Friday, July 15, 2011


Squishing a huge blog of lentils into the kitchen floor this morning, I called out, as a water-bound siren sings for her soulmate sailor-Prince: "Bloody hell, Kevin! Look at this - I'm so sick of your stinking legumes!"

Soulmate. Like striving for your authentic self, which I have previously admitted eludes me, there is now the concept of "soulmate", presented these days as the Bora Bora of a happy relationship. The perfect someone is out there for you, and when you meet them; the earth moves, the angels sing, and you spend the rest of your days laughing uproariously in the clear blue seas and running barefoot on white-sand beaches.

My husband, Kevin. Listen, this is the guy who beat a leprechaun in a cross country ski race. As you may already know, sometimes he gets up as early as 4am to work, so he can spend time with the kids at breakfast-time and get home at 6pm. He is there to listen to Cy's endless diatribes about the awesomeness of Cody Simpson, to Tallulah's rather long songs about her life, and play hoops for Harley and Jackson. Say. No. More.

But this man among mythical green creatures is also fascinated by diets. I'm the whiny naysayer. Diets don't work, I say, which is why the billion dollar diet industry keeps making more billions.

"It's a health thing," he replies.

First he read how Cameron Diaz had saved her skin. He spent many hours in further intensive reading, and day after day followed deliveries of various skin unguents, ointments, lotions and potions. The fridge was near to swimming upstream with salmon and the air was scented with multiple snacks of sardines.

Then there was the Neanderthal Man diet. Like this hairy caveman, only food that could only be eaten raw could touch Kevin's lips. Out was anything that needed the intervention of fire or processing plants. (Though once that was established you were allowed to cook stuff.) Out with peanut butter, all bread, pasta and potatoes. Out with all legumes, like chickpeas and lentils which need to be cooked and - like peanuts - are poisonous if eaten raw. Cooked meat was eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, ignoring the small fact that most meats cannot be eaten raw. (Though actually I read the other day the avant garde chefs in London were serving pork pink and recently I had rather pink-ish chicken at Gather in Berkeley.)

There was much mention from friends that Neanderthal Man had died out and why was Kevin following the diet of an extinct species? A small technicality - Kevin lost 15 lbs, kept it off for a year, and those friends started doing it too.

Then one day…disaster. He read somewhere that the almonds we eat today – a cornerstone of his Neanderthal program – have been bred over the centuries from a wild ancestor that was toxic. In other words, Neanderthal man would not have eaten palmfuls of almonds for breakfast. His confidence in the Neanderthal philosophy fatally shaken, he abandoned it and wandered alone in the dietary wilderness until two months ago when he read this article, and started on the  The Four-Hour Body.  

Loads of lentils, meat and peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You have to eat as soon as you get up so Kevin leaves protein bars and tubs of peanut butter in our bathroom.  This is terribly convenient for our mice, if they are kind enough to return, as they can help themselves without screwing off any lids.

And there is one "cheat day" where you can eat anything you like in any quantities. As with most evangelists, Kevin seems to have a pyramid of followers (well his brother and a work-mate anyway) who exhange witty texts about their cheat days. "Started with a twix bar and bag of chips for breakfast" one texted him in France. Kevin has lost 15lbs again as have his two followers.

Cy just came in. He doesn't have camp today. "Oh, I can't wait till Dad comes home." It's 10am. Me-too-can't-wait.

I just lifted up my UGGs (it's freezing here in Oakland) to find more of Kevin's lentils stuck to my boot. This time they made me smile -  not a message in the white sands of our soulmate lives - but a lovenote all the same...

Do you have "legumes" in your life?


  1. That's interesting. I can't say that my spouse is my soul-mate, but yes there are "lentils". Exasperating "lentils". I haven't found the fondness yet for the "lentils" he leaves scattered around.

    Just curious: has Kevin tried the "hunter-gatherer" diet? Or paleo diet? Or south beach? (They all share similarities, and I'm on something like this. Only I'm not devout.)

  2. I am like you, Jody, and refuse all diets. I am certain I too could lose 10-15lbs if I did something drastic. But it would have to be drastic, and well, I just don't believe drastic is good for me.

    My husband, also Kevin, will, like your Kevin, go crazy with a new idea. The problem is: he doesn't cook. Not really at all, so his diets never last long because I make dinner and he can never say no. ; ) Nonetheless, I have enough protein powders, flax seed oil and muscle-smuscle stuff to stock a pantry. He gasps when he sees me with butter or cream or mayo but will eat two bags of chips. To each his own!

  3. Koreen: lentil love...yes Kevin is searching "hunter gatherer" on his computer as we speak...
    Amy ! Okay -Kevin is gasping as he reads butter and cream which are the staples of my cooking!

  4. Actually, I want to have more legumes. I'm not a "dieting" person, but my doctor and I are looking for a healthier diet (i.e., healthier food choices) for me. One with a better balance between meat and non-meat protein.
    I'm not for "fads," but I am for options. So I keep looking for useful options which will not upset my current eating pattern too significantly. Or else do it slowly.
    Any suggestions?

  5. Diets? in this house?? no no and again no.....we don't believe in them and follow the 'a little of what you fancy' suggestion. We could both look better if we lost a few pounds but we are just hard-wired to sticking with what we know food wise at our age.......and we both love cake! As for 'soulmates'?...I don't believe in such a thing. There may be someone somewhere in the world who would be perfect for either me or my husband but we didn't meet them....we met each other and have been together for 30 years....soulmates are a bit like Miss World.....after a contest the papers are full of 'she is the most beautiful girl in the world' comments and we would always say 'out of girls who entered a competition to be Miss World she won' the many many really beautiful woman in this world didn't enter.......

  6. Mr Roving Blade is partial to the latest idea. One of them was some colonic cleansing powder and yes (you're way ahead of me aren't you?) he misread 2 teaspoons for 2 tablespoons and.... wot larks!

    Like you I don't believe in diets - they make you think MORE about food than ever!!! Even if I try to avoid too much bread and do a 'if I have toast for breakfast I can't have a sandwich at lunch' kind of reasoning, I know by dinner I'll end up with slabs of it dunked in Mr RB's special tomato soup or something to redress the balance and make me give up all ideas of control. And I'm not saying no to Mr RB's special tomato soup for anyone. Mm-mmn....

  7. Love his many attempts at diets - the Neanderthal one made me laugh! Diets are so hard to stick to...I think if you do everthing in moderation, and add a good dose of exercise (which I'm so trying to do!), one can lose weight and live healthier. But, as someone who adores bread, cheese and wine, that's easier said than done. Great post!

  8. LOL! Your make me laugh so hard girl. Don't get me started on my hubby's hobby hopping. It is like our garage is a sports and hunting store. Next time ya'll need anything just stop by and shop in our garage. It is crazy, the newest thing is kayaking. Does he have time to do this- no but he thinks it is a superb idea:)

  9. Haha! Jody this post is just brilliant - I love! I am single myself, so I have no "legumes" or "lentils" in my life at the moment - maybe someday! :P

    P.S. The dress arrived and I absolutely LOVE it - the color is beautiful. Thank you so much!! :)

  10. My soulmate is cooking breakfast, since I've been on the computer (catching up!) all morning. I think he figure (at around 11) that if he didn't do it then- ........

    I absolutely love this post, his quirky diet fascination... and the accompanying 'his & hers' photos =). LOVE.

    K... breakfast is ready (just got the "siren call").

    I'm replying to your comment later! (round 2 of computer catch-up... the INBOX :))

  11. chocolate diet - suits us both very well - it's the food of love :)

  12. Im like you, I really dont believe in the trend diets. I believe with exercise and watching what you eat, and eating the healthy with the sometimes bad is what your life diet should be. Though we sometimes fall off, we should always be active every day along with fruits and veggies. Less intake then we put out.

    I just love the way you wrote this though and how you put all the clothing and shoe pictures together of your things. You write with a passion and very artistically.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    AND PS...I dont think its about being soulmates, its about falling in love, finding your common ground and allowing each other space to be yourself.

  13. I do wish I could interest the Shah in a diet - any kind of diet really!

  14. This is hilarious! I try new things and become a bit of a zealot too, I put on 8 lbs on the hunter gatherer diet, it took me about three fillet steaks to feel full - a slice of toast is usually all it takes!
    Oh you've made me like that navy cape even more with the Grace Kelly comment.

  15. Lentils and peanut butter? Doesn't that give him terrible gas?

    I've invited you to take part in the Seven Links Project - only if you have the time and inclination. Details on my blog

  16. i do have a lentil in my life. today he turned 40. and as i present to me {the batty vegetarian: everything has to be local, organic, and kind} he's been reading 'omnivore's dilemma'.
    butt-head. since solving his previous dilemma of processed foods and meat consumption, the bastard has dropped 13lbs and looks better than ever. and suddenly he's the ben franklin of clean, kind eating.
    happy birthday, screw you.

  17. OMG this is hilarious, and also congrats to him on losing 15lbs!

  18. What a great made me laugh out loud. I believe I can understand Kevin's crazy attraction. I don't need to lose weight but have some sick curiosity about crazy diets and what works best for me naturally. I am constantly changing what is on the banned list. I don't subject my family to my crazy ways but I bet if you asked my husband he'd say there were lentils on his shoes right now:)

  19. Really enjoyed reading this post and loved your romantic photos - like an advert for fabric softener!

  20. Another lovely post!Really enjoyed reading it!

    I am a legume lover and thank God my family loves them too!! It is so easy to cook for them!


  21. Jody- I've watched my husband eat really healthy foods and never lose weight (and sleep apnea, blood pressure and high cholesterol that comes with the weight.) I seem to be able to eat what I want and never gain weight, go figure (and lucky me!)

    So you know in we are both eating on the Volumetrics plan and he's finally losing the weight! 18 pounds so far and he wore a tight t-shirt today and looked - GREAT!

    I looked at all the diets (um, "eating plans") and Volumetrics was cheap (just two books) and simple and not far off a normal diet. I'm perplexed at the weird ways people eat to lose weight. I think it's because "new" ideas drive sales of products just as in fashion.

    Draw the line at hundreds of dollars a month on exotic juices and shakes...


  22. Um, I couldn't stop laughing when I read that Kevin is the guy who beat a leprechaun in a cross country ski race. Thank you for cheering up my monday morning--he sounds perfect for you in every way!

    xo Mary Jo

  23. The fact that he gets up so early for his family brought tears to my eyes. What a guy! I feel lucky to have a fella like that too!

  24. Hahah - this post made me laugh!! I can't control my eating very well anymore, so now I just run a lot. My husband and I are currently training for our first half - marathon!!

  25. Great post. I am trying to get to Kevin's physique. All of his "diets" work as he is as lean as he was in college (actually probably leaner - beer consumption was much higher back then).

  26. My soul mate is a little bit pudgy but he's still my soul mate! Loved the post!

  27. "not a message in the white sands of our soulmate lives - but a lovenote all the same..." Love that! I love when the little things in relationships make us smile :)

  28. hahahaha. hearing about your husband made me laugh so hard. mine isnt a diet or lentil fanatic, but he is the messiest person ive ever met in my life. nevertheless i do think we're perfect for each other. i balance out his disorganization and he balances out my anal cleanliness. soulmates though? no, i dont believe in that.

  29. This is such a fantastic post. My husband absolutely has his, ahem, legumes. And it is these idiosyncrasies that make me laugh and scream that make me thankful for my 'soulmate.'


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