Thrive Life Freeze Dried Strawberries Container and Two Mugs of Strawberry Milkshake

October Freeze Dried Food Review – Prepper Report 2

In Sports & Outdoors by Consumer Files0 CommentsLast Updated: March 9th, 2019

One month down, eleven more to go.  So far, this has been an exceedingly fun experiment, but also an exceptionally challenging one.

In some ways, I feel like I hit my stride in October, but in others, I still feel like I’m very much at the beginning of this journey.  As you’ll see in the journal entries this month, there have been a few…let’s call them challenges.  Setbacks. 

Surprisingly, it’s not so much the trips to the store and dining out that I miss, it is the strict limits I’m placing on human interaction.  My world has shrunk remarkably since I started down this path.  I never realized or fully appreciated how big a role food (in the form of dining out) played in my social life.  The isolation has been the toughest part to handle so far, which seems funny to me.

I am, after all, basically a hermit living all by myself on top of a mountain, so I’m already pretty isolated and spend a lot of time alone.

For me though, what it means is that each interaction I do have (or did, before this experiment started) carried an awful lot of weight.  The loss of even one such opportunity is a pretty big deal, and I’ve basically shelved all of them for the foreseeable future.  That’s tough, and as time goes by, I may find that I have to ease back on that part of the experiment.

It has underscored the importance of developing strong social bonds NOW, though before the S hits the proverbial F.  Those who fail to do so will be in for tough times.  Despite being a hermit, I’m much more of a social creature than I realized.  I count that as one of the most valuable lessons learned to date.

Anyway, all that by way of introduction to this month’s daily journal.  Let’s jump into that part next.

Daily Food Diary for October 2018

Mon, 10.01.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Strawberry Cream of Wheat (AKA Cream of Evil)

340

Lunch

Canned noodles, cheese, and ham (AKA Canned Evil)

460

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1100

It’s very isolated here on my mountain, to begin with, and for this experiment, I’m intentionally limiting my human contacts. I don’t know how long I can maintain that, but I really want to give myself a taste of what living off of my pantry in the aftermath of some type of a disaster would be like.

All that to say, I don’t have a lot of entertainment options. Good thing I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime!

Before I came to the mountain though, I did animal rescue in Myrtle Beach. When I moved here, I brought three cats with me. Patches is my little nearly blind girl. She can see, but it would be like if you dipped a pair of reading glasses in milk and let it dry, then put them back on.

The vet said that they’d slowly get worse, and that’s happening. Tonight, she had a bit of a freak out, so in between writing assignments, I had to do a fair bit of kitty consoling. Poor girl.

Planning on sitting on the porch with her as often as she’s in the mood for it so we can take in some more sunsets before her vision finally goes for good.

Steady writing day but HATING the food right now. That’s by design. I want to eat my least favorites first, so I’ll have more enjoyable food choices as the experiment grinds on.

Tues, 10.02.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Cream of Evil

340

Lunch

Fried Food Mayhem (2 boxes of cheese sticks)

1000

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1640

To change things up a bit, food-wise, I raided the freezer stocks today and started in on some boxed fried food. It’s not great, but better than the Cream of Evil and Canned Evil.

Ventured into town briefly to get a bag of mini-oranges. Not for me, but to give Patches something to play with that had an interesting texture and scent. When she grows tired of them, I’ll take them to the baby cows (mini moos!) and give them a snack!

Took delivery of this month’s trade goods and got another sunset in with the Patch.

Wed, 10.03.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pork and 3 fried eggs

778

Lunch

More fried food (last box of cheese sticks)

500

Dinner

PB&J

230

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1808

Broke today’s writing up with some pallet busting for Mike to make good on my half of the monthly trade and managed to squeeze in another sunset with the cat. Good stuff.

Thurs, 10.04.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pork and 3 fried eggs

778

Lunch

1 box of broccoli bites and 1 box of stuffed mushrooms (yet more fried foods)

640

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Full Coffee

300

Total Calories

1718

HUGE writing day and my diet didn’t really feel like I’m on an “end of the world” diet – breakfast was superb, and I snacked on fried junk all afternoon. Was so full after all that, I didn’t even feel like dinner.

My day’s entertainment revolved around the cats. They played a “game” today that I’ve seen them play before. I’m sure they don’t have a name for it, but I’ve taken to calling it “Smack My Butt” – it’s got actual RULES and everything. Heh. It goes something like this:

One cat is “it.” The “it-cat” gets on a box with the others circling around for mock attacks. 

Hits scored to the head and shoulders don’t count. But if a cat scores a hit on the “it-cat’s” butt, that cat becomes the new “it-cat” and the one on the box is out, so they trade places and the game continues.

Since Patches is mostly blind, they give her credit for near-hits.

They did this for more than an hour tonight. I was in awe. I’m sure there are other rules that my dumb human brain just can’t comprehend, but I enjoyed that more than today’s background movie watching. Good stuff.

Fri, 10.05.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

Nothing

0

Dinner

Roast Beast and Pie

2100

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2250

Tough day that highlights the importance of good neighbors in times of crisis. Today was fence mending day. Some of “Granny’s” cows had knocked over a couple of sections of fence and escaped. It fell to others to round up the wayward cows, but Granny and I attended to the fence repairs. It took the entire day to make the repairs and walk the fence line to be sure we got them all (three in total). That done, Granny thanked me by inviting me to dinner. We had “roast beast” with potatoes, carrots, and onions. I have no idea what manner of beast we ate and did not ask. It was gamey – too small to have been deer, so I don’t know what I put in my belly, but it was tasty enough, and there was even pecan pie for dessert!

I hurt everywhere though. No writing today. When we finally finished, I slathered myself with icy hot, powered up the TENS unit and face-planted.

When I got up for a drink, I discovered that at some point during the festivities, I acquired a new wound. Some kind of nasty bite on my calf. No idea what bit me, or when, but I drained it, cleaned it, put some triple AB cream on it and then went back to bed. Tough day. Good day, but exhausting.

Sat, 10.06.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Cream of Evil

340

Lunch

Canned Evil

460

Dinner

Last of the fried foods (1 box of broccoli bites and the last of the stuffed mushrooms)

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

Still aching everywhere and getting REALLY sick of the nasty food I’m currently eating. I’ll be so glad when I’ve run out of the bad stuff.

Made an Executive Decision too – for the time being, I’m limiting myself to half my usual coffee (down to one pot a day, instead of two). That will be tough for a while, but I’m burning through my coffee supplies at an alarming rate. Better to take the hit NOW and slow the rate of use while I’ve still got plentiful supplies than to run out and spend several months wondering why I didn’t plan better. Rationing starts today.

Not much writing because it hurts too much to focus. Leg is red and shows the beginning stages of infection. Draining and cleaning again. I’ve got some antibiotic pills I’d stockpiled months earlier. Putting myself on a five-day course to beat the infection back. We’ll see how it goes.

Sun, 10.07.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

More strawberry cream of wheat (cream of evil)

340

Lunch

More of that nasty canned noodles, cheese, and ham (canned evil)

460

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

950

In my mind, trade is an essential part of the equation for dealing with the aftermath of any crisis that extends beyond the short term, so it’s something I’m relying heavily on for this experiment and today was a BIG trading day.

I needed a change of pace and scenery, so I took the day off to meet up with a likeminded couple who are interested in preparedness. My goal was to offload my 8 bags of Thai Coconut Curry since I’m allergic to coconut. On paper, that’s 40 meals from my stock, but for me, it represents zero meals.

I did not get 40 meals back in trade, but I’m very happy with what I came away with, netting myself the following goodies:

  • 4 Pork Roasts
  • 3 Gigantic Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Bags of Shredded Cheese (freezer fodder)
  • And a dozen eggs

After our trade was concluded, we went to the local Goodwill, where I picked up a few books, since my entertainment options are quite limited, and I snagged a couple of new silly hats. Hey, don’t judge me. LOL – I collect silly hats as a reminder that I should never take myself too seriously.

The author wearing a wizard hat and sitting on a couch at a Goodwill store
The author wearing a whit and rainbow unicorn hat and holding a pack of Prevail Male Guards at a Goodwill store

While there, I also noticed a pack of “Prevail Male Guards” and couldn’t resist the urge to have a picture taken while holding them (my friends said, “now you’re ready for an all-night writing session…you don’t even have to get up to pee!” (they were kidding, of course, the male guards remained in the store, but it made a funny picture!)

Mon, 10.08.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Still in cream of evil purgatory

340

Lunch

Canned evil purgatory

460

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

950

The return to isolation and the nasty food were very jarring after a pleasant day spent in the company of others. Can’t say it was a very productive day, but I moved the ball forward, and that’s what counts.

Tues, 10.09.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

Digiorno Supreme Pizza!

2160

Dinner

Nothing (still nibbling pizza)

110

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2420

More trading! This time, with one of my neighbors, Mike (same guy I’m busting those pallets for).

I swapped out a roast and a nice sirloin for 2 squashes, 2 sweet potatoes and a Digiorno Supreme Pizza! That’s a huge treat.

Planning on binging on pizza all day today, so I skipped breakfast after returning home with my goodies.

Ended the day so full I could barely move, which was good in a way. It kept me in the writing chair!

Thurs, 10.10.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

SuperNova (see notes for new recipe)

~250

Lunch

Canned Evil

460

Dinner

Canned Evil
Bag of Mixed Nuts

460
675

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1995

Armed with a couple of sweet potatoes (which I love), and some fresh veg, I decided to revisit a recipe I invented several years ago:  SuperNovas!  (because they’re a supernova of flavor).

Simple recipe:  Bake a potato (or in this case, a sweet potato).

Butter, brown sugar, salt, then sauté what veggies you’ve got and smother that potato with it.  I even added the bacon bits left over from the salad makings Sharon brought up, used some of the squash and added a bag of mixed veggies from the freezer. It was like dessert for breakfast, and relatively healthy too, which made the Canned Evil later in the day a bit easier to choke down.

Thurs, 10.11.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

SuperNova!

250

Lunch

Canned Evil

460

Dinner

Canned Evil

460

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1320

Got cold enough to turn the heater on for the first time this evening. Solid writing day, so it feels like I’m finding my groove again. Used the second sweet potato, most of the rest of the squash and the rest of the bagged veggies from the freezer to make another Supernova.

Fri, 10.12.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Cream of Evil

340

Lunch

Canned Evil (with a side of squash)

510

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1000

And…. there goes the momentum. Can’t seem to jumpstart the Muse today. Ate the last of the squash but struggled to get my arms around the writing. Feels like the week is going to end on a “Meh” note after a couple of strong days in the middle. Not what I was hoping, but not bad.

Sat, 10.13.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Cream of Evil

340

Lunch

Canned Evil

460

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

950

Better writing day today than yesterday and my spirits are up. Super cold this morning though. Heater running full tilt and I even had a cup of hot coffee (normally I drink it iced).

I feel as though the Cream of Evil and Canned Evil multiply when I’m not looking…not sure if I’m ever going to reach the end of those. Gross.

One thing I did though is that I put all of the remaining Cream of Evil in an old Ice Cream Tub I had recycled some months back so at least it’s all in one place. I can take some small amount of pleasure from watching the level drop, knowing that once that tub is empty, I won’t have to worry about eating any more of that nastiness, at least.

Sun, 10.14.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

More Cream of Evil

340

Lunch

More Canned Evil

460

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

950

Extremely cold morning. No doubt that winter is coming, which means that I’ve got to get the drawbridge that connects the cattery with the house fixed.

My first version of it saw me hooping chicken wire over a board kind of like a covered wagon. Unfortunately, Bella (my youngest and most adventurous cat) proved to be a true escape artist, and figure out how to get out of the house via the drawbridge, then discovered that if she stood on the hooped chicken wire, she could smoosh it down enough to get back inside.

The first time it snows, given the damage already done to it, it’s going to get crushed. I’ve got a revised plan – just need some time and an extra pair of hands to implement it.

Still hating the diet, but continuing to slog through my stocks of nasty food.

Mon, 10.15.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Canned Evil

460

Lunch

Canned Evil

460

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1070

More cold and another brutal writing day. Both heaters running full tilt and the electric blanket. Mmmm…electric blanket.

Tues, 10.16.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Multi-Grain Cereal

370

Lunch

PB&J

230

Dinner

PB&J

230

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

970

More trading today, and it’s significant! Found someone who loves canned evil! I promptly traded my entire remaining stock in exchange for a whole turkey. Smallish, and I took a per meal loss on the trade, but if it means no more eating Canned Evil, I’ll gladly take it!

Also arranged to swap labor (more fence repair) in exchange for help with the Cat Drawbridge. Doing my part today, so not much writing.

Wed, 10.17.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Multi-grain Cereal

300

Lunch

Steak and Corn

1000

Dinner

Bag of Mixed Nuts

675

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2185

Mission accomplished. I’m tired, and I ache everywhere, but I did manage to get a few writing pieces done today. Whole house smells like Ben Gay, and I’m too tired and sore to care. When was I going to get the memo that I’m getting old?

Thurs, 10.18.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Freeze-dried Sweet and Sour Asian Rice (with sirloin tips and veggies) – 2 servings

1080

Dinner

Big lunch, so nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

Trying the Asian rice from Valley Food Storage. As usual, the company recommends WAY too much water, so it had an almost soup like consistency, but I’ll correct for that in future batches. Added a bag of mixed veggies from the freezer and two packs of sirloin tips. If I had been thinking, I’d have used chicken instead, which would have tasted better. Still, not bad, and honestly, I’m still too sore to care.

Unfortunately, today also saw me get injured again.

One of Granny’s “mini moos” (year old cows) got himself caught in some barbed wire. I heard the bleating from my house and went to investigate.

Since I used to do animal rescue, I got asked to help and sore from yesterday or not, I readily agreed.

The “mini moos” are over a year old now though, and not really mini any more. They’re HUGE! I usually work with dogs and cats, not cows, but I figured the concept was about the same.

Poor guy was obviously in pain. I approached him head on, arms out. Slowly. Gave him a head butt in greeting and slowly moved around to the back leg so I could see the best way to get him unstuck, and then – just went for it. He was too big to try and control, so I figured I’d rely on speed.

It basically worked. I got the cow unstuck, but as he got free, he bucked like a horse and struck me a grazing blow.

This agitated the other cows and I spent the next 45 seconds to a minute being used as a bearded pinball, getting knocked around the pasture. Not trampled, exactly, but bounced around pretty good.

Finally, the cows calmed down and came to investigate the human lying in the pasture, which is an uncommon sight for them.

The one who had gotten stuck licked me full in the face with his slobbery, raspy tongue in thanks for freeing him, and another cow tried to eat my jacket as I got my feet back under me.

A face full of cow tongue is one of the most unpleasant experiences on the planet, by the way, but that wasn’t the worst of it.

At some point during my time as a human pinball, I landed on a rock that hit between my L4 and L5 vertebrae, one of which is already ruptured and the other herniated. Agony. I got to my feet, but it wasn’t easy.

Limped back home and fell into bed, Icy hot and TENS unit running full tilt. The next several days are going to be rough.

Fri, 10.19.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

Nothing

0

Dinner

A double helping of the Asian rice stuff

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1230

Too sore to eat, but picked at some more of the rice stuff for dinner. Mostly an icy hot and TENS unit day.

Sat, 10.20.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pop Tart!

400

Lunch

Last of the Asian Rice stuff

540

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1090

Still feel like I’ve been hit by a train, but today is the drawbridge rebuild day. I mostly supervised but helped when and as I was able, and by the end of the day, we got it done. Enclosing a few pictures of the new drawbridge and going back to bed.

The author building a drawbridge in the porch
The newly built drawbridge installed (right side view)
The newly built drawbridge installed (left side view)

Bella tried to escape but could not defeat the new design. She’s been giving me the stink eye all evening. Tough.

Sun, 10.21.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Bag of Mixed Nuts

675

Lunch

PB&J

230

Dinner

PB&J

230

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1285

Only ate stuff that was fast and easy to prepare today. No writing. Too sore. My biggest accomplishments of the day were changing the batteries on the TENS unit and applying liberal amounts of icy hot. It’s shaping up to be a looooong week.

Mon, 10.22.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Bag of Mixed Nuts

675

Lunch

Pecan Pie!

400

Dinner

2 servings of mango habanero chili and steak (2150 for the bag + steak)

860

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2085

Granny felt bad for me and came over to bring me one of her delicious pecan pies! Tell you what – I’d almost volunteer to get knocked around the pasture by panicky cows on a weekly basis in exchange for one of those.

Had some for lunch and it got me feeling better – good enough, even, to get out of bed and grill a couple of steaks to toss into a bag of the Valley Foods Mango Habanero Chili, which by the way, is my new favorite. It’s a perfect blend of hot and sweet. This stuff is amazing.

Again, the instructions call for too much water, but I ratcheted it down as I was prepping it and the consistency came out more or less right. Will use slightly less water next time. (1 cup less than the whole bag calls for)

Tues, 10.23.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pecan Pie!

400

Lunch

2 servings of mango habanero chili

860

Dinner

Last of the chili

430

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1840

Pecan pie for breakfast is probably the best thing in the world. I love it. I hadn’t expected such decadence during this experiment.

Going to relax for half a day, then try and turn the month’s writing around.

Wed, 10.24.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

More Pecan Pie!

400

Lunch

Can of Chili

430

Dinner

Pecan Pie – what else?! – also made a whole pack of Chicken a La King, from Valley Foods – used canned chicken. Too sore to bother cooking some from the freezer

400 + 490

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1870

Another food experiment – this time, I’m making a bag of Chicken A La King. Don’t feel like cooking chicken breasts to put in it, so just using a few cans of chicken. It’s slow goings, but I AM getting stuff done.

Thurs, 10.25.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pecan Pie, of course!

400

Lunch

Last of the Pecan pie and two helpings of chicken a la King

980 + 400

Dinner

Batch of white bean and lime chili with steak (1 serving)

430

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2360

Finished off the Chicken A La King – again, the instructions call for more water than is actually needed, but it wasn’t bad. Next time, I’ll add a bit less than the bag calls for.

Now trying some of the White Bean and Lime chili (with steak). It’s not bad. I added less water than called for (1 cup less for a bag) and it came out just about perfect. It’s not as tasty as the mango habanero – in fact, it’s…not bland exactly, but it does need something, just not sure what. Anyway, it’s perfectly acceptable, just not one of my favorites.

Fri, 10.26.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

3 eggs

270

Lunch

Fajita Lunch from Thrive Life

80

Dinner

2 servings of white bean and lime chili (plus steak)

860

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1360

The Thrive Life fajita stuff is fantastic and easy to prepare. Even better, the amount of water they recommend is spot on (unlike what I’m experiencing with Valley Foods).

One cool thing, the instructions tell you how to make it right in the bag! I didn’t actually do that, but it’s great that you can, which makes it ideal for inclusion in a bug out bag.

Sat, 10.27.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

Last of the white bean chili

860

Dinner

Last of the chicken a la king

980

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1990

Slow and steady progress. Still sore but didn’t have to do any cooking today. Had plenty of leftovers.

Sun, 10.28.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Bag of mixed nuts

675

Lunch

Mac and Cheese plus two pork chops (2360 for the bag) – 1 serving

472

Dinner

2 servings of mac, cheese, and chops

980

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2241

Another insanely cold day and I don’t feel good. Haven’t felt good. Seems like it’s just one thing after another. I bulked up on calories this morning so I could go bust pallets for Mike in anticipation of next month’s trade. I want to be able to just take delivery of my goodies on the first.

Hands and back were aching by the time I finished but managed to write 4k words (hands screaming in protest by the time that was finished).

Mon, 10.29.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Bowl of chicken salad

150

Lunch

Finished off the mac, cheese, and chops

944

Dinner

1 serving, multi-grain cereal

180

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1424

It didn’t occur to me until today, but my mac, cheese and pork chop creation (using Valley Food Storage freeze dried mac and cheese) is actually fairly similar, ingredient-wise to the Canned Evil that I hate (which was supposedly noodles, cheese, and country ham). Even so, my “version” is vastly superior, and I’ll probably make more.

Only have two packs of steaks left. Once those are gone, I’ll be down to pork, chicken and what venison I can hunt or trade for – could get some more steak via trades I guess – we’ll see how it goes!

Tues, 10.30.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Cream of Evil

340

Lunch

Making another batch of white bean and lime chili with 2 steaks – one serving now

540

Dinner

2 servings of the white bean chili

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2110

Another day feeling somewhat isolated. I’ve had a trip to the dentist on the books for a few months now, but it only occurred to me today that I had scheduled it on the last day of the month. That’s bad because the last few days of each month and the first few days of each new month are my busiest writing days. I’m fairly sure the trip to the dentist is going to be brutal, which means I won’t be in the mood for writing at the exact time I need to be at the top of my game. Bad planning on my part. Need to do better!

Wed, 10.31.2018

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing (getting ready for dentist trip)

0

Lunch

Pop Tart

400

Dinner

Nothing

0

Others

NO COFFEE!

0

Total Calories

400

Dental trip was as bad as I was expecting. When I got home, my entire face was numb. That wore off in a couple hours, and when it did, I immediately wished my face was still numb.

Managed to nibble on a pop tart, but otherwise, nothing. No writing either. Just…sleep.

An Updated Review of Valley Food Storage

At this point, I have now tried the following meals from Valley Food Storage:

  • check
    The Multigrain Cereal
  • check
    The Apple Oatmeal
  • check
    The Irish Pub Soup
  • check
    Mac and Cheese
  • check
    Strawberry Cream of Wheat
  • check
    White Bean and Lime Chili
  • check
    Mango Habanero Chili
  • check
    Chicken A La King
  • check
    And Sweet and Sour Asian Rice

So far, the only offering I outright despise is the Strawberry Cream of Wheat, which is just pure awful (I have taken to calling it Cream of Evil).  I’m not super thrilled with the White Bean and Lime Chili, but it’s certainly edible. My two favorites are the Irish Pub Soup and the Mango Habanero Chili which are insanely good.

The Chicken A La King was quite tasty, but needed less water, and would have been even better if I’d cooked an actual chicken breast, rather than using the canned stuff.

The freeze-dried mac and cheese is quite good but is very salty.  I think they overdid it a bit there.  I get that they wanted to bolster the flavor a bit, but in my view, more cheese and less salt would have been the better approach.  Still, it’s pretty decent.

A Short Review of Thrive Life Foods

An Image of Thrive Life Booklet

So far, the stuff from Thrive Life has been exceptional.  I’ve tried two kinds of freeze-dried fruit and their Fajita lunch.  I have some chicken salad which I’ll be trying out soon, and a full meal which I’m dying to try but saving for a special occasion.

On the whole, I would rate the Thrive Life foods as being slightly better than Valley Food Storage. But I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison yet because I’ve tried a lot more of Valley than Thrive.  One thing I can say with certainty is the fact that Thrive Life’s preparation instructions are better. 

My rating might change as time goes by. But if Valley Food Storage gets a 4.5 rating (out of 5) – and I think that’s fair, then at this point, I’d give Thrive Life a 4.75, which could possibly go to a perfect 5-star rating as I try more of their food.  

When the time comes to rebuild my stocks, Thrive Life will definitely have a place on my shelf (Valley too though – they’re especially good at the breakfast stuff (Cream of Evil notwithstanding), and I do love some of their lunch/dinner entrees.

End of Month Summary

I feel as though my first full month of this experiment was something of a trial by fire.  A long (31-day) brutal month that saw an unusual amount of physical injuries, and a growing sense of isolation.  Not good.

What I need for next month, then, is to get (and stay!) off of the injured list and see if I can find good strategies to cope with the isolation, which is proving to be more challenging than the diet.  I have to say though, I’m having second thoughts about the idea of eating my least favorite foods first. The menu for a big part of this month was NASTY!

Anyway, despite the injuries, it was a strong writing month, and I feel like I’m doing well overall.  One thing I know for sure though – it’s going to be a very long year.

My weight is down slightly, and BP is more or less okay, even though it spiked at various points during the month and ended high due to injury. 

The weight would have been even lower if not for the addition of that delicious pecan pie, which I kinda binged on.  Do it again in a heartbeat too!

Looking forward to seeing how November goes!

Month End Stats

Weight: 326.5 lbs
BP: 149/90


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October Freeze Dried Food Review – Prepper Report 2 was last modified: March 9th, 2019 by Consumer Files