The Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet: Everything We Ate For An Entire Week


Monday, July 23rd

LJ: I eat an English muffin with generic-brand crunchy peanut butter and Smuckers (ew, that word) sugar-free strawberry jam for breakfast almost every single morning of my life. I like that jam because it’s liquidy and has whole strawberries in it. I hate when jam is gelatinous mush. Every once in a while I decide to “switch it up” and buy a new flavor but I always regret it. I eat a quarter of the jar and then give up and buy strawberry again. A few weeks ago the English muffin brand that I have brand loyalty to introduced a new product, buttermilk blueberry English muffins, which was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Then they disappeared from the grocery store this weekend and now I want to kill myself. I bought myself white instead of whole wheat as a consolation prize.

Every morning I drink two cups of coffee. Right now I have Starbucks French Roast but I’m not into it. The caffeine content is terribly low and it dries my tongue out.

 There is an Urban Herbivore a few doors down from my gym and I’m tempted to eat there every day but can’t because it’s expensive. I eat there three or four times a week. Usually I get a ginger-beet juice and an apple-cranberry muffin but I’d been sick and felt weak and fragile so I bought myself a salad. They do a “make your own salad” thing; I fucking live for “making my own salad.” I had spinach & arugula with grilled vegetables (zucchini, red pepper, celery root, sweet potato), bruschetta tomatoes, plain tofu, steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower, beets, nuts & seeds, and carrot sesame dressing. I love beets because they taste like the smell of the ocean.

I drank half a cup of green tea and wrote all afternoon. For “dinner” I ate a quarter of a Green & Black’s 70% dark chocolate bar while walking down the street. I came home and ate a little bit more. I kept it next to my fan so it wouldn’t melt but it melted anyway. I ate a square of it melted and it tasted like licorice.

I went out and drank Jack Daniels & Perrier and some red wine. I had a piece of baguette with cheese on it and three Ritz crackers. And Diet Coke.

JEN: I eat breakfast at work so my breakfast is typically kinda lame. I usually at least have a lot of fruit from the farmer’s market but I was away this weekend and didn’t go and so i’m kinda in a weird place this week. I got a black coffee from Oren’s Roast. My breakfast is a blueberry amande almond yogurt. I discovered this yogurt somewhat recently and I love it. A vegan yogurt without a ton of sugar added is a rare find - this stuff is sweetened with fruit juice and it’s just good, no weird taste or texture or anything. It’s genuinely good. I promise.

For lunch I have leftovers from dinner that I made last night  - whole wheat pasta shaped kinda like a seashell I can’t remember what it’s called with dry pan roasted eggplant, fava beans, yellow summer squash, garlic scapes and a little kale & chard for good measure. It’s topped with lemon basil obviously. This is eaten at my desk while staring at the Old Loves tumblr.

After work I met a friend who is visiting NY for the first time from Austin. We went to one of my favorite places, Pam Real Thai. This place is the best - SO delicious and pretty cheap. We split some fried tofu & a bowl of Vegetable Tom Yum Soup.  I ordered a Pad Thai with no egg. This is the only place I’ve ever come across that has a delicious, flavorful Pad Thai sans egg. I also had a Singha.

Tuesday, July 24th

LJ: I had the same breakfast and coffee as always. I drink about thirteen bottles of water a day.

I didn’t get very much sleep the night before because I’m an insomniac and that’s my life and I hate it. I was too tired to go the gym. I drank a cup of green tea. I went to Manic Coffee to work on a writing thing and had an iced Americano and a very intense blueberry muffin. The bottom was nice and blueberry-y and not too sweet; the top was a whole nother planet unto itself. Portobello mushroom-sized, crispy at the edges, streuselled with burnt raw sugar. I loved it. I couldn’t write a word until I’d eaten every bite.

 Three hours later I ate a spoonful of peanut butter and crashed. I can’t nap so I lay in bed for an hour and dozed off for maybe seven minutes. I walked to the store and bought a Red Bull “Total Zero.” I drank it in about thirty-five seconds.

I drank two Jack & Perriers on my friend Laura’s patio. We ordered Thai from a place called “Bow Thai” because it was called “Bow Thai,” which is one of the best names for a Thai place I’ve ever heard. We shared beef Pad See Ew and an appetizer platter. So many appetizers! There were even samosas, which is not Thai food. The calamari was my favorite. I drank a beer and another Jack & Perrier. I am unemployed and drink a lot.

JEN: Breakfast is another Blueberry Amande Almond Milk Yogurt at my desk and a small black coffee from Oren’s.

This is really boring. Lunch is left over Pad Thai from last night with an avocado dumped on top of it. I’m still hungry after that so I have a fancy “Green Lemonade” from Organic Avenue my co worker got me. It’s super gingery and i’m still hungry.

I’m starving when I get home from work so I eat a few pieces of an Endangered Species dark chocolate bar. 

After a bleak time at the Returns Section of Ikea Laura and I head over to  Champs Family Bakery. Champs is a vegan diner and  it’s maybe my favorite place ever. We split vegan nachos with Tom who meets us there. We all get burgers( their burgers are really good) I copy Laura and get a bomber burger (tempeh/seitan combo) with daiya cheese & tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato and a McClure’s pickle. We’re all pretty full but their treats are so good so we need dessert. We try 2 vegan samoas ( my fave), an oreo cake ball, and a cheesecake brownie, which is really amazingly delicious but kinda too much for right then.

Wednesday, July 25th

LJ: The store was out of strawberry jam so I had to settle for wildberry. It was not as bad as I thought it would be.

For lunch I had cereal- Jordan’s Morning Crisp in Simply Strawberry- with blackberry/blueberry Yoptimal. I eat cereal for lunch a lot. I never eat my cereal with milk, only yogurt, and sometimes cottage cheese. Muesli with cottage cheese and honey is a favorite, but I ate it almost every day last week, so now I’m burnt out on it. When I was a kid and I wanted dessert my mom would feed me cottage cheese with pineapple and it was so unsatisfying; when you’re a kid you want candy. But as an adult I’ve developed a taste for it, despite its gross name and old lady connotations. And thigh connotations. 

I drank a warm can of Diet Coke while wandering around handing out resumes. I drank a cup of English Breakfast tea at around 5:30 PM. I don’t often drink English Breakfast tea during the summer but since it was grey and raining out it made sense. I needed the caffeine. I recognize that this journal is making it seem like I am problematically dependent on caffeine but I’m worse this week than I usually am. I haven’t been sleeping, which is maybe due in part to all the caffeine I’ve been consuming- the great Catch-22 of my life. 

My mom called to say she’d be late for dinner and I was hungry so I ate five brown rice crackers to tide me over. Needless to say, they did nothing to remedy the situation.

I met my mom for dinner at La Carnita, which is the best restaurant ever to open up on the corner of any street I’ve ever lived on. We were celebrating my mother’s birthday, so we WENT FOR IT. I drank two of a cocktail called Who Shot Ya, which is an embarrassing name for a cocktail, but I forgive it. It’s Bulleit, hibiscus grenadine, ginger syrup, and lemon juice. I would like for hibiscus grenadine to occupy a larger space in my life. I want vanilla ice cream with hibiscus grenadine on top.

We had tortilla chips with three dips: guacamole, a pate thing, and some weird other thing made of pumpkin seeds. They were all good but I’ve definitely had better guac in my life. The best guac in Toronto is at Milagro. We shared the Mexican Street Corn, which was awesome, but it could’ve been saltier. But really the tacos are what I’m after. We each had one chicken and one fish. The chicken is crunchy and comes with peanut mole, which I’m all over. The fish are named In Cod We Trust, which is also embarrassing to say (I hate when restaurants name their dishes cutesy names. Just call it what it is!), but I’m willing to sacrifice my dignity in their honor. They are off the freaking chain and I wish I could eat one every day. I think about them so much.

JEN: I got a 7 grain bagel with tofu cream cheese from this bagel place right by the subway. I honestly don’t know what this place is called, and it’s really not very good. I discovered that if you don’t get the bagel toasted it’s satisfying. If you do get it toasted it’s disgusting. I have no idea what’s up with their toasters. I still go to Oren’s to get my small black coffee because I am fiercely loyal. I used to drink an insane amount of coffee but I started crashing really brutally hard so my new thing is 1 a day during the week and I’m doing OK.

Lunch is the same leftovers I had on monday. Pasta, lots of vegetables. 

For dinner I made an israeli couscous salad trying to use up all of the vegetables in my refrigerator - kale, corn, onion, garlic scapes, sweet pepper, celery and some navy beans. I made a kind of lame dressing with lemon, olive oil, red wine vinegar & nutritional yeast and poured that over everything. I topped it with half an avocado. It was OK. I dumped a bunch of hot sauce on it midway through the meal and that really helped it out. Whatever.
I ate a couple of pieces of dark chocolate before going to my studio.

Thursday, July 26th

LJ: I ran out of peanut butter so I ate my yesterday’s lunch cereal for breakfast. And coffee. I ate another bowl of cereal a few hours later. I had a job interview. A few hours after it, I drank a Grande nonfat no-whip Green Tea Frappuccino while walking down the street listening to Number One In Heaven by Sparks; everything about that was really great. For dinner I made myself a big bowl of chopped up tomatoes, cucumber, onion and avocado with edamame, sunflower seeds, Tamari, and Sriracha, a very common meal for me. It tastes like sushi. Obviously.

JEN: Oh, cool another blueberry amande almond milk yogurt, duh, and a black coffee from Oren’s.

There’s a stomach virus going around at work so I start panic-ing. I don’t want to get sick. I down an Odwalla “Citrus C” juice thing even though vitamin C is not really going to save me if I’m already contaminated.

I was thinking of getting a kale salad to be mega healthy but then i thought about how if I DO get this sickness I really don’t want to barf a kale salad. I got 2 marinara slices from Farinella which is just marinara sauce, garlic & oregano. I’m thankful for the existence of this cheeseless slice near my job but I’m always still hungry after I eat it.

After work I met some friends at Papacito’s in Greenpoint. I live down the block from this place so I eat here constantly. We all shared chips & guac. I ordered a margarita (happy hour) and 2 tacos - seitan & spicy tempeh made vegan. We were planning on seeing Clueless at the Brooklyn Bridge Park but a derecho came and so we watched it at Pat & Caitlin’s instead. There I had a couple of the spicy dilly beans Caitlin made (you go girl), some popcorn, and a mango nectar/gin/seltzer drink in a tiki cup.

When I came home I saw an open bag of Jalepeno Kettle chips so I ate a handful. I can’t not have chips.

Friday, July 27th

LJ: PB & J, coffee. After the gym I went to Urban Herbivore and bought a ginger-beet juice and a sweet potato-date muffin. The first time I ever had a sweet potato-date muffin it blew the fuck out of my mind, I’d never tasted anything that was so perfectly My Perfect Food. I loved it so much that I ate one almost every day for the next three months. That was coming on four years ago, and now I’ve eaten so many of them- probably two hundred? If not more- that I’m kind of dead to them. I still love them (obvs), but they’re not exciting. They’ve become the standard.
            But the novelty of ginger-beet juice is yet to wear off. Drinking it tastes like walking into clouds of peach and magenta. I love the slight burn of ginger on my throat. With every sip I can feel my body get healthier: “I am energetic and spiritually whole.” That’s what I think.

I ate really stupidly this day. I got sucked into writing and forgot about everything in the world. Then when I woke up from my trance I realized I was starving and exhausted. I left my house to go get dinner and a coffee.

I had a Grande iced Americano- it was a terrible Americano. The girl put the water in first, then the espresso, and then there was room for only the tiniest bit of ice, so it was lukewarm. But I drank it anyway, because I hate complaining to service employees. Why would I ever care, in the overarching scheme of my life, if the iced Americano I drank on July 27th, 2012 was lukewarm? I’m confident I’ll rebound from this one.
            But I was too hungry to handle three shots of espresso. I went a little insane. I got shaky. I was edgy and weird at the grocery store. I stopped into the liquor store on my way home and had to pee really bad. It was a low.

I came home and ate the end of my Brown Rice Crisps with the end of my caramelized onion hummus while waiting for my bagel to toast. I thought, “I am literally dying of starvation.” I wanted to write that sentence down, in my blog post.
            My bagel was an everything bagel and I ate it with margarine and a chicken Greek salad from the grocery store. Grocery store chicken Greek salads plus either an everything bagel or a multigrain baguette-bun thing is a meal I eat dare I say extremely regularly, which doesn’t make any sense. It’s not very good, and it’s not even that cheap. I consistently marvel at how much money I am willing to spend on a shitty salad and piece of bread that I barely even enjoy, but really its appeal is that it “gets the job done.” I don’t have to cook anything, and it keeps me full for the rest of the night. Cool. That ease is worth eight dollars.
I went out that night. I drank a bunch of white wine and a bottle of Keith’s. My friend got a marzipan giraffe from a baby shower and I was considering eating some of it but I didn’t. I wanted to preserve the giraffe.

JEN: I’m not working today which is really rare and major for me. The first thing I eat is another handful of those kettle chips. I’m disgusting.

Later I go to Baker’s Dozen and get a whole wheat everything bagel toasted with tofu cream cheese and cucumbers. I walked over to Upright Coffee to get an iced coffee with soy milk. Their coffee is so delicious it really doesn’t need the soy milk but it’s my day off so whatevs.

My dinner is splitting some dishes at Noodle Bar with Alan & Regina. We’re seeing a Bride of Frankenstein/The Black Cat double feature at Film Forum and this place is perfect for a quick meal that will leave me enough room for popcorn. I love popcorn. We split a bowl of udon noodles with seitan & mushrooms, a side of bok choy, and cold sesame peanut noodles. All delicious though the seitan & mushroom greatly benefitted from Sriracha.

Large popcorn at Film Forum with salt, every time.

Saturday, July 28th

LJ: Something marvellous happened. The grocery store had buttermilk blueberry English muffins again! So breakfast was better that day.

I ate a gross and unsatisfying bowl of edamame and diced tomato with soy sauce and Sriracha and then went to work a test shift serving at a restaurant. I didn’t know what their eating protocol was so I brought myself a Tupperware full of mixed nuts and dried pineapple chunks and ate that while I worked all evening. I drank a lot of water. I came home and ate some more mixed nuts and dried pineapple chunks. I drank 750 mL of lime Perrier. I went to bed craving meat.

JEN: I have a Saturday morning routine I’m in love with that involves the farmer’s market & spending hours at Tom & Laura’s drinking cappucinnos and blasting Rob Zombie but Laura is in Long Island today so it’s not my usual Saturday morning. I head over to the McCarren Park farmer’s market and buy a ton of vegetables. I stop at the Garden on the way home and get a black iced coffee because it's super-humid and I would have died without it. The straw was black too; it was beautiful and goth.

At home I make a tofu scramble with onions, summer squash, kale & chard. I also made some home fries and a small salad. I add leftover israeli couscous to the plates and it’s a really excellent breakfast/brunch.

I watch an X-Files episode and try to eat some blueberries & blackberries I bought at the market but they’re kinda tart so I’ll bake with them tomorrow.

I eat half a vegan bahn mi sandwhich from Brooklyn Standard before heading to Queens to see Vertigo at the Museum of the Moving Image. This place is cool and all but you can’t eat popcorn in the theater so it’s also kind of like hell.

I was really tired and couldn’t deal with eating at any restaurant so we got Chinese take out from Shanghai Lee, which is great. It isn’t gross at all.  We had the boy choy, bean curd & broccoli in garlic sauce and brown rice.

Sunday, July 29th

LJ: I woke up and drank two cups of coffee and met my friend Amanda for brunch at Grapefruit Moon. I drank a can of Diet Coke on the way because I felt like it. And then I had an iced coffee. I like getting overcaffeinated before eating brunch; it works for me. Pre-brunch is the only time I ever want to be “starving.” I like to eat every bite of brunch on my plate.

I ordered a peameal bacon & cheddar omelette because I kept remembering this one bite of pork belly I’d eaten in LA last March. That was the only time I’ve ever eaten pork belly in my life and I hadn’t thought of it since but then I was like having insomnia over it so obviously my body was telling me it needed some fatty pig in it. Peameal bacon is sort of like pork belly. I was in the mood for something bad for me as opposed to the classier omelette choice of “brie and roasted red pepper” which is what I normally would have gone for.
            The omelette was SO GOOD. We were sitting on the patio in such intense sunny heat that my iPhone was showing me a “temperature warning”- I didn’t know that could happen. It said “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.” But the nice thing about the sun was it made the cheddar really melty. It came with homefries, which were fine, and toast, which was toast. They make their own hot sauce and I dug it. Really garlicky.

We went back to Amanda’s and I drank a glass of white wine with ice in it and then I skipped the gym.  

I met my dad for dinner at Thai Elephant, my favorite Thai food in Toronto now that my beloved Royal Thai closed down on Leap Day, the worst day of my 2012 so far. I usually get either the cashew tofu and veggies or green or red curry at Thai-El but I decided to switch it up. I weirdly ordered the chicken and eggplant because I was having major indecision problems. The waitress kept coming back to take our order and I still hadn’t decided; finally I was bored of myself so I made my dad say what he wanted and I said “I’ll make a snap decision after you order” and then it was my turn to order and I was still all “Ummmm” but then I saw chicken and eggplant and it sounded neat so I went for it, and it worked out for me. My meat craving hadn’t totally subsided so the chicken tasted particularly awesome. We also shared coconut shrimp, which were fine, and an order of coconut brown rice, which is my favorite rice in the world. It’s squishy and tastes like popcorn. I drank two glasses of white wine, a Diet Coke (I was tired), and a glass of water. At one point I was sitting at the table with my wine, Coke, and water all in front of me and I made a “So many liquids!” joke and it was somewhat funny. “Not gonna be dehydrated tonight hahaha” blah blah blah.
`          I went over to Erin’s and drank two boozy lemonades (club soda, lemon juice, white sugar, Appleton Estate). I had a few red and purple wine gums and a handful of pink popcorn.

JEN: To start the day I ate some batter from the spelt blueberry/blackberry muffins I’m making. A cool thing about vegan baking is you can totally eat the batter.  I make a French press of BLEND X/WITCHES BREW coffee while the muffins are baking. I bought this coffee because it had the best name a coffee could possibly have and then I genuinely loved it.

I eat  a muffin & then heat up some of the tofu scramble from yesterday. 

I have another muffin before heading to the studio.

I’m going to see Mike Birbiglia and I have to eat before I go or else I’ll get hungry and totally freak out. I heat up a combo of left overs - bok choy, tofu scramble, plain israeli couscous and I cut up a purple pepper to add something cool and new to the mix. This is just OK. I usually have higher standards for meals but I’m hungry and in a rush.

I have a beer at the show. Pat bought it for me I don’t remember what it was. Afterwards we stop at some bar in Park Slope and I have another beer, a Blue Point hop something.

I’m starving when I get home so I eat the end of a Vegan Treats peanut butter bomb cake slice. This makes me more hungry so I make some popcorn. I eat it standing at the stove for a few minutes before I brush my teeth and zonk out.

I drink a lot of water always also.


  1. Anonymous31.7.12

    Jen -

    Nashville's cool, but nothing's made me miss Brooklyn so far quite like your Upright Coffee & Baker's Dozen bit. Tempted to buy a one way ticket to LaGuardia now. Way to go, Cuz.

  2. Strawberry jam forever.