What I Ate Today: The Food Jerk

First of all, one could reasonably say I eat like an asshole. I consume mainly organic stuff, cook a lot, buy mostly local produce and eat sustainably-raised meats. For your sanity as well as mine, I will abstain from saying “organic” in front of every food item where applicable, because it doesn’t matter and it makes me sound terrible. I swear it’s not a cultivated adult-onset pretension: I am from northern California and grew up in a little liberal enclave and organic produce/grassfed beef/small-scale dairy farms were the norm. It wasn’t even a good thing, ultimately, because when I went to college and had to be on a meal plan the first year, the cafeteria food made me sick all the time. So, yeah, growing up in California made me feeble.

Every morning I eat a bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal. I usually cut up a banana or put some blueberries in there. I use rice milk or almond milk because I didn’t grow up drinking milk much so I don’t have a taste for it. I feel like every few months the opinion on whether soy milk is bad for you or not changes, so I tend not to drink it. I also start every morning with a French press. I drink coffee black. Mid-morning I have some fruit or yogurt or both.

For lunch, if I’m at work, I eat brown rice sushi from Whole Foods because the neighborhood we work in is kind of a restaurant deadzone. When I worked in publishing, I brought my own lunch every day because I was broke. Now I bring my lunch a few days a week and go get something the rest of the time. I usually eat a pretty healthy lunch, salads, steamed/roasted vegetables, whatever. Boring shit. If I’m not at work I like to walk around my neighborhood and have something from here and something else from there, because I’m a grazer. I also live in a really solid eating neighborhood.

Dinner is a wild card. It’s hard to come home from work and give a shit about preparing a meal. Some nights I go to the gym and just eat something light. Some nights I’ll go out or get delivery or get something from a food truck nearby. There’s no real consistency. I try not to eat a big dinner during the week because I usually have a late lunch and I’m not a late eater to begin with.

On the weekends, though, I like going out. I love restaurants. It’s a big luxury but we’re fortunate in New York to have awesome stuff to eat at every price point: $6 for a mind-blowing falafel from Taim or $1 for pork and chive dumplings from Prosperity I love as much as a nice meal at Marlow & Sons or Roberta’s. During the week, I usually figure out a new place I want to go to or some standby I love. The weekend is usually where the, uh, not overtly healthy meals fall. Last weekend, for example, I went to Aurora and got this awesome fresh ricotta/lemon gnocchi with ramps, fiddlehead ferns and asparagus. It was delicious. I would try to avoid a meal like that during the week but by Saturday night, I’m usually looking for the butter and cheese and rich stuff.

I guess at the end of the day, I try to eat healthy and I try to do my part in supporting sustainable agriculture, try to support small farms, try to eat well because what’s good for you tends to be good for the planet. But I’m like everyone else in that I love salty or sweet foods that are bad for me and those 5 pork dumplings for $1 at Prosperity sure as shit aren’t made from contented, organic hogs. So I don’t eat them all the time. What I’m saying is I try to eat healthy but I also try not to be neurotic about it.

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    • Eileen


      The thing is, I don’t eat that differently from you. But I buy non-organic wherever possible because I really do not notice a difference in taste and organic is more expensive.

    • Jamie Peck

      There’s nothing jerky about being conscious of where your food comes from and what you put in your body. People need to stop apologizing for this!

    • Jackie

      I agree with Jamie, this isn’t jerky at all! I eat like this exactly and hate the nonsense people give me if they learn I typically only buy meat from local markets/organic grocers. I don’t judge others for what they put in their mouth and I don’t want people judging me.
      Loved when you said you “try to eat well because what’s good for you tends to be good for the planet”.

    • Ashlee

      I guess I must be a food jerk myself. I really hate when people make snarky comments on my eating habits. I am not bothering or hurting anyone else, and I certainly don’t walk around bragging about my healthy eating habits. In face a lot of times I feel embarrassed to say what I eat because people are so damn judgemental! I once had someone call me out for using all natural toxic free hand/dish soap. I was raised this way I don’t think I’m better than you! End of my rant. Keep eating the way YOU like!