Over the last few years,my eating habits have been consistent. When I moved to Vancouver, I started to learn about the intrinsic link between your diet and how it affects everything from your mood to your skin (I didn’t even know what an avocado or a sweet potato was until 2011.) In the ensuing years, I thought myself a lot about nutrition, health and wellness; finally putting into practise all those year’s worth of Home Economics knowledge.
Alas, moving to this fast paced city takes any form of routine you have in place and chucks it out the window. I cannot imagine that there are many people in this city (with the notable exception of athletes and fitness instructors) that abide by the breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner format throughout the day. There simply isn’t time. Not to mention the expense of eating that many times a day. Old school New Yorkers thrive on $1 coffees from the street vendors accompanied by bagels slathered with cream cheese. Meanwhile the more health conscious will be seen taking breaks from the office to pick up $10 green juices and acai bowls from Juice Press. As for those in the middle, like me, there are days when you shell out for falafel bowls, quinoa salads, vegan power bars and coconut milk lattes, but by the end of the week your diet looks more like that of a hormonal teenage boy – a handful of dry cereal here, a couple of gummy bears there.
That is because eating on the go is key in New York, where convenience is king. It sounds crazy but there are days when you are so busy you genuinely forget to eat as you dash around. In our apartment, we have a ‘kitchenette’ so small that there is no area to even prep your vegetables (this we must do while sitting on the couch balancing the chopping board on our knees). In the last seven months, we have used the oven approximately….never. The most adventurous meals prepared to date have been boiled eggs, oatmeal and the occassional stir fry.
Which brings me to the saddest and loneliest place I can think of in Manhattan: our fridge.
The large metal tomb stands quietly in the corner of the living room, like a shrine to what could be: it serves as a tragic reminder of what life would be like if we did cook at home all the time, filling it with the produce it deserves.
Each time I open it and scan the contents, it evokes memories of every sitcom about a spinster I can think of, such as Bridget Jones with her mouldy cheese, Ben & Jerrys, and a spool of blue string.
Seeing as there is three of us living here, it is never empty per sé – the following items can usually be found loitering around the shelves.
Bananas – these are probably the only consistent thing in my life right now.
Almond butter – at $14 a jar, this is my weekly splurge so I must ration it out carefully.
Randomly, a lot of empty plastic bags.
Leftover Seamless deliveries – who can remember a time before Seamless?
Grapes – these take up a lot of space, as everytime Ruth is in work one of the Chinese dishwashers bestows her with multiple plastic containers of them.
Hummus – again, one of the only things I can really rely on in my life at the moment (if I’m feeling fancy, there may also be babaganoush).
Hyaluronic acid chews and Olly beauty vitamins – some TLC for my skin and body when my diet leaves a lot to be desired.
Eggs and plain Greek yoghurt – the lazy girl staples.
Rogue berries that have escaped from their packages.
(Side note: the fridge also serves another integral role in the apartment – on top of it is where we house the ‘Bold Box’, a naughty little container where the Cadbury’s, Taytos, Galaxies, Mars Bars and Aeros are hidden when visitors smuggle them into the country for us.)