I Tried the Instagram Foodie Diet

It’s where I ate all of the cool trendy shit everyone always photographs — AT ONCE

08.12.16

You may or may not recall that I once ate such an enormous quantity of food during dinner at The Cheesecake Factory that I was unable to reverse my car out of its parking space following the meal. I was so full that to swivel my body toward the back window was not only physically painful, but emotionally. I almost threw up. My friend had to back out for me. It is sad when you realize you’ve hit the age of One Beer Hangovers (boo hoo), it is devastating when you learn that you can no longer take down a plate of Tex Mex Egg Rolls in tandem with a double bacon cheeseburger plus fries, a bread basket, half an order of baked ziti and dessert like you used to.

Since then, I have tried instead to eat a normal amount of food each day. Here’s the thing in 2016, though: what is normal? Who knows. Don’t box me in!

What I can tell you is what is cool. Or rather, Instagram can, by way of its various culinary-focused accounts, hashtags and foodie pics. No one needs me or a New York Times article to declare us as a generation that believes we truly are what we eat. And we already know we’re existentialists, too: if we are what we eat but nothing is anything without a photo, then a meal undocumented is more or less a body without a soul.

I rarely photograph my food, which means I am probably dead. An in-denial phantom. I’ve suspected this ever since watching The Sixth Sense. However, for as many parallels as I’m able to draw between Bruce Willis and myself, for my parents’ sake I thought that maybe I’d give the old pulse check another go.

And by that I mean I needed an excuse to eat all of the cool shit I’ve been seeing on Instagram without feeling embarrassed for jumping on trendy edible bandwagons that make my bank account leave me voicemails like, “You have no money left” and “When I said ‘ramen for dinner’ I did not mean the expensive kind” and “Stop.”

Too bad, Chase. This is business, now. I have to do the Instagram Diet for Man Repeller. 

Despite my own excitement and because I mean well but still have trouble prioritizing like an adult, I forgot to actually *do* The Instagram Diet during the entire week I previously allotted myself. Who knows if I even ate that week at all. Remember? I’m a ghost.

Instead, I had to do it all in One Single Day.

That means that during the course of twenty four hours I ate:

– The Rainbow Bagel from The Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
– An açaí bowl from Two Hands Cafe, which was actually in a takeaway cup
– Churros from La Churreria
– Crack Pie from Milk Bar
– An everything Doughnut from The Doughnut Project
Avocado toast from Cafe Gitane that I guess I ruined by ordering out instead of eating there 🙁
– Burrata pizza from Pasquale Jones
– A bacon, egg and cheese from Egg Shop
– Wasabi Lemon HiyaChu ramen from Ramen Lab — cold, but it counts? Also may or may not have ACTUALLY eaten this. Got the pic, though. (Still counts.)
– A strawberry Açai Refresher with coconut milk from Starbucks, which I didn’t even know was an Instagram thing until one of our interns, Quinn, told me.
– A matcha Latte from Cha Cha Matcha to kill two trendy birds with one stone: latte art and matcha.

No, I’m not exaggerating. Yes, I threw up a little before bed and, no, it had nothing to do with the alcohol. Yes, I shared with the office; got a few things comped and put some other items on the credit card I’m technically not supposed to use. No, it wasn’t worth the strain it put on my digestive system but, yes, it was worth it for both the ‘gram (great content for my “Perfect Insta/Basic Diet” Account) AND this story.

Had I needed to be behind the wheel, the experience would have rendered me unable to drive, but did it make me feel any more alive? Not really.

And with that, I offer up a poem that I recite to myself often, one that validates both my sometimes-eating habits and also my suspicions that I may actually be a ghost.

It’s by Shel Silverstein. It’s called “Pie Problems”:

If I eat one more piece of pie, I’ll die!
If I can’t have one more piece of pie, I’ll die!
So since it’s all decided I must die,
I might as well have one more piece of pie.
MMMM–OOOH–MY!
Chomp–Gulp–‘Bye.

PizzaMR

Feature photograph by Krista Anna Lewis, iPhone photographs in slideshow by Amelia Diamond. Thank you so much to Quinn and Elizabeth for your help rounding up the food!

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  • Perfect poem to end this with! I once heard that it doesn’t matter if you didn’t eat it, as long as you got the picture. So really, you didn’t do anything wrong! That pizza has, at 9am in the morning, inspired too many cravings though. I promptly googled where to find pizza near me and I’m already planning the picture I’ll take.

  • Ashley

    When I scrolled through the pictures I thought, “How did she not make it to Black Tap?!”

    Then I read to the end. Gold claps (typo but it stays) for eating all of that in one day.

    A few weeks ago I went to Black Tap and threw up a little after so know you are not the first to eat a perfectly instagrammable meal and then rid it from your body….#solidarity

    • Amelia Diamond

      But now I feel like I need to go to Black Tap. I will go when I digest. I’m on a plane and just ate salami and regret it.

  • Abby

    The thing I never understand is, why other people’s food always looks like a prop stylist sent it out from the kitchen and why my restaurant food always looks a little droopy. How will I ever achieve Instagram perfection?!?!

  • Yvonne Dunlevie

    Can we talk about Amelia’s iphone food photography!?!?! Amelia — lmk if you need help sifting through the incoming emails from real food accounts, asking you to be a contributor.

  • Ellie

    Slightly irrelevant but I’m going off insta connection and I just need you guys to know this… There’s someone who’s made an insta account to document every outfit on SATC! @everyoutfitonsatc

  • Kari

    That poem is so sweet, Shel Silverstein really is the best. And so are you, Amelia!
    I never really post pictures of my food to instagram but for some reason I am always compelled to take a picture anyway.

  • There were three lines at which I laughed out loud. Allow me to paste them here so we can all appreciate your words one more time.

    “You may or may not recall that I once ate such an enormous quantity of food during dinner at The Cheesecake Factory that I was unable to reverse my car out of its parking space following the meal.”

    “I rarely photograph my food, which means I am probably dead.”

    “Had I needed to be behind the wheel, the experience would have rendered me unable to drive, but did it make me feel any more alive? Not really.”

    Bravo, Amelia.

  • How were the churros though?

  • SHANA MARIA VERGHIS

    Burp!

  • Lillian

    This is the best case of a meeting a deadline I’ve ever heard.

  • I live near the Bagel Store and can always tell who’s there for that #flawless rainbow bagel shot! (meanwhile I’m stuffing my face with an everything bagel)

    • Sam

      I saw that viral rainbow bagel video forever ago and Amelia’s photo sealed the deal. I’m totally getting one when I’m in NYC next

  • Kelly

    Ummm what is a crack pie???!!!

  • Patty Carnevale

    Watched the burrata pizza boomerang for about 5 minutes.

    • kellymcd

      The actual definition/demonstration of food porn

  • Ellen Hawkins

    Hahahaha this hilarious Amelia! Living in Melbourne where the breakfast and coffee culture is over the top, Instagram gets good workout. I love watching people take 15 minutes trying to get a ‘ Insta-worthy pic’ EAT YO DAMM FOOD PEOPLE OR ILL EAT IT FOR YOU!!

  • Hannah Cole

    That poem describes my life too scarily well right now. this last week, all i can do is think about my next meal! Stomach, why can’t you tell me you are full!!

    Pls send that avocado toast to Sydney for me ASAP. Maybe it is the medicine I need.

  • I laughed so hard in the first paragraph that I had to send this article to my entire office & own up to not at all working.

  • Mon Valdés

    Last week I was at dinner with a friend at a local Italian restaurant (kind of trendy, but not overly Instagram-able) and at the middle of our dinner we saw a girl standing up on her chair to take a -what I’m sure was an aerial Instagram shot.
    The restaurant was so casual about it, that I too wondered “If I don’t post about my food, did I really eat it?” It’s a dilemma, but anyway, I stuffed my face with pizza and at the end of my night… i definetly didn’t have to ask myself if I ate or not… I just felt it

  • I would totally hate people who instagrammed their food if I wasn’t one of those people myself. I have been on a trendy kick lately though! Life’s too short to be a jaded grumpy pants! So far I’ve tried the pork belly paratha taco that I heard about from cup of jo (so worth it) and acai bowls ( so late to the party but wow I get it! It’s like ice cream!)

    Also, this is me: “When I said ‘ramen for dinner’ I did not mean the expensive kind”

  • lily

    I just need to know if the starbucks drink was gross. it looks so pretty but the flavor sounds…… 🙁