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My Year of Eating Like the World Ended – February Freeze Dried Food Report

In Sports & Outdoors by Consumer Files0 CommentsLast Updated: June 28th, 2019

Well, we’re now officially at the halfway mark. February wasn’t exactly a disaster of a month, but I can’t say that it was much of a success, either.

I guess you could say that I’m entering into a phase of the freeze dried food product experiment I’ll call “The Grind.” I’m too far into it to stop, but at this point, I have to say that the weight of it is beginning to wear me down. I have no intention of stopping, but this experiment is a serious time commitment and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll be glad when it’s finally done.

I’ve written a lot of novels, and somewhere toward the middle of each one, I kind of reach that same point. There’s a part of me that just wants to throw my hands up and quit. To give up because it’s a hard, time-consuming task. But of course, just as with this experiment, I’m too far in to just toss it all away, so I keep going.

That’s where I am, and with that in mind, let’s see how the month unfolded.

Daily Food Dairy for February 2019

Fri, 02.01.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

Made a big salad to share with Sharon

500

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1550

Slept in today. Got another call from Sharon. She’s sick and needs a place to get away to for a while. Opening the doors.

Didn’t do much today other than care for the infirm. Did go to the grocery store to get meds for Sharon and some salad makings. Grilled some venison steaks for Sharon and I for dinner, along with some steamed veggies.

Sat, 02.02.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pie (and some for Sharon too!)

400

Lunch

Another Salad

500

Dinner

Chicken soup

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1550

Taking another day off. Sharon’s not doing any better. If anything, maybe marginally worse. Talked her in to going with me to the Urgent Care clinic. Afterwards, a trip to the pharmacy to get some stronger meds. Spent the day administering some TLC, chicken soup, and other assorted goodness.

Sun, 02.03.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Double shot of Strawberry Oatmeal (pie for Sharon)

360

Lunch

Last of our salad makings

500

Dinner

Breakfast – Eggs and Pancakes

1100

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2110

No change on my patient. Planning to turn today into a repeat of yesterday with less time spent going to doctors and pharmacies, and more time spent watching Amazon Prime videos.

Mon, 02.04.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

More pancakes

360

Lunch

Chicken Noodle Soup

500

Dinner

Fried Egg Sandwiches

360

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1370

I think Sharon’s officially on the mend, but now I’m getting the sniffles. Not good. Not a lot of work done, but my patient is steadily getting better, and that’s not nothing. Also managed to complete my trade duties for the month. Will collect my trade goods tomorrow.

Tues, 02.05.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

1 servings of multi-grain cereal

180

Lunch

PB&J

230

Dinner

Pancake Experiment

600

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1160

Sharon headed back down the mountain and I’m getting worse. Picked up my trade goods, went BACK to the doctor, this time to get myself checked out, and grabbed some meds for me at the pharmacy. Bleh. Spent most of the rest of the day in bed.

Wed, 02.06.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

Pie

400

Dinner

Chicken noodle soup

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1050

Don’t really remember much about the day. Didn’t get out of bed except to take more meds and get a little something to eat. Sleeping. Much sleeping.

Thurs, 02.07.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes and Eggs

550

Lunch

Fried Egg Sandwich

360

Dinner

More Pancakes and eggs – followed by pie!

950

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2010

Already starting to feel better. Still didn’t do much but apparently, I didn’t get the bug as bad as Sharon did. Appetite back with a vengeance. Dang. Felt as though I ate all day. I had bought some eggs at the store when I was taking care of Sharon, and then got more from Mike as a result of our standing trade deal. Eggs. Mmmm.

Fri, 02.08.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

340

Dinner

Venison and Veg

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1750

Feeling human again. Spent most of the day catching up on household chores I’d been neglecting. Did LOTS of laundry. Changed sheets. Vacuumed. Dishes. Sweeping. Tell you what, when I get my own place, I’ma hire a cleaning service. Wow I hate cleaning. Figure that since I won’t have a mortgage when I get the place paid for, I’ll be able to afford that small perk. Worth every penny.

After all that was done, I went to the Goodwill thrift store on a mission. Didn’t find what I was looking for there but found it at the other community thrift in town. An older electric, bucket style ice cream maker!!! I know my mom said she was getting me one for Christmas but – I figure, it’s February now and who knows if/when I might see it. Time to take that bull by the horns. I’ma start making my own ice cream!

Bucket Style Ice Cream Maker

Sat, 02.09.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

PB and J

230

Dinner

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1240

Back to writing today, but I did take some time out to make three important trades. First, I went to a neighboring holler and talked to Pap. Traded some computer design and marketing work to create two new ads for the honey he sells in town. Got two jars of his honey and a thing of vanilla extract. Went to the Aldermans (my other near neighbors). Mr. Alderman runs a landscaping company and keeps the road plows. He has rock salt. Arranged to help him move cows the next time he needs it in exchange for a giant bag of rock salt. Third trade, to Mike. Scouted two new pallets, broke them apart and got more eggs, a thing of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and a jug of moonshine in exchange. Perks! Then, managed to get a moderate amount of writing done today.

Jug of Moonshine

Sun, 02.10.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 serving of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Grilled venison and steamed veggies

900

Dinner

Potatoes and Canned ham

740

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2150

Almost got everything I need to make a batch of ice cream. Starting to churn out ice, working my four ice trays overtime. When I’ve got enough, I’ll make a batch as a test! In the meanwhile, the writing beckons. For dinner, I used a box of scalloped potatoes and the last of the canned ham to make a kind of casserole. It’s not great, but not bad. Something different. Broke it into thirds and stuck the rest in the fridge.

Mon, 02.11.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

1 serving of brown sugar and maple oatmeal

180

Lunch

Can of beef stew

640

Dinner

Ham and potato casserole

740

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1710

Steady writing day. I like it when I have leftovers that are easy to heat up. Makes the day more efficient. Steady on. Ice bucket is starting to fill up. I think by tomorrow I’ll be able to make some ice cream!

Tues, 02.12.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Can of tomato soup

150

Dinner

Last of the ham and potato casserole, and ice cream!

1020

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1680

Got enough ice! That was a fun little adventure, trading for the stuff necessary to make some ice cream (well, minus the purchase of the machine itself, but that purchase didn’t violate the rules of the experiment). The process was pretty straightforward. Didn’t take as long as I thought it would. The results were…sublime. Ice cream! First I’ve had in six months. I’ve missed it. That was awesome. Got plenty of left over, too! Will be doing more of that. Continuing to keep the ice trays working. I want enough cubes on standby so I can make a batch on demand. Decent writing day, to boot.

Wed, 02.13.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of beef stew

640

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1790

Have a fair bit of catch up to do after a number of lackluster writing days. Today was steady but not exceptional. Decent weather though. It’s been warming up steadily over the last couple of weeks. Still using one heater but it’s not freezing anymore. Works for me.

Thurs, 02.14.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pie!

400

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

340

Dinner

Can of chili – ice cream for an evening snack

920

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1810

Another day much like yesterday, although a little greyer and cooler. Even so, continued to make steady progress. Slowly chipping away at it!

Fri, 02.15.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes!

360

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Dinner

Can of tomato soup

150

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1160

Harsh winds again today. Not as bad as the big blow we had last month, but pretty significant. Bad enough that it knocked out my internet connection for about four hours. Not a huge deal. Had plenty of writing that didn’t require research so I just kept at that until I got back online, then plugged back into my system. Decent day.

Sat, 02.16.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Eggs

230

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Dinner

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1240

Started watching “The Unit” on Amazon Prime. I had no idea the Allstate insurance guy could act. Older show, but he’s good. So, had some good stuff in the background while attending to the day’s writing. Moving the ball forward, but not what I would call stellar progress.

Sun, 02.17.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Milkshake!

400

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

340

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1790

Finished off the last of my ice cream, did some grilling in the late afternoon, and got a decent amount of writing done. Feeling strangely exhausted though. I mean, I feel like I’m doing okay. Well enough at least, but in another way, I feel as though I’m spinning my wheels a little. Need to find a way to break out of the rut once and for all.

Mon, 02.18.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

PB & J

230

Dinner

Breaking open another can of Ravioli. Not my favorite, but always good to mix things up a bit.

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1380

Rain today, and turning cold again. Spending the day inside, both heaters running, tapping away at the keys. Unexciting, but…just gotta keep pressing forward. In other news, I FINALLY used up the last of the awful Strawberry Cream of Wheat! I have been deploying small amounts of it, mixing with whatever oatmeal I’m eating, which cuts the bland taste and helps stretch the stuff I like better. Glad that’s finally gone. Won’t be ordering more of this freeze dried food. Mission accomplished!

Tues, 02.19.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of brown sugar and maple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Eggs. I’ve still got a few and I’m still craving them. Also fried a pork chop

550

Dinner

Making a batch of Frankenchili (5 servings) – eating 2 servings tonight.

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2140

Making another batch of ice cream today, and spending some time outside. Planning to take the Patch on an extended patrol around the property. She likes exploring and I could stand to stretch my legs a little. Making two small batches of ice cream. One vanilla and one chocolate. Found some old packets of hot chocolate mix (with those little mini marshmallows in it). Will mix with the vanilla to create chocolate.

Update: That turned out really well. I didn’t let it mix quite long enough and the chocolate has a tiny amount of “grit” to it, but it’s tasty. Loving it! Before I sat down for the evening writing session, I decided to make another batch of Frankenchili freeze dried food meal. 2 pork chops, one can of chili and a bag of the freeze dried white bean and lime. Not my favorite, but I’ve got a bunch of it.

Wed, 02.20.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Eggs and pancakes

500

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

540

Dinner

Two servings of Frankenchili

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2270

Well, if slow and steady wins the race, I’m destined to be a rock star. Another not awesome, but not dismal day. Not really sure why every day lately is feeling like a struggle but I sure hope it changes soon. In any case, moved the ball forward again today. Not a lot, but enough to say I accomplished something.

Thurs, 02.21.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pie for breakfast. Only got two slices left but I don’t care. I can make ice cream!

400

Lunch

Packing a fried egg sammich for the road

240

Dinner

Last of the Frankenchili and ice cream a bit later

940

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1730

Taking today off from writing. Gonna spend it driving the parkway. Maybe that’ll help. Don’t know. Gotta do something to try and shake off the doldrums.

Update: Drive was pretty but I’m not sure it helped. At least I got out for a while. Having some ice cream for a snack this evening.

Fri, 02.22.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Breakfast for lunch. Pancakes and eggs. Mixed in some veg for a pseudo omelet.

600

Dinner

Can of beef stew

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1750

Carrying on. Feels like I’m just going thru the motions, but at least something is happening. Damn I don’t like feeling this way. Got some done, but didn’t make a ton of progress today.

Sat, 02.23.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pie and a milkshake for breakfast

750

Lunch

2 pork chops and veggies

800

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2340

Disaster of a writing day. Not quite writer’s block, but the words just struggled to come out. Managed to write a couple of short pieces but it was pretty dismal. This month isn’t gonna be great and there’s not enough time left to turn things around. It won’t be a horrible month, but it will be below average.

Sun, 02.24.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

PB&J

230

Lunch

Can of beef stew

650

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1670

Basically a repeat of yesterday. Tiny amounts of progress but strictly minimal. This is a grind. Hating it. Weather turning colder again, so it’s not like I feel like going outside either.

Mon, 02.25.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

600

Lunch

PB& J

240

Dinner

Venison and veggies

800

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1790

Okay – a bit better today. Still not great, but there’s a sense of urgency now with the month coming to a close. I’ve got to do SOMETHING to keep it from being a disaster. It’s not really the food I don’t think. I’m gonna attribute it mostly to the isolation. Ice cream is a nice perk but it doesn’t really fix that. It’s going to be a constant struggle.

Tues, 02.26.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 pork chops and a can of corn

750

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1900

Decent. Steady improvement. Just have to keep hammering at it. Nothing else to be done.

Wed, 02.27.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Pork Roast

800

Dinner

Pork Roast

800

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2110

Fought hard for every keystroke but turned it into an average/above average day. Cold. Uninspired. Alone. Not fun.

Making a pork roast with mixed veggies.

Thurs, 02.28.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Last of the eggs

340

Lunch

Can of chicken soup

500

Dinner

Can of beef stew

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1630

Last day of the month. Still not inspired but grimly determined NOT to have a disaster of a month. Tough slog. Pushed this month across the line. Not great but works for me. Signing off. I’m exhausted.

End of Month Summary

I don’t really feel as though I’ve completely recovered from that writer’s block I suffered back at the end of last year. Still feeling the impacts of it and can’t quite get my brain back into the easy writing rhythm I had been enjoying in prior months.

Hopefully that will change soon. It needs to change soon. I can’t have too many lackluster months without seriously jeopardizing my long-term goals.

At any rate, that’s a struggle for later. For now, I’m just happy to have crossed another incremental milestone.

This month highlighted two important aspects of the experiment, both of which I’ve talked about before. First, isolation is a killer. I really feel as though that’s what’s making it so hard to have consistently productive writing days.
True, at the start of the month, I did have some company, tending to a sick friend, and I had one day where I did some trading (still need to make good on the promise to help with cows, so that’s coming, probably sooner rather than later). But aside from that, there was no human contact or interaction. That’s brutal.

Second though, this month underscores just how powerful trade is. I’ve moved beyond simply trading for survival. Now, I’m trading for extras and creature comforts. Ice cream is a small thing, but it’s something I really enjoy, and it was super cool to be able to use my network of “trade connections” to trade for the raw materials I needed to turn my desire into a reality. And I picked up some other goodies too.

I love honey, so may keep that, although it is a valuable commodity that would be awesome trading stock. The isolation made me tempted to kill the jug of moonshine but I resisted that urge. Planning to keep it until a need presents itself, then use it in trade. Last thing I want to do is let the isolation win and start drinking heavily. At that point, I would regard the experiment as a failure.

So, the trick going forward will be to figure out how to beat that dreadful isolation. The contact associated with trading helps, so maybe the answer is to trade more frequently, even when I don’t explicitly need something. May try that next month. We’ll see how it goes. In any case, I survived the month and that’s what matters most. Let’s see what the next month brings.

Month End Stats


Weight: 329
BP: 138/90

BP not great, but not awful. Will work harder at getting it down over the course of the next month. Onward to March!


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My Year of Eating Like the World Ended – February Freeze Dried Food Report was last modified: June 28th, 2019 by Consumer Files