Reuters discovered a secret that could break the 2016 presidential race wide open: Jeb Bush is changing his diet!
That’s right. Bush, whom seasoned political reporter Steve Holland says once resembled a “pudgy doughboy,” has gone paleo.
The paleo diet, also called the caveman diet, is so named because it aspires to imitate the supposed eating habits of human hunter-gatherers prior to the development of settled agriculture. It emphasizes heavy consumption of meat, fruits, and certain vegetables while avoiding grains, dairy, and foods high in sugar and other processed carbohydrates.
Some nutritionists have dismissed the paleo diet as a fad, and the research on its long-term health implications is incomplete, but apparently the diet has been working for Jeb. As Holland notes in a Tuesday write-up, he now has a “chiseled” look and appears to have lost as many as 30 pounds.
Holland tapped an anonymous “source close to Bush” to learn about the diet, which apparently was pitched to him by his son, George P. Bush, currently serving as Texas land commissioner.
If Bush has switched to paleo in order to improve his health prior to a presidential run, he wouldn’t be the first Republican to do so. Mike Huckabee, who was obese when he became governor of Arkansas, shed more than 100 pounds before his run for the White House in 2008, and possible 2016 contender Chris Christie underwent lap-band surgery several years ago in an effort to shrink his hefty frame.
But will Bush be able to sustain his new lifestyle when so many culinary delights lurk on the campaign trail? Holland warns that it won’t be easy.
“There’s the tantalizing fried Snickers candy bar that is a staple of the Iowa State Fair, Kringle pastries in Wisconsin, the jelly-filled ‘pazcki’ doughnuts of Michigan,” he notes. If Bush can’t control his appetite, or succumbs to excessive politeness when primary state voters push food in front of him, he could find the pounds packing back on quickly.
The signs, Holland notes, are already ominous. At a recent New Hampshire event, he apparently caved in and ate a slice of blueberry pie (certainly not paleo-compliant) while asking if he could have some french fries as well.
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