Monday morning, I stopped by Argo Tea for my daily cuppa and decided to get some yogurt and granola. The berry-flavored yogurt had a faint shade of purple.

I ate purple potatoes and grapes for lunch, and then for dinner, I made myself a salad: red oak leaf lettuce, red onions, strawberries and strawberry citrus vinaigrette. It was a sad salad. I was starving just moments later, so I made myself a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.  The smoothie was actually quite tasty, but I was ready to give in and order myself a pizza. Although I resisted, it was a tough call.

The next day, I bought the same yogurt and granola from Argo Tea for breakfast, which became my morning staple this week. And for lunch, I savored a juicy plum for lunch and was pretty satisfied, but I was still dying to eat something normal. In the blustery winter weather, I craved the comfort of pasta like I never had before.  

And after this tough day for my palate, I was not even done — I was tasked with getting a cake for my friend’s birthday the next day. I finally had something to look forward to and frantically searched the internet for bakeries with purple cake. Although the cake I ultimately found was vanilla flavored, purple frosting covered it, so the birthday treat definitely counted. When it was time to cut the cake, I had four slices and didn’t feel bad at all. And in my head, I totally managed to stay within the guidelines of the purple diet.  

The rest of the week roughly mirrored my first few days, but on the last day, I hedged my bets and went for sushi. I figured the restaurant would offer some purple-colored roll, and it did— purple sweet potato and purple rice. I was proud of this find and was able to end the week with a small victory.

But this happy coincidence aside, I hated the diet. Maybe if I tried being stricter for longer, I would have gotten the hang of it. My body simply wasn’t used to eating such unfulfilling foods. The diet was tremendously challenging, but I actually did notice some results. Without added vigorous exercise, I could tell my stomach was more toned from eating right. The purple diet motivated me to eat healthier in general, but I won’t be eating strictly purple in the future.

Email Caroline Zemsky at [email protected].