You may have noticed that the week two food log for COOK90 hasn’t gone up, much less a week three log. The reason why is this: I failed. My stomach took a turn for the worse when I started my new job, so there was honestly no way I could make a new meal every day and expect to have a normal day every day after that. It was a fun journey, and one that has taught me a lot about cooking, but I don't believe we will keep going while I am getting over the latest spell of my stomach conditions.
COOK90 is not a challenge for someone like me, an IBS sufferer with stress triggered attacks. I've been nauseous more days than not in the last two weeks, and even when I did cook new food, I didn't want to eat it. It didn't matter what I did or did not eat. I had attacks starting in my sleep, waking me up in the wee hours of the morning, and continuing their assault well into the afternoon. I didn't want to eat anything, much less make new meals every time I sat down to eat when I didn't want food at all. So, I threw in the gauntlet late last week while I tried to work out what was causing my stronger, more aggressive attacks.
Day 0: December 31, 2019
Made a big frittata in the morning to serve as breakfast for at least one more day. COOK90 rules say that leftovers count for a max of two meals after the fact. Cheating a bit, I know, but breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. I gotta get out ahead of it.
Did my grocery run. Focused on the ‘sustainability’ aspect of this year’s COOK90 challenge and only bought two meat products. Whole chicken from a previous shopping trip will supplement protein this week.
In the middle of festivities preparations with my husband, I roasted off a whole chicken to have access to cooked chicken throughout the first week of COOK90. I drank too much and ate too much. I was greatly looking forward to a new start when my head hit the pillow at 12:01 AM, Jan 1, 2020.
Day 1: Jan 1, 2020
Coffee first and always. During my last week as an unemployed woman, I have had my coffee around 6:00 am and haven’t ate breakfast until around 8. Won’t be able to do that next week, so I’m going to move my breakfast time earlier and earlier into the day. Day 1, though? Let’s just go for like, 7:45. Mornings are for coffee and contemplation. Coffee, contemplation, and writing.
Breakfast: that frittata I made yesterday. It counts. Ask Epicurious.
11 am: small bowl of rice with butter and salt. Technically cooking. My stomach was in revolt after going too hard New Year's Eve. Water, rice, butter, and salt. That's cooking, kids.
5 pm: Used some more rice and a little of the leftover chicken for dinner as my stomach is still not happy with me. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for cooking.
The COOK90 challenge of 2020 has begun! Starting today, we will be cooking three meals a day every single day until the end of January-- with only three days where we will be eating out. This is a daunting challenge even for me. I use the delivery apps on my phone more often than I care to admit, and I am a sucker for canned soup during the work week. With my new job on the horizon, two of my cheat meals are already sold to my orientation period, where I cannot bring my own food with me.
So, how do we curb the appeal of mobile delivery apps and fast food? The easiest idea is to just delete the app at the start of your COOK90 period. Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, and UberEats are disappearing from my phone as I’m writing this article. I find that I often go digging into the recesses of my apps to look at the lists of available restaurants at even the slightest pangs of hunger, so this preventative measure should be helpful. Then, there comes the meal planning.
2019 has come and gone, and the new year is upon us. It’s time to think about those New Years Resolutions we all so love to fail. Would you like to try one with me this January?
Since 2016, Epicurious has led the charge in what’s called the COOK90 challenge. Since its inception, they’ve even published a cookbook with a 90 day meal plan to help you complete the challenge which is as follows: cook three meals a day every day for a month. There are plenty of reasons to give it a try, and for 2020, that includes sustainability. The more meat-free meals, the better. This is, however, a personalized challenge. If you do decide to COOK90, do it how you want. You can check out this year’s primer here for more information.
Now, what does COOK90 mean for Eating Normal? It means that we are going to do this together. You and I will work to eat more consciously, discover new recipes and ingredients, and maybe help reduce the carbon emissions of our farming system one meal at a time.
I’ll check in every week with an article, but I am also interested in starting an Eating Normal COOK90 support group on facebook to keep myself (and you, if you’re interested in joining me) accountable for our 90 meals in January. This group would not only exist to share pictures of our meals together, but share easy recipes from across the internet to help keep our COOK90 friends cooking through the month. You can join us for COOK90 at Eating Normal COOK90 2020 to join the discussion.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
Pledge monthly to our patreon!
Or, you know, support the mission with caffeine! Buy me a coffee through Ko-Fi.