My 3 course meal in Boston, Mass (2011)


A rather "large" meal for me..... A selection of chips, plain croissant & Chex Mix!   

This site was created to help others understand adults (& children) that suffer from "Sensory Integrative Dysfunction" and/or severely limited diets.


Those that suffer the social stigma of not being able to eat most foods have been in the dark for years, until recently (2011) when Duke University began a study of adults with severely limited diets. The words "Picky Eating Adults" unfortunately sounds as though we have a choice, we do not!


My inability to eat most foods continues to astound me to this day, but even more astounding is people's negative reactions to us!    Now, according to some, I'm known as "The World's Pickiest Eater"....  I wish it WERE a choice, cuz I'd choose to eat EVERYTHING!  




In the navigation bar above, you'll find some of the recent media attention regarding this extremely limited diet. The PEA (picky eating adults) website is where, nearly 10 years ago, I discovered Bob Krause (founder of the site) as well as Karen, Amber, Rhonda, Heather, Joyce, Tyler, Jessica, Adam and many others just like me!

Carlos & Marla in 1975


At the suggestion of my 90 year old father, I'm including this photo of my husband and I in 1975.   This was our first date, water skiing on Lake Perris, California.  Carlos is quite the FOX!!


It took about 6 or 8 months for me to tell Carlos that I couldn't eat most foods.


What a master of disguise I had to be, all the while dating this man!?  Skirting around eating situations, I always had the excuse of "already eating".


When I told Carlos I had something important to tell him, he feared that I was breaking up with him.  Instead, I told him I've never eaten meat (except bacon), fruits or veggies!   He was delighted and immediately took me out for fries!


All the while, Carlos made sure my fries were fresh and hot!    To this day, he makes sure my fries are perfect, and our home is ALWAYS fully stocked with MILK!


I love my husband!


USDA Recommendations.... WHY does the government tell us what to eat????

As a young girl and into my teens, I searched for help, hopefully a “cure” to my issue. Doctors all insisted I received all my nutrients from potatoes and milk.


But what about the USDA 4 food groups we're supposed to be consuming? Once, in 1971, I wrote a detailed letter to Dear Abbey expressing my concern with my predicament and diet. She responded with a brief letter that said, “Dear Marla, If your doctors aren’t concerned and you’re thriving on your diet, don’t worry.” That was everyone’s answer as no one could explain it. Yes, I was thriving, but yes, I was worried. After all, we are taught in school that you MUST have the four food groups in order to live a long, healthy life. I lacked three of the four groups! Ouch! 

For years I've thought, if only I could waive a magic wand and eat anything and everything, I would! I'd certainly rather eat like everybody else, spending my meal times enjoying business lunches with clients, and dinners with friends and family rather than writing this book.


The four food groups were equally divided into a “square meal”, as you may remember if you grew up in the 60's...

  1. Meat

  2. Fruits

  3. Vegetables

  4. Grains/Dairy

In order to (mentally) survive, I couldn't buy this idea and I needed to come up with a theory of how & why I could possibly be alive without eating 3 out of the 4 food groups. I was often told I would die young! Could the 4 food groups be a sham?


As a survival mechanism, I either had to start eating “right” or convince myself I was healthy regardless of what I ate. Since I wasn't able to eat “right”, brainwashing myself was the only option. Kinda like a placebo convinces a patient they're receiving life saving medications. Heck, it's been proven to work!


Therefore, the in depth research began - into these highly "necessary" four food groups that I've yet to consume.


Looking back hundreds of years, I notice humans tend to eat “geographically”, in other words, those that live in Alaska eat mostly fish, those that live on farms with cattle eat mostly meat and those living in rain forests eat fruits & veggies. Chinese live mainly on grains & fish. Heck, most other mammals, aside from humans eat one food, koala bears eat leaves, horses eat hay, etc.


Taking a hard look at the 4 food groups, I noticed these recommendations started around the early 1900's.


Another thing taking place in the early 1900's was the industrial revolution -- mass production. Suddenly, we could package, can & preserve food. For the first time ever, we had more supply of food than we had demand.


We also just invented an awesome method of reaching the masses, it was called RADIO. With the advent of radio came, you guessed it -- advertisements!

Heck, over the years, different products have even created associations to promote their particular product , the “egg association” of the last few decades that convinced us that eggs aren't so bad. The milk association also keeps us buying milk!


It has become my opinion that in the early 1900's, it was financially beneficial to marketeers, food producers and advertisers to convince the general public that eating a little bit of everything that we're “selling” would be REALLY good for you!  The government wanted to see industry grow, therefore, why not encourage people to have a "well rounded diet"?   It was those same years that doctors recommended cigarettes to calm your nerves!


Even more interesting is after all those years of every adult, every teacher, every camp counselor and every doctor pounding the 4 food groups into our heads, suddenly in 1992, it morphed into a 5 food group pyramid. Alas! ...the largest part of the pyramid was grains. They also have a small section at the top that includes some sugars, etc. Wow! I've got 2 of the groups this time!

Just when the newest generation of parents settle in with the food pyramid, in 2010, “they” (why is they? oh yeah -- USDA!) introduces “My Plate” which is a new politically correct four food groups, plus dairy on the side:

  • Protein (meats, peanuts, beans, etc.)

    This is where the PC comes in. If you're a vegetarian, you'll live, but not ME!

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Grains

  • Dairy "on the side"

Wow! I'm confused! Good news is... I'm up to 3 food groups! It's no wonder we have phases and crazes every decade of what's good or bad for us:

Notice the packaging in the supermarket...major advertisements & health food

stores promoting less of the current craze we don't want!


1980's - Watch the cholesterol -Ads said "low cholesterol"

1990's - Watch the carbohydrates - Ads said "low carbs"

2000's - Watch the fat - Ads and food claimed "no fat"

2010's - "Gluten FREE!"


Seriously's one for you, don't DRINK SODA! That stuff is poison.

I have to laugh at people that stick strictly to the current USDA recommendation, making sure to watch their carbs or fat or gluten, whatever this decade is watching and then wash it all down with SODA and COFFEE! And then wonder why theyre sick?


Now, this coming from a gal that eats potato chips for meals?! Definitely just a wild 'theory'.


Could I be living proof that these recommendations are not necessarily true?

Could the push in the early 1900s for American's to eat something from every food group be related to making money?


What do I know?