Comedian Heather McDonald Eats Zankou Chicken and United Airlines Tapas

McDonald in front of The Flying Pig Truck - Photo: Lesley Balla

By: Hadley Tomicki |

McDonald in front of The Flying Pig Truck - Photo: Lesley Balla

Chelsea Lately and After Lately writer and on-camera accomplice Heather McDonald has a lot on her plate. She regularly shoots two shows for E! in West L.A., crisscrosses the country for stand-up gigs and signings of her book, You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again, and is still on time for her two sons’ Little League games. In addition to the food trucks parked outside of her work and the rare delivery from Zankou, McDonald has a little help from a friend when it comes to getting fed. “We get food served here every day by Roy Handler, Chelsea’s brother, she says, “I love that feeling of not knowing what’s going to be served next.” Even with her busy schedule (she recently shot a pilot for her own E! show), McDonald tells us she could always find a minute for Tom and Padma. “I would love to be a celebrity food judge for a food show. I love Top Chef and all of that.” With her co-workers heckling her behind her back, McDonald shared everything she ate and drank this week for today’s L.A. Diet.

Wednesday, April 27th
Coffee first. A regular coffee, not decaffeinated. I like a low fat, low sugar vanilla liquid creamer and I like fake sugar. If I go to Starbucks, I’ll ask for a non-fat grande latte with one and a half Equals. One and-a-half sounds totally Diva-ish, but that’s a perfect flavor for me. Then a tall glass of orange juice. I like it pulpy. I like to think I got to that level where I deserve to have fresh squeezed OJ at home, but sometimes I just purchase it. I had a banana in my car when I drove to work and when I got there, an apple and cinnamon low-fat Quaker Oats pack of oatmeal.

Lunch that day was a mixed greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette. This was a choice out of many things that Roy cooked that day. He made grilled tilapia with a very yummy sun dried tomato kind of sauce. Light, very light. I had this cous cous thing as well, with the salad, and I think there were some green beans with shaved almonds. Then I had a small Snicker bar, like one of those fun sizes.

That night for dinner I went to Katsuya at Hollywood and Vine and we had a bunch of sushi. I was with my sister and my friend and we shared it all, but it was still pretty hearty. We had the jalapeño yellowtail dish, spicy tuna on little rice cakes, we had the black cod miso, and albacore with crispy onion. Oh and rock shrimp! Which is bad for you, but I had it. And then we went to an US Weekly party at Eden in Hollywood and I didn’t eat anything, but had a glass of Chardonnay. I’d also had two grapefruit martinis at dinner.

Thursday, April 28th
I got up at the crack of dawn because I was getting a flight at six in the morning. So I didn’t have anything to eat or drink because I wanted to sleep on the plane. I did have an orange juice and the low fat cranberry muffin from Starbucks on the way before the first flight. Then I had coffee on the second plane from Denver to Arkansas, a non-fat latte and I had like a pre-made turkey sandwich from Starbucks.

Then I was in Arkansas. Before I performed at the University of Arkansas, I ordered a cream of mushroom soup, small, and a Cobb salad. And that was from the Doubletree Inn. And when you check into a Doubletree Inn, you know what they give you, right? Delicious cookies! So, I had half of one before I performed, and then I came back after I performed at around 10:30 and ordered a chicken quesadilla and had half of it. It was pretty large. The Doubletree Inn room service was very good. The quesadilla was really good. I had that and one Amstel Light, and the rest of the cookie as I watched New York Real Housewives in the room.

Friday, April 29
I had coffee in my room, the make-it-yourself kind. And again, I had to take two planes, this time to get to Philadelphia. Then I got to the airport, and thank God I got a breakfast sandwich because I got there really early. So I got a really good egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich on very good toasted bread, at some place, it wasn’t like a Starbucks, just whatever was there.

I had a layover in the Chicago Airport. I had a bowl of chili from Chili’s and I had a salad. They had a salad and chili special. I landed and got to my hotel room at Harrah’s. There I ordered a Cesar salad and a filet mignon with asparagus and a baked potato with sour cream. I didn’t eat much of the salad, but that and the steak were very good. I ate like two thirds of the steak, then went and did my stand-up, where I had one glass of Chardonnay.

When I got home to the room, I finished the steak with a glass of water and probably like one asparagus thing, not a ton. Then, I was really craving like treats and chocolate and stuff and I was in a huge room but they didn’t have a mini-bar. So I thought about ordering a big dessert, but then decided not to.

Saturday, April 30
I had one coffee in my room, again the make-it-yourself kind. When I got to the airport, I had one of those Quaker Oats oatmeals that they sell and that you put hot water into and a small Tropicana orange juice. Nothing on the first plane to eat, just had water. And then, on the second plane back to L.A. from Chicago, I was starving. I barely made it. And there I got, from United, their Thai Chicken wrap sandwich. And I was still so hungry that I ordered their tapas, which was a bunch of snacks. It came with almonds, a cheese spread and crackers, a little jar of red peppers. I only ate a few of them. The food was pretty good. I mean I was starving, but it was pretty good. Not as good as Virgin, but good.

I had a few glasses of Chardonnay on the plane while I watched How Do You Know?. I don’t know if was the movie or the glasses of wine, but I fell asleep in the middle. I love Reese Witherspoon, but that was a pretty bad movie. It was just awful. Weird script. Does it make any sense that a girl who is 5’2″ that’s 100 pounds could be a professional baseball player? Sounds stupid. And no one brought up the point that Owen Wilson was a professional baseball player, yet he’s like 42 years old. Like, whatever, it was just so weird.

So I woke up from that and was in L.A. and came home. I went to an event for Pediatric AIDS with all of these other comedians and there was a bunch of Chaya Venice food. I had some of their eel avocado roll, their spicy tuna roll, like six pieces total. I had some blue cheese and some prosciutto and then some other yellowtail fish-type thing on a piece of rice. I also had a grapefruit Grey Goose drink that they were doing and a lime vodka drink that they were doing.

Sunday, May 1
Sunday morning, I had coffee at the house and then my husband went and got fresh squeezed orange juice from the doughnut place. And he got doughnuts for the kids. And then he also got the egg-white sandwich with Black Forest ham and red onion from Subway for me. It was like a huge long one and I split it with my daughter. So I had half. Those are really good.

Then we went to the mall to get my son’s first communion suit and I got myself an Asian chicken salad from Stonefire Grill, which is like a place, you know, in like the mall thing. Then I went to a Little League game and then to USC to sign books. And I just had an iced tea there.

Then I came home and had two glasses of Chardonnay. One in the Jacuzzi. And then I had whole-wheat pasta with red and green peppers, balsamic vinaigrette, and grilled chicken. My husband made it and he never cooks! This was really good. I thought it was one of those mixes that all you have to do is throw it frozen into the thing, but he made it from scratch. He’s coming off extremely nice in these stories. Then I had some Häagen-Dazs mango sorbet, maybe about a fourth of one of those pint things.

Monday, May 2nd
I had oatmeal at home, one of those low-fat Quaker Oats things. I think it was one of the Weight Watchers ones. Coffee at the house, a little bit of orange juice.
Then I went to work and it’s very unusual for E! to do this for us, but they provided us with a bagel breakfast. So I had a jalapeno and cheese bagel scooped out, toasted, with low-fat cream cheese, slices of tomato, red onion, and cucumber.

I had some Zankou Chicken for lunch, like at two. The studio got it for us. I got a breast of chicken, a little hummus, and a tomato cucumber salad.Then I had some Jelly Bellys and it was also our writer’s assistant’s birthday, so the treat was these little cupcakes from like SusieCakes or something. I had half of a peanut butter and chocolate one and one bite of a coconut one and decided it wasn’t worth it.

I went to another of my sons’ baseball games, one is on the Red Sox and the other is on the San Francisco Giants. There I had just a Diet Pepsi, but when I came home I had some of the lamb that I’d stolen from the Zankou lunch with more of the chicken, some hummus, and just a little of that pasta from the night before. And no dessert, just water. Monday and Tuesdays are usually the nights when I don’t drink. Then by Wednesday, I usually end up having a glass of wine for dinner.