If you know me at all, you know that sleep and I have never been close friends. In fact, there is probably an underlying animosity betwixt us. Today I guess my body decided that waking up at 3:30 would be a good idea. Once I wake up, I can never fall back asleep, so I decided to blog about it.
I’ve been thinking about this experiment for the last hour or so, and I am realizing that a new strategy must emerge for this to be successful. Based on the sheer exertion of willpower I have little doubt of a successful outcome; however, I am realizing that the biological aspect of me may not live up to its end of the bargain.
As my friend Elizabeth pointed out in one of her comments, I opted for the semi-nutritional approach, hence the vegetables, apples, etc. I am beginning to see that this was a mistake. While getting balanced nutrition is obviously important, the fact is that the severely decreased caloric intake is negating any nutritional gains. What I mean is this- while the apples and vegetables are reasonably nutritious, they offer little in caloric value, which in terms of sustainability for a month seems to be the most important aspect of this. From a cost per calorie perspective, the fruits and vegetables are simply not feasible to use a severely limited amount of money on. For instance, one package of stir fry vegetables costs $1.95, has only 5 servings, and each serving only contains 30 calories, which means I am obtaining only 150 calories from the entire package of vegetables. I purchased 2 bags of vegetables, which means nearly $4, or almost 15% of the entire budget for only 300 calories, which I can get from 4 pancakes or a cup of rice.
Apples suffer from the same ‘defect’- not only are they ‘expensive’ at $1.65 for 5 apples, but they each offer at most 60 calories; again, while perhaps more calorically heavy than the vegetables, for the cost per calorie just can’t compete with the ‘staples’ of rice and pancakes.
The turkey is in the same boat and is actually worse- each slice of turkey only offers about 35 calories, and the amounts of protein that might offset the decreased caloric intake are so small as to be probably be negated.
If I were to not have purchased 1 bag of apples, the 2 bags of vegetables and 1 package of turkey, I would have had an additional $7.75 to spend. That doesn’t sound like much, but it could easily purchase either 2 more boxes of pancake mix (which could allow for 1.5x the caloric intake every day for the rest of the 23 days), a large bag of rice (again, 1.5x the caloric intake), or, according to my friend Elizabeth, 84 packages of Ramen Noodles at Aldi. (12 packages for a little over a dollar) I’ll be honest, I hate Ramen Noodles. However, from both a caloric and nutritional standpoint, they may not be a bad idea. Food as something that tastes good or not is quickly becoming meaningless. Consider this:
1 Package of Ramen contains 188 calories, 27 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein. (a slice of turkey also has 4g of protein)
84 packages for $7 (if that’s the case- I’m checking today…) for the next 23 days would allow for 3.5 packages of Ramen per day, which would increase my caloric intake by 658 calories a day. Add that with a couple pancakes for breakfast (150 calories) and a half cup of rice for dinner (150 calories) and an additional 2 slices of bread per day (100 calories) and all of a sudden I’ve cracked 1000 calories per day, whereas right now I am hovering around 400-500.
So here’s what I am thinking of doing. Over lunch today I am heading to Aldi’s to check on prices for Ramen noodles. If they are 12 for about $1, as Elizabeth said, then I will be extremely happy. I will need to find someone who will buy 4 apples, an unopened package of lunch meat, and some stir fry vegetables for $7.75. I can then use that money to hopefully not send my body into complete shutdown mode.