18 March 2009

What I ate today

Food is such an intrinsic part of life that virtually everyone has their own set of values and factors that influence what they will eat. Some people are vegetarians or vegans and avoid any animal products in their meals. Some people worry about what impact their diet is having on the environment. Some people eat a diet based primarily on what is healthiest, focusing on eating low fat or high in fiber or vitamins and minerals. Some people simply go by what tastes best and indulge their taste buds as desired.

My personal eating philosophy is kind of non-existent, other than trying to eat moderately healthily with very little time and money to spare. Being a college student, I think I do better than some (I don't eat Top Ramen EVERY day, though I do have it on hand), but I could certainly improve the sophistication of my diet.

Here is a typical day in the life of me. I find it impossible to separate what I ate from what I did in that day. What we consume has so much to do with our circumstances -- if we're out or at home, if we're busy or if we have the day off. Just a thought.

I rolled out of bed at 11 am yesterday. I had worked from 2 to 6 am the night before and could have slept til 1 or 2 in the afternoon if my alarm hadn't interfered. I had to get up to clean my room and then go down to the DMV to register my car. I didn't think to eat breakfast in my quasi-comatose state, but did have the strength to down a quick Five Hour Energy. I love these things.

Completely shameful. I don't know what's in these things. Supposedly it's like a shot of straight vitamins and a little bit of caffeine, but somehow I don't think I'd consider it a health food.

On my walk to the DMV I had to stop at the bank and while doing so, got a drink at the grocery store next door. It was a warm day out, I was parched, and my sleep-deprived one-track mind couldn't resist another drink that promised me increased energy.

Second drink of the day and still nothing to eat.

While I continued my walk to the DMV, I enjoyed the sunny day and sipped my Vitamin Water. I arrived at the DMV and finally registered my car. It expired in November of 2008 and it only took til March 2009 to register it! Success!

No, I didn't eat the registration tag. I was just really proud of myself for finally registering my car. Though I was getting pretty hungry by that point...

Like I said, I was getting pretty hungry by that point. My boyfriend and I felt like taking advantage of the lovely weather and decided to eat lunch outside at an adorable little place on Geary called Tony's Cable Car Restaurant (click to read my Yelp review). It's simple American comfort food, close to school and home, and has a fun outdoor seating area.

Don't know who Tony is but I love his little cable car shaped restaurant just a hop skip and jump away from USF.

At Tony's I ordered the classic hamburger and french fries. It was darn good. What I couldn't finish of my fries I fed to the lingering pigeons who were salivating over my lunch.

Time to go home. I went to put my registration tag on my car and very ironically found that I had gotten a parking ticket for expired tags! Really what are the odds.. really.

Ah cruel irony of the San Francisco Deptartment of Parking and Traffic: the day I register my car is the day you choose to spite me so?

Recovering from this tragic blow, I went up to my apartment and tried to maintain a positive attitude. I had to work on a big paper due on Thursday, so that kept me occupied for a while. I think I took a nap somewhere in there. I have no classes on Tuesday so it was a low-key afternoon.

At 8:00 I had a meeting for the Residence Hall Association, for which I am in charge of producing their newsletter called The Final Flush. Our president, Hoa, made delicious chocolate covered almonds that she chose to share with us, and which I neglected to photograph. Oops! Thanks Hoa!

9:15 and time for dinner. I trekked home and pulled out of the pantry a can of tomato soup, some bread and cheese. Voila! Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

No I'm not five years old. If you haven't eaten this since you were a kid, you should revisit it. It's quite the culinary combo I must say.

While my dinner may have lacked sophistication, it was tasty and easy. I devoured my meal happily, continued to work on my midterm paper, and fell into bed around 2 am.

And there you have it: A day in the life -- of me and my stomach.

For kicks I decided to evaluate my daily diet on a few of the different scales that the world wide web has to offer.

First I calculated the carbon impact of my diet using a calculator at EatLowCarbon.org

It's hard to read in this screen shot, but the site said I'd used 2,756 CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) points in my day of eating. These came almost all from the hamburger I'd had at lunch, as the production of beef is incredibly taxing to the environment. My entire day of eating contributed about 4.4 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. Eek!

Next I decided to track the healthfulness of my diet using MyPyramid.gov. I had to sign up for an account, enter my height/weight and what I ate for a day, and then it told me how I did nutritionally.
I don't think this was entirely accurate. I'm pretty sure I consumed more than 1119 calories and from the looks of this chart I'm practically malnourished, which is hardly a reality. Still if I took the time to do this more accurately an regularly, I would probably get a good sense of my overall health.

And that's the flipside to eating... There are always repercussions to the choices we choose. Who knew that even something as simple as deciding what to have for lunch has repercussions on our body and our earth's environment?


stephanie said...


that burger looks SO good.
be careful with the energy stuff.

too much caffeine + dehyrdation=why I am in this state with horrible kidney stones.

Just Me Mike said...

Great blog entry! I'm going to have to try this out for myself. thanks for this

JAW said...


You are truly a great writer! Sorry about your registration drama... lame! But, I must say that you are right about a grilled cheese sandwich accompanied by tomato soup... It smells just like it tastes... Delicious!! Looking forward to hearing more of your writing!

Michael said...

The question is does the 5 hour energy really work. I always wanted to try Tonys but didn't have time or forgot. Sucks about the parking ticket see you in class in 2 weeks

ashton in sf said...

the 5 hour energy kick, we have a few of those in the usftv office...have you been hanging out in there without telling me?? haha and definitely a fat BOOOO goes out to getting a parking ticket! i just paid one today, $60 :( *sniff* *sniff*