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.
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!