get takeout more often

By Laura Gao • 3 min read
April 2023

i walk out of saint germain's carrying my pink lady (grapefruit drink). it's tart yet sweet, like the sting of a freshly cut pineapple soaked in salt water. i set it on a trash can, try to stab in the straw, but the lid flies off, toppling the cup sideways. by the time my brain reacted to pick it up, its about three quarters spilled. the juice pours down the side of the trash can, puddling on the floor. it takes 24 paper towels to soak it all up.

i go back, ask the cashier for a refill. i think about how it takes a certain mindset to be the kind of cashier who says "i have to ask my manager," as opposed to, say, believing that giving customers a refill or not doing so is better for the company, and doing it anyway, ready to defend the decision later if questioned. he comes back, his manager said no, eyes downcast, apologetic.

i sip up the remaining few sips and realize that im perfectly happy not getting another 400 mL of sucrose solution. i discovered a unique drink for $4. this quarter cup provided like 90% of the utility of drinking the entire cup.

david perell in his 28 Pieces of Life Advice:

Most of the pleasure in a dessert comes in the first three bites. After that, you should stop eating it. As a reward, you can eat dessert more often because you don’t binge it

I think this applies to like, not just dessert, but like, eating out in general. Where most of ur utility comes from first quarter or half of the food. I craved chinese noodles (the thick ones wiht soy sauce) and i ate leftovers, which were like 20-30% of the whole meal, and it was enough. by the end of that, i was already tired! and if id eaten more, it wouldnt have made me actually feel better. sth sth average portion at restaurant too large, and if u order a too large portion id just eat and eat and eat till its done on default. eating it on autopilot, or to give u sth to focus on when the conversation isnt the most engaging.

almost always better to split a snack or drink or even meal w a person/a group of people. the slushy at staten island w olga zdneck and uliana. the meal at chinatown w sigil matthew amy. u get a little bit of the drink or the you tiao and congee, not enough for it to be "just eating it," but enough to soak in all the flavours.

the problem w cravings being that even after the craving is satisfied you keep eating more.

when ur not sharing w others, the internal awareness to recognize when ur full, ask the server for a takeout box, eat the rest later in the week. i think this would be the play in the future when i have my own fridge. i get an extra meal out of each time i go out and i save my stomach from being stretched thin.

eating one oversized spaghetti plate alone (the default): graph 1

eating one oversized spaghetti in 2 sittings (or splitting with a friend): graph 2

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i respect your emotional rawness. keep introspecting, maybe a little less inspirational quote posting...

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