A Completely Uncensored Look at What Byrdie Editors Eat for Lunch
It’s in the beauty editor job description to report on a variety of diet recommendations. What defines the “ideal diet” fluctuates massively depending on who you talk to (and we talk to a lot of nutrition experts with conflicting opinions). Some think acidic foods are the enemy, while others say cutting out all carbs is the answer to a lean frame. The diet philosophies continue. Every day, we editors find ourselves discussing cleanses, celebrity diets, and every piece of new weight-loss research we come across. But do we actually take any of this information to heart?
To find out, I picked a random day this week and right around lunchtime, I ambushed the Byrdie team. With no chance to prepare, I forced the editors to fork over their meals so we could catch a glimpse of what a Byrdie editor’s diet actually looks like.
Want some editor-inspired lunch ideas? To take a peek at what seven Byrdie girls really eat, keep scrolling!
"Making any sort of meal for myself is a struggle. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I default to toast. Either avocado with tomato, lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper, or this one. This one is almond butter with banana, chia seed, and flax seed on Udi's Gluten-Free Flax and Omega Bread ($7). It toasts nicely—highly recommend. I steal the banana from my spin studio in the morning, and the rest of the ingredients I keep at my desk. I eat it because it's easy, delicious, and filling. And I eat an apple every day."
— Deven Hopp, beauty director
“I LOVE to cook, and I try to make my own lunch as much as possible. I find that when I get takeout for lunch (or any meal, for that matter), I end up making less-than-healthy choices. And why should I waste money on something that isn’t nourishing my body in the best way? To make sure I’m always satisfied and never bored with my lunch choices, I always look up a new recipe to try on Pinterest. Today’s lunch is a pretty normal lunch for me: It’s a Tuscan kale salad with chicken, heirloom tomatoes, flax seeds ($6), avocado, and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. I squeezed a little lemon juice on top and paired it with my favorite easy homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper—you can’t beat the simplicity or the taste of this), and voilà!”
— Aimee Jefferson, associate social media editor
“To me, the ideal lunch has three essential qualities: healthy, fast, and cheap. But I find that I normally only succeed in swinging two out of three. If my lunch is fast and cheap, it’s never healthy (read: something frozen and processed). But if it’s cheap and healthy, that means I have to make it myself, and normally I wake up approximately 10 minutes before I have to leave the house, so that rarely works out. Typically, my lunch ends up being healthy and fast… and pricy. In fact, for the past few months, I’ve been spending a cringe-worthy $15 on average to have fancy arugula salads and chai maca smoothies delivered to my desk. However, I recently discovered a super-simple lunch that’s healthy, fast, and cheap. Here’s what I do: At least once or twice a week, I head down to this little café right outside our building. I order a $6 strawberry-banana smoothie with a side of sourdough toast and a side of avocado, out of which I fashion my own DIY avocado toast. At most restaurants in West Hollywood, a menu item labeled ‘avocado toast’ might run you $12. But this entire lunch costs just $8, and it has everything I want!”
— Amanda Montell, associate features editor
“There are few places I’m considered a ‘regular’—mostly because I have the attention span of a goldfish and am constantly trying new things—but Zinqué on Melrose has become more or less a second abode. It’s across the street from our office and offers a number of delectable French-inspired pastries, tartines, and salads, but the one and only thing I ever get for lunch is something simply called Le Bowl. It’s basically the grain bowl of your dreams: brown rice, avocado, tomato, arugula, chunks of Comté cheese, Parmesan, and cilantro, all tossed in a Sriracha aioli sauce. It weighs about five pounds, which gives you an inkling of the nutritional value, but it still makes me feel less guilty than most of my other lunch tendencies (ahem, Fatburger). I usually order it without the tomato and cheese (the former because I don’t like them; the latter because I’m trying to go dairy-free), but on this particular day when Amanda ambushed me, I had forgotten to make this request, which made for a more appealing photo, at least.”
— Faith Xue, editorial director
“I’ve gotten in a really good habit of bringing a healthy lunch to work most days—my go-to is a quick vegan stir-fry made with cauliflower rice and veggies, topped with grilled avocado and Sriracha. But I’m traveling this week and didn’t grocery shop, so today it’s my usual Postmates order: a salad bowl with sambal tofu, sautéed kale, avocado, peppers, and pickled veggies from this great little place called Kaya Street Kitchen in West Hollywood. I always ask for extra hot sauce—always.”
— Victoria Hoff, associate editor
“I used to change it up a lot for lunch—noodles, ramen, burgers, sandwiches—the works. But now, in an effort to stay on a (somewhat) healthier path, I keep it simple and order the same salad every day. First of all, it tastes really good and doesn’t leave me feeling unsatisfied like so many other healthy foods, but also it allows me to go rogue for dinner. I’ve found that it’s much easier for me to do green and leafy for lunch than it is when I arrive home after a long day. And making sure I have at least one healthy meal a day is a habit I’ve taken on over the last few months. So, every day I go to Sweetgreen, order a kale Caesar (pepper, a fresh squeeze of lemon, and tortilla chips instead of croutons), and enjoy.”
— Hallie Gould, senior editor
“Ever since I heard the office buzzing about the Kale Caesar at Sweetgreen, I’ve been hooked. Plus, I love a good punny lunch name. The fresh squeeze of lime isn’t what you’d normally find in a Caesar salad, but I swear it makes the whole thing taste better. I’m also obsessed with the Parmesan crisps. They’re chewy, salty, and everything you can hope and dream for in salad. I order it so often that I should probably buy stock in the company soon.”
— Lindsey Metrus, associate editor
Wanna keep creeping on our editors? Don’t miss this uncensored look inside their bags!