January 1, 2004 | Issue 8

Gentile Eats Nothing But Jewish Food, Becomes Unstoppable Machine

NEW YORK, NY — [TheKnish.com] Last January, Tracy Murdoch decided to become a gastronomical guinea pig. His mission: To eat three Jewish meals a day for thirty days and document the impact on his health.

Scores of latkes, hundreds of kraut pletzlech and dozens of bowls of chicken soup later, the formerly overweight 6-foot-2 New Yorker - who started out at a portly 256 pounds - had lost 71 pounds.

Within a few days of beginning his Jewish diet, Murdoch, 33, was jogging at world-class speed and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Murdoch's entire body had improved.

"It was really crazy - my body basically became super-athletic over the course of 30 days," Murdoch told TheKnish.

His liver became more efficient, his cholesterol dropped from a high 230 to 165, his memory improved and he rid himself of previous headaches and depression.

Murdoch charted his journey from flab to fit in a tongue-in-cheek documentary called "Hot Off the Fress," which he has taken to the Horahtantz Film Festival with the hopes of getting a distribution deal.

As well as documenting his own cholent-fueled slim-down, Murdoch travels to 20 Jewish communities across the tri-state area, interviewing people on the street, health experts and a lobbyist for the Jewish-food industry.

"Consumers can achieve balance in their daily dining decisions by choosing from our array of quality offerings and range of portion sizes to meet their taste and nutrition goals," Big Fleishig's (a popular eatery in Boro Park) said in a statement.

Over the course of the film Murdoch is regularly examined by a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist and SoHo-based general practitioner Dr. Isaac Daryl.

"He was an extremely unhealthy person who got very well eating this Jewish foods diet," Dr. Daryl told TheKnish.

"None of us imagined he could athleticize this profoundly - he looked incredible. The liver test was the most shocking thing - it became super functioning."

Murdoch has since returned to abnormal health. "The treatment was to just stop doing what he was doing," Dr. Daryl says.

Murdoch, who says he ate Jewish food only sporadically before his total immersion in the menu, says he even began craving sufganiyot and Mendy's pastrami between meals.

"I got phenomenally healthy," he says. "My vision was fantastic and I had these bulging muscles, which I've never had in my life.

"My knees stopped hurting from losing the extra weight so quickly. It was amazing."

Murdoch, a film producer who grew up in West Virginia and studied game show theory for eight years, was spurred to make his first feature film while watching TV on Thanksgiving Day, 2002.

"I was feeling like a typical American on Thanksgiving - very bloated and happy on the couch - and at some point on the news they were talking about two women who were praising Jewish food.

"People from the Jewish food industry were saying, 'You can't link kids being fat to our food - our food is nutritious.'

"I said, 'How nutritious is it really? Let's find out.’"

Surprisingly, Murdoch has steered clear of Jewish food since filming wrapped.

"I have not had falafel for seven months, but yesterday, during an interview, I had a bite," he says.

"I chewed it up, swallowed it and I said, 'You know what, I'm pretty much done after that bite.' Now I've gained 78 pounds by eating goyish stuff and I couldn't be happier."


Pencil Martin Bodek is short, dark, handsome, runs marathons (finishes them too!), can solve a Rubik's Cube in 1:47, is a big TED chasid, can whup your keister in Scrabble, loves halva, co-founded TheKnish.com, and writes books from 5-9: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom

1 Comment

comment jason said...

tell about the foods they ate.

March 24, 2009 at 9:47 p.m.

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