Cans and can’ts

I consider myself to be relatively educated in terms of what I should and shouldn’t be eating. I’m far more likely to follow general guidelines of “everything in moderation” rather than dietary absolutes (with the exception of things like licorice-flavored things because they’re gross), so this has been a challenge even if we ignore the fact that I love cheese and other milk products. I guess no one is really holding me to it — if I eat a buttermilk biscuit and no one is around to see it, does the casein still count? — but if there is going to be any semblance of science here, I want to be fair. And the faster I get to a month without any dairy, the faster I can resume my regular eating habits and the second part of this experiment.

Some switches have been easy. No cereal and milk for breakfast. Oh darn, I guess I’ll have eggs cooked in bacon fat. No sandwiches with cheese for lunch. That’s cool, I kind of get sick of sandwiches after a while and have no problem with leftovers. No glass of milk with dinner. Fine, whatever, I need to drink more water anyway. And while it hasn’t been particularly enjoyable avoiding baked goods, it’s much less stressful to assume that they are guilty until proven innocent rather than agonizing over it and/or terrorizing the poor waitstaff or cashier over something that isn’t a life or death matter.

What has been a little tricky, aside from leaving the locker room at Planet Fitness today to see a beautiful, greasy spread of pies for Pizza Monday, is finding healthy alternatives for snacks. I like most vegetables and fruit, but there’s only so many days in a row that you can pack carrots and applesauce without wanting to throw something at someone. My sad attempt at “clean eating” for derby also led me to opt for string cheese or something along those lines for a snack at work or after practice rather than, say, unattended cookies, and now I can’t do that either. (My mom just bought a big BJ’s pack of string cheese, too, which sucks.)

My derby friends have been helpful with offering ideas, but most of them revolve around dairy substitutes like almond milk, which again kind of freak me out and threaten to annihilate what little expendable income I have. So here’s a quick list of what I’ve been able to eat in the last few days:

  • Wednesday: eggs cooked in bacon fat, taco turkey burger and a conglomeration of tomato sauce/black beans/corn that I call “sad soup,” chicken and stir fried noodles, carrot sticks, plain applesauce, peanut butter Oreos
  • Thursday: strawberry Pop Tart, Triscuts and roasted garlic/spinach artichoke hummus, something for lunch that I can’t remember but it was leftovers and not a sandwich, potatoes and kielbasa, plain applesauce, peanut butter Oreos
  • Friday: eggs, tossed salad, russet potato chips, plain applesauce, teriyaki burger and fries, peanut butter Oreos (are you noticing a pattern yet?)
  • Saturday: eggs and bacon, a super lame lunch of carrots/Triscuits/russet chips/hummus because I woke up late and had a late breakfast, and this awesome pan-seared duck breast with potatoes that might warrant its own post tomorrow
  • Sunday: eggs/bacon/sausage/English muffin with peach jelly, chicken/rice/carrots, pulled pork chili wannabe (a true chili connoisseur would probably be horrified by my mix of pork, tomato sauce, canned kidney beans and seasoning, but it tasted good) and a banana
  • Today: brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tart, more chili wannabe with Tostitos, applesauce, venison and mushrooms with a roll and potatoes, and a strawberry Pop Tart because apparently I’m not supposed to be eating all the Oreos

Things I have encountered and wanted to eat but cannot:

  • Wednesday: donuts
  • Thursday: donuts, a lot of stuff at Panera (we had a meeting there, and I needed to be responsible and not buy food even if I was allowed to eat it)
  • Friday: still donuts, retirement cupcakes for one of the guys on the copy desk at work
  • Saturday: WHY DO WE STILL HAVE DONUTS THESE SHOULD HAVE BEEN EATEN THREE DAYS AGO, pretty much everything at the duck restaurant but again that will be another post
  • Sunday: nothing in particular, actually. Sunday was pretty easy.
  • Today: wait just kidding the stupid donuts are still in the house, Pizza Monday at PF, and I almost buttered my roll but stopped myself from reaching toward the butter dish

All things considered (heh, NPR joke), it hasn’t been hair-pullingly bad, more just annoying and inconvenient. Still looking for cheap and healthy snack ideas, though. I’m running out of patience for carrots and it hasn’t even been a week yet.

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