A. J. Jacobs

I tried the paleo diet, which is the caveman diet – lots of meat. I tried the raw food vegan diet. And I tried the calorie restriction diet, which is the idea is that if you eat very, very little – if you’re on the verge of starvation, you will live a very long time. Whether or not you want to, of course, is the idea.

I’m all for cafeteria religion. I think there’s nothing wrong with cafeterias – I’ve had some great meals at cafeterias. I’ve also had some horrible meals, so it’s important to pick the right things. Take a heaping helping of compassion and mercy, and leave the intolerance on the table.

I got a sense of the amazingness of ordinary life, and I became aware of the marvel that we’re around to begin with. I visited a lot of extreme communities, like the Amish, Hasidic Jews, and serpent-handlers. And I was proud, because I think I’m the first person to ever out-Bible-talk a Jehovah’s Witness. After four hours, he said, “Okay, I have to go.”