An apple, two slices of bread…

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When I first graduated from college I lived outside of Princeton, New Jersey in a room I sublet in an old farmhouse. The woman who rented the house had been trained as a chef but had recently gone back to school to get a degree in social work. She had experienced food issues throughout her life and was working through them; she wanted to become a therapist to help others dealing with the same issues.

She participated in a number of 12 Step programs, including Overeaters Anonymous, and through her, my friend Sue’s roommate Carolyn, who also had food issues, became involved in OA.

Part of the OA program is you have a sponsor and you talk to your sponsor every day and tell them what you ate. After you become established in the program, you serve as a sponsor for someone else in addition to having someone sponsor you.

Sue was not familiar with this aspect of the program.

One day after Carolyn had been in the program for a while, Sue came home from work and checked the messages and there was this really long message:

“An apple, a bowl of cereal, two slices of bread, a slice of cheese…”

Sue said, “Carolyn, can you tell me why someone is reading their grocery list on our answering machine?”

(I don’t know how well that story translates, you might have to know Sue to appreciate it but it was pretty hilarious and it actually still makes me laugh.)

That’s what this project is starting to feel like.

An apple, two slices of bread, a cup of milk…

13 Responses to “An apple, two slices of bread…”

  1. fivecats Says:

    so, you’re being Undereaters Anonymous? :)

  2. lessisenough Says:

    an apple … a cup of yogurt … two pieces of cheese …

    I got a message from my friend Sue yesterday asking if she should be worried about me. I don’t know if anyone else will think that story is funny, but I know she will, so that’s why I put it up.

  3. Sue Says:

    I am honored that a 20 year old story still makes you laugh. There was a surreal quality to having other people’s food issues manifest themselves on your answering machine, particularly when you were not expecting it.

  4. anne g Says:

    Hey Rebecca, All the photos you were complaining about having to take look really good. Have you thought about compiling them and publishing? What a great coffee table book — a must have for everyone who considers themselves green. And given the economy, I’m sure the food channels will be falling all over themselves to come up with ways to eat on NO budget. This endeavor might turn out to be a gold mine. Let me know if you need any marketing help, I owe you!

  5. lessisenough Says:

    Glad you like the photos. I’ll work on the $1 a day coffee table book idea. One of my friends said she didn’t think the food looked all that appetizing (I think she was referring specifically to the cornmeal/polenta/funchi picture). I reminded her that I only had a dollar to work with, so anything that filled up a whole bowl looked pretty good to me.

  6. Alphonse Says:

    R do you think you could post what impact this has on your weight, if any. I’m reading this and thinking ….. Woaa what does this do to a body?

  7. lessisenough Says:

    I will put up a post about calories and health — including some info about caloric restriction as a means of extending life.

    I actually think that the excess calories that Americans take in on a day-to-day basis is probably far more dangerous than the limited number I’m taking in on this project. It’s just that that’s what people are used to. Also I expect my meals for the rest of the month to be more in line with standard meals than they were in the first week. Starting with nothing is tough.

    I’m also thinking of having a nutritional analysis done at the end of the month, since I’ll know exactly what I ate and how much. Seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to put together, and I would be interested to see how it comes out. I think it would be better than most people think.

  8. Ellison Says:

    Definitely do the nutrition thing-I think it would add a lot and people will be pleasantly surprised. Beans and cabbage alone would be an excellent long term food source!

  9. lessisenough Says:

    I do want to do the nutrition thing, just need to figure out how to do it in a way that isn’t a huge pain.

    I was thinking I should have a traditional medical person (like a registered dietitian (sp?)) and also a naturopath-type person look at it. I think it would be interesting to see if there was a difference of opinion.

  10. Fernando Diaz Says:

    Hi, I haven’t stoped reading. I was wondering just the same, what you body, health would be by now…? I havent got to the end, so I hope to see some more info on that by the afternoon.

  11. Tracy Says:

    I adore this blog….and love your writing style and subtle humor.

    You can easily track daily calories and nutrition by plugging in your daily food to a free account.

    BTW — I eat alot of “congee”. It’s an Asian way of serving breakfast grains. Basically you use a crockpot — or alot of time on the stove — to slowly simmer grain in about 2-3 times as much water as you normally would, until it makes a gelatinous soup. For example, I often cook 1/3 cup rice in a small crockpot with about 5 cups water on low overnight. To this I can add maybe 1/4 of a sweetpotato or other small amounts of vegetable of fruit scraps. It makes two large bowls of breakfast porridge and extends the grain nicely.

    My favorite is 1/2 cup millet slow-cooked all night with 5 cups water. The way you eat you might get 3 servings from it.

  12. lessisenough Says:

    Thanks for the recipe, sounds good … and filling.

    And I know I could track calories while I’m doing this, but I’m having enough trouble keeping up with the project and the rest of my life as it is already. Also I’d rather see it in the end when I have a complete data set, because I think the averages are going to come out better than the individual days.

  13. Sharon Says:

    Dietpower software would work really well for calculating this and it does the averages as well.

    It’s easy to use and provides info on a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.


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