Pilar Gerasimo, editor in chief of Experience Life Magazine, has made a career out of helping people live balanced lives. And her own life is so wholesome…it’s almost too much.
Gerasimo’s house sits on a 300-acre cooperative farm, along with the houses of her mom, two sisters, and the chickens. They share leftovers (not with the chickens), have Sunday pancakes together, and generally live a ridiculously bucolic life that we New Yorkers could never imagine.
(Whatever. Our rat-infested subways are so much better than open highways. And can she get falafel delivered at 3:00 a.m?)
Gerasimo showed us the inside of her very large fridge.
So, New Yorkers don’t know much about farms unless they’re on rooftops or visited by Michael Pollan. Do you get up at 4 a.m. to milk the cows? I wish I could say yes! When I was growing up, I did lots of farm work; I milked cows, weeded, gardened. Now, with my job, I’m too busy. I’ll shuck the occasional hay bale when they need help, pick produce, or take food scraps out. But mostly I get to benefit from the fact that other people in my family do all of the farm work.
How much of the food in your fridge comes from the farm? It depends on the time of year. The winter is really cold, and the gardens are empty and covered with snow. We’ll have a jar of maple syrup, a carton of eggs, garlic, olive oil, a winter squash, and then some things in the freezer. In the summer, there are just tons of vegetables and greens and berries.
Is that a basil plant on the top shelf? Why keep it in the fridge? It’s cut parsley. It keeps a lot better that way. You keep the stems in water, and the plastic bag over the top keeps it moist. Plus, it reminds me I should use it, and it’s like opening your refrigerator and seeing a bouquet of flowers.
Tell us about the bowls and Tupperware. Most of them are leftovers, which is pretty typical of our fridge. I love them because they’re an opportunity to get creative. I’ll make something new out of them, or we’ll have last night’s dinner for lunch the next day. Because all the families live so close on the farm, we also share leftovers between households. My mom will send out an alert that she’s making curry, and we’ll go over with our leftover greens to add.
I see you have cod liver and flaxseed oils. Do you drink them straight? Generally, I take them straight because I don’t like the flavors—I just glug it back. I also take a big DHA capsule every day.
You’re obviously so informed about health foods and trends because of your job. Do you change your diet based on things you learn while editing stories at the magazine? I would say that ten years ago when I first started, I learned a lot. For the past several years, the research has been pretty consistent. I generally stick to the basics and trust my appetite—it’s all about whole foods and lots of veggies. I also always go back to something Dr. Mark Hyman told me: If you eat really well about 85 percent of the time, you can eat not-so-well for 15 percent of the time and be fine. —Lisa Elaine Held