Trouble Eating


Michael was that type of person who wouldn´t eat when in stress situation. He was quite often very exhausted because of that.



"I go through these serious food crises when I could go weeks without eating. I take stuff to keep weight on. What turns me off is that I don´t like eating anything that used to be alive and now it´s dead on my plate. I want to be a strict vegetarian, but my doctors keep trying to throw in chicken a fish.“

Michael Jackson in conversation with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (2000/2001)



„The other key to his good health, I believe, has been his diet. Before Michael left on tour, his doctor had insisted that he go on a high protein diet, including fish, so that he´d be able to keep his stamina up. Michael had reluctantly agrre. Even before Michael became a vegetarian in late seventies, I´d worried about his lack of interest in food. When the family would go out for hot-fudge sundaes, he´d be only one who wouldn´t want one. ´I´m not hungry´, he´d say. Now what kinds turns down a hot fudge sundae? I´m ashamed to admit that sometimes La Toya and I would eat two of them a day. After Michael took of Jermaine´s lead and decided to forgo meat, he became even less interested in eating than before. He employed a full time chef, but I don´t know why he bothered. When she took him his food, he´d eat two tablespoons then leave the rest. ´If I didn´t eat to live, I´d never eat,´ he told me. One day a week Michael fasted, ´I´m cleaning my body out, which is a healthy thing to do,´ he explained. But instead of laying low that day to conserve his energy, Michaeal would dance non-stop for two hour on his portable dance floor. Michael enjoyed having the last word in our arguments about his diet. ´You´re always worrying about me being to skinny,´ he´d say. ´but you know what? My doctor told me I was in number one shape. Stop worrying about me. I should be worried about you. You´re the one who keeps putting all the bad stuff into your body.´ But the Victory tour had gotten the better of Michael physically. He suffered from exhaustion and dehydration. The memory of illness was still fresh in his mind when his doctor laid down the law about his diet for his solo tour. I of course, hoped that after a year of eating three square meals a day, Michael had developed a permanent interest in food. But my hope was dashed the first time we talked after I joined him overseas. Happy as he was with the way the tour had gone to that point, he told me, ´I´d be glad when it´s all over, so I can start eating the way I want to again. I´m tired of forcing myself to eat.´"

Katherine Jackson in her book My Family, the Jacksons




"The memory I have of Michael's visit home. He was accompanied by his personal chef. The strange thing was my mother's culinary intervention, because she thought he ate too little. She made fried pizzas for Michael and he ate a lot. He ate so much that he had a hard time on stage the next day.

Alexandra Mussolini - In the photo below is Sofia Loren, Michael, Alexandra and Alexandra's mother



An excerpt from "Glenda tapes" from early 1990´s:




„When I get upset, I stop eating, sometimes until I´m unconscious, I´m a great believer in holistic natural foods and eating and herbs a things, you know, God´s medicine, instead of western chemicals, not those things, you know.“

Michael Jackson in an interview with Jesse Jackson, 2005



Around Invincible era:

„This was years ago, I´m going to go back probably eight years ago and Michael told me: ´Cory, I can´t tour anymore. I´m not gonna tour anymore. Ok?´ I said, ´Why Mike?´ He said, ´Because it will kill me.´ That´s what he said to me. He said, ´It will kill me.´ Why would you say something like that? He said, ´Well, remember when I was preparing for my concert and I passed out at the Sony Studio? He said, ´Well, it´s because when I get ready for a tour I get dehydrated. I don´t eat. I don´t drink. I don´t sleep. I put so much of myself into preparing for a tour.´


He said, ´I´m not doing this on a purpose. This is something I don´t think about anymore. You understand? I´ve just become so driven that I can´t even think about tehse things anymore. They made me walk with an IV last time.´ He said, ´So I just decided, my doctors decided that maybe you shouldn´t do this anymore.´ He said he wanted to make the Invincible album work to the point where that was. He´s done with the tour. He´s gonna do this Invincible album. He wanted to continue to put on albums. He said, ´I´ll do albums till I can´t také it anymore, but I just can´t tour.´“

Corey Rooney and Chris Apostle, former Sony Executives



Around trial in 2005:





„When I first became well known, I had a lot of baby fat and a very round, chubby face. That roundness stayed with me until several years ago when I changed my diet and stopped eating beef, chicken, pork and fish, as well as certain fattering foods. I just wanted to look better, live better, and be healtier. Gradually, as I lost weight, my face took on its present shape and the press started to accusing me of surgically altering my appearance, beyond the nose job I freely admitted I had, like many performers and film stars.


(…) I´d like to set the record straight now. I have never had my cheeks altered or my eyes altered. I have not had my lips thinned, not have I had dermabrasion or a skin peel. All of these charges are ridiculous. If they were true, I would say so, but they aren´t . I have had my nose altered twice and recently I added a cleft to my chin, but that is it. Period. I don´t care what anyone else says – it´s my face and I know.


I´m a vegetarian now and I´m so much thinner. I´ve been on a strict diet for years. I feel better that I ever have, healtier and more energetic. I don´t understand why the press is so interested in speculating about my appearence anywa. What does my face have to do with my music or my dancing?“

Michael Jackson in his book Moonwalk




Around Thriller era:

Brazilian chef Dona Remi Vila Real shares some of her memories: 


Remi: I met Quincy once at a dinner I cooked for some other musician. He loved my food and asked me if he could come and do something very important. He told me that he wanted to be Michael Jackson’s producer but every time he invited Michael to his house, Michael would never eat. He asked me if he could get Michael to eat some of my food. He said that Michael was a vegetarian and very picky about what he ate. I said I would try.

I went to Quincy’s house and there I met Michael for the first time. I took him aside and told him, “let me make you something very special. I know how to cook very healthy food from Brazil. All natural, all vegetarian. You will like it.” He agreed. I made him some black beans, collard greens, farofa and some other things and he ate four plates full!

Quincy was kissing me all night long and from that time, he has called me many times to cook for him.

Brazzil Magazine: Your trip on the Michael Jackson “Thriller” tour. Tell me about how that came about.

Remi: That is another very amazing story. I was living in West Los Angeles in a small apartment when I g

ot a phone call. The person on the phone asked me to look outside. He said: “See the limousine? Get in it, now!” I told him I could not because I was taking care of a person off the street and could not leave him. They said that they would send someone to look after the person right away and for me to get into the car. I told them I had to change my clothes because I all dirty from cleaning. They didn’t care. Finally I agreed when the man arrived to take care of my guest and I was taken to a big building in Beverly Hills and up to the very top penthouse. It was very luxurious.

The man on the other side of the desk handed me a ticket and said “you are going to the airport right now. Here is your ticket.” I asked him why. He explained to me that Michael Jackson was having stomach aches and specifically requested me to be his “nutritionist” on the “Thriller” tour. He was feeling sick to his stomach and refused to go on stage until they sent me to be his private cook. They were all very nervous. They said they were losing millions of dollars in canceled shows and I had to go right then.

I told them I could not and could only go in the morning. After a lot of arguing, the agreed to let me go home and they picked me up early in the morning and I was off to Birmingham Alabama.

I spent 8 weeks with Michael and his family on the road during the tour. It was an incredible trip I will never forget.

Brazzil Magazine: Did you become friends with him?

Remi: We became friends and I saw him numbers of times after that. I visited him in the hospital when his hair caught on fire and I saw him once in a while at an award’s show or party.

Brazzil Magazine: They didn’t call you Michael Jackson’s chef. They called you his nutritionist didn’t they?

Remi: Yes. When first I came to the United States, I started learning from other chefs about what is healthy and not healthy. In Brazil, we didn’t worry about what ingredients we used or what happened to someone if they ate something that made them sick. That was just part of regular life there. But in the United States, people cared about what they put into their bodies and I had to learn a lot of things quickly. I am an artist in some way and being a cook, I learned to have a “love for people”. I cared about whether they got a belly-ache from eating my food not only because it needs to be prepared fresh – I always did that – but because of the ingredients themselves. I started substituting different meats in the traditional Brazilian feijoada (see recipe box) and cooking lots of things vegetarian.

It was fun for me to cook this new way because in the end, I care about the taste of the food and food cook not only be a wonderful experience, but could also be nutritious and healthy.

I know I must have succeeded because Michael Jackson ate my food and he is very very particular about what he puts into his body. But because Michael is so big, I got a lot of attention around the world during the Thriller tour because they called me his nutritionist. I did after all make him stop having tummy-aches during his tour and he did not have any problem with food while I cooked for him.

From interview with Remi by David De Hilster 




Michael Jackson loved to work with Sikhs because of their honesty and spirit, but mostly he hired them as his personal chefs, like Mani Singh Khalsa and Akasha Kaur Khalsa. Mani travelled with him on the Jackson Five tour.

His personal vegetarian chef in Hollywood was Sadhana Singh Khalsa.

He was a frequent guest at the Golden Temple Restaurant as he regarded the food there to be was healthier than anywhere else. He would have his bodyguards come and fill up water jugs from the restaurant's water source while he was recording the 'Off the Wall' album. 



"I fast every Sunday. I don’t eat anything. Just juices....It flushes out the system, cleans out the colon. I think that’s great. To really make it work, you have to do it properly. That’s the sewer valve of the system. You have to keep that clean like you clean the outside of your body. All these impurities come out of your system because you’re not clean inside. It comes out in pimples or disease or through big pores. Toxins trying to get out of your system. People should try to keep themselves clean."
Michael Jackson in 1982 "Interview" Magazine