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Six active New Yorkers tell us where they eat on their cheat days in NYC

Written by
Alyson Penn

After a booze-and-food-filled New Year's Eve and Christmas, switching to mocktails and cutting down on the calories is probably on everyone's to-do list. To help keep our New Year’s resolutions resolute, six active New Yorkers share how to indulge when you also need to (fill in your adult responsibility here):

To sing your heart out

Telly Leung, Actor, Aladdin (@tellyleung)

Photograph: Courtesy Aladdin

“During the week, I eat light and lean and super early so I have time to digest before the show. I also try to avoid foods heavy in dairy, gluten, sodium and acidity, which have negative effects on my voice. But on Monday, my ‘dark day,’ I go to Spoonfed (331 W 51st; and eat like I mean it, honey, feasting on ribs and bacon-wrapped chicken-fried meat loaf. Get the banana pudding for dessert! I might also opt for a delicious Meat Packing pizza at B Squared (679 Ninth Ave; or spaghetti frutti di mare from Tavola (488 Ninth Ave;”

To save lives

Mark Anthony Eaton II, Firefighter (Engine Co. 153), Mr. January (2018 FDNY calendar)

Photograph: Courtesy FDNY Foundation

“There are two bakeries: Alfonso’s (1899 Victory Blvd, Staten Island; or Royal Crown (1350 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island). I’ll get a napoleon or some cannoli—only two or three, not a whole box. Or, oh! Dallas BBQ (various locations) ribs platter all day. Yellow rice, sweet potato, corn bread—and their Hennessy wings, which is what they’re known for. You work hard, and you need to thank yourself for it. But that’s only once a month or something. You can’t do it every weekend, or else you might get used to it.”

To rise & shine

Jamie Stelter Traffic reporter, NY1 News (@jamiestelter)

Photograph: Courtesy Spectrum News NY1

“Almost every Friday I indulge and get a huge meal from a diner after work—eggs, potatoes, bagels. A lot of times I’ll order from the Flame Diner (893 Ninth Ave;—scrambled eggs, a toasted plain bagel with cream cheese. And if I’m feeling super indulgent, I’ll switch to french fries instead of home fries.”

To race to the top

Ashima Shiraishi, World champion rock climber (@ashimashiraishi

Photograph: Courtesy Tim Kemple

Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers St; It’s a classic. I normally order shrimp dumplings, but they also have broccoli and steamed vegetables that are actually really good because they have that hoisin sauce that gives that extra flavor—but they’re still vegetables. Another place I like is Shabu-Tatsu (216 E 10th St; I love hot pot. You have the protein and vegetables served to you, but you cook it yourself in the boiled water. You know what’s going into it, and you don’t have to eat the whole thing because you’re sharing. For sweet things, I’m really into shaved ice; it’s not too heavy but it tastes really good. There’s a place called Sweet Moment (106 Mott St; in Chinatown. I usually get the Oreo flavor, which is basically ice and condensed milk with Oreo topping. It’s really fluffy. It sounds really bad, but it’s actually really good. I’ve been obsessing over that.”

To protect animals

Luciano Acuna Jr., Stunt man (@veganactionfigure

Photograph: Courtesy Luciano Acuna Jr.

Little Choc Apothecary (141 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn; has many delicious options, though my favorite is the burrito crêpe with extra black beans, extra coconut bacon, tofu scramble, mushroom and avocado for a super-energy-loaded meal pre- or postworkout. I usually pair that with kombucha for a happy gut, and I’ll wrap up with a [tumeric-heavy] Gold smoothie with spirulina. Or at Jungle Cafe (996 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn), what I love to do is order a bowl of Egyptian lentil soup as well as the macro bowl, then create a macro lentil soup bowl. It’s such a delicious pairing filled with an array of vibrant energy sources.”

To give 110 percent

Mr. Met Mascot, New York Mets (@mrmet)

Photograph: Courtesy New York Mets

“When you spend so much time at the ballpark, every game has to be a diet cheat day, so nothing fills me up quite like a Pat LaFrieda’s Original filet mignon steak sandwich, Josh Capon’s Bash Burger (Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave, Queens) and a chicken parm from Nicoletta [Pizzeria] (various locations). Those three items give me great energy to root for the Mets at every home game.”

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