Wow. I was home for what felt like fifteen seconds, and now I’m back out on the road. All of this traveling for work has taught me a few things. First, that I’m VERY VERY VERY VERY lucky to get to do the job I love in the city where I live. Secondly, I much prefer spending my working hours with funny people. Actors who take themselves too seriously are . . . well, to be honest, they’re funny. I can’t help but laugh at them. We literally play make-believe for a living, you idiots, and you can’t find joy in that? You can’t have gratitude for getting to do what you love, getting paid AND being publicly celebrated for it? What is wrong with some people? Alas, I digress. Thirdly, I have a lot of trouble finding decent, healthy food on sets. It’s a total cliche, but I suppose it’s a cliche for a reason — it’s generally true. I will not bore you with my laundry list of craft service complaints – soggy vegetables, petrified bagels, slimy eggs, greasy potatoes. The truth is, every craft service provider I’ve ever worked with has done a great job for the crowds they’ve gotta feed, under massive budget, time, space and labor constraints. The problem for me is . . . Newsflash: I AM PICKY. I like food that comes from the ground or the trees, preferably from a local farm and definitely sans poison. And that’s a tall order when you’ve got to feed 100 teamsters and numerous others, all working too many hours with too little sleep and very few food breaks. The masses are starving on a movie set, and you gotta feed the bellies. Little Miss Actress wants lentils and organic kale? I’ll get right on that.
So, here’s my new, on-set, survival-of-the-happiest move — the grocery store. I spent one hour and $100 to outfit my li’l hotel room.
A few highlights: baby arugula, alfalfa sprouts (I KNOW, I know, they’re a little like herbal hair, but they’re really good for you), baby carrots, a big bunch of collard greens, freshly-ground peanut butter, avocado, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, raw almonds, pluots, apples, balsamic vinegar, good olive oil, local goat cheese, Celtic sea salt (I’m a sucker – it had uber-cool packaging), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, vacuum packed beans, lemons, seltzer & Paul Newman spelt pretzels. Oh, and I also bought an overpriced, but very snazzy, Tupperware-esque container for the lunches I’ll be taking to work. So, I have a few “cooking” thoughts for the oncoming two weeks of shooting. First, I’ll be microwaving (although I HATE microwaves and refuse to use one in my daily life, they are quite useful when trapped in a hotel) the sweet potatoes and topping them with salt, olive oil, sunflower seeds and a bit of nutritional yeast. (Please refer to my previous, rapturous, October 27, 2011, love-letter post regarding this incredible substance, if you are feeling confused.)
Another day, I’ll make a wrap, with a de-ribbed collard green as the “tortilla,” with fresh peanut butter, sprouts, cucumber, lemon zest, and arugula, drizzled with the balsamic vinegar and oil. The next day, I’ll do a HUGE salad with all of the veggies, sliced pluot, and a container of beans, dressed with the olive oil and lemon juice, topped with creamy chunks of goat cheese. The combinations and permutations are certainly numerous enough to carry me through this entire shoot, with nary a greasy potato crossing my unBotoxed lips.
Tonight, my pretend husband for the week asked me if I kept myself healthy with eating well or exercising or what, like it was LABOR. I said, “I guess it’s boring, but, yeah, I do all of it.” Here’s the thing – none of the things I do to take care of myself feel like a chore. I like food, and I like to enjoy what I eat. I also like my body to feel good, so I try to put good stuff in it. I like to be able to do triathlons or run races or just chase my 4 year old through the mall without gasping for air. I don’t resent the work involved in eating healthy and exercising, because the payoff is that I get to enjoy my life so much more than if I were falling apart. The truth for me, as corny as it may sound, is that every day that I get to run around and be silly and breathe in and out is an absolute gift. So many people don’t get that gift for very long. I want to take care of what I have, and it ain’t just for vanity’s sake, because I happen to be in front of a camera a lot. I work hard to be blessed with good health. I am happy and loved and I am grateful for all of it, and I will do whatever it takes to keep that as long as I can. I will even eat alfalfa sprouts.