Originally posted January 25, 2020 in the Archive.
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.
What I can say is that COOK90 has forced me to be more creative with what I buy at the grocery store. A new recipe every night had turned up some smash hits in the last two weeks, such as the white chicken chili from Epicurious. I've stretched a container of chicken breasts across three meals, and I probably could have made it four. I have found multiple ways to cook a whole chicken, learned what to do with the carcass. I don't have the time anymore with a new job to make stock every time I get a whole chicken, but knowing I can do it feels good.
A big thing of rice can carry a girl through a whole work week, especially on a bad stomach, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. What I do know is that I need a real rice cooker so that I don’t keep screwing it up on the stove top. Rice cooker suggestions are highly welcome, fellow home cooks.
Although I haven’t followed through with the ideal of the challenge-- to cook something new every meal but breakfast-- I have found that getting to the root of what’s going on with my stomach is as much an exercise in trial and error as COOK90 itself. Not that any of you come here for my medical problems, but there may be posts in the future about my efforts to figure out just what is helping exaggerate my tummy troubles during times of high stress. Diet has as much to do with this stuff as the stress, I’m told, so we’ve got some work to do there.
Keeping a meal log through the first two weeks of COOK90 did teach me that I am not eating as well as I should be for someone with diagnosed IBS. I have a lot of work to do toward being a healthier human being not just by going to doctors and addressing problems that I’ve had for much of my life, but also by taking better care of myself. Reading my own logs in my own words showed me that I KNOW that some of the things I’m eating aren’t doing me any good, but I do it anyway. Why?
Because I like it? Because it makes me feel good for the five minutes I get to experience an endorphin rush when I eat a plate of tortilla chips smothered in mediocre bagged cheddar cheese with hot sauce and green onions? Over the course of this journey, I finally hit the wall where I realized that while food can be pleasure, it shouldn’t ALWAYS be pleasure. I can do better for myself with this lesson in mind, and I very much intend to try during 2020.
So even though I failed to carry out this journey through the entire month, there we good lessons to be learned. I am hoping that by this time next year, my mysterious stomach problems are mostly ironed out so that we can give it another go. This was another attempt to engage the small community I have built here that largely didn’t turn out due to my own failures to follow through, and I’ve got to face that moving forward.
For those of you that did comment on the near daily pictures we started out COOK90 with, I sincerely appreciate your support and interest in what I do. You keep me coming back to this project whenever I start to lose hope.
I want to draw some attention to the Eating Normal Patreon, which has been dormant since we have no actual supporters. I want to create extra content for the people that love and support me, and by pledging even a few dollars a month to the project, you’ll keep me motivated to make new recipes and write as much as a woman possibly can. You can go to our support page for other ways to help me keep going.
I promise not to shill patreon or Ko-fi more than once a month. No one wants to read or see that every single post. I love you. I won’t do that to you.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird. Pledge monthly to our patreon!