Eating
Zhu, Justin

Eating
Tue, Nov 13, 2018


My rules for eating

If we are what we eat, then behold, this is who I really am! I’m no foodie, but I do have structure in the way I approach eating (I guess that makes us all foodies in our own right). These are my rules, listed in order of precedence:

1. Routine

When cooking my own meals or eating in the dining hall, I try to abide by a strict diet of the following:

  1. Salads!
  2. Fish (Tuna and Salmon primarily, but not too much to get acute mercury poisoning).
  3. Orange and carbs for breakfast, Banana and protein for lunch, Apple and vegetables for dinner.
  4. Kosher-ish foods

2. Eating Out

This is how I choose which restaurants to eat out on a particular day, the factors listed out in order of precedence:

  1. If it is a cold day (<10 degrees Celsius): ALWAYS GET CHILIS OR SOUPS. Pho and Clam Chowder are my favorites. My priority is to get something hot for the belly.

  2. Else if I am very hungry (i.e. going for brunch or skipped lunch): Go to a buffet, preferably Indian.

  3. Else if I have not eaten red meat in the last 7 days and have some money to indulge: Go to a Brazilian or Texan steakhouse and order Lamb Chops, T-Bone, Sirloin, or Ribs (in that order of precedence). I only go to a Brazilian steakhouse for brunch, never for dinner because of metabolic reasons.

  4. Else if I have not eaten red meat in the last 7 days: Get a hamburger or roast beef sandwich (no cheese and with fries, always)

  5. Else if I am normally hungry and have some money to indulge: Get raw seafood (sushi/nigiri/sashimi, smoked salmon, lobster).

  6. Else if I am normally hungry: Get Chipotle, Poké, or Mediterranean Bowl (Out of these three, I pick the one least recently had)

3. What I Don’t Get

When I am at home, I can always quickly cook up Italian food (pasta = cheese + sauce + noodles) and Chinese/Korean food (white rice + a mixed medley of stuff cooked in a wok + store-bought pickled vegetables). Therefore, I rarely see the need to go out to an Italian/Chinese/Korean restaurant unless it’s to satisfy criteria 1 or 2 (I need a hot soup or a buffet).

I never go out to a restaurant and order foods with chicken, ham, or turkey. Those dishes are generally pretty bland, uninteresting, and processed. If they taste savory, they are unhealthily cooked. This also means that I will generally not eat at sandwich shops unless it’s for a vegetarian or a tuna sandwich option. I will always choose the vegetarian option over the chicken option.

I also left out pizza as an option in my list. This is because the only time I get pizza is when I visit Costco and Costco pizza is supreme.

I am also trying to cut out red meat from my diet, hence why I put a restriction of 7 days between the meals where I do eat red meat (criteria 3 and 4). I plan to completely cut out red meat by the time I turn 30.

4. Drinks

  1. When possible, get water. If the weather is cold, it’s worth paying for the hot tea.
  2. Never buy or drink coffee. Get 8 hours of sleep instead.
  3. Why get a soft drink when you can get a milkshake/dessert?
  4. Why get a smoothie when you can eat the actual fruit?
  5. No alcohol. Life is best enjoyed sober.

5. Tips and Eating with Friends

If I eat out at a restaurant, I always tip 15% or more to respect the service and minimum wages of servers. If you can’t afford the tip, cook your meals at home.

If I’m eating at a fast-food place (this is defined as any restaurant where you’re not expected to pay tips) and I plan to return within the next month, I leave the cashier a one-dollar tip as a way to look forward to the next time I eat there.

If I’m grabbing a meal with a nearby acquaintence, I always give them the first option to choose where they want to eat and when they want to eat. If they have no preference, I use my algorithm on that particular day.

If a friend is traveling from long distances just to see me, I will either give him/her a home-cooked meal or pay for the entire meal if we go eat out together. This is inspired by my parents, who have taught me

學而時習之、不亦說乎。 有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎。人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎。