Tag Archives: dieting

The Red Bracelet Encourages Starvation

anorexia, bulimia, fashion, death, starvation, eating disorders, mental health

Isabella Caro was a fashion model who died from anorexia at 28. Before she died she posed for a campaign on anorexia awareness.

The other day I ended up on some anorexic’s blog. I was researching a story about zombie fungus and then wanted another name for fuzz, which lead to lanugo (the light fur babies are born with and that anorexics get because there isn’t enough fat in their bodies to keep them warm). I was derailed from my story research for three hours as I surfed through blogs on anorexia.  I became more disturbed as I learned a whole host of new terms. There is a whole lingo that I didn’t even know about. It includes ana, mia. pro-ana and thinspo. What is this? It’s a short form for anorexia, bulimia and those that support these eating disorders. Thinspo is pictures of scrawny and skeletal people from celebrities to everyday people as a form of inspiration to keep going with the “diet.”

Support?

I knew of eating disorders and grew up with my own. I know of people struggling and fighting to be healthy before they kill themselves with starvation, or become grotesquely obese. I know it’s tough and many women die. Others have their health affected for the rest of their lives. I know that the movie and fashion industry, as well as even professional gymnastics are partially to blame for perpetuating an unhealthy ideal, which is unattractive and deadly. I know all this.

What I didn’t know was that there was a sub-culture of people who are supporting each other in their choices to starve themselves into skeletons and prepare for an early grave. From the blogs I surfed, these seem to be people mostly in their teens, and mostly women. They’re not just on a quest to lose weight and be a healthy weight. They want to achieve a BMI of less than 17.5 and weigh 100 lbs no matter their height or build. A BMI under 18.5 for most people is considered underweight.

Eating disorders can cause a host of health problems and conditions. They include but aren’t limited to: lanugo, stress fractures, osteoporosis, dehydration, kidney failure, hair loss, dry skin, gastric rupture, erratic heartbeat, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, cholesterol issues, impaired organ function, impaired mental capabilities, high or low blood pressure, reproductive problems, blood sugar issues, diabetes, death. If one does recover, some of these symptoms never go away.

As I read the blog I thought it was a joke at first, and that the few comments of  “congratulations,you’re getting thinner” and “don’t give up hope; you’ll get there.” were tongue in cheek. But as I went from one person’s blog to another’s, with pictures of skeleton legs, I grew alarmed. A girl with legs so boney there is no shape was trying to diminish her calf muscle. Another or the same was happy when there was a gap between her legs at the very top of the pelvic girdle. Another wants to know how you keep your boobs when you’re starving yourself. Another  comments that she’s pissed off her blood sugar is high when she’s eating between 700-1000 calories a day.

Nicole Richie, eating disorder, ana, mia, aanorexia, thinspo, starvation

Nicole Richie, normal and anorexic. The picture on the right would be considered Thinspo. Creative Commons: tollieschmidt, flickr

I won’t list most of these blogsites because I think these people need serious help before they die over an obsession. There is something seriously wrong with a culture that perpetuates the existence of such a debilitating and often deadly condition. Several of the blogsites mentioned Ana Boot Camp or the ABC diet.  They also talked about wearing a red bracelet. So I went to the site. It seems the red bracelet is supposed to show support for someone dealing with a disorder, let them know they’re not alone. All right, that’s fairly noble. Don’t make these people feel worse when they’re so mentally unhealthy. But the more insidious aspect of this is that it’s not for supporting a person as they go through therapy to gain back a healthy way of eating. The undercurrent is that these young women can share and encourage each other to keep dieting and losing weight to point of death.

The Ana website sounds good at first when you read part of the disclaimer that says: This website is for support for those with an eating disorder who feel alone and by themself with this issue. I support the recovery of the indivdual when they are ready and will never support those who ‘want an eating disorder’. (sic) When you read farther down you get this: As well, if you are looking to get anorexia / bulimia by being here then please leave now. You will not find information contained within this web site, forum, or any site linked to / from this website on how to become anorexic or bulimic. Well that’s good, right? Don’t help people further their eating disorders. Support them in getting over it.

Unfortunately it’s not true as the Ana commandments are listed:

1. If you aren’t thin you aren’t attractive.
2. Being thin is more important than being healthy.
3. You must buy clothes, style your hair, take laxatives, starve yourself, do anything to make yourself look thinner.
4. Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty.
5. Thou shall not eat fattening food without punishing oneself afterwards.
6. Thou shall count calories and restrict intake accordingly.
7. What the scale says is the most important thing.
8. Losing weight is good/gaining weight is bad.
9. You can never be too thin.
10. Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success.

It would be better to say, here is what many anorexics believe but you should not follow these. The site also goes on to give recipes and ways to feel full without eating, and a diet regime (Ana ) where you never eat more than 500 calories and as low as 50 calories (or fasting) per day. There are Auschwitz victims who ate more than that, and they still starved. So the claims that the site does not encourage bulimia or anorexia are false. But then it’s being maintained by a 17-year-old anorexic in England, whose mental faculties could very well be impaired by her disorder. I’ve talked about the mental impairment that happens with depression, and the feeling of isolation and shame that comes with an eating disorder. I would however, never support continuing with a disorder, or encouraging people to lose more weight than is healthy, and what these young women think is ideal will affect them for the rest of their lives. I would encourage getting help, refusing to look at pictures of anorexic celebrities, and finding someone to talk with about the problem.

In fact, if I had a child, with the way today’s culture seems to favor the ultra thin,  I would watch her (or him) closely to make sure they were eating properly. And I still say that I’d rather be overweight than underweight. At least with a few extra pounds your body has more resources for recovery. I feel shocked and sad that there is such a culture out there where skeleton women encourage each other to look more like death, not even warmed over.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 53-58

food, leftovers, homemade food, Apocalypse Diet, eating, diets

Here is the freezer in my fridge. Big bag in front is just ice.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 53 (Feb. 22):

While I’m pondering my emptying fridge (but not yet empty) and cupboard full of alcohol, I must also ponder the state of zombies. If you’ve watched Walking Dead these zombies aren’t completely stupid, but more like animals. They don’t seem to see well or distinguish flesh from rotting flesh but they seem to smell exceedingly well. They’re hearing is pretty good too but they are rather listless when not voraciously feeding. So, I’m guessing the creators used pack animal mentality and a certain mindlessness to create their walking dead. The zombies’ strength is in the pack. And these zombies aren’t choosey; juicy guts, crunchy tendons or meaty brains are all equally yummy to them. Nom nom nom.

Lunch was again the chicken, turnip, beets and rice. I had a meeting in the evening and didn’t get a chance to eat beforehand. My stomach was growling so loudly I thought everyone heard it. So , around 10:30 pm when everyone had left, I had some of my pre-frozen veggie chili, replete with nuts and seeds on rice.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 54 (Feb. 23):

soup stock, food, dieting, eating, frozen foods, end of the world

Not a zombie brain: I save my veggie scraps and will make vegetable stock out of these frozen bits.

The last of the uber cookies met my gullet today. What a nice reprieve that was. Guess what lunch was? The chicken, with rice, beets and turnips. There is a bit of chicken left but I think it will be going into soup stock now, a weekend project. Went for a couple of drinks with the worker bees, ate a few edamame, then got home at 8. I took a flour pesto tortilla, with sundried tomatoes and sprinkles of parmesan (it’s a container so it’s been lasting) and had that for dinner. The oil really oozed out of that thing. Then I dropped by my neighbor’s to get some DVDs and had two glasses of wine.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 55 (Feb. 24):

In honor of Mardi Gras, and because I found one last container in the freezer, I had homemade gumbo with rice. That stuff is soooo good! I could eat it all the time but I’d be 300 lbs. I made the roux, which takes a while. Other ingredients are tomatoes, shrimp, green beans, carrots, okra, turkey sausage and jalapeno peppers. Because of its high fat content it should keep me going until later in the evening.

As it turned out, I got pretty hungry by evening. The last flour tortilla was used. I fried up some of the chicken bits with sundried tomatoes, garlic and onion. I’m beginning to think garlic will be the last vegetable in my fridge.

food, eating, Apocalypse Diet, food supplies, homemade food, preserving food

The fridge. That jar on the far right, second shelf--it's sauerkraut and will probably be the last thing I eat before I call off the diet.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 56 (Feb. 25):

Saturday: I had one of the last rice cakes with almond butter and chocolate chips sprinkled on top for brunch. Late lunch was avgolemono soup. I was out early in the evening so we went for a late dinner (11 pm) and I had a mild, banal chicken curry on rice, with enough left over for leftovers.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 57 (Feb. 26):

Lunch today was the leftover curry. Then I ate some crackers. For some reason it was a big hunger day, and I wasn’t doing much. I did watch 28 Weeks Later the second in the zombie movies after 28 Days Later where they’re now repopulating Britain but…yes, things go awry. Interesting twist and this virus transmits instantaneously with nasty blood vomiting to complete to gore factor. It wasn’t bad but the first one was better.

I had a snack in the afternoon (there is almost no chocolate left) that consisted of sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and banana chips which remind me of softened toenails. Zombie food? Dinner was pasta with sundried tomatoes, onions and garlic. Noticing a theme here? Yes, almost out of all veggies. However, I still have eggs and found a brownie mix in the cupboard. I chopped some hazelnuts and threw them in with a handful of cranberries. I really shouldn’t have added the last. I don’t like dessicated fruit corpses. I like them fresh, with their brainzzzz. But hey, it was chocolate. I can live through the moistened cranberries.

But I did make up chicken stock from last week’s chicken, found barley and kidney beans, used the last of the limp and starting to rot celery, along with one carrot, four cloves of garlic, and two slices of onion. That went into the stock pot and the soup turn out hearty and pretty good. I’ll be freezing up some of that.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 58 (Feb. 27):

food, cooking, eating, diets, Apocalypse Diet, vegetables

Veggie drawer. Those browny green things are softening limes. Brussels sprouts, parsley and garlic, oh my.

vegetables, food, Apocalypse Diet, eating, cooking, preserving food

One of my veggie drawers. I've been ignoring the apples and cabbage which will be juiced in the next while.

The zombies still haven’t got me though a friend sent a cartoon of the four ways to become a zombie: radiation, virus, infection and college. I can attest to the last. I’ve seen the zombies on the SkyTrain and trudging along the streets. They’re too mindless to even attack when they’re in exam mode.

Breakfast was a bowl of my chicken barley bean soup. It turned out pretty good. Lunch was Filipino birthday noodles at work. They make long noodles for a long life. Supper, some of the leftover veggie chili.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.

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Diary of a Taxation Dieter

Without much ado, I present to you the kernel from whence came the Apocalypse Diet. From 2002.

dieting, poverty, poor eating, food, culture, budget foods, food

Poverty means crimping corners on food. Creative Commons: psd Flickr

Forced into circumstances beyond her control, mild-mannered copy editor, Colleen Anderson seeks a new way to survive and pay the dreaded ubiquitous tax man. Yep, that’s me, though not so mild-mannered. The working poor, freelancer who’s just gone through the depression diet, good for a few pounds. But now, having lost money for the first time in my freelance business of copy editing, having paid tax on the proportion where I worked proofing exciting car ads, having earned $10,000 less than the year before, statistically putting me in the range of poverty level income, I find that I owe $1000 in taxes.

I’d borrow from my brother but I just did that to buy a car as mine was failing badly. I’d get a loan but I don’t make enough per month to pay on the loan. I’d cut back on all those frivolities but I already have. All I can do is cut back on the necessities. I still have to pay rent, hydro, phone, car insurance, RRSP loan, creditline payment and gas. I still have to buy toilet paper and feed the cat. My brother’s going to have to wait for repayment. It looks like I will cut back on food.

After all, I wanted to lose thirty pounds anyway and my place is stocked with the usual. I should be able to get by for three months without buying food and stash $20/week  (more than I was spending on food anyway) to give to the tax demons. That leaves me $30/week for incidentals and hopefully I’ll make enough to cover the bills.

DAY 1

Brought one of my frozen soups to work with two frozen buns. Didn’t eat it for lunch since I work twelve hours. I’ll save it for later when everyone’s ordering the weekly sushi at work. No more weekly wonton soup for me. Okay I’ve succumbed to buying a chocolate bar. Damn sweet tooth, it may break me yet. It’s nearly as bad as being a cigarette smoker, especially when you crave the good stuff. And I shouldn’t be eating cheap chocolate bars anyway. Too much dairy and I’m allergic to it.

Eat my thin veggie soup with the two buns for dinner, steal some sunflower seeds from the guys at work. When I get home, I go into the ohmigawd I’m limited on food thing and eat the last of my home-baked chocolate chip cookies as I fret over my taxes. That’s 6 small ones and a handful of slightly stale taco chips with the last of the chili pepper dip from my party a couple of weeks ago. I boil up some Asian style noodles for tomorrow and hit the sack.

As I lay there in bed I realize I better plan what I eat together, otherwise it’s going to get really weird when I’m eating sardines and jam. So, remember, use the crackers with the things you don’t like to eat by themselves. The frozen soups will last and be okay without any carbos. Maybe I’ll do protein one day, carbos another days, sweet jams another. I’m sure my doctor would kill me if she found out but I have to pay the damn taxes.

DAY 2

chocolate, poverty, food, dieting, candy, junk food

Chocolate: still my bane after all these years. Creative Commons: Wikipedia

Mixed the noodles with the last of the yogurt dill dip from my party, some sundried tomatoes steeped in oil, and pine nuts. That’s almost gourmet but how long will it last? It actually tastes good too. I can’t walk down to the store for a bag of corn chips anymore when I forget my lunch.

On the way home I succumb again to the evil sweet tooth. Maybe the tax man should team up with chocolate. They’d be unconquerable, taxing teeth, thighs and bank accounts equally. I stop at a chocolate factory and buy a bag of seconds using the debit card. When I get home, I eat half that bag and take a nap, only to wake to a horrible stomach ache. Too much dairy and I’m suffering for my sins. Well, that should get better as there’s nothing dairy left in the house. It’s going to get interesting though, when I’m down to nothing but a cupboard full of booze and a bunch of jam.

I set aside $20 for taxes and used the other $30 in one swell foop. That’s $25 for cat food since he was down to crumbs and $5 for toilet paper. I now have $2 and change in my purse till next week. And what money’s in the bank has to pay the bills and I probably will be short on rent.

I wonder if it’s like this in countries under siege. First everyone eats the delectables, afraid they’ll spoil or someone else will get them, eating too much like two buns with soup instead of a quarter of a bun with a quarter cup of soup. Wished I had more flour stored up. Low on all the carbos like rice and pasta. Ate the last of the potatoes earlier this week. Thank god I don’t have to worry about a coffee habit on top of the damn chocolate. Withdrawal will start soon.

DAY 3

Four crackers before I left for work at noon. No visions of sugar plums yet and frankly, what is a sugar plum? Probably some sugary prune before chocolate was cheap. Nowadays it would be visions of candy, chocolate, chips and pop dancing across the rotting teeth of kids. I think I probably have a couple of really old prunes somewhere and I’m sure I’ll get to them at some point.

I was offered an apple chip (coated in caramel sugar) at work and I wanted to grab the whole bag. But do you think it might set up a bad working environment to tell your co-worker you thought he was giving you the rest of the bag? Probably. Good thing I haven’t been eating much for a while so the mild growling barely fazed me.

After all that talk/thought about sardines and jam I thought I better eat some while I still have the cracker. Sardines in mustard, sort of a pasty hardly mustard, goo. Slapped them on some crackers, barely noticed the little spines that I usually must remove, and chowed down. Usually sardines are okay for twice a year and I really don’t know why I keep buying them because they’re kind of sinister for fish.  I mean, what other fish would lay itself down in a can with others of its ilk, side by side? At least salmon and tuna have the decency to be from one whole fish. I’m going to have to space out eating the other two cans. Bleah. And now a handful of getting-ever-stale taco chips, no dip, no guac. That’s my dinner.

Stopped by Dan & Nessa’s where they had leftover taco fixins’. I ate one and feel quite full now. Food saviors, gotta love ‘em.

DAY 4

Reprieve. Going to the US for the weekend. Since I have some US money set aside I’ll be able to buy some food. I don’t eat until we get over the border and into Bellingham at 2. I buy six dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice), and a bag of jalapeno potato chips, which I eat on the way. For later I buy a bottle of wine, cider, one lime, a bag of mixed nuts and four muffins to share, which are really cupcakes in drag, weighing a pound each. That comes to $30 US or $45 CDN. US food prices are very expensive.

The bag of chips is so big there’s no way I can eat them all but they and the dolmades do the trick. We drive and drive and drive, through traffic torture and heat and finally get in around 8:30. We set up the tent and I eat a banana and drink one cider. By the time we’re all done setting up it’s time for bed.

DAY 5

Mary brings me a bun with turkey in it sometime in the afternoon. Just turkey and dijonaise, no veggies. I ate a part of Pasha’s magic bar, chocolate and coconut and something else. Later on we have supper, honey garlic chicken and brown rice, with caesar salad. I know I nibbled on a few more of the chips throughout the day so I don’t feel hungry at all.

Evening is drink time, cider and wine and partying.

DAY 6

I wake up hungry but we have to attend meetings and then break down the tent. I eat a couple of chocolate chip cookies and half of the one-pound “muffin.” Back in camp we start breaking down the tent and nibbling grapes. I eat a few more of the ubiquitous jalapeno chips and drink a glass of wine from what wasn’t finished the night before. I pack the mixed nuts that I completely forgot about.

On the way home we stop at David & Jeff’s and they order Chinese food.  Lots of food, I pig out and then feel uncomfortable. We drive on and around 11 we stop for some gas and I’m looking for pomegranate juice because I’ve discovered it goes very well with vanilla vodka. They don’t have any but I find margarine with almost no whey in it. Being allergic to dairy can even eliminate most margarines and I’ve been looking for months for the brand I had bought. I don’t use butter or margarine much at all but it’s good to have some on hand. And I buy a few chocolates for the road because I’m falling asleep. Not the best and there’s dairy in them but there are exceptions, even for bad chocolate.

soup, junk food, dieting, taxes, poverty,

Soup is a good way to fill up when poor. Creative Commons: foodgeeks.com

DAY 7

Monday, day off for Victoria day and it’s cold and blah and rainy. I wake up quite late and eat the rest of the chips and the chocolates throughout the day. That’s my meal until late at night when I finally do the finalized version of my taxes. Then I have a bowl of comfort soup, Lipton’s chicken noodle, the low salt one, which doesn’t have MSG like almost any other packaged soup, canned or dry. Why, I have no idea, but MSG gives me rashes on my face and I already overdid it with the chips.

I used the slow cooker today and made soup from a frozen chicken carcass, denuded of most meat until all that’s there would maybe make a sparrow. I put that in the pot with the last of the veggies in my place. That’s some slightly yellowing broccoli, about a half bunch of celery, some garlic, half a lemon and spices. Spices I have lots of. It cooks all night.

DAY 8

This morning I boiled up some alphabet noodles I forgot I had and added them to the soup. I took a big container and two buns with some margarine on them, to work. However, I didn’t eat them during the day because I knew I had a long night. I succumbed to a chocolate bar and took another to work tonight. That’s $1 I’ve spent on food.

When I did get around to eating my soup it was quite tasty. I put enough pepper and Ethiopian pepper in to make it spicy. Stole some sunflower seeds again from the guys and eventually ate the chocolate, Caramilk, which wasn’t very good.  Bleah.

Got home thinking to have more soup but then thought to have another bun. They’re starting to get that freezer burn taste. However, I settled for eating too many of the mixed nuts. Now I feel a bit bloated and it’s off to bed.

DAY 9

I had a handful of nuts today at work. I knew a friend was coming over to cook dinner so I skipped taking some more of the soup. When I got home I was really hungry though so I ate a handful of crackers and then got a stomach ache.

Once my friend D comes over we make stir fry with basmati rice, turkey, carrots, peas, peppers & lots of wine. I eat well and D bought all the food or we would have had very slim pickins.

DAY 10

Thurs. leftover stir fry, two ciders at penis poetry (I might have been doing a reading of my “penis suite” poems about the penis or I might have been at some other show…I don’t remember).

food, cravings, eating, dieting, poverty,

Dieting can make you crave food even more. Creative Commons: Sashamd Flickr

 

DAY 11

Friday, writers meeting, last of leftover stir fry, then over to Mikey’s for Vlad’s thang, some wine, Korean pancakes, peanuts, a couple of chips.

DAY 12

Kathy in town, meet her for rally, get a teacher’s free bag lunch, eat half the sandwich with no cheese, veggies with peppers & mayo, bottle of orange juice, cookie. Pub for two drinks then to K’s hotel. We hang out with pita, olives, artichoke hearts, red pepper spread, crackers, grapes, wine, then to lounge for more wine and cider, caeser, dancing all paid on her budget.

DAY 13 Over to Gibson’s with Kathy and to Robert’s and Wilson’s Creeks to see friends. Just a couple of cookies at Ross & Nancy’s, holding babies, a glass of blackberry wine. Two pieces of pizza with cheese pulled off (mostly), back on ferry, stop to buy can o mushrooms and some M&Ms because I found a spare $5 in my jacket pocket.

DAY 14 Tuna & frozen pasta sauce with wheel pasta. Banana chips.

Friday DAY 15 (You can see I started to lose enthusiasm for writing about this diet.)

chili

Saturday DAY 16

Ate some banana chips then went to help John move, or more unpack. His mom was there unpacking and hard at it. Helped in the kitchen and the bathroom, then we all went for dinner. Said I wasn’t going to go cuz I was broke but John said he’d buy. We had Mongolian grill food and it was tasty. All you can eat. I wanted to have more than one bowl but I was just too full.

Sunday DAY 17

Slept far too late even for a slackass day. Ate some banana chips and then Dan ICQed me to come over for BBQ. Met with Sam for coffee. Bought a grapefruit juice which has used some hard-earned coin.

Went to the BBQ and brought my contribution which was absinthe (left by friends after a party). I’m getting used to the taste. Ate chips, salad and a hamburger, which my stomach rebelled against later. But then it might have been the four bucks I spent, two on a bag of chocolate chips that I can eat through the week and two on chocolate covered peanuts that I chowed down too fast and I think they contributed to the stomach ache though I gotta say beef and me don’t see hoof to eye. I also felt waaay too full after eating the nuts. Not a good thing before going to bed.

Monday DAY 18

Slept in this morning and had to rush. I left when I should have been at work but made it in 20 minutes. So I gathered my last pennies and bought a bag of corn chips and some chocolate buds. That was lunch, balanced and healthy.

Had to work on some stuff tonight with a friend so I didn’t eat till 11pm and then I had the ubiquitous soup I made two weeks ago. It doesn’t seem to have turned yet though my stomach ached a bit after two bowls full. I had a handful of pine nuts too.

Tuesday DAY 19

Today as always I splurge and buy a bag of chips and a chocolate bar that I really shouldn’t be eating. That’s a buck from the $49 I have this week, $20 which will be set aside for taxes. I forgot to bring lunch with me and ten hours to get through. Guess I’ll be stealing sunflower seeds again tonight.

Around this time I must have got more work and went off the taxation diet.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 47-52

food, cooking, apocalypse diet, zombies, food supplies, leftover

Zombies might like them but I'll stick to the meat of the matter. Creative Commons: Wellcome Images

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 47 (Feb. 16):

Today’s lunch was quinoa and pollo en mole (from the freezer). Dinner was… to tell the truth I forgot to write it down. Oh right, it was…Brussels sprouts, with carrots, margarine, garlic, herbs and spices.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 48 (Feb. 17):

Lunch was a simple affair of hazelnuts and dried cranberries. I knew friends were coming from out of town, and I wasn’t very hungry. I met with a couple of other friends first and we shared nachos, then dinner later was my usual sesame ahi tuna at Biercraft and a couple-three of ciders.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 49 (Feb. 18):

The friends who came up from Seattle gave me some monster cookies last night. I froze most but I ate a whole one for breakfast. My heart was racing afterwards, since it equaled about three good sized cookies. That was a bit too much sugar all at once but it sure was tasty. Dinner consisted of some pre-frozen shepherd’s pie.

I went dancing tonight and afterwards I was so hungry that I took a flour tortilla, warmed it up with some sundried tomatoes in oil, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 50 (Feb. 19):

I woke up hungry so I fried up some onion and garlic and six veggie gyozas. I also realized that if I don’t cook that whole chicken soon I’ll be having it without any vegetables. So it’s thawing for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Tonight was another flour tortilla (the bag has a hole and they’re drying out) with a repeat of sundried tomatoes and parmesan. We drank most of the pomegranate juice last night with vanilla vodka. I had the rest tonight and now it’s gone.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 51 (Feb. 20):

Avgolemono soup, and chocolate chip cookie were my lunch and snack. I went to work out and then had to go for a CT scan and didn’t have time to eat so I was starving when I returned home to eat at 9:30 pm. I ate some crackers while waiting for everything to cook.

Tonight was the chicken, the whole delectable chicken. I hate skin and fat so I skinned my chicken first. I found some very old frozen crusts

I'll eat the beets and leave the brains to the zombies. Creative Commons: http://inmolaraan.blogspot.com/

in the freezer so I broke them up, mixed them with salt, pepper, rosemary, onion, two eggs, cajun spice and what I thought was sage. It turns out I mixed up my containers and put basil in . I also threw in some turmeric for fun, and zedary. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either.

I stuffed the chicken, then seared it in sauteed onions, garlic, part of a shriveled jalapeno, salt, pepper, a cajun spice rub and olive oil. I stuck the whole thing in a dutch oven with one chopped, slightly shriveled turnip (I lied when I said a week or two ago that I had carrots and turnip– I ended up not eating that night) and two beets. I also cooked up some brown rice.

So there I was with a nice slice or two of chicken breast, stuffing, rice, turnips and beets, and even gravy though it looked like congealed blood from the beet coloring. The stuffing okay with the basil. Not bad for Day 51. I ate too much too because I was so hungry so now I’m rather full and have enough for several days at least.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 52 (Feb. 21):

Lunch was leftovers; chicken, turnip, beets, stuffing. My through the day snack was the mondo truffle cookie that I couldn’t eat all at once because I felt all sugar funny. Supper was, yes, the same as lunch. I’m very sensitive to the change in flavor of meat after it’s cooked. I need to eat the chicken in the fridge within three days. Anything left over after that will either be frozen or turned into soup stock.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 41-46

 

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How well will we eat at the end of the world? Creative Commons: Kyrenius http://www.flickr.com/photos/jango-jordan/

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 41 (Feb. 10):

This is the beginning of the bubble weekend, where the Apocalypse Diet went on hold. I had a friend visting and she wanted to go out to eat so we had some calamari and ahi tuna at Biercraft for lunch. For dinner we went to Les Faux Bourgeois, where we shared the goat cheese, walnut and beet salad, and had two tarts, which were squares of puff pastry, one with caramelized onions and creme fraiche, the other with spinach and goat cheese. Those three dishes were enough to fill us up.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 42 (Feb. 11):

Really, I should start the renumbering after this weekend due to the food bubble but that would get too complicated. So, I did buy food for the party, some salamis, cheese, crackers, veggies and dips. The crackers are separate and will keep. The mayo is labelled so I can’t use it for anything else until after the party. I brought the candies to work for others to consume. The cheese will keep but what can I do with the veggies? The only way I can see around this is to take some of the stock I still have, make soup, freeze it and then use it after the Apocalypse ends.The salami went, as well as all the other goodies people brought. It’s going to be very very difficult to resist the delectable cheeses (three types!) sitting there and taunting me. I will tuck them away in a dark dark drawer.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 43 (Feb. 12):

Sunday, a day that could be re-labelled Hangover day. While I didn’t have one, by the time I put the food away last night and got to bed it was 4:30 am so I was rather tired and slept in. I felt a bit like a zombie but luckily I took off my makeup before I went to bed or I would have looked like one. My friend and I went for brunch where I had a veggie eggs benedict, then I drove her to the airport. Tomorrow, it’s back to the diet.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 44 (Feb. 13):

I know this blog will not be the most exciting. No rampant gnawing on my cranium, no dire wrestling matches with decomposing, animated humans, no creative concoctions in my kitchen. But in about a week the true challenge will ensue. My freezer is still saving me.

Today’s feast was minimal after the weekend chowdown. I took some hazelnuts from the freezer, and some dried cranberries. I am so not a person who likes dessicated fruit corpses. However, I was going over to my friend’s tonight where she cooked chicken, rice, chard and broccoli, which was yummy and filling.

 

food, eating, dieting, apocalypse diet, end of the world, zombies, food supplies

These were at my party but I took them to work to get rid of them. No brains though. Brach's candy hearts from marriage.families.com

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 45 (Feb. 14):

Heart day but I’m still not eating them or brains. More nuts and berries for lunch. Dinner consisted of some pasta, with slices of carrots (left over from the party but existing beforehand), some oil, garlic and a bit of Parmesan, which still exists.

That soup stock that I thought I could use for the leftover party veggies…turns out to be shepherd’s pie. I do have a bag of veggie ends in the freezer to make veggie soup stock. Will probably do that this weekend.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 46 (Feb. 15):

Today’s lunch was quinoa and pollo en mole (from the freezer) and dinner was the same as last night’s pasta.

As I was looking for a lost file on the computer I found “Diary of a Taxation Dieter” from 2002. I’ll be posting it here because it was the first time I tried the Apocalypse Diet, but for a different reason. It’s interesting to note that I was a chocoholic then, but my lunches consisted of chocolate bars and corn chips. Not healthy. I now eat much healthier and make up soups or salads to take for lunch. I don’t eat chocolate bars for lunch anymore (not much). I’ll post that in a few days.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 38-40

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Do zombies and parties mix? Creative Commons: www/plants-vs-zombies-party

Here’s my dilemma coming up. I forgot I was doing this diet and decided to have a party this coming Saturday. How do you have  a party with no nibblies at all? Alcohol’s not a problem. I’m probably going to have to make this a bubble like the restaurant meals with friends. If there are leftovers I’m either going to have to give them away or mark them (if I buy a container of something) so that I don’t use them until the diet is declared dead. On top of that, a longtime friend is coming to visit for the same weekend. She’s probably not going to be thrilled with eating very little so I might have to bubble the whole weekend. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 38 (Feb. 7):

I have to finish writing what I ate last night. I found veggie dumplings (gyoza) in the freezer so I boiled up five of those with the last of the broccoli, tossed a spot of soy and fish sauce and ate it up. Unfortunately, boiling made the gyozas too mushy. Next time will be steamed or fried.

Lunch was a tin of tuna, with dill, celery, capers, Worcestershire sauce, spices and… and. There was no mayo! Oh doom! Then I remembered I have little packets of soy sauce from takeout and yes, there was one packet of mayo and some Nando’s hot sauce. Saved. That tuna went with a garlic pesto flour tortilla of which I still have quite a few.

I had a snack of a couple of artichoke hearts in vinegar and oil, with a few crackers. For dinner, I used the last of the potatoes (about 5 med. small ones) and a bag of roasted garlic that a friend gave me and made garlic potato soup with turkey stock. I tossed in some onion because I believe this will be the last vegetable in my fridge. It was pretty tasty. I will have enough to freeze several containers. Did I mention I found a bit more chocolate in my place? Chocoholics unite!

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 39 (Feb. 8):

Today’s breakfast was nil. I ran out of time but that’s not unusual for me. Lunch was quinoa and pollo en mole. For dinner I had some of the leftover roast garlic and potato soup, and a few crackers. I believe I’ll run out of the green veggies sometime next week, and probably all veggies in about two weeks or by the end of Feb.

BTW, I did see a zombie today. I was driving on the highway and needed to get over into the right lane to exit. I signaled and signaled and signaled. The car beside kept pace with me so that I had to slow down, nearly stop to get into the lane and then exit. When I pulled up beside this car the woman was staring straight ahead, no expression on her face. There was a large dog moving in the back but she never acknowledged it. Eventually I ended up in front of her and when I looked back she was staring straight ahead, eyes rimmed in darkness, never acknowledging the dog. Maybe it was dinner. If a zombie had been tearing out brains in the next lane, she would never have noticed. Zombies that drive are somewhat dangerous on the road because they aren’t aware of their surroundings, unless it’s brains of course.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 40 (Feb. 9):

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Not a bad looking lunch for Day 40: shrimp, gai lan, quinoa, garlic & sundried tomato.

So, breakfast consisted of two chocolates. Lunch was quinoa with sundried tomatoes in oil, garlic, shrimp and the last of the gai lain. That is indeed the last of the leafy green vegetables though there are still a couple of stalks of limp celery and some Brussels sprouts.

For the party (the bubble food) I bought some cheese, a bag of trail mix, crackers and some chocolate eggs. However, those are stored separately and I’m not allowed to eat them (besides at the party). I think anything left afterwards (if in a container) will be marked with a Sharpy indicating that I can’t eat it until the experiment has ended. That’s temptation though, so how well can I resist the food that is not food?

I have found there is a slightly soft turnip in my fridge so tonight it will be neeps–carrots and turnip with garlic and herbs. Tomorrow begins the weekend of party and visiting friend. Can I make it past Day 40?

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 5-7

Explanation is at the end of just what the Apocalypse Diet is.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 5:

Apocalypse Diet, food, eating, egg nog, starvation, supplies, diets

I was not sad to see the last of the egg nog. Creative Commons: jeffreymorgenthaler.com

If the Apocalypse, zombies or a highly contagious virus had wiped out a fair number of humanity and made the rest afraid, you can bet that there would be raids and mass buying of food in the stores. People might hunker down and hide from the zombies, but the fewer numbers of eating humanity would mean more food though less suppliers. If it were summer, I’d start planting or hightail it to a farm where there would be lots of fresh food.

The interesting thing that I’m noticing about my Apocalypse Diet, and presuming that in a world where supply lines were cut so fresh produce and meats would disappear first, is that I’m trying to extend my proteins and vegetables. This means I’m actually making more dishes with carbohydrates in them. On average I don’t eat pasta, bread, potatoes or rice more than a couple of times a week. I’ve made shepherd’s pie, pasta, and stir fry with rice noodles so far. Those starches fill one up and bulk up the meal.

Because of this my lunches, which usually are only meat and vegetables, now include the last night’s leftovers. So today’s meal was pasta made with canned tomatoes (already opened or I would save this till the other vegetables ran out), mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, weird Chinese leaf that I don’t know the name of, and shrimp.

For dinner I decided I needed to finish off the egg nog and realized I’ve been dosing it with rum because it is thick and so sweet. It turns out there was only a cup left so I swished out the container with water and thinned it down. It was fairly strong, rumwise, so I was rather relaxed. Normally I don’t drink more than two days a week so it’s interesting that the nog has upped my rum intake (or finishing off the other rather sweet fruit juice). I had about four crackers with cheese. Later on, when the nog wore off I was digging in the fridge and found a full zucchini, and some swiss chard. I had to cook up the chard as half of it was a runny green mess. And I had to throw out the feta, which was turning purple and yellow. Wasting food–bad. The chard went with a carrot, some chopped onion and a few cheese gratings.

I hate wasting food, especially with an apocalypse on, but I don’t want to make myself ill either. It’s imperative that I keep an eye on the greens and use them in order of shelf life. The zucchini wasn’t moldering but being a fairly soft vegetable I’ll have to use it in the next week. There are no more green beans or chard, but there are still enough veggies for a few more weeks.

ApocalypseDiet (AD) Day 6:

zombie, food, diets, apocalypse diet, eating, end of the world, food supplies

Zombies might be clamoring for food, but it isn't vegetables. Creative Commons: scrapetv.com

Pasta for lunch again today. Thankfully no more nog. Did I mention that I’ve had chocolates every day? Sob, my name is Colleen and I’m a chocaholic. But then, it’s the only way I get my caffeine since I don’t drink coffee or tea. I’m good for weeks to go yet but I only have a few a day.

Tonight I was working on writing and then went out dancing. In all of that I seem to have forgotten to eat, except for a few crackers. So of course when I got home at 3 am, with a friend who couldn’t catch her bus, we gnawed on crackers and cheese, finishing off one of the two cheeses I shouldn’t be eating anyway.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 7:

Being a Saturday, I tend to sleep in and eat less formal lunches. So it consisted of two chocolates (yes, still) and a handful of these Chinese coated peanuts. Some are sesame, some wasabi, some seaweed. A small handful is about 100 calories. I also have a jar of artichokes and although I should be saving the preserved foods for later I had one of these.

By evening I was actually hungry so I cooked up a sweet potato, celery, carrot, onion, zucchini and mushrooms. I made a curry sauce. Normally I have a jar and toss in a few spoonfuls but I only had powder and I’ve found that just too harsh on its own. So it was kind of a curry gravy; margarine, flower, garlic, curry powder, jalapeno, paprika and fennel. Turned out tasty enough, with leftovers of course. I put in the 4-6 oz. of frozen turkey still left form Christmas. The fridge is starting to empty.

For those just popping in, the apocalypse happened on January, 1, 2012, just in time for people to freak out about the Mayan calendar. Of course, since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I will not be going out for dinner often.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will call my experiment  ended.
  5. I believe I’ll be able to eat relatively healthy at least until March.

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The Apocalypse Begins

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Apocalypse Chow is a book on preparing for outages from hurricanes to earthquakes http://www.flickr.com/photos/earthworm/5572145701/

In the late hours of 2011 the world came to an end. Or maybe it was the New Year’s virus leaving people feeling slightly comatose, half alive and glazed for January 1. It might be that misreading of the Mayan calendar, or it could be the zombie virus, a contagion that wipes out the majority of thinking humanity; in fact, come morning traffic you’ll notice many looking glazed and unthinking as they commute to jobs that are as numbing as their minds feel. There are many reasons that the apocalypse could have come about: massive abductions by aliens, the rapture taking more than its fair share, a meteorite hitting the earth, earthquakes, hungry carnivorous beetles, you name it.

For my Apocalypse I’m going with the zombies, something that wiped out a lot of humanity, leaving infrastructure in place but stopping supply lines for food. For the sake of this scenario I”m going with electricity still working and running water available. After all, I’m only doing make-believe on the Apocalypse Diet and still have to work in the world. Going smelly and unwashed and drinking out of rain puddles would not be that healthy for me. Likewise, if I start to run low on certain nutrients I’ll be taking supplements and if there is really nothing left to eat, I’ll quit the diet.

So the Apocalypse Diet begins today. How long can I live on the food in my house without buying anything? How long before I’m bored or eating condiments and drinking alcohol? I’ll do weekly posts here summing up what I’ve been eating and what trials I’ve had.

Right now, I’m in pretty good shape. Best to start your Apocalypse Diet after the holidays when you might have a lot of leftovers. My fridge is stocked with vegetables, my freezer (only the one in the fridge) with some meats and frozen soups. I have potatoes, rice, quinoa, flour and crackers. I have eggs. The fresh foods will be the ones to go first, so stay tuned.

Today, realizing that zombies were out there, ready to eat my brains while the living have raided any stores I had a meager meal. But then I wasn’t that hungry. A large glass of egg nog, with rum, is quite filling and that nog won’t last long so it’s got to go. I had about three slices of cheese, four crackers, three olives, and two chocolates that have liqueur in them. I’m actually allergic to dairy but I can’t let anything go to waste. I’ll need all the food until civilization is restored.

In the meantime, I’m going out for dinner tonight with a friend. And since forays to restaurants don’t count on the Apocalypse Diet, this won’t either. Don’t expect to see me going to restaurants five times a week to avoid my apocalypse. I can’t afford that and have some December bills to pay off. So, no shopping for food for weeks and weeks. Does anyone care to bet how long it will take for me to break this and buy food?

In the meantime the new set of knives will come in handy, especially if the zombies break through. I wonder if zombie stew is any good. And since it’s Canada, I have no gun. Until the end of the week when I post my first summary on the Apocalypse Diet, I hope you all had a great New Year’s Eve and that zombies didn’t eat your brains. Let’s hope for a healthy, happy and peaceful new year.

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The Apocalypse Diet

In recent weeks, there has been some focus on poverty and CBC Radio One has a special on today about it: We are the 10%. I have been there more than once and grew up in a lower middle class home, which meant I had clothes, a roof over my head and food, but there are many who don’t even have those essentials. Last week I posted a piece titled How I Almost Became a Prostitute where I talked about the terrible state of our welfare system. It degrades and humiliates; and the general public has this perception that only drug addicts, lazy and stupid people become welfare bums, when really, the system perpetuates the problem. In my article I talked about spending no money on my food and living off of what I had in the house.

It got me thinking. If the world ended tomorrow, the zombie virus took hold, the axis shifted, the bombs dropped or some other worldly apocalypse happened to cut supply lines, how long could I really survive on what I have in my home?

So, I’ve decided to start an experiment on January 1. I won’t say it’s a diet to lose weight but January is the month to tighten the belt, trim the fact, pay off the bills and think frugal. So what better way than trying to see how long can I survive on the food in my kitchen before I I have to resort to drinking alcohol and eating condiments?

If I really had no way of buying food, how long would I go before having to eat my fellow human, my cute and pudgy cat or hunt wild rutabagas? Because this is an experiment, I won’t stock up before the planned date. I’ll just go with whatever is in my place. My cat will not have to follow this regime (in case she decides to eat me). And should I go out, well, I won’t quite keep myself to this regimen in a restaurant, slavering all over my friends as they eat.  However, for lunch at work, I can only bring food from home. I’ll take supplements if I need to and record it, since I really don’t want to get scurvy.

Now, I’m predicting I’ll be fine for at least the first month. Then the veggies will run out and I’ll resort to the frozen foods. I have a fridge but no separate body-sized freezer packed with a full deer. I imagine I’ll start to get bored in the second month and by the third month I’ll be creative, and maybe crazy. But maybe I won’t last that long, because really, the apocalypse hasn’t happened and I can step outside without fear of zombies munching my toes.

I will post my results here as a diary, but I’ll probably do it on a weekly basis so as not to fill up the blog with short but inane food comments. 😉 Be prepared, the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. Perhaps I’m just foreshadowing the doom around the corner when the world ends. Stay tuned…if you can.

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