5:45 p.m. 45 minutes of Intervals and Arms later, I’m still thinking about that peanut butter cup, so I go for it and savor its slow melt in my mouth as I walk my corgi, Ollie.
6:43 p.m. My parents come into the city from the suburbs for dinner. They’ve loved exploring Philadelphia’s amazing restaurant scene with me, but I have some criteria for “dinner out with the parents”—the restaurant can’t be too dark or loud or overly expensive, and it must have something on the menu I know will please them both. I select Chayatee Thai, a Thai place around the corner that we’ve all really enjoyed on a past visit. As we catch up, my dad orders some root vegetable autumn rolls as an appetizer ($7). The order comes with three rolls, which is perfect. My mom and I both sop up the extra sweet and sour sauce. It’s rainy tonight, so curry feels like a good choice. My massaman curry has tender chunks of pumpkin that melt in my mouth, and I soak up every last bit of the rich sauce with bites of rice ($22).
My family can never pass on dessert—I wonder where I got it from. I love mango and sticky rice, so that’s what I order ($9). The bright orange mango half is topped with some sesame seeds, which add a unique flavor and crunch. When my mom’s coconut sorbet comes out in an actual coconut shell, though, I think she may have won the dessert roulette ($10). It’s incredibly silky, almost like yogurt. ($39 for my portion, covered by my parents). The sticky-sweet condensed milk on my rice cured almost all of my dessert craving, but I still have a hankering for chocolate when I get home, so I have two more mini peanut butter cups as I pack up my breakfast.
Wednesday total: $2.25 (or $41.25 including dinner covered by parents)
My second afternoon snack consists of a small apple, some lightly salted almonds that I keep at work, and a mini pack of Swedish Fish that one of my co-residents hands to me.
6:37 a.m. Before I head out the door, I smear some salty almond butter on the banana I bought at the cafeteria on Tuesday. This amount of fat and protein should tide me over until I can eat breakfast after rounds.
8:42 a.m. With my cafeteria meal card, I buy a vanilla Core Power protein shake ($4.40), a banana to save for later ($0.65), and a decaf coffee ($1.60). To make the coffee palatable, I add some of the Italian Sweet Crème creamer in our call room, a room for residents to stay in during overnight shifts. ($6.65 total, covered by my meal card)
8:58 a.m. As I write my post-round notes, I munch on my fruit, yogurt, and granola breakfast. Today’s has grapes and defrosted mangoes. My favorite bites are the ones with dried cranberries.
10:13 a.m. I break into my packed snacks early. Those peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets are so satisfying to crunch into, and easy to eat while I work on the computer.
12:12 p.m. My co-resident and I played “guess what the cafeteria will have for lunch” earlier, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see the caf is offering a taco salad as the special, which I get with rice and beans instead of meat, and no cheese or sour cream ($5). I realize this is almost embarrassing, but I really am not a big cheese person. They also have spicy fried cauliflower bites, so I add a small container of those ($1.50). I know I’ll have a few dollars left on my meal card so I pick up a container of watermelon, too ($3). ($9.50 total, covered by my meal card) The cauliflower nuggets are pretty good, especially when mixed with bites of taco salad. It could have used some more dressing, but all in all, not a bad cafeteria lunch. I also eat three clementines I brought from home.