I’m fully aware that The Bachelor is trash TV.
But hey, I work hard, I can treat myself to some trashy things. Girls with fake tans and hoop earrings wearing True Religion jeans is how I go about that.
With that logic, I sometimes eschew mindful eating and have at it with IPAs, pulled pork nachos, honey sriracha wings, bacon pizza, tubs of lard. You don’t get to be the size of a division three fullback by eating arugula and beets all day.
I did assume that if I were ever lucky enough to be on The Bachelorette, I’d probably have to resign the fact that it’d be weeks (more like days… I think I’d get booted pretty fast. #FiveFootEight.) on end of straight up kale and grilled chicken. But that’s the price you pay for looking spiffy on natty TV.
One thing about The Bachelor that I’ve always assumed is that the girls in the house pretty much only do the whole arugula-and-beets thing all the damn time. It makes sense considering the expectation to look one hunnid emoji constantly, and to not fall out of favor with their leading man.
According to three Bachelor veterans – Champion Lauren Bushnell, O-face Olivia Caridi, and constantly crying puddles Ashley Iaconetti – the dietary patterns of the girls during filming are a wild ride.
Obviously, I have to break it down.
The fridge was the stuff of dreams.
According to all three women, one huge perk of living in the Bachelor mansion (aside from the possibility of finding true love, of course) was the insane amount of food available to contestants. The fridge is stocked with all of the staples. Meats, dairy products, juices, fruits, and veggies.
In fact, it was “so full that sometimes it’s even hard to see what’s in the fridge, so you really have to do some digging,” Bushnell said.
The pantry contains every possible ingredient one could ever desire, including plenty of snacks and candy.
So, it’s kind of like being back at home with your parents, instead of your sad, one-bedroom estate where the fridge is essentially four Bud Lights, a lone Sierra Nevada IPA, six eggs, two bottles of Franks Red Hot, a bag of wilted spinach, and two pounds of Boar’s Head sliced so thin you’d have thought Kramer was working the deli counter.
A completely loaded refrigerator and pantry shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. ABC has to blow the budget somewhere and it’s certainly not on track and field dates. So far, things are making sense, to me.
Healthy options ran out fastest—at first.
With the knowledge that you’ll be on national TV fresh in your mind, it’s easy to practice disciplined eating, early on. Producers keep the kitchen stocked to meet the demand, though it is hard to keep up.
“There [were] like 60 fresh avocados in the kitchen at all times,” Iaconetti said.
According to Caridi, “Spinach was everywhere.”
The desire for all things green didn’t last long, though. When contestants approached the grand finale and tensions would rise, so did the cravings.
“At the beginning everyone would eat lettuce and vegetables and stuff like that ’cause everyone’s trying to look good and healthy, then as the week progressed, I noticed the cereal started running out, and then it was the Oreos,” Bushnell explained.
“All of the unhealthy junk food started progressively running out, too.”
Again, I’m totally understanding the thought process. In a field of 30 smoke stacks with bodies crafted by the hands of Gee Dash Dee, every microscopic part of your body counts. You can’t be the one girl who doesn’t come out guns blazing by living on 600 calories of straight romaine hearts, each day.
60 fresh avocados in my kitchen is a wet dream, considering every time I buy an avocado it goes from rock-hard to completely black on the inside seemingly instantly. It makes total sense that as tensions rise (and once you’ve shown the Bach how smoking hot you can look), you start to stress eat, especially if you get the sense you’re on the chopping block. Cereal, I must admit, is an interesting thing to be stress eating. I’m guessing it’s not Cheerios and Special K all up in there.
Oreos were the real knight in shining armor.
It seems that the Bachelorettes, like us mere mortals, cannot stay away from America’s Favorite Cookie™. According to Caridi, they a critical part of the girls’ go-to late night snack.
“We went through a lot of Oreos and peanut butter,” she said.
Given the stressful circumstances the girls were under, it’s no surprise that, according to Olivia, they were “emotional eating all the time.”
Can we even blame them?
If The Parent Trap taught us anything, it’s that housekeepers/nannies are, in fact, part of the family, (love you, Chessy. So much cooler than Racquel) and that Oreos and peanut butter go together almost as good as Boston and sports championships.
I’m glad the gals have taken pages out of the late 90’s playbook and have decided to embrace their inner 12-year-old Lindsay Lohan. I’m wicked curious about how many packages of Oreos (have to be double stuffed, too, right?) they went through, and more importantly, who was Oreo killer numero uno. Olivia could probably fit a whole sleeve in her mouth at any given moment. But, my gut tells me it was Becca, because when you’re not having sex you tend to eat lots of Oreos…so I’ve been told.
The producers were sort of food fairy godmothers.
Though the ladies generally had to fend for themselves food-wise, the producers sometimes showed off their own cooking skills and whipped up dishes for everyone.
According to Iaconetti, “there were a couple days where the producers would cook a huge meal, like you’d come down to the kitchen, and there’d be a gazillion eggs Benedict.”
See, this is how you earn the trust of these girls, only to stab them in the back later. You make them roughly one gazillion eggs Benedict, then you whisper sweet nothings into their ear, suggesting they do crazy shit, like having Leah break into Ben’s hotel room and telling Corinne to freely do and say whatever happens to pop into her nine-year-old brain.
It’s not fair, these producers are playing with a loaded gun! You give me a metric ton of eggs benny (roughly the conversion of one gazillion) and I’ll probably listen to whatever you tell me to do, too. Sneaky sneaky.
There was also a wish list.
While at the mansion, there was a grocery list where contestants could write down items they were craving or needed, makeup included. Mascara is definitely in short supply with all those teary moments.
“The producers were very accommodating to us as far as getting us what we needed,” said Caridi.
Of course, there’s a wish list. Everyone has one. I want to be a pimp from Oakland or a cowboy from Oklahoma. These girls want eight pounds of mascara and a pool of Kombucha delivered every day, and I think they deserve it. They work hard at that mansion all day. It’s not easy. They’re entitled to a rider.
The mansion didn’t come with a live-in chef.
Unfortunately, the gorgeous LA mansion that’s home to the Bachelorettes during the first week and a half of filming doesn’t include a chef, so the ladies are on their own when it comes to feeding themselves.
Most of the ladies kept it simple: omelets for Olivia, avocado toast for Ashely, and, according to Lauren, cereal for the twins, Haley and Emily Ferguson.
However, those who knew how to cook often took advantage of the tricked-out kitchen to show off their skills. During Season 20, Shushanna Mkrtychyan made some incredible Russian dishes.
Woe is me, a whole 10 days without a live-in chef? How are the girls (looking at you, Corrine) going to survive?! I’m not surprised at the lack of culinary companion. Part of the fun is having the girls dissolve into their most feeble parts for our own enjoyment. Corinne having to learn how to slice her own cucumbers. The twins having to learn how to pour their own cereal into the bowl, probably winding up with a gallon of milk on the floor a la Big Daddy.
I love the idea of underrated, incendiary bomb, Shushanna, cooking incredible Russian dinners, but, I would also be slightly concerned I was eating ecstasy-infused, fermented shark meat. There’s a negative-infinity chance the Ferguson twins ate Russian food because it probably looked funny and was not brightly colored.
Family dinners weren’t really a thing.
Unlike other reality shows where family dinners are a staple, (Jersey Shore, anyone?) these gatherings are not common on The Bachelor.
As Caridi points out, “it’s hard to have a family dinner with a busy shooting schedule and one-on-one dates that constantly take the girls out of the house.”
There’s also the issue of not being able to fit 20-plus women at one dinner table.
According to Iaconetti, the boys on The Bachelorette have it differently.
“I hear that the guys on The Bachelorette are a little more family-ish about cooking,” she said. “They make these huge Thanksgiving meals every day.”
First of all, a quick clarification, there was nothing better, – I mean nothing – than Tuesday night Jersey Shore back in college. Twitter was in its infancy, but man, oh man, do I wish it was a bigger commodity back then. The live tweets for J-Shore would have been life changing.
Another sidebar, if MTV and ABC wanted to challenge the Klingons for interstellar domination, they’d come up with a Bachelor / Jersey Shore hybrid-thing. Maybe throw the cast of J-Shore into Bachelor in Paradise? That idea alone is worth one gazillion eggs benedict.
Anyway, I’m disappointed there aren’t family dinners in the mansion mostly because I’d watch the shit out of a dinner scene. The best arguments happen when you’re wined up and breaking bread.
A giant, Thanksgiving meal every day with the dudes on The Bachelorette makes going on the show sound amazing. You know what’s the best? Thanksgiving. You know what’s even better? Thanksgiving every night when you can get fucked up and watch Chad and Daniel-the-Canadian fight over the King Arthur sized turkey leg from three feet away.
Saying yes to the show means saying no to In-N-Out (and Starbucks, and Chipotle, and everything good in this world).
“You had to give up those cravings … I know there were a couple times when I was craving an In-N-Out burger,” Bushnell said. “It was so tempting cause we’re in California, so In-N-Out’s maybe like 10 minutes away, and you just kind of had to bite the bullet and go raid the snack pantry [instead].”
Bushnell did mention that one time the whole house got pizza. Caridi recalled an occasion in Vegas when the producers delivered some much-needed In-N-Out.
Ahh, another tactic by the producers for having these girls wrapped around their fingers. The girls are unable to leave the house. Bring them In-N-Out and they will be at your mercy.
“There are no Postmates at The Bachelor mansion,” joked Iaconetti.
Those poor girls. How will they ever survive a few weeks without pizza, In-N-Out and Chipotle?! (Actually, the Starbucks thing might be a deal breaker for me for going on the show. Daddy needs his cold brews in that LA heat).
But at least the rose ceremonies are catered
The rose ceremonies can often take hours to film considering the cocktail party, one-on-one moments, and ceremony itself. There is always catered food to provide sustenance throughout the ordeal, several sources confirmed. The spread isn’t fancy. The contestants have a selection of finger sandwiches and casual party hors d’oeurves to choose from.
“After the rose ceremony, we basically shove food in our faces because it’s like, ‘ok, you made it through another week, celebratory meal,'” Iaconetti laughed.
We’ve seen The Chad at these things. These rose ceremonies sound alright. I can fuck with a night of booze and pigs-in-a-blanket.
No, they don’t usually eat the food when they go on dates.
If you follow The Bachelor closely, you’ve probably noticed that the incredibly delicious-looking food in front of the incredibly good-looking people often goes untouched during dates. It often just goes untouched altogether.
The ladies want to make it clear: there is no rule that says they can’t dig in, but the stars are advised not to eat on camera because it’s unflattering. The mic will likely pick up chewing sounds, which doesn’t exactly scream romance.
According to Bushnell, there is a more realistic and relatable reason why no one eats on the dates.
“You’re nervous, you’re talking — it’s like a first date, and you have all these cameras around you, so the last thing you want to do is be stuffing your face with food.”
Ashely I., on the other hand, had no reservations about eating the food in front of her during filming. Citing a date on Bachelor In Paradise where she wasn’t about to pass on some tacos, she pointed out that it’s totally possible to eat on camera.
“I think I may be the only girl in Bachelor history to eat on a date, it’s proof that you can if you want,” she said.
For those who opt out of shoveling food into their mouths on national television, there is another option to help avoid feeling famished. The girls are dressed and dolled up in hotels before the evening portion of their dates where they have access to room service.
Personally, I love how Ashley I. is the only one willing to eat on these dates. It makes sense. She’s already ruined her makeup by crying the contents of the Danube River down her face. The midas whale just shoves tacos in her face while hopelessly trying to make Jared fall in love with her to no avail.
If I were on the show, (feel free to nominate ya boy) I would
a) demand a sushi date
b) eat the FUCK outta that sushi.
The only way to know what you’re getting in terms of a mate is to put them through the sushi date test. I can, with 88% accuracy, determine the kind of person you are by sharing a sushi meal.
They were never short on booze.
“I would say over food, alcohol was the priority. [Producers] always made sure it was always available to anyone who needed it,” said Caridi.
All three ladies attested that they were never required or forced to drink, but that booze was always around in case someone wanted it.
How fitting, considering the show released its own line of vino. The stars are sequestered in the house with no access to TV, phones, or the Internet. Sometimes, the only thing to do is make mimosas and hang out at the pool or experiment with cocktail recipes.
Producers don’t want to force Oreos down your throat, but they do want to funnel vino down it. What makes for better TV?
Traveling didn’t mean they got to hit up the hottest local restaurants.
Given the extreme secrecy during filming, the Bachelorettes only leave the hotel for dates. They’re often chowing down on the inn’s food, served buffet-style.
“The food in the Bahamas was just cold french fries and chicken nuggets,” Caridi explained.
Ashely I. insisted it wasn’t all that bad, since buffet time generally translated into social hour.
“We have no TV, we have no internet, we have no phones—all we have is talking to each other, and food to distract us and to entertain us, so we very much look forward to those hours.”
There’s nothing sketchier than a foreign country hotel kitchen. At best they’d get a “D” rating on the NYC kitchen cleanliness scale. Some serious “shut it down” stuff going on.
Cold fries and nuggets sounds awful. It is no wonder that these girls are pining to GTFO of the hotel and on to a date where they get to sit in front of an appetizing plate and not eat it. Not eating for the sake of attractiveness or eating and risking an ugly shot sounds like some Sophie’s Choice type shit.
They had to get creative to burn off those Oreos.
Everyone on The Bachelor looks HOT, right? Well, you’ll be shocked to learn that the contestants do not have gym equipment to battle, as Iaconetti calls it, ” The Bachelor 4 or 10.”
In fact, according to Caridi, the only way to stay in shape while on the show involves running or lunging up and down a hill on the mansion property.
Yeah, we’ll pass on that.
I don’t understand why the mansion doesn’t have a home gym. Everyone is relegated to suitcase weighted pull-ups or hill runs. It’s a hard knock life on The Bachelor.