The Diamond Jim Brady diet

You’ve tried them all: the South Beach diet, the Cambridge diet, the Pritikin diet, the Slim-Fast diet, the Bran diet, the Rice diet, the Popcorn diet, the Cabbage Soup diet – and if you’re like me, you’ve lost three pounds in five years.    

Consider the Diamond Jim Brady diet. All you have to do before each meal is read the following details about his daily indulgences and you’ll feel so mentally bloated that a light, healthy meal will seem sinful.

Diamond Jim was a legendary glutton from the Gay 90s, a gargantuan man whose post mortem revealed a stomach six times the size of a normal person’s. The millionaire with the diamond rings hung out at New York’s poshest restaurants, especially the lavish Delmonico’s. One restaurant called him “the best twenty-five customers I ever had.” He downed five meals each day. 

Breakfast would consist of a gallon of orange juice, several eggs, half a loaf of bread, a huge steak with a platter of fried potatoes and onions on the side, a big bowl of buttery grits, a pound or so of bacon, a stack of pancakes with syrup and assorted muffins to round out the meal.

Lunch was a few dozen oysters, a couple of bowls of soup, half a dozen deviled crabs, turtle meat (one of his favorites), a joint of beef, a platter of baked cod, assorted vegetables and a mammoth salad.

A typical dinner began with six dozen oysters while he decided what else to have. Then came two bowls of turtle soup, eight lobsters, yet another big sirloin steak, two whole pressed ducks, six steamed crabs, a mountain of vegetables, a bulging platter of French pastries and a two-pound box of candy – all washed down with several gallons of orange juice.

Not to mention his daily brunch and midnight snack.

Well, I don’t know about you, but my stomach feels like someone blew up a balloon inside of it. I’m afraid all I have room for is just one lean turkey burger, a thimble of low-fat stew, and a nice long walk for dessert.


For each burger:                  
1/3 pound lean, ground turkey
Olive oil
1 teaspoon low-salt soy sauce
Pinch of garlic powder
1 slice part-skim milk mozzarella cheese
1 thick slice tomato

Form turkey into a burger patty. Heat about 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry burgers until well done, turning once. While cooking, drizzle each side with a little soy sauce and a sprinkling of garlic powder. Top with cheese slice and cover with foil until melted. Garnish with tomato.

Serves 4-6

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut in chunks
2 zucchini, sliced
2/3 cup low-salt chicken broth or stock
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Lightly brown eggplant. Add onions, garlic, potatoes and peppers and cook 3 minutes more. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer 20 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally. Uncover and simmer 5-10 more minutes or until slightly reduced. Remove bay leaf. Serve with a mountain of potato chips, a huge slab of chocolate cake and a tumbler of heavy cream. Kidding.

Robin Benzle

Robin Benzle lives in Bay Village. For more recipes, visit

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 6:24 PM, 04.19.2011