My Fellow Juror Lost 200 Pounds Eating Only 2 Foods

Before you read, guess what the two foods are. And if you only ate two foods for 3+ years, what would they be?

My Fellow Juror Lost 200 Pounds Eating Only 2 Foods
Photo by dhanya purohit on Unsplash

In August 2023, a few months after watching Jury Duty, I was summoned to the Miami-Dade County Courthouse. After waiting 90 minutes in a large room with almost 100 people, I joined two dozen potential jurors and the bailiff in the hallway.

Twenty minutes later, we sauntered to the waiting area of a few courtrooms. I sat beside a retired gentleman in his 60s reading the newspaper who had a plastic bag of four large oranges with him. I’ll call him Hurley.

Two hours later, we were summoned to the courtroom. The juror selection process lasted two hours. One by one, potential jurors were excused. In the end, seven remained as jurors on the domestic violence case, including myself and Hurley. The case started after a one-hour lunch, and then we were excused just before 5 pm and instructed to return the following day by 11 am.

Four more large oranges

Hurley returned with another plastic bag of four large oranges. My curiosity was piqued, so I asked him about the oranges in the deliberation room during one of the breaks.

He informed us that he lost 200 pounds — more than half his body weight — and has kept it off for two years by eating only two foods: chicken and oranges.


Chicken and oranges.

That’s fucking impressive. And strange. But awesome.

We were all surprised he was formerly obese. During our time together, he was vibrant and kind, smiled often, and shared stories. He looked healthy. He wasn’t our official foreperson but led the deliberation in the beginning.


The chicken and oranges discussion only lasted a few minutes. I wish I would have thought to ask him these questions:

  • Do you eat offal? Drink bone broth?
  • Do you add salt, spices, and herbs to your meals?
  • Are you deficient in any vitamins and minerals? Do you take any supplements?
  • Have your blood tests improved significantly since you started to lose weight? Are they within the recommended range?
  • What kind of physical activity did you engage in while losing weight, and what about now?
  • Why chicken and oranges? Why not beef and strawberries or eggs and avocados?
  • Do you plan to consume more foods in the future?

I reckon the answers to the first seven questions are yes, yes, yes, no, yes, yes, yes. He didn’t seem like a gym rat but likely engaged in regular physical activity. I was diligent about asking if he genuinely only ate two foods — and he reiterated that he did — but I think he’ll eat more in the future.

In the end, he is enjoying life, and this is what matters most.

What’s the life lesson?

This experience reiterated that there are boundless ways to lose and keep weight off for years. Eating only chicken and oranges works, but it won’t work for most. It also shows you don’t need to consume many foods to be healthy. Your body doesn’t know if the vitamin C you ingested is from oranges, strawberries, or kale.

Aside from losing weight, there are infinite ways to live a good life. There are endless ways to be healthy, build strength, gain flexibility, run faster, grow, write better, and be kinder.

If you discover a method someone else is promoting that makes sense to you, tailor it to your preferences and lifestyle. Reiterate with time. What is ideal for you this year may not be suitable for you next year.

Be kind. Be well. Be mindful. Be curious.