A box of Quaker Oats in a countertop

My Year of Eating Like the World Ended – May Survival Food Report

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

Still steaming along, with the month of May now behind me. This was a long, grueling month, but I think I’ve found a good balance now. As you’ll see when we get down into the particulars, I didn’t struggle with that awful feeling of isolation one bit this month. It has taken some time to develop strategies to fully adapt to my rather isolated existence, but I think I’ve finally got it. Now, provided that the Muse isn’t fickle and remains by my side to allow me steady writing progress, it should be smooth sailing to the end of this experiment and beyond!

One thing I’ve firmly decided upon at this point: Even after this experiment comes to an end, I think I’m going to a) immediately rebuild my stocks, replenishing my freeze-dried food supply as a “just in case” buffer, and b) I really like the idea of buying in bulk and actively trading with my neighbors. 

Sure, I won’t actually need to do that after September, but – that’s also a “just in case” type of thing. If the S were to hit the F while I’m living here, those trading relationships will already be firmly established, which should allow me to continue without missing a beat. That, combined with generous stockpiles of long shelf life goods, ought to put me in a pretty good position.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look now at how the month played out!

Daily Food Dairy for May 2019

Wed, 05.01.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of regular oatmeal (some of the Quaker Oats stuff) – wasn’t great, sprinkled some brown sugar on it.

360

Lunch

Nothing – worked through lunch

0

Dinner

Gigondo plate of ham and tomatoes

1200

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1710

Got the day off to a good start by helping Granny (one of my neighbors) with some chores around the house. She has a son who’s about my age, but she says he’s lazy and never comes over to help. “About as useful as toe fungus,” was the exact phrase she used.

After a big belly laugh by the mailbox, I went over to her place and spent a few hours doing stuff that an 80-year-old lady might struggle a bit with. In return, I got sent home with a big plate of sliced ham and tomatoes, a Ziploc freezer bag full of strawberries and a small container of blueberries. I’m not normally much for fruit, but I’ll find something to do with it!

Also managed to get a little writing done, but it wasn’t a stellar day on that front. Even so, it felt good to get away from the desk for a while.

Thurs, 05.02.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 more serving of regular oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chicken soup

500

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1370

Cats! ARGH. I love my cats. I’m an animal person anyway, and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but some days…

All three of them were circling the bed like sharks at butt o’clock this morning and insisted that I get up. The food bowl was the problem. The bottom of the bowl was visible, which in cat speak, apparently means that famine is imminent. I fed them and just stayed up.

Decently productive day once I got moving, but I sure would have enjoyed another couple hours’ worth of sleep.
Not really liking the regular (unflavored) oatmeal, but it sticks to my ribs. Will probably just eat from that and slog thru till it’s gone, then I’ll have the better tasting stuff to enjoy later on.

Fri, 05.03.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 Grilled Cheese and a can of tomato soup

510

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1660

Slow and steady might not be exciting, but it does tend to win races. That pretty well describes the day. Before I went to bed the evening prior, I remembered to top off the cats’ food bowl, and they let me sleep in. Hot shower to get things started, breakfast and coffee, and I plunged into the day’s work. Stopped at periodic intervals, snuggled some cats, went for a walk, etc. and kept at it. Knocked off around ten, spent some time rebooting the house and called it a day.

Sat, 05.04.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 Grilled Cheese

460

Dinner

Tomato soup from the freeze-dried stocks and some melted cheese over it

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1470

I’ve been slack over the last couple days about running the bot vac. When I ran him today, he struggled, so I gave him an assist with the regular vacuum cleaner, and after that, he was happier. Watching more “Critical Role” episodes, as I’ve been doing for the past – I’m not sure how long. Anyway, there are a ton of them, and it’s fun, without requiring huge amounts of concentration. Gonna keep doing that, I think.

Sun, 05.05.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

Can of beef stew and some “extra” ice cream for dessert

1040

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1910

I decided what I’m going to do with the fruit. Mike came by today and invited me over to a cook out he and his family are having. I was wondering what I could bring, and I settled on ice cream but didn’t want just to make vanilla, so I blended the strawberries, along with the handful of blueberries I had, made a big batch of vanilla and then spent a couple hours hand folding it into the vanilla.

One it was all nice and mixed together, I loaded it into a big, durable Tupperware container and threw it into the freezer. I’ll have a nice surprise for Mike’s kids tomorrow. That took a lot longer than I expected it to though. After it was finally done, I went to the root cellar and busted pallets to do my trade duties for the month. Will deliver and take possession of my trade goods at the cookout! Kinda lost track of time, so today wasn’t the best writing day but it’s okay.

Mon, 05.06.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of the boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Skipping lunch – big dinner ahead!

0

Dinner

Feasting with Mike’s family!

2000

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2510

Actually made use of my Google Home Mini’s alarm function to make sure I was up early. Since I knew I was gonna be going to a cookout later in the day, I wanted to have plenty of time to get some writing done. After setting the robovac loose, I got down to business and got quite a lot knocked out before it was time to go.

What a feast! OMG, so much good food. Steak, chicken and venison, lots of veg, pies...the works, and the ice cream was a huge success. In fact, they liked it so much that they felt bad for keeping what was left and gave me a big bag of sausage patties in exchange.

Lesson learned: If the end of the world comes, and you have access to cold storage, ice cream is a HUGE trade item. LOL – everybody loved the fruity taste, and it gave me something useful to do with it, and free, surprise sausage patties to boot! I’m rich! And stuffed. Going to bed now. Great time in the company of friends.

 PS: As mentioned – delivered the broken-up shipping pallets and got my other goodies too. All stocked up!

Tues, 05.07.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Eggs and pancakes

700

Lunch

Can of tomato soup and 2 grilled cheese

500

Dinner

Venison and veggies!

760

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2110

Couldn’t take it. Had to have some eggs and pancakes for breakfast and break out of the boring oatmeal rut.

Today, I had it firmly in my mind that I was going to have a rare cheat day, with a plan to go have lunch at one of the Mexican restaurants in town.

When I went out to my car though, I happened to notice that my vehicle inspection sticker was expired and had been…since February!

Oops. Last year, when I had the inspection done, the guys said that by the time I came back in, I’d probably need new tires so, I called the shop, ordered new tires and stayed home.

They’ll be in tomorrow, and I’ll head there in the morning to get the work done.

That changed my plans, so no cheat day. Probably for the best anyway – stayed home and got a decent day’s writing in. Bleh.

Wed, 05.08.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 grilled cheese and freeze-dried tomato soup

500

Dinner

Sympathy venison and veg again

760

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1770

Used Google Home Mini’s alarm function again and got up early to get out to the tire place. New tires on the car and my new inspection sticker, but the almost $700 price tag deflated me. I had planned to go have my cheat day after that, but spending almost seven hundred bucks kinda made me not want to. It took till almost lunch time to get the work done, so I just went back to my mountain top and wrote to pay for the tires. I’m bummed.

Thurs, 05.09.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

Veggie omelet

400

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1270

Taking a day off from Critical Role videos and using Google Home mini to play music while writing, so…a bot day. Harvey the vacuum bot doing his thing, Google Home Mini providing tunes, fingers clacking at the keys, cats purring and chasing the robo-vac. Steady on!

Fri, 05.10.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of ravioli

640

Dinner

Can of chicken soup – ice cream later!

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2050

Made another big batch of chocolate ice cream for myself and I’ve been slack about emptying the ice trays so…that’s the last of it for a while. Will ration and rebuild the ice supply.

Decent writing day made slightly better by the presence of ice cream. Mmmm. Ice cream. And none of that fruity stuff, either. Chocolate.

Sat, 05.11.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Two pork chops and veggies

760

Dinner

2 grilled cheese and a can of tomato soup

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1770

Slept till almost noon today. Not sure why. Didn’t stay up unduly late last night but I was so comfortable that I just didn’t wanna get out of bed. When I did finally roll out of bed, it was a pretty productive day, but I’m going to try to avoid doing much of that. I liked it, but I think it would be too easy to fall into the trap of lounging around for extended periods and I don’t want to accidentally unplug the Muse, which seems to be back to a happy place, so…got to watch that!

Sun, 05.12.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Eggs and pancakes!

700

Lunch

Pancakes and Porkchops (and some left over veggies)

900

Dinner

Can of chicken noodle soup – ice cream for dessert later in the evening

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2650

Back to Critical Role episodes on YouTube. Harvey the vac-bot keeping the cats on their toes, and the Muse still seems happy. Not an epic writing day, but a strong one, with periodic breaks so I didn’t feel chained to the desk all day.

Mon, 05.13.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

1 serving of Irish potato soup with venison

540

Dinner

Pancakes and sausage patties!

700

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1750

Continuing to pound the keys. Decided to put my crock pot to work and cracked open a bag of freeze-dried Irish potato soup. Put some venison in with it and let it simmer. Wasn’t quite ready by lunch time, so lunch was a little later in the day, but it came out really well – best batch yet, and that’s my favorite of the dishes overall, with mango habanero chili being a very close second. Good stuff, and another solid day of writing.

Made use of some of the sausage I picked up from Mike and family and had breakfast for dinner. Delicious!

Tues, 05.14.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of ravioli

640

Dinner

Can of Beef Stew

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1790

Not really enjoying the ravioli, but since I’ve got plenty of everything, I figured I’d toss a bit of it into the mix once in a while just to add more variety. Not great variety, but…it works.

Keeping nose firmly planted to grindstone and knocking stuff out.

Wed, 05.15.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

450

Lunch

Tomato soup and 2 grilled cheese sandwiches

610

Dinner

Can of chicken soup – more ice cream for dessert late in the evening

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2110

Another break from Critical Role videos to watch cheesy horror movies. Just trying to mix it up a bit. Had a good day of writing today and took Patches for a mini hike.

You might be surprised, but she gets around really well for a blind cat, and she knows that I won’t lead her across ground she’ll struggle to navigate. We walked to the far end of the lower pasture, crossed the stream, and headed up about a third of the way to the peak. Found a comfy rock to sit on for a while to give her a rest, and then headed back.

All that, and a decent day’s writing too? Nice! Ate the last of the ice cream, but have rebuilt my stock of ice cubes, so tomorrow, I’ll make another batch of vanilla. 

Thurs, 05.16.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of bland oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

2 servings of Irish pub soup, ice cream, and nilla wafers

1580

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2450

After lunch, I wandered over to Mikes to see if he had any cookies. I was hoping for some Oreos, but all they had was vanilla wafers. That works. I traded two cans of ravioli for them, returned home, made a batch of vanilla ice cream, and crumbled a few nilla wafers atop. Delicious. Hit the spot.

Managed to get a fair amount of writing done too, and more scary movies on Netflix. Running low on good choices there, but there are bazillions on Amazon prime.

Fri, 05.17.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

1 serving of Irish pub soup

540

Dinner

Finished off the Irish pub soup

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

Up early, lots of writing, finished off the Irish Pub soup and got the crock pot washed up after. Forgot to run the robo-vac yesterday so ran him twice today just to keep on top of that. I’m liking my new clean house and want to keep it that way!

Not the best writing day, though. Picked at a few things, but couldn’t focus sufficiently to get any real traction. Had to take a break from the boring oatmeal though. That was a bad trade. I’m not really liking it, but – there’s a bunch of it, and it’ll keep me alive, so…I’ll eat it when I can stand to, and when I can’t, I’ll opt for something with more flavor. I don’t want to burn through what little brown sugar I’ve got left in case I can’t trade easily for more.

Sat, 05.18.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of boring oatmeal

360

Lunch

Two grilled cheese and some of the freeze-dried tomato soup

610

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1480

Took today off altogether with the writing. Haven’t had one of those in a while. Felt good. Listened to music, read, took Patches on another (less ambitious) walk, and broke apart some pallets in the root cellar so I’m all set for next month’s trade stuff. I want my own home. I want my own land. I’m inching closer to that goal, but it’ll still be at least three years. That bums me out, but – the only way to get there is to keep at it, so…tomorrow, it’s back to the writing.

Sun, 05.19.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of beef stew

640

Dinner

Steak and veggies

940

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2090

I made myself a promise to get right back to the writing. Promise kept! A strong day. Would rather have a cheeseburger, but I’m resisting the urge to have a cheat day. Must. Stay. Focused! Eyes on the prize and all that.

Mon, 05.20.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

Venison and veggies

900

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

360

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1770

Not as great of a writing day today as yesterday was, but still not bad. Patches entertained me for a bit by actually hopping on the robot vac and riding it around the bedroom for a while. Of course, the moment I got up to get my phone to take a picture, she hopped off, but maybe next time I’ll catch her in the act. That was literally the highlight of the day, though.

Tues, 05.21.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 more servings of blah oatmeal (broke down and put some brown sugar on it tho)

450

Lunch

2 grilled cheese and tomato soup

610

Dinner

Pancakes and sausages

700

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1910

Best writing day I’ve had in ages. I got up early and stayed up late. Minimal breaks, maximum word count. Would have been even better with a cheeseburger, but…I’m happy with today’s accomplishments.

Wed, 05.22.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Dinner

Pancakes and sausages

700

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1710

Pretty much any amount of writing today was going to be a disappointment compared to yesterday, but even so, it was another strong day. Works for me. Even made time to catch a sunset on the front porch with Patches. I’m not sure how much she can actually see of it, but she seems to enjoy it too. I like that.

Thurs, 05.23.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Two servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

460

Dinner

2 Grilled Cheese and more of my freeze-dried tomato soup

610

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1580

Made some more vanilla ice cream in the morning and spent the day listening to music, reading, and doing a little writing. No pressing deadlines and after two big days, I needed a little coasting. I don’t want to push too hard for too long, lest I burn myself out and chase the Muse away again, so…I’m trying to find the right balance.

Fri, 05.24.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Can of chili

640

Dinner

Can of split pea soup – ice cream and nilla wafers late in the evening for dessert

860

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2010

Where has this month gone? Wow – getting close to the end of the month already and I haven’t once felt that sense of isolation that has plagued me so often in prior months. Either that means I’m just getting used to it, or I’m getting better at handling it. I feel like I’ve actually had a pretty good amount of human contact and interaction this month. Maybe not a lot by other people’s standards, but it’s been enough to keep me from feeling as though I’m slowly going crazy. I’ll take it.

Sat, 05.25.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

Fried Chicken and veggies

920

Dinner

Can of beef stew

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2070

Experimented with frying chicken. I’m not very good at it. It got overcooked but was still edible. Will have to experiment further to see if I can get better at that, because I think I’ll really enjoy it if I can make it work.

Anyway, decent writing day, kept the bots busy (Google Home Mini providing music, Harvey the tireless vacuum bot keeping the cat fur off the bedroom floor). Good stuff.

Sun, 05.26.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes and sausages

700

Lunch

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Dinner

Milkshake for dinner!

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1710

Bad, bad headache late last night. Woke me up in the middle of the night. One of those beastly things that makes you feel as though the back and top of your head is going to get blown off from the pressure. Took way more aspirin than I should have to try and knock it out and all it did was wound up upsetting my stomach. I got up often enough to eat but kept it simple. It finally broke about 7 o’clock in the evening, and I treated myself by having a milkshake for dessert. Didn’t get a single word written and I don’t feel bad about that. Today was an awful day.

Mon, 05.27.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chicken soup

500

Dinner

Can of chicken soup

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1510

Still have an upset stomach from aspirin overdose yesterday. Stuck with the basics food wise today. Moderately productive, but again – I find myself not really caring. If I’m sick, I’m allowed to take it a little easier. It’s not like I’m punching a clock and have to do specific things. Going back to bed.

Tues, 05.28.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

360

Dinner

2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

460

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1330

Okay – so after two really bad days, I’m finally feeling better again. Funny thing though: Even when I was hammered by the headache, I didn’t feel isolated. I wasn’t worried from a health perspective. It was a bad headache, but still just a headache. I knew that once it passed, I’d be back to more or less normal, or…you know, whatever passes for normal in this zip code. Today didn’t win any awards, but it was way better than the last couple of days.

Wed, 05.29.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of blah oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 grilled cheese and freeze dried tomato soup

610

Dinner

Baked chicken and veggies

860

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1980

Back into the swing of things, but my robo vac kept getting hung up again. While I was down with my headache, I totally forgot to tell him to do his thing. Probably for the best, I’m not sure I would have been able to stand the sound. Anyway, I ran the big vac and gave him a boost. It worked out, and I get a …meh. A reasonable amount done anyway. Made another batch of ice cream before bed. Might treat myself to another milkshake tomorrow.

Thurs, 05.30.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes and sausages

700

Lunch

Pancakes and sausages

700

Dinner

Milkshake for dinner!

600

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2150

I don’t know if this is a Muse thing or just general tiredness, but I couldn’t focus on the words today. Got a little done, but not much. Consoled myself with a milkshake.

Fri, 05.31.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Milkshake for breakfast

600

Lunch

2 Grilled cheese and freeze-dried tomato soup

610

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2000

Today was back to full steam. Not a Muse issue. Back to firing on all cylinders but man – that headache threw me for a loop. Glad it’s behind me and closed the month out with a strong finish. Perfecto! Buttoning it up and done. I’ve got this.

End of Month Summary

Overall, another decent month. We’re now steaming toward the end of the experiment, and although it took me a while, I am very glad I seem to have perfected strategies to help deal with the isolation.

This experiment has really been an excellent lesson in problem solving. Not only did it reveal what the weakest links in my starting food supply were, but I’ve solved for how to make up the difference where the things I was lacking were concerned, and deal with the copious amounts of alone-time I’ve found myself with this year.

While it’s too soon to start reflecting on what the future will hold once I start allowing myself to go to town regularly again, I can already tell that the journey has changed me, and in good ways, I think.

As I said – I’ll refrain from thinking too much about that yet. No telling what the remaining months might hold, but I feel like I’m in a good place, and much better prepared if things really do go sideways.

On that note, I’ll bring this month’s report to a close, having just stepped off the scales and realized that my easy access to ice cream hasn’t done great things for my weight. Grr.

Until next month!

Month End Stats


Weight: 336
BP: 135/92

(a little on the high side this month – gotta watch my diet more closely!)


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My Year of Eating Like the World Ended – May Survival Food Report was last modified: July 28th, 2019 by Consumer Files