I Tried the Avocado Diet
07.19.17

After months of building my resume as a professional celebrity dieter, brick by brick, jade egg by jade egg, I looked in the mirror one morning and realized I was ready. Ready to take on the biggest celebrity of our time; the talk of every brunch table; the staple of every viral headline; that which is liable to rob an entire generation of homeownership. My white whale. My Everest. Nature’s butter.

The avocado.

Who else? Is there any creature more thoroughly covered in the telltale sheen of fame? At this point, an avocado can’t even show up in the most mundane of locations — grocery store aisles, neighborhood restaurants, family homes — without causing a scene. The possibility of living the quiet, unbothered life of a normal fruit has long been out of the question. Don’t even get me started on the paparazzi.

Professional though I am, I was hard-pressed to think of how I could do an avocado diet justice. I tried to imagine what it would be like to become an avocado, or act like one. The closest I’ve ever gotten was freshman year of college when I accidentally fell asleep on a piece of toast and woke up with it pressed to my cheek.

If I couldn’t become an avocado, I figured immersing myself in their culture physically, emotionally, aesthetically and digestively was the next best thing. I started by hitting up two of their favorite watering holes (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, the Chateau Marmonts of the avocado community), spending a good 30 minutes kneading their little bellies to find the most optimally ripe ones before making my purchases. (That’s another perk of their celebrity lifestyle: daily massages).

When I got home, I cut up a baby avocado from Trader Joe’s, spread it on a rice cake with some Everything Bagel Seasoning, sat down at my laptop and set a few ground rules. Well, actually, one ground rule, to be exact: For 72 hours — the ideal window for a celebrity diet, I’ve discovered from experience, I must try to incorporate avocados into as many facets of my life as possible. Meals, beauty routine, conversation, etc.

The next day was a Saturday, and I ordered the avocado toast at Le Pain Quotidien for brunch. It was a sizeable portion that included avocado both smashed and sliced, all of which I greatly appreciated. Props to Le Pain for including a lemon wedge on the plate for DIY squeezing — a basic human right most eateries fail to acknowledge.

I walked around running errands for most of the afternoon. At around 4 p.m., I found myself three miles from home and hungry for a snack. I reached into my bag and clasped five grateful fingers around a baby avocado I had wisely stowed there before leaving the house. I peeled the skin off as I walked. Then I took a bite, nonchalant but also impassioned, letting the inevitable sensuality of the made-for-Hollywood moment wash over me: a bold, professional woman eating an avocado like an apple.

For dinner that night, I was co-opted into going to a restaurant with zero avocado on the menu. I was appalled. I got home and almost researched “how to report a Manhattan dining facility to the New York City Health Department” but instead ended up Googling, “avocado beauty treatments.” I clicked on a website advertising a roundup of at-home avocado hair treatments. If I couldn’t nourish taste buds with avocado for dinner, I could at least nourish my curls.

According to Livestrong.com, “Avocados are rich in vitamins, fat, protein and natural oils that can coat and soften the hair. The fruit’s oil forms a protective barrier that keeps the hair hydrated, soft and flexible.”

Eager for all of these adjectives to apply to my frizzy mane of summer humidity-addled hair I jauntily mashed up half an avocado with a bit of olive oil per the site’s instructions and began smearing it into my hair. It wasn’t long before I realized that not only does avocado refuse to “absorb” like a normal hair product, it also doesn’t wash down a drain very easily. I couldn’t even do my whole head because I started mental spiraling about the mess, although I did manage to coat most of the ends.

Was my hair more hydrated, soft and flexible after? I’m not sure. I was too tired after extricating stubborn chunks of green goo from each curl to notice. I fell asleep smelling like a literal farmer’s market and resolved to try another avocado beauty treatment in the morning that did not involve hair.

“Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are supremely moisturizing without clogging pores,” I read aloud to myself the next day. I was hovering over a bowl of mashed avocado, Greek yogurt and honey as I scanned a list of instructions on The Every Girl, my random avocado face mask resource of choice. Apparently, the lactic acid in yogurt acts as a gentle exfoliant and honey is a natural humectant which, in tandem with the moisturizing properties of avocado, allegedly amount to the perfect recipe for glowing skin.

This beauty treatment was a lot more enjoyable than the previous, partially because it was much tidier but also because I got a little bit of the mask in my mouth and it was rather tasty. A pre-brunch amuse-bouche, if you will.

Speaking of brunch, I followed my masking sesh with a slice of avocado toast and a fried egg courtesy of The Butcher’s Daughter.

Later that day, after unsuccessfully trying to convince my roommates to accompany me, I hopped on the L train and embarked on a solo journey to Avocaderia. Avocaderia is the world’s first avocado bar. It opened this past spring in Brooklyn (duh) to much fanfare and has been on my restaurant bucket list (duh) ever since.

In case the name didn’t make it clear, avocados are the focal ingredient at Avocaderia. After surveying the options, which included various toasts, salads and smoothies, I decided to order what seemed like the most absurd thing on the menu: an avocado “burger,” featuring two halves of an avocado moonlighting as a bun, a pile of smoked salmon between them. I wish I could tell you I fully committed to the faux burger experience by picking it up and eating it with my hands, but after my beauty treatments I felt I’d already had enough avocado-to-skin exposure for one lifetime. I am pleased to inform you that using a knife and fork did not detract from the taste. It was quite good.

On my third and final day of avocado-ing, I was feeling a little avocado-weary, but like any celebrity handler worth her Himalayan sea salt, I bucked up and made myself an avocado scramble for breakfast (not pictured because it turns out hurriedly-prepared scrambled eggs with avocado don’t make for very attractive photos).

My spirits returned to me, however, when I received a delivery of Silk Cakes vegan cupcakes with chocolate-avocado buttercream care of a friend who does Silk Cakes’ PR.

You guys. Avocado frosting is DELIGHTFUL!???? I ate two.

After work, I headed home to attempt the piece de resistance of my avocado celebrity diet checklist…(drumroll, please): an avocado rose. If you’ve never seen an avocado rose, look them up on Google images immediately. They’re so cool in that way only millennial-targeted Instagram food gimmicks can be.

I pulled up a how-to YouTube video and got to work by halving an avocado, slicing it as thinly as possible and gingerly fanning out the pieces across my cutting board. I was doing great until the last step, whereupon I was instructed to roll my fanned-out row of avocado into a circular rose. I tried, but the row was too short. I guess I should have used a bigger avocado. The best I could muster was a weirdly-shaped “C.”

No matter. I transferred the slices to a piece of toast and called it an aperitif, thus concluding my most Page Six-worthy diet to date.

Photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi. 

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