Feb. 7: What I Ate. The Winter Illness Finally Got Me.

Outrageous experiments in sensible eating.
Feb. 8 2011 12:52 PM

Feb. 7: What I Ate. The Winter Illness Finally Got Me.

Not a big eating day today. The winter illness finally got me, but not my appetite. I called in sick and slept all day, aside from these two meals.

Breakfast: wheat berries with apple, pecans, cinnamon, and skim milk. Delicious.

Ellen Tarlin Ellen Tarlin

Ellen Tarlin is a former Slate copy chief and writer of the "Clean Plate" blog. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston PhoenixBrooklyn Bridge, Bark, and  the RISK storytelling podcast. Follow her on Twitter.

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Then I conked out. I'd hoped to get up and eat lunch at around 1 or 2, but next thing I knew it was dark out. I wanted some eggs and toast but didn't think I'd have the energy to stand at the stove long enough to cook eggs, so I nuked more couscous. That's homemade seltzer with orange juice. Thirsty from sleeping all day! Yes, it was fantastic to have a quick, nourishing meal ready.

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And then back to bed for the night. I hope to make up for it tomorrow!

So let's evaluate based on this week's criteria:

Healthy? Milk is questionable, depending on how you feel about animal products. There was probably more oil than there needed to be in the couscous. Perhaps more grains in both. Not much protein, except the milk and nuts. Juice is also not the healthiest choice, though there wasn't much. And seltzer is unnecessarily fancier than plain water. The tea is black, not green. Also, this is clearly not enough food or a balanced day. If we are going to be nitpicky about it.

Cost? The wheat berries and pecans came from an uptown produce store--likely not the least expensive choice. The milk and apple are from the farmers' market, both local farmers, so not the least expensive. The apple was something like $1.80/lb., but I did eat it at three separate meals. The couscous ingredients came from FreshDirect.com. I don't think any of them were organic or local. Also, some of these vegetables are enormous--much more than I need. So, overall, I could have made smarter shopping decisions.

Mindfully eaten? Nope. I ate lying down and was just trying to cram some food down my piehole so I could go back to bed. Being sick slowed me down a little bit though. And I certainly enjoyed the taste.

Satisfying? Most definitely.

Environmentally friendly? Because it was a meatless day, yes. But only the apple and milk were local. The farm I buy my milk from, Ronnybrook, uses antibiotics. The juice is Tropicana.

This seems pretty standard for me: satisfaction first, then health, cost, environment, and mindfulness.

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