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Canned Food Challenge: Day 2

Mar 9, 2010

After cleaning out the cabinets last night, I got inspired to cook some meals.  First up, lunch for today.  Even though I have a working lunch today and we're allowed to buy lunch in such cases, I decided against it.  The amount of food we have is staggering, really.  Margaret even suggested we extend the challenge to a month instead of two weeks.  We'll see, I'm not sure I can commit to that yet. 

Anyway, back to cooking.  I found these Indian rice/lentil/tomato packages that you just microwave and they're ready.  I also had two half chicken breasts with teriyaki/sesame sauce on them that were also microwavable.  I put both of those in Tupperware and then whipped up some lemon pepper/sea salt green beans to add on top.  Voila!  Healthy and delicious lunch! 

For emergency meals, when we don't have time to throw something together, I put a bag of split peas, a cup of onions (frozen and already chopped because I hate chopping onions), two cups of carrots (Margaret bought a huge bag of them fit to feed a family of five), three basil sausages cut up, and a box of chicken broth in the Crock pot and let that sit all night.  It made the apartment smell like poo but I'm guessing it's going to taste really good.  Plus, I read recently that dieters that eat soup lose more weight than those eating the same number of calories from other foods. 

After all that preparation, I forgot to do something for breakfast.  (I actually considered eating some of the split pea soup.)  So in my haste to get to work on time this morning I spooned some yogurt into a container and threw on some frozen blackberries.  I didn't notice until later that the yogurt was plain (which means it was Margaret's, sorry dude), and I can't stand plain.  I thought maybe the blackberries would sweeten it -- but no, when I started to eat it at my desk I discovered they had freezer burn and were gross.  I frantically looked for a Splenda, but I was out.  I forced three or four spoonfuls down my throat and then gave up and opened a can of fruit cocktail (there are many more cans where that came from).  That didn't squash the hunger so I ate a granola bar.  I only have two left, and that worries me.  Must be better about preparing breakfast!

8:30 a.m.: Tried to find space in our mini fridge for my amazing lunch, but it was packed.  Whose half-eaten sandwich is that?  And that giant container of apples?  Ranch dressing?  And a jar of Dijon mustard?  When I saw the mustard I realized in horror that all the food was mine.  Ohhh help. 

10:00 a.m.: Emergency coffee.  Lack of proper breakfast plus caffeine has made me hyper and antsy.  Dying for lunch.  On the bright side, the lady at Dunkin Donuts apparently didn't speak English because I asked for a Splenda three times before she understood me, and then she handed me three packets.  "I just need one, thanks," I said, but she kept shoving the three packets toward me.  What a waste, I thought as I walked away.  Then I realized that no, it's not a waste, because I just got free food!

11:30 a.m.: Update from Margaret:

(Note: We rode in to work together this morning and discussed how we were going to host a dinner this Thursday night.  We had decided last Friday to have some people over but forgot about it until this morning, and now we have to figure out what to make.  I suggested we bend the rules and go buy ingredients.)

We can totally make Thursday night work!  I think you just want an excuse to buy more food!  Just think about the Great Depression where people had to eat whatever they had.  We live life too "easily"--our Soldiers are getting blown up in Afghanistan by IEDs, we can eat canned food!  (FINE Margaret, geez, pull out the big guns!)

Breakfast: Egg sandwich (since I was running out of time I didn't really cook it thoroughly, and the egg whites ended up being kind of if I die today you can have all my clothes), 1/2 grapefruit, coffee.  (You saw it in writing, folks.  I'll have to lose 15 more pounds to fit into her clothes, though.)

Lunch: Salad with all the veggies I bought and some raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  A little bag of random assorted snacks to satisfy my mid-afternoon cravings (organic rice cakes, granola bar, dried mangoes (thanks dude! :)), banana and apple.  In case the salad wasn't enough, I brought half a raw sweet potato to heat up in the microwave.  I will make many enemies today since it takes about 5 minutes to heat up.

Dinner: We'll see what I feel like after my run, but I'm kind of liking the sound of that poopy smelling split pea soup.  We can supplement that with salad as well.

Tomorrow I have a wine, dessert, and cheese party to go to.  I'm thinking some of our [10+ boxes of] cookies look gourmet, yes? :)

Yesterday I had to go to the mall and strategically planned my route through the food court to hit Annie's pretzel samples and the Asian BBQ chicken lady.  There were no pretzels left but the Asian chicken lady gave me a huge piece of chicken which I promptly DEVOURED.  On my way out I made sure to stop by Annie's again, but to no avail.  I think they recognized me and I sensed their disgust when I wandered up to the counter "casually" to sample. 

I feel her pain -- at Dunkin Donuts this morning I was overcome with the desire to buy cookies, not even donuts, cookies.  What is that?  I never buy that kind of stuff.  I don't know if I could resist buying a warm, fluffy, buttery pretzel. 

I'm having dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill tonight with my brother-in-law who is in town for a few days, so I won't be eating soup just yet.  I'm thinking oysters to start, maybe some crab and artichoke dip, a petite filet medium rare (with blood on the plate...mmmmmm), and some mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.  It's a special occasion so I'm sure we'll order dessert as well.

This actually poses a problem (Margaret has come to the same realization): are we going to gain weight during this challenge?  The [very full] tables are swiftly turning...

UPDATE: Just got back from my amazing lunch, only to find McDonald's addict who sits next to me has brought a McDonald's 99-cent butterscotch sundae to his desk.  "I bought it for medicinal purposes," he told me and explained he has a scratchy throat.  I've never heard of eating ice cream to cure a throat issue, but suddenly I feel strep coming on.


  1. Can I have your clothes if you die today? I need the hand me downs ; ).

  2. More??? And yes of course you can. :)

  3. TOTALLY an excuse. He just wanted ice cream.

    But also one I've used before ... the cold numbs your throat, so you "feel better".

    My take on all of this is that 1. Yes Margaret should be allowed to buy her coffee (since your machine is not conducive to taking anything to-go), and you should be allowed to have your sundae. After all, neither is a meal, just a treat. And it's not like you're bringing any of it back home.

  4. I can't imagine you'll gain weight. It may seem like you're eating more, but you'll be eating out less. "Work" lunch today was a great example. How tempting to be near a Burger King and Popeyes but still have the strength to eat your pantry meal!

    Maybe for everyday you eat out (or purchase food for guests) extend your challenge by one day?

  5. I like these ideas. Butterscoth sundae = a treat and eating out = extra challenge day. Will run by Marge this morning. Thanks guys!

  6. You have to say "e-splenda" for them to understand what you are talking about.