Look, I know we should have had this talk sooner and if I’m being honest I only have myself to blame.
You and I have been doing this for … how long now? Just over three years and I haven’t told you the truth. Well I also haven’t lied to you and you actually never asked me either but sometimes I can just feel what you’re thinking when you look at my photos or read my reviews. It’s somewhere around one sentence that contains seven words and ends with a question mark. Am I right? You look at a picture of food and think to yourself, “Did she really eat all of that?
To answer your long awaited, yet forgotten, and never mentioned until now question: yes and no.
I know that answer doesn’t really explain much, but that’s really because it can’t be answered so simply. Instead, I wanted to tell you the truth on how much I really eat when it pertains to this blog and even let you know a few things I’ve seen from others along the way. The best way to get this all out and in the open, is to answer a few questions I’ve received from you since starting Follow My Gut. With that said, here’s the “VH1 Behind the Music” truth about how much food I really eat. And I promise I’m done with all the dramatics, starting — now.
If I photograph it, I eat it.
There’s not a single photograph of food on this website or on my social media accounts that I took that I haven’t tasted and eaten. If I visit a restaurant or attend an event and aim my camera at a dish then I’ve eaten it.
But that’s only speaking for myself. It would be foolish to think that everyone who has a restaurant blog or social media page eats the food because that’s not the case. Knowing that, I think it’s horrible when people photograph food and they don’t try it or they order it and know they don’t even like it. “Umm…ok. That’s just like Dennis Rodman being friends with Kim Jong Un, that makes sense.” I’ve seen it in person and it’s wasteful and I’ve had conversations with people about it and we’re all annoyed by it. Even worse is I know people with huge food accounts who will set up a scene, take photos of a dish, and then toss the food once they got the shot they want. “I’m sorry, you’re not going to put that food in your face hole? No? Silly me, what was I thinking.” They don’t devour, bite, or even lick the food. That’s absolutely insane to me beyond the fact that it’s overtly wasteful. It also bothers me because in a matter of time, the same food they photographed and tossed will be posted to their accounts with a caption praising how delicious it was. They’ll encourage you to try it because they loved the flavor, texture, or some attribute of the food they know nothing about.
Them: Oh my gosh, you so have to taste this!
Me: Bitch, you didn’t.
It would be different if they encouraged you to spend your money on it and try it solely based on the look of it. But instead they tell you it tastes “#BombAF” when they really don’t know. So consumer spending and inauthentic marketing comes into play here since there’s a chance you’ll go to that restaurant and try the food because they said was great only to find it out it really wasn’t. You then wasted your time, gas, and money all of which you can’t get back. Thank guys! I don’t like that practice because at its core, it’s false advertising most likely because they’re getting paid by someone to tell you it is great. Seriously, like a red light at an intersection just stop. It’s not that hard for foodies to be honest and say how the food tastes after it’s photographed or for a foodie to admit they didn’t taste it but it looked cool. And if it is hard to do that, then a foodie is really just lying to their followers.
Seeing that in action and with all that said, I circle back to say: yes, I actually eat the food because I hate seeing people photograph food and then disregard it. I think it’s a slap in the face to the chef and cooks who prepared and made it and it’s food waste. But don’t let that reality deter you from following accounts. There are some amazing food bloggers and photographers out there and many of the one’s I’ve mentioned on this site fit that description. It makes me happy to know that I roll with some legit people.
It depends on how much food I’m given.
If it’s something small like churro ice cream from the Loop Churros or tiny bites from various restaurants at an event or festival like Bacon and Barrels, then I’m eating everything I can get my hand on. All of it! While I have to call it quits at some point, up until then if it’s in my hand it’s going to my mouth. On the other spectrum of it, there are many dinners where the plates seem to be on an infinity conveyor belt from the kitchen to my table. A perfect example of this was the first time I realized that I couldn’t eat everything. I was at a dinner with a friend at Celestino in Pasadena and the chef was so kind to offer a few of his favorite items. I thought, “Cool, small plates of his favorites!” Wrong. He sent full size plates and I didn’t realize it until I finished the first two plates completely. Since I grew up with the mentality that leaving food on a plate was disrespectful, I clean it but usually I know how much food is coming my way. Not the case at Celestino. I received plate after plate and as hard I tried to finish them, I couldn’t. It even got so bad that I started to sweat from the pressure. From that night, I let go of the idea that I could eat it all. It was too painful and I regretted it later when the food I couldn’t properly digest kept me up at night.
From that experience, and a few others, I’ve learned to eat about 75% of the food I’m given if it’s a full plate. I don’t want to stuff myself and I also refuse to buy an entirely new wardrobe so I eat in moderation. I go for enough bites to enjoy and critic the food, and anything more than that is not happening.
I would love to say that I’m a champion when it comes to dining in restaurants and that I clear every plate until I can see my reflection in the dishware, but I can’t. I don’t have enough space in my stomach to clean every plate I get and I don’t have the metabolism to combat it if I could. So I don’t force myself. And as much as I try my absolute best to not throw away food I can’t finish, I can’t walk around and act like I never have. Instead, I try and take it home. If there’s enough on the plate for me to wrap up and I’m heading straight home, I get it bagged up before anyone else can call dibs on it. Bombay Palace is a great example of this. Their food was so delicious and they gave so much that I had to take it home. I was so glad I did because it served as breakfast, lunch, and dinner for at least three more days.
There is one time that I won’t take food home.
That time is when I’m at a dinner with other people and the food is passed between foodies to take photos. The minute I see a burger, ice cream cone, sushi or something in the hands of one too many people or if the food sits and almost grows with time, I’m not taking it. There are a lot of awesome people at events, but within that group there’s at least one person who looks like they don’t want their hands after leaving the bathroom. When that person touches the food, I’m not taking it.
It feels so good to have this conversation and to let you know how much I eat. Not that I was withholding information, but it’s nice to let you know what I do when my lens pointed at a plate; and yes, a few others too. And since I’m telling you everything, I might as well be totally upfront on some of the other things I don’t actually finish in its entirety. I don’t really work out for a full half hour, I really only meditate for six of my ten minutes, and I struggle to stay awake throughout church, class, and work. Phew! What a relief to now my full truths out and in the open. When it comes to food, hopefully this shows you more behind those awesome food photos and videos you love. Now when you look at my photos and one sentence that contains seven words and ends with a question mark comes to mind, you’ll know the answer.