It’s somehow already August 15th, and only August 15th, all at the same time. Either way, it’s time for a quick update on our great experiment.
I consciously call it “our” instead of “my” experiment, because it really wouldn’t happen without you. I’m just the guinea pig here. But even guinea pigs can learn a thing or two. Me, I’ve learned five:
If you’d like to cook, being color-deficient sucks
Since I can’t tell reds from greens from browns, I’ll never get to be a pilot or astronaut. But I’ll also be limited in properly cooking meats, which means I’m a liability at the grill. That filet mignon I had August 7 was a rude awakening on how I needed to turn over my “man card” at the grill so I don’t kill anyone. So Tracey grilled up chicken on August 12 (and man, was that a great thing). It’s frustrating as one of the goals here is to learn to enjoy cooking, but gauging meat by its color just isn’t going to happen. Which leads to the next learning…
To cook, it helps to be flexible with rules
You’re not just making food, you’re experimenting, dabbling, trying. Over the years, Tracey always has gotten a laugh when she sees me making pancakes — I precisely measure the 1 cup of water and 2 cups of mix, just as the box says. What else would I do? “Just keep adding until it looks right.” She may as well ask me to grill up a steak on the moon. We recently took a personality assessment at work, where part of my description reads, “Being exact is imperative in everything Kurt does.” The butcher told me how to cook that filet mignon: how many minutes to sear each side, what the grill temperature should be when, what the meat temperature should be, and so on. But it didn’t work. Silly as it sounds, following the directions and not getting the desired result can be a punch to the gut for me. Especially for the time and investment I’m putting into this. Which brings me to…
Cooking requires a lot of planning
The first lesson came on July 31, when I told Tracey I would buy all of the first week’s groceries. She looked at the list and taught me all that produce wouldn’t survive to the end of the week. Very well, it’ll be two grocery trips each week, a few days’ worth at a time.
Ah, plans. How quaint.
At the end of last week, I found myself behind on shopping. This week, after a late work night then a day’s notice that SOCCER PRACTICE BEGINS TOMORROW EVENING YOU BETTER BE THERE, I didn’t even make the grocery list let alone shop. Which is frustrating, because it made me postpone the one day that included a dessert. Not to mention it took me off my plan (see paragraph above).
But I’m learning some good things too.
I’ve got great friends
To date, everyone has been about as excited as me when their day pops up. Did I actually make it? Really? And I ate the spinach? How did it turn out? When I get to say something like, “even the kids liked it!” (I’m looking at you and the pork sandwiches, Sharon), it makes us all happy. That so many people have stepped up is amazing to me — it’s a dopey little experiment, but these pockets of investment really matter, to you and to me.
I actually can eat healthy — even on my own
I’ve taken the list very literally, and since nobody has listed soda pop, I’ve only had one (on a day not assigned to anyone). But I haven’t looked back. And I’ve never snacked much during the day anyway, but when I do, it’s been almonds, or piece of cheese, or just a glass of water. The two days I had to postpone the original plan, I still ate healthy: oatmeal, bananas, turkey sandwich on thin bagel, etc. And maybe my proudest accomplishment: A road trip with my dad and son included three restaurant stops. Last month, I’d have had the buffalo chicken pizza, the fried egg burger, and red velvet pancakes; this month, I had the pasta and veggies plate, a simple cheeseburger, and the small order of whole grain pancakes with fruit.
I’m down six pounds.
If you’re just reading about this experiment for the first time, get the whole story here. Even better, claim your day by clicking here. And to Michelle, Erin, Beth, Laura, and Sharon: Thanks for getting me through this last week!