"I may start working with a pop star," Miranda Holladay said. "I meet her tonight to see if she wants me to be her eating disorder companion."
"Seriously?" I replied. My friend, whose name I've changed to protect her privacy, lives in Los Angeles, where she's met a lot of celebrities while working in the drug rehabilitation industry. Before this, she's never worked directly with any of them.
I asked which pop star, to which Holladay kindly replied, "I can't tell you because I have to respect her privacy."
"So, it's a chick?" I pressed.
"Yes, but that's all you're getting out of me," she said.
"What exactly will you be doing for this pop star?" I asked.
Holladay replied with a giggle, "I need to keep her from eating pizza in the middle of the night." My jaw dropped to the floor. How do you do that?
Holladay started working for the pop star right after we talked. The next time we spoke, I barraged her with questions:
Lisa Sipe: What surprised you the most about how the pop star eats?
Miranda Holladay: She eats every three hours and the food is prepared by a nutritionist chef.
LS: Does she seem to enjoy the food?
MH: Not all the time, but most of the time, yes. At some point, I could tell that she was getting sick of the food. Not because it was bad, but when eating six or more meals a day it's difficult for the chef to be creative.
LS: What was your favorite meal?
MH: Pan seared scallops with roasted veggies.
LS: When the pop star was on tour, did the chef still cook?
MH: The chef prepared meals for travel days, and when we arrived at a hotel the chef would get a section of the hotel kitchen to continue preparing meals. The meals were stocked in the refrigerator and available to heat either in the room or while at the venue. If meal time came while traveling to or from the airport, snacks were available.
And then. ...
Holladay worked for the pop star for about a month and then moved to another gig as an eating disorder companion to a billionaire's daughter. She told me the billionaire made the pop star look like a pauper. The billionaire's home alone is valued at triple the net worth of the pop star. Holladay got her own room in the lavish Hollywood home because she was companioning 24/7. The first thing she said to me after taking the job was, "I think they have ninja housekeepers." Every time Holladay went back to her room she said everything was tidied up. If there were any dirty clothes they were cleaned and folded.
She told me, "I never saw anyone working there." It's probably pretty easy to hide in a home where the master bedroom is more than double the size of the average American home. If this home had ninja housekeepers, I had to know about the kitchen staff.
LS: What is it like to eat with a billionaire?
MH: Breakfast is the basics of what you would want, like eggs, bacon, pancakes or waffles. Every day there is a new lunch and dinner menu with between six and 10 options including salads, soups, appetizers and main courses. The house has two kitchens, one for the family and a second one in the guest house with a full restaurant kitchen. The refrigerator is stocked with prepared entrees in case anyone gets hungry after the chefs are gone for the evening.
LS: Does the billionaire eat like us or have fancier taste?
MH: I wouldn't say fancier, but healthier, mainly gluten-free. I noticed they have the chefs re-create some of their favorite foods from local restaurants.
LS: Do you have any fun food stories?
MH: The fun part when working with the billionaire family was learning that when I'm hungry, a text was sent to the chef and within 15 minutes a meal was in front of me. I discovered my room had a stocked mini fridge in the closet. It was filled with sports drinks, water, sparkling water and soda. My favorite part was the Keurig in the closet with cups, sweeteners and a drawer filled with coffee, hot cocoa and 10 different types of tea.
A person to support someone struggling with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, restricting). The companion's job is to assist the clinical team with updates on behaviors and progress. They help teach clients in real time how to deal with triggers or emotions that often result in eating disorder behavior. The clients who benefit from an eating disorder companion typically don't meet the criteria for in-patient treatment, nor would they benefit from it.
What is an eating disorder companion?
A person to support someone struggling with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, restricting). The companion’s job is to assist the clinical team with updates on behaviors and progress. They help teach clients in real time how to deal with triggers or emotions that often result in eating disorder behavior. The clients who benefit from an eating disorder companion typically don’t meet the criteria for in-patient treatment, nor would they benefit from it.