Bon Appétit

Food Diary: How a 30-Year-Old Resident Doctor Eats $65,000 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

5:45 pm After 45 minutes of partings and arms, I’m still thinking about my peanut butter cup, so I go for it and taste the slow tart in my mouth as I walk my corgi, Ole.

6:43 pm My parents come to town from the suburbs for dinner. They loved exploring the amazing Philadelphia restaurant scene with me, but I have a few criteria for “dinner out with parents” – the restaurant can’t be too dark, loud or expensive, and it should have something on the menu that I know will satisfy them both. I chose Thai Chayatee, a Thai place around the corner that we all enjoyed on a previous visit. As we catch up, my dad ordered some fall rolls with root vegetables as an appetizer ($7). The order comes with three rolls, which is perfect. My mom and I have the extra sweet and sour sauce. It’s raining tonight, so the curry seems like a good choice. The Masman Curry has juicy bits of pumpkin that melt in my mouth, and I suck every last bit of the rich sauce with chunks of rice ($22).

My family can never serve dessert – I wonder where they got it from. I love mango and sticky rice, so that’s what I order ($9). Half of a bright orange mango is topped with some sesame seeds that add a unique and crunchy flavour. When my mom’s coconut sorbet comes out in an actual coconut shell, though, I think she won a game of roulette ($10). It’s incredibly silky, almost like yogurt. ($39 for my portion, my parents cover it). Sweet sticky condensed milk on rice has cured almost all of my sweet craving, but I still have a craving for chocolate when I get home, so I have two more small cups of peanut butter while I pack for breakfast.

Wednesday total: $2.25 (or $41.25 including covered parental dinner)

Thursday

6:37 am Before I walked out the door, I smeared some salty almond butter on the bananas I bought at the cafeteria on Tuesday. That amount of fat and protein should kill me until I eat breakfast after the rounds.

8:42 AM With my cafeteria meal card, I buy a Core Power vanilla protein shake ($4.40), a banana to save up for later ($0.65), and decaf coffee ($1.60). To make the coffee palatable, I added some Italian Sweet Crème in our call room, a room for residents to stay in during night shifts. ($6.65 total, covered on my Meal Card)

8:58 am As I write my notes after the tour, I eat breakfast of fruit, yogurt, and granola. Today it has grapes and thawed mangoes. My favorite bites are the ones with dried cranberries.

10:13 am I broke into my prepackaged snacks early. These peanut butter-filled chunks are so satisfying to eat, and easy to eat while I’m working at the computer.

12:12 PM My resident partner and I played “Guess What the Cafeteria Will Have for Lunch” earlier, but was pleasantly surprised to see the cafe serve taco salad as a specialty, 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’m really not a hugely cheesy person. They also have spicy fried cauliflower bites, so I added a small container of them ($1.50). I know I’ll have a few bucks left on my meal card, so I picked up a watermelon container as well ($3). (Total $9.50, covered on my meal card) Cauliflower nuggets are very good, especially when mixed with chunks of taco salad. You could have used more clothes, but overall, not a bad cafeteria lunch. I also eat three clementines that I brought from home.

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