For a lot of people, the start of a new year means the start of a healthy food kick. The easiest way to make sure you don’t slide back into bad eating habits, though, is to just eat like Tom Donigan. As one of the founders of Field Trip, the Brooklyn-based, all natural craft jerky company, he describes his diet as “balanced consumption.”
“I would say my goal in life is to live as balanced a lifestyle as possible,” he says, which includes a decent amount of exercise, training for marathons and vacations and weekend trips built around hiking.
We asked him about some of this go-to meals throughout his week along with a few of his favorite indulgences. You might be tempted to add a few of his choices to your rotation, too.
Not surprisingly, Field Trip, is a staple in Donigan’s diet, an “every day, multiple times a day” snack.
“I think that the product I mostly gravitate to is the grass-fed beef sticks—it’s a really easy protein to grab and eat and a perfect mid morning stack to hold you over to lunch.”
Donigan has a soft spot for craft beer, but he balances out those calories each week by drinking mainly water, and in the mornings, Chemex-brewed coffee that arrives by mail. He’ll pick a new favorite, research their mail order options, and sign up for a subscription. Toby’s Estate and Parlor Coffee in Brooklyn have both supplied his caffeine fix over the years. Currently he’s digging Tandem Coffee in Portland, Maine. "It seems pretty trivial, but it’s one less thing to think about buying, and it provides those businesses with a constant source of income."
Breakfast is a Must
As the father of a 15-month-old son, and the one with the most flexible schedule, Donigan is the primary cook in the family and also the one who rises early while his wife and son catch a few more zzz's. He keeps breakfast healthy and simple with things like Bob’s Red Mill thick-cut, rolled oats, Siggi’s yogurt, and Brooklyn’s own Early Bird Granola. For eggs, he likes Vital Farms, sold in Whole Foods. “I’m kind of a sucker for packaging,” says Donigan. “Also the eggs are great.”
His Go-To Tonic
“I’ve started recently to have a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day—I mix it with 8 ounces of water and agave for a little sweetness, and it’s helped me digest food better. I haven’t had as much heartburn.” This is a classic “Switchel” recipe, and he uses Bragg’s unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
Lunchtime, and also Dinner
Often Donigan will eat leftovers from the meal subscription service, Plated, which he’s done for the past year or so. “It makes thinking about meals a lot easier and takes away stress of putting together a recipe list.” Another perk is that you get to choose your meals. “I end up with mostly vegetarian options which I am pretty happy about, because I eat our products on a daily basis.”
Donigan and his wife have a standing cheat night on Fridays, when they order from one of the delicious pizzas near their apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One of their favorites is Emmy Squared, Detroit-style pizza that isn’t as thick as deep-dish pizza but it’s exactly thin, either. “It’s got that perfect, in-between, crispy, taller crust.”
Pancakes in the Vitamix
One of Donigan’s newest kitchen gadgets is the Vitamix, but he doesn’t always make smoothies or soups in it. On weekends, he often will make pancakes, and he’s been experimenting with their buttermilk pancake recipe. In a pinch, he’ll use his favorite store-bought line, Stonewall Kitchen. “It’s almost as good as homemade and takes a lot less time.”
Smoking Meats in the Green Egg
“When the weather is nice, I do a lot of smoking and grilling on the Green Egg,” says Donigan. He’ll happily devote the 14 hours it takes to slow cook a pork shoulder, then serve it the next day. “I really enjoy cooking outside with hardwood charcoal,” he says.