Today is the beginning of my fifth consecutive week practicing intermittent fasting and a gluten-free vegan diet, as I wrote about previously in this post. It is not easy, but it is certainly a whole lot easier than I thought it would be. It has also become easier week after week and my growing conviction in the practice has enabled me to stick with it without much temptation to quit or make significant alterations to the original plan. One small alteration that I have made is removing Sunday dinner from the “on” period that I defined as Sunday dinner through Friday lunch when I started. I found that it is much easier for me to make the first meal of the “on” period a smoothie on Monday after the first of five consecutive 16-hour dinner-to-noon fasts for the week which passively initiates my “on” period. This change gives me the freedom to eat whatever I want for dinner on Sunday and that tends to be a more enjoyable way to close the weekend than with rice and beans.
If you assume the normal 3 meals per day, which I do not necessarily abide by, my new practice works out to a 2:1 ratio in terms of “on” time (3 meals Monday through Thursday + 2 meals Friday = 14 meals “on”) vs. “off” time (1 meal Friday + 3 meals Saturday and Sunday = 7 meals “off”). Of course, the “off” meals do not need to be comprised of totally unhealthy things, but the point is to give weekend freedom and overall balance to the practice. I choose to use that freedom for things like good pizza, pasta, bacon and eggs, burgers, and sushi, not so much for garbage like Fritos or soda.
One of the unforeseen positives of this practice for me has been how much I enjoy my weekend meals now. For foods I already loved, the new scarcity of my consumption has only made them more holy. Conversely, by the end of the weekend (but not before Sunday dinner), I have always felt ready and even excited to get back on the program on Monday.
The quantity and diversity of amazing places to eat in New York City is one of the things I love the most about it. For anyone interested in discovering new restaurants in the city, I will write briefly about a few of those places that I enjoyed this weekend below.
Mud Spot – hearty set meal brunch with a mimosa, beer or OJ and a mud drip coffee for about $25 all in. The coffee is strong and dark as the name of the spot suggests. The atmosphere feels like it belongs in a Colorado ski town with its lodge-like interior and classic rock music. It is a good vibe. I went with my brother and we sat and drank coffee well beyond the check.
Bua – dinner options priced in the low teens include burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and more. All of them are written on a board on the wall in addition to the menus on the table. I like that. The fried chicken sandwich was delicious. The bar side of the restaurant was pretty packed with boozers. The restaurant side had a 15-20 minute wait which we gladly withstood for a table. They played a couple songs by A Tribe Called Quest as well as Outkast’s SpottieOttieDopaliscious which cemented the deal for me personally. I went with Neil, Ben, and Albert who deserves credit for picking the place. The three of them were my fellow analysts in the New York office when I worked for Houlihan. We had a great time and the pressure is on for whoever picks the place we go next.
La Pizza & La Pasta at Eataly NYC Flatiron – solid to great pizza and pasta within the most comprehensive and authentic Italian market that I know in the city. This was not my first time in Eataly but before my first time I had always assumed it would be somewhat commercial given the name. That is definitely not the case. It is totally legit and the closest thing I have seen to Mercado Centrale, my incredible makeshift dining hall during my semester in Florence. Lunch Sunday was with Kyle who I mentioned in this post last week. His pasta came out a few minutes before my pizza and we decided once and for all that the tradition of waiting for everyone to have their food served before anyone can eat is utterly ridiculous and entirely impractical. Having sat on both sides of the stupidity countless times, I can say for certain that the person with the food generally wants to eat it and the person everyone is waiting for wants them to eat it because it is awkward and uncomfortable to sit and wait while everyone is waiting for you to get your food. If no one wants it, why do we wait. I understand of course if the food is all coming out at once and you are talking about a matter of seconds, but if it is going to be more than a minute or a few, everyone should eat.