Eating My Words: My one-week food diary

People always ask me what I like to eat. “Nothing special,” I always say. Here’s the evidence.

Monday: Breakfast is a chocolate-mint protein bar that makes me gag. I wash it down with lemon-ginger tea. I rarely eat lunch before 2 or 3 p.m, usually at Panera Bread just before I go to LA Fitness at Ansley Mall. I always get half a steak-and-arugula sandwich, without onion, on flatbread, warmed on the panini press. Chips. Water. Less than $7. Low calories, high protein.

From Panera, I walk to Starbucks and order a triple-espresso macchiato with extra foam to-go. I carry it with me to the gym and sip it at a table outside the locker room while I write my workout plan for the day.

Dinner is usually around 8 or 9. Today, I go to Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge. I usually go only at lunchtime, but I don’t want to miss this week’s special – jambalaya made with hatch green chiles that supercharge the spiciness.

Tuesday: Same breakfast and lunch as Monday, except I also buy a palm-sized cookie at Panera. I rationalize this because I didn’t eat any “added sugar” the day before. That’s right, I reward myself with sugar for not eating sugar. I grab my drink at Starbucks and head to my table at the gym.

For dinner, I cook a pork tenderloin in a cast-iron pan on the stove and top it with this weird Korean stuff called Honey Citron Tea. On the side: some mashed potatoes, turnip greens, and an avocado. I eat a whole avocado nearly every day. I have no idea why.

Wednesday: I skip the protein bar and toast two crumpets from Trader Joe’s and slather them with lemon curd. Not a single gram of protein. I lunch most Wednesdays with two friends. This week we go to Masti, the crazy-good Indian street-food café in Toco Hills Shopping Center. I head to the gym. I sigh. I do some work instead. Dinner Wednesday night is always the same: the chicken picatta special at Grant Central.

Thursday: I ate too much yesterday. No breakfast today. Lunch will be at Green Sprout Vegetarian Cuisine. So healthy. Bean sprouts and shaved carrots wrapped in thin, crunchy tofu skin. I rush to the gym, feeling super-aerobic, then rush home to do some work, then decide to make a salad for dinner. I even go to bed early. At 2 a.m., I am in front of the open refrigerator, absolutely ravenous. I throw strawberries, grapes and blackberries into a bowl with some crème fraiche. I eat a cantaloupe.

Friday: This is my heavy eating day. I go to lunch with a friend and dinner with three or four others. Lunch is at Atmosphere. The restaurant offers a two-course lunch for $15. I always get the same thing: a small plate of charcuterie and a croque monsieur. That’s cold cuts and a gigantic grilled cheese sandwich in English. I waddle to the gym with my espresso and begin swapping texts with friends to decide where we’re going to dine tonight. We decide to make the journey to Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna. Many regard this as the best deli in the metro area. Though the dinner menu offers dishes like crawfish carbonara, grilled octopus and chicharrones, I am craving the Reuben. I eat the whole thing, plus sample the hummus and the pimento cheese. I’m agonizingly full. Nonetheless, I take a brownie home to eat at 2 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday: Believe it or not, I rarely eat more than one meal on weekend days. Actually, I often fast on Sunday. That probably has something to do with the fact that I seldom get out of bed on Sunday.