A Decade in the Food Life: 2001 vs. 2011


Hi A & O faithful, this is Drew, Lydia’s husband. Since the year 2012 is fast approaching and certain doom lies ahead (the Mayans stopped counting!), it’s now or never for finally writing that guest post on my favorite blog. It’s hard to believe, but 2012 will also mark a full decade since Lydia and I graduated from USC—that’s Southern Cal not South Carolina to all y’all Southerners. My diet has changed drastically over the last decade, partly from maturity, mostly by necessity. Maybe some young stomachs can be saved by what I’m about to reveal.

2001’s breakfast odyssey consisted of two options. Bacon and eggs, or this:

Breakfast of Champions? No. Breakfast of the Future Gluten Intolerant? Yes.

I know, I know. It’s shameful, look away. 2011’s breakfast is the healthy-ish cousin of both options. Two eggs over-easy served on top of a slice of Rudi’s gluten free cinnamon raisin toast. The caffeine is sadly no longer supplied by Coca-Cola, but from a homebrew of the world’s best espresso: Intelligentsia’s Black Cat. We top ours with a little coconut milk. When my beautiful talented amazing wife makes breakfast it looks a lot more appetizing and she usually sneaks in a few vegetables, so I’ll share a kale and squash frittata she made a few weeks ago:

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It would be disingenuous to talk of a day in the food life, 2001 or 2012 version, that consisted of three meals made at home. 2001’s lunch would most definitely have been a sandwich of some kind, and was probably from the real sandwich artist known as “The Sandwich Lady” of Sandwich Island. I couldn’t find a photo of the chicken salad I ate at least four times a week. I even tried to buy the recipe from her after graduation. She declined of course, but when I went back to SC last year she spotted me from ten paces, pointed and said “Chicken salad?”. I miss you Sandwich Lady.

I also miss sandwiches. In 2002, I was exiled to the gluten free wilderness; I’ve been in mourning for the sacred wheat grain ever since. That’s where tacos come in! I eat a lot of them. They’re cheap, quick and delicious. Some people might call the burrito the Mexican Sandwich, but for me it’s tacos for life.

2001: Sandwich Island. 2011: Hugo's Tacos Honey Chipotle!

Like most humans, I get tired and hungry in the late afternoon. What I reach for now still has a wrapper, but if you’ll excuse the pun, it’s a much kinder choice.

During my junior and senior year at SC I lived across the street from a Wendy’s. It was there I learned one of life’s great lessons: Don’t live across the street from a Wendy’s. Sadly, dinner was usually something from, you guessed it, Wendy’s. When feeling adventurous, I would sample from one of the other 15 fine fast food options on Figueroa. I fooled myself into thinking that by ordering chicken (sandwiches, nuggets, the occasional salad with ranch dressing) I was making the healthy choice.

Dinner these days is actually mostly usually healthy. If it’s one of those sad nights when I’m in charge of dinner, we’re usually talking skillet meal. Chop up some chicken sausage, defrost a brown rice packet from TJ’s, toss in some veggies, top with a swirl of Sriracha and call it dinner.

When Lyd’s in charge she whips up wonders like this lentil sausage vegetable soup made from our Farm Fresh to You Organic Box that’s delivered to our door every other Friday.

No, I didn't make this.

I’m not proud of what 2001 me called food. But I am proud of the gradual turn from trashy to healthy that my diet has taken over the last decade. I’ll raise a glass of green smoothie or Resveratrol rich red wine to that.

Now it’s time for you to come clean and confess. Trust me, it’s liberating. What passed for your breakfast, lunch or dinner a decade ago?


9 Comments on A Decade in the Food Life: 2001 vs. 2011

  1. buck
    December 6, 2011 at 8:22 am (11 years ago)

    this is so good!

  2. Julie & Lauren
    December 6, 2011 at 8:42 am (11 years ago)

    So funny! Love ‘I’ll raise a green smoothie’…

  3. Melissa
    December 6, 2011 at 9:50 am (11 years ago)

    I love this post!! I can really relate as a fellow Trojan. Totally made my day!

  4. Sandra
    December 6, 2011 at 10:06 am (11 years ago)

    Ahhhh! Sandwich Island! Great post Drew…makes me kinds miss Del Taco though….

  5. applesandonions
    December 6, 2011 at 10:34 am (11 years ago)

    For me and a choice few fellow Pi Phi’s, breakfast was a cigarette and a coke while riding my bike to class… in a mini skirt. Lunch was campus sushi and dinner was about 4 red bull and vodkas and maybe some Del Taco chili cheese fries for a night cap. Good ol’ SC. xo, LEH

  6. Jennifer
    December 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm (11 years ago)

    Drew, you’re a wonderful writer! I hope there are more guest posts in your future–

  7. Moe
    December 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm (11 years ago)

    Drew, Your post was terrific I enjoyed it immensely you are a very talented writer. You and Lydia are the most adorable couple I know.
    Love, Moe

  8. Jane
    December 8, 2011 at 8:30 am (11 years ago)

    Drew, loved to hear about your former life, great writing, please more posts!

  9. Mary Sullivan
    December 8, 2011 at 9:42 am (11 years ago)

    Drew, Clever, witty and delightful. You are my favorite grandson-in-law and you and Lydia bloom together.

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