Whole 30: Days 17, 18, 19….NYC: a clusterfuck of food I can’t have.

Hello all!

So I’ve been staying at my sisters place in Manhattan 2 days a week to do some graphic design work….between the constant commuting and general lack of planning it’s definitely messed with my eating.  And if you’ve ever had the chance to open up a Manhattan-ites’ fridge it’s usually a ghost town.  Maybe some ketchup, eggs if you’re lucky, and some vodka in the freezer…that’s about it. But can you blame them? A. who wants to carry groceries and B. New York City is a melting pot of magical meals…you can get EVERYTHING here….AND get it delivered! (Seamless web is the SHIT)

In all honesty, most days I really am fine with Whole 30 Paleo livin’. But when things in NYC like Macbar (all mac and cheese dishes), Eataly (which is an insane clusterfuck of the best Italian food under 1 beautiful roof) and DYLANS CANDY BAR (alphabet gummies. I am a child) exist, it’s like the forbidden fruit. It just makes me want to go on some crazy food crawl-esque binge, running through the streets with food in both hands. (I’m envisioning this scene just thinking about how beautiful it could be. And if you haven’t seen Heavyweights, I’m not sure if we can be friends anymore. Please take the time to educate yourself.)

I managed pretty well until Wednesday night–it was my cousin Ally’s birthday. We went to, “El Porron”–which was this little Spanish tapas restaurant on the Upper East Side. On the cab ride I realized I didn’t eat a whole lot earlier in anticipation of this meal….and for anyone on a limited diet, you know when it happens that you’re in VERY dangerous waters to make bad decisions. It’s when you fall off the wagon.

Upon arrival, I sit and everyone is already 1-2 drinks in. The table is strewn with white plates full of cheeses, butter, meats rubbed in mysterious sauces, bread, and other deliciousness I had to sit out. I tried my best to say hello, then picked up the menu and got down to business. Now… for me my usual menu breakdown is a lot harder cause when the food looks kickass I cannot decide for the life of me what to get. I will literally sit and stress out over this decision for about 15-20 minutes, then call the waitress over and interrogate her about each dish. “Does this come with vegetables? Are you personally hunting the chicken I’m going to eat? What do most people order? Can you get sweet potato fries instead? Can you break dance for me?….”

Hey, for some people daily stress comes from work, or from what outfit to wear (guilty) or from people who put glasses down on your beautiful mahogany table without a coaster, but for me? It’s the earth shattering decision of what to order at a nice restaurant. That has all definitely shifted now. I will tell you what goes through my mind on this diet while decoding a menu….

What it comes down to is I can usually have 1-2 dishes straight off the menu without altering it. I can only compare this entire process to when you are watching kids pick kickball teams. You watch them pick the biggest and the best first. The Benny, “the Jet” Rodriguezes of the menu are the first ones my eyes jump to. Theres a juicy Filet Mignon in a light peppercorn sauce with homemade french fries….. MONEY. But that’s wrong for so many reasons. And let’s face it, I can’t have it without the homemade french fries….so I keep moving. The seemingly stellar group begins to dwindle. I come across Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Ba-con….YES! But I keep reading and see they’re covered in bread crumbs and a “velvety white asparagus sauce”.

Now I don’t know what the heck a “Velvety” sauce consists of–but if you’re describing sauce with a word that’s sexual and violent you KNOW it’s something fun and I can’t have it. I still keep moving, and I’m not as excited as when I first picked up the menu. We are down to the scrawny Steve Urkels of the group…suspenders and all. I am now down to one dish–a chicken and ratatouille plate with veggies in an olive oil sauce.  Yes, it still sounds good but I am so damn tired of grilled chicken this week–I’ve been eating it in spades. (I’m pretty sure the crows that watched me BBQ chicken this whole week are plotting my demise for their bird brethren as I type this.)

Now at this point I’m ravenous-and my stomach is legit growling in different octaves. Since everyone was eating tapas–I decided to take matters into my own hands and order an appetizer from the waitress while I’m at it. I desperate plea I manage to sputter out was, “Can you just bring me a small plate full of meat?”. She looked pretty confused, in which I felt the need to try and explain my newfound Paleo-ian lifestyle but out of pure laziness I could not find the words (I really am getting tired of explaining this to people). “Uh…You know…..just any meat you have here? Together on a plate….I’m….on this diet where I can’t eat…..anything but meat…..and some other stuff…”.  Good save, Carly. At first she gave me a look that definitely said, “Oh wonderful, Hannibal Lector stopped by El Porron tonight.” I realized how aggressively specific I sounded, but somehow like a mind reader she smile and said, “how about cured ham and sliced sausage?” All I could do was nod and smile.

I will just say I’m not sure if I’ve ever been in love, but I imagine it’s similar to the feeling you get when you see your waitress arriving with your food.

All in all I made it through the night fine, and even evaded a late night attempt at froyo by my sister and boyfriend. If anything so far, I’ve learned that my willpower is way stronger than I thought it would be….I’m actually beginning to not even crave the bad stuff anymore. I start crossfit Tuesday night, and I will be having alcohol after August 15th but keeping to Paleo as best I can.

Let’s see how long it takes me to crack.


PS: I am FULLY aware that this entire blog post is an entirely dramatic re-envisioning of a simple night out to eat, and that I have the #whitestofwhitegirlproblems….

I will just defend myself by saying I’m a spoiled brat and I don’t know any better.

Thank you all for reading.


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