Foodies everywhere have taken to Instagram to showcase their #foodporn skills. Its aesthetic platform makes it ideal for those looking to tailor their own foodie experience. I personally use my Instagram feed for inspiration and try to emulate the food bloggers I see in order to eat better. I find that eating healthier is a lot easier when your food looks more appealing.

Now, I’m someone who enjoys food porn, but when it comes to creating these masterpieces, my culinary skills are rudimentary at best. For the purpose of this article, I decided to eat three incredibly aesthetically-pleasing meals in one day and recorded what the experience was like. 


banana, cream
Ariel Tsai

For breakfast, I decided to go for a bagel. Since this is a rather simple meal, I attempted to make it myself.

Dish: Toasted bagel, spread with smooth peanut butter, topped with sliced bananas and cinnamon granola.

What I learned: I found that I had to use more utensils than usual in order to achieve the aesthetic look I was going for. Normally, my breakfast dishes require much less effort; I tend to be a pretty efficient (ahem, lazy) cook, which means I use as few plates and utensils as possible.


seafood, rice
Ariel Tsai

For Lunch, I decided to go for Japanese food at Nare Sushi in Midtown. The Japanese make some of the most aesthetically-pleasing food dishes.

Entree: Wild King Salmon Teriyaki + Rice (Grilled 9 oz of king salmon with seasonal vegetables. Teriyaki sauce on the top.)

SideMiso Soup and Eel Avocado Roll

Verdict: It was splendid.

What I learned: It turns out that taking food porn images in public can get a little uncomfortable, especially when people start to stare. Nevertheless, I shamelessly soldiered on.


Ariel Tsai

For Dinner, I went to The Little Beet located in Midtown. I was in a #treatyoself kind of mood.

Dish: I ordered a “plate” (which comes in a box), with a choice of protein and two sides.

My choice: Tofu, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.

Verdict: The tofu was fried, and tasted like it had been marinated in soy sauce. The sweet potatoes were perfectly roasted. The quinoa was delicious and a pretty shade of pink. I am not a huge beets fan, but this quinoa changed that. I am officially #teambeets.

What I learned: The lighting in the restaurant was a little strange, which made this task much more challenging. The food was presented in a takeout box, which while convenient, is not aesthetically-pleasing. I had to rearrange the food in order to try to achieve an aesthetic look. 

In the end, it’s like playing with your food (with a purpose, of course). Achieving an aesthetic takes a lot of work and is much harder than it appears, especially when you are hangry. Shout out to food bloggers for making things look so effortless. 

Lighting is the key of taking a great picture, but even more so when you’re trying to recreate #foodporn for Instagram. Plus, taking pictures of your food in public requires a degree of shamelessness that I haven't quite developed yet. 

But seriously, creating and then eating super aesthetically-pleasing healthy food is good for the eyes, the belly, and the soul. What’s not to love? Sometimes, you just have to treat yourself.