‘Discussing the logistics of our jobs at 9 am is so much easier when I’m downing an iced latte and a croissant.’

For this week’s installment of “The Splenda Stealer Diet,” we take a look at Maria, my friend and roommate in Hoboken, who enjoys lunches with co-workers in Union Square and has an affinity for iced coffee (nicknamed her morning milkshake, as its 50 percent half coffee, 50 percent half-and-half), freezing and then snacking on chocolate and gummy candy, all while constantly fighting a debilitating, yet delicious craving for Pad Thai. Let’s take a look at her week of eating.

Maria, about to dig into her Hawaiian omelet while on vacay in Maui. She notes that instead of maple syrup on the table, they had coconut syrup!

Tuesday, July 13th

Summer is my favorite season for many reasons, one of which is iced coffee. I usually start my mornings with the yummy beverage as a great way to make my mornings at work go by faster without me going into caffeine overdrive. I paired this morning’s iced coffee with a Kashi granola bar (cherry dark chocolate) due to a recent delivery of Fresh Direct to my apartment.

I had planned a lunch for our interns at my company, but it got canceled at the last minute. Our office’s standard lunch is Sunac deli next door where us ladies are on a first-name basis with the guy that makes our mixed salads. They have unlimited toppings for only $7.57 (with tax) which we’ve discovered is the cheapest in our area (Union Square) so I usually get a ton and make lunch my big meal of the day. Diet peach Snapples are on the company 🙂 This is all followed up by a 100 calorie Oreo crisp snack pack mid-afternoon, and then a fun size Milky Way after I decided I wasn’t going to try and pretend I was a healthy eater for this food diary.

After I finished off work, I squeezed in a trip to the gym. I came home to the results of my new cooking initiative I started the weekend before. The result? A cold pasta salad that I threw together with random items in my kitchen – a slightly unappetizing mix of whole wheat rottini, broccoli, snap peas and carrots. Finished it off with this cranberry and mandarin orange relish that I made with whole cranberries, mandarin oranges and walnuts. Interesting.

Wednesday July 14th

Every Wednesday we have a team meeting at Tarrallucci E Vino, an awesome little cafe by our office. Discussing the logistics of our jobs at 9 am is so much easier when I’m downing an iced latte and a croissant. Mid-morning, since our newly wedded co-worker is giving it a shot at domestic bliss, she had us all taste banana bread she made which was amazing and the perfect snack.

Our intern lunch was rescheduled today so our team took them to Delicatessen, which I had been to once before. We started off sharing the mac and cheese trio (bacon, truffle and some other kind) and calamari. I ordered the shaved artichoke salad for my entrée which turned out to be this teeny tiny side salad. Delicious, but too tiny for me so I rounded it out with a 100 calorie cookie crisps when I got back to the office and then I gave into a fun size Milky Way.

I left work with no plan but then ended up going on a nice walk with the boy toy just chatting about some things. We ended up at Babbo, (there are some definite advantages to dating a foodie) which I’ve heard great things about and have been wanting to go to for awhile. Whenever we go out to dinner, we’re big fans of sharing dishes and trying as much as possible. Our thinking is “we’re never going to come again, so get whatever you want” which doesn’t really work since we go to nice restaurants almost every week.  So dinner consisted of sharing the prosciutto and steak tartare appetizers and splitting the goat cheese ravioli and lamp chops topped off with 2 Bellinis due to some heavy dinner conversation. After we unwound and were hanging out back at my apartment, my man-friend has a sweet tooth like myself and dug into some cookie dough ice cream (I snuck in a few spoonfuls too). I paid for none of my meals today and they were all amazing.  (Ed. note: Splenda Stealers rejoice!)

Thursday, July 15th

Started off the day with my usual iced coffee and a granola bar and had a banana mid-morning to tide me over. At lunchtime a few of us in our department went out to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday by going to his favorite – Spice – in Union Square. I’m a huge fan of Thai food and I consistently have a craving for Pad Thai. I like to think I’m a connoisseur of Pad Thai–I try it out at every Thai restaurant I find myself dining at. So, lunch today was Pad Thai with tofu which came with a free appetizer, so I chose the vegetable dumplings. The others got Pinkberry on the way back but I was still stuffed from the day before and my Thai lunch, so I held back.

I came home after work, went for a run, and opened my fridge to see that I STILL had leftover pasta salad and the cranberry relish thing. I hate wasting food so I dove in and finished it off and decided that I’m never going to cook again. Somehow, still full from the day before, I went to bed without any sweets beforehand, very unusual.

Friday, July 16th

Friday!! Finally, Friday is here and I’m so excited for the weekend to come and getting ready for my beach plans on Saturday. I hopped off to work to find that 12 minutes into my uphill walk to the PATH I was super hot and no longer in a great mood. So, to cool down a bit I stopped off at the deli next to the famous Carlo’s Bakery where they now have to block off the sidewalk due to tourists. After a couple of walk-bys in the refrigerator section, I decided to grab a Starbucks frappucino drink to start my day and was put in a better mood. I was out of granola bars so I just had a banana once I got to work.

Fridays at work are usually very busy as we’re closing out our week so I just stopped off at the Sunac deli downstairs for a salad paired with a Diet Peach Snapple provided by my office. I promised myself that I would remember what I ate for dinner and the rest of Friday night but now it totally escapes me! All I remember having is a shot and two beers at Arlene’s Grocery on the LES and then had a blueberry vodka and soda (surprisingly good!) at Spitzers and had a most bizarre c-list celebrity sighting. CORRECTION: boy toy remembers that we dined on Peppe Rosso, a cute little hole in the wall Italian place in Soho where we get take out pasta and the like more often than not. I think I got a mozzarrella and tomato panini. Delicious!

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