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Nutritionist: Jackson "Didn't Want to Eat Food"...Fried Chicken, Juice and Trail Mix Excepted

Michael Jackson, Cherilyn Lee Pool Photographer/Getty Images; AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Move over, Atkins. Step aside, Master Cleanse. We are proud to present the Michael Jackson diet.

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the months leading up to the King of Pop's death, out pops former Jackson nutritionist Cherilyn Lee—who, luckily for us, never met a camera she didn't like—to shed some light on the question that's really plaguing the minds of the music legend's fans: Forget the toxicology report. Forget the multiple home raids. What, oh what, did M.J. like to eat?

Take it away, Lee.

"He loved trail mix," she told E! News. "And once a month he had to have fried chicken."

The odd smattering of snack and junk food aside, Lee said Jackson generally subsisted on what was more or less a liquid, juice-based diet. Or at least he did up until she parted ways with the singer in April, at which point he apparently moved on to more substantial fare.

Like granola.

Lee said she first joined forces with Jackson back in January, after a mutual friend asked her to drop in on the pop star's home when one of his children came down with the flu. She quickly took Jackson himself on as a patient.

"He said, 'Well, you know I'm feeling tired,' " she recalled. "'I'm getting ready for the concerts. I would love to have as much energy as possible, so what can I do with my diet and nutrition?' "

Lee quickly put him on a diet of juice and smoothies "to meet the needs of a couple things that were slightly out of bounds" for the singer.

Kai Chase, who started working as Jackson's personal chef in March, remembers him popping downstairs after dinner to "grab a juice," but she says she cooked plenty of solid food for the star and his kids.

"I know when I started working there he asked for no beef or pork—just chicken, fish, turkey, organic vegetables, and he like his organic juices. He definitely ate solid foods. He loved gumbo. He loved KFC. I didn't work on Sundays, but on Mondays I would see buckets of KFC and mashed potatoes and gravy."

Chase said that she cooked high-protein, low-fat meals, such as grilled chicken and monkfish, for Jackson when he started rehearsing for hsi summer shows, but that Saturdays was for comfort food like barbecued chicken and corn on the cob.

"I actually saw him eat," Chase said, adding that he specifically requested gumbo for Father's Day.

As for why Lee didn't opt for more of a solid meal plan, the nutritionist said Jackson preferred his meals in liquid form.

"His whole thing was that he didn't really want to eat food."

He did, however, love his "caffeine-laced drinks," which Lee said added to his problem with low blood sugar. And while Jackson may have been food-averse himself, she denies he was underweight or that his preferences ever affected the children.

"They had structure," she said. "They sat down and had dinner together at night. Even though he'd say a lot of times, 'I'm not hungry,' this is what he wanted to do. He was a prime example of a very good father."

Not such a good patient, though.

Lee said it was around April that Jackson began having problems sleeping and started asking her for Diprivan, which she refused him, despite his persistent requests.

"What he tried to reassure me was that 'I will be safe...I will be safe just as long as someone monitors me.'

"He said, 'I'm tired of taking things to try to help me to sleep and I want to go to sleep right away. I don't want to wait for hours. I want to be knocked out.' Those were his words: 'I want to be knocked out and go to sleep.' "

—Additional reporting by Ashley Fultz

(Originally published July 29, 2009, at 9:23 a.m. PT)


Michael Jackson may not have liked his food, but these Hollywood guys sure do. Check out the expanding waistlines in The Awful Truth's Fat Man gallery.