Tag Archives: fast food

We Are (Not) What We Eat

Hello, here are some of the things I ate for dinner last week:

  • Pan-seared grassfed steak with salsa verde, served with farro, roast broccoli and sweet potatoes from my friend Nicki Sizemore’s brilliant new Build A Bowl cookbook.
  • Rigatoni with homemade eggplant sort of caponata sauce. (No recipe; a lot of capers and winging it.)
  • Pasta primavera with grilled chicken at Ruby Tuesday’s.
  • Chicken thighs simmered with butternut squash, peas and Maya Kaimal Tikka Masaala Simmer Sauce.
  • A locally raised rotisserie chicken from our butcher, served with salad, cold soba noodles and a ginger lime soy dressing.

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On Gwyneth Paltrow and Reading My Book Out Loud

So that pile of papers is…my book!

In the biz, we call this “First Pass.” The manuscript has been revised, copy-edited, fact-checked and typeset… so this was the first time I got to read my words on pages that look like actual book pages, not a Word document. This is the second time I’ve edited a hard copy — I printed the whole Word doc out to line edit before I submitted my first draft last fall. But I did something a little different this time, which was to read the whole manuscript out loud. I got this tip from Anna Quindlen when I heard her interviewed on my favorite writing podcast; apparently she always reads her manuscripts out loud in their entirety. It sounds sort of obvious, but I can see why most people don’t do it. It is surprisingly exhausting to read a whole book out loud. One chapter takes several hours when you’re stopping to edit and also drink a lot of water. It took me the better part of two weeks to get through the whole thing.

But it was excellent advice. I found I caught far more mistakes and word reps and run-on sentences than I ever do reading silently. So much so that I am now slightly despairing that galleys (advance reading copies — the things that look a lot more like books but don’t have hard covers) are made from these First Pass pages before all my corrections went in. So if you get a galley from me in the next few weeks, please know the final book really is going to be oh so much better and maybe don’t even really read the galley, but just admire it from afar? (Unless I’m asking you to blurb, of course. And even then, maybe sort of skim?)

Okay but here are some things you can read — silently or out loud, your choice — while you’re waiting to read my book.

“If I can afford steak, why worry about buying beans?” Fascinating interviews with black men on how they perceive their food environments.

Should we use prisoners to study salt

Almost everybody gets unhealthy eventually: I love how Dr. Arya Sharma breaks down a new LANCET study, which tried to conclude that even if you’re “healthy fat” now, you’ll end up “unhealthy fat” later. (Short version: You probably will. But so will your “healthy thin” friend. It’s called aging!)

President Obama’s Lucky Pasta

It’s just not nice (or helpful!) to call your kid a picky eater. (And if there’s one thing I learned researching my book: Pickiness is in the eye of the beholder.)


Filed under Eating Instinct, From Instagram, Health, On Eating and Writing

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Three Months Down: I Miss Real Food.

The Three Month State of Beauty U Report continues.

The other thing about being in school every weeknight from 6 to 10 PM? That used to be when dinner happened. As in, a meal, often containing vegetables, which I cooked and sat down to eat — at a table, or even better, curled up on the couch in my PJs.

Now dinner is something that happens in under 15 minutes sometime between 5 and 5:30, when I’m also frantically finishing up work for the day and running around the house looking for my Beauty U apron. Think PB&J or whatever motley assortment of leftovers I’ve got in the fridge. And because we all eat like that, so fast and so early, when we take our 15-minute break at 7:30 or 8 PM, we’re hungry all over again and end up rounding things out with a trip to the vending machine, Dunkin Donuts, or Subway. Then I chase that with a pre-bedtime bowl of cereal around 10:30 or 11 PM.

Which brings me to another thing I miss after three months in beauty school: Being 5 pounds lighter. Bear with me while I break my New Year’s Resolution to stop talking about what I eat, and with the inherent hypocrisy that is me complaining about my weight while simultaneously writing a blog that’s all about challenging beauty standards. Because these are just the facts: Before I started at Beauty U, I ate fast food maybe once every two or three months, on a road trip or when in recovery mode after a big night out. I’m no purist, it just wasn’t part of my daily diet. Now I eat some form of fast food (a couple of munchkins, a pack of M&Ms, a sub slathered in delectable Chipotle Southwest mayo) three or four nights a week. Not to mention, working all day and schooling all night doesn’t leave a lot of free time for exercise. As a result, my jeans are getting tight and I have the broken-out forehead of an angry 13-year-old boy.


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    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

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