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There’s nothing to eat!

“There’s nothing to eat!”

Upon further reflection, I think my childhood eating experiences can be summed up in that one little sentence.

You could always tell when my guinea pig was hungry because she would bite onto one of the wire bars of her cage and rattle away. You could always tell when I was hungry because I’d open and slam shut all the cupboards in the kitchen, swing open the squeaky refrigerator door, pause for a glance, then close it with that little swoosh of air sealing shut. Then I’d whine “There’s nothing to eat!” You’d think we lived in a model home stocked with Styrofoam fruit. There would occasionally be times when I’d discover a Carmello bar or a bag of M&M’s hidden away by my mother which was as delightful as finding a $20 bill in a winter coat. But mostly I’d just look at our stocks and stocks of food that those ubiquitous starving children in Africa would pounce on and dismiss it as inedible.

It wasn’t that there wasn’t any food. There just wasn’t any food that I was interested in eating. Maybe I was just being picky. Maybe I was just being lazy and couldn’t find anything that didn’t require at least 15-30 minutes of preparation. It’s not like I could chow down on a bag of flour. Well, I could, but that would be really weird even for me and I would have gotten flour powder all over my clothes. How would I have explained that to my parents? I got a part-time job doing drywall? Mostly I think the problem was I didn’t think about what I wanted to eat until the moment at which I was hungry, by time it was far too late.

Which is exactly the opposite of the way I eat now. I almost always have something on hand to eat. I bring food with me to work for breakfast, lunch and snacks. When I get home I don’t usually have dinner planned out, but I’ve bought enough stuff in advance that I can make something within 30-45 minutes without the need of advanced kitchen gadgets like an egg slicer. I’ve got fruits and vegetables in my fridge, most of which are not homes to advanced mold civilizations that worship the refrigerator light bulb as a god. And if I ever am in a situation where I need something, I’m fit enough that I can walk the two or so miles round trip to the grocery store, which I did for the first time yesterday to get milk to make my sugar-free, fat-free pudding. Mmmm, pudding.

The boy scouts were certainly onto something with this “Be Prepared” business. Definitely a better contribution to a healthy eating lifestyle than those rascally girl scouts with their yummy cookies.

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Greta • August 16, 2006 at 2:24 pm

When I was a child, we were not allowed to open the refrigerator or cupboards unless directed to do so by a parent such as during meal preparation when we were helping Mom. My Mother cooked our food and served it onto our plates and it was presented to us at meal times. We did not choose the portion size or what we were to eat. Mom did. Seconds were not offered or allowed. If we did not eat the food that was served (for example the broccoli, or the spinach ot the brussels sprouts) then we had to sit at the table staring at a cold plate of disgusting food until it was time to go to bed. Of course sitting in front of that plate was punctuated by Dad showing up about once an hour (after everyone else had left the table) to scream at me to eat the food. If I COULD have eaten it I would have eaten it during the meal. Cold dead broccoli on the plate only got worse not better so there was never a prayer that I would be able to eat the food after everyone else left the table. When I got to college there were 3 cafeterias with several entree choices, many different desserts, and peanut butter and jelly available at every meal. I used to take stacks of old-fashioned donuts back to my room to hoard and savor their delicious sweetness. I gained 40 pounds my freshman year and have been battling my weight ever since. When you look at how you were brought up …perhaps too much food freedom, and how I was brought up…too many food restriction, both yielded problems with food.


vickie • August 16, 2006 at 4:11 pm

I have no idea if you are interested, but I reran an old posting (of mine that originally was on Amazon) on Monday, August 7th that talked about cooking ahead. You can find me (and that cooking posting) on Angry Fat Girlz blog listed under the links as Vickie.

I check in here to see what you are doing every day. I found you through The Shrinking Knitter – I love your 360 pix!!!!


lynette • August 16, 2006 at 7:56 pm

geeze, i need to go to the grocery store. “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and all that. gotta keep good food in the house to do well. thanks for the reminder.


pickle • August 16, 2006 at 9:29 pm

I very much agree with this. I’m more likely to plan a lot ahead–to figure out, for instance, what I’ll have for supper each night for a week–and it helps so much. I’m much less likely to pick something up on the way home or dive into a bag of chips if I already know what I’m going to be eating.

I can see how it wouldn’t work for everyone, but I find it really helpful


Peter • August 16, 2006 at 9:46 pm

I’ve always wondered what goes on in the fridge when the lights are out. Worshipful mold!


christie • August 16, 2006 at 11:22 pm

Having recently moved back in with my parents has made eating healthier easier in some respects, because we are planning out dinners once again. They never did this when I USED to live with them. I have kinda pushed them into it but then I was able to let go and they kept on. However when I move back out in a few months I’ll be on my own again for that.

The *bad* thing has been eating way too much ice cream. My family loves the stuff. Sure we are having “light” ice cream with half the fat and calories of regular.

But still. Light ice cream ain’t that light.


M. • August 18, 2006 at 1:38 am

Since you’re taking requests, heh, I have a question for you. In case you’re uninspired and feel like sharing. Did you get crushes in high school? And if you did, did you let them know? And, more generally, how did you feel towards boys and was your weight a factor at all? Thanks.


K • August 18, 2006 at 6:35 am

Ha! I’m still in the middle of learning how to plan – it’s definitely not a natural talent. For the past few years I’ve been living at home and mostly either eating what everyone else eats (planned by my mother) or choosing from a well-stocked fridge (stocked by my mother). Which was very easy. The only disadvantage was that biscuits etc. were also readily available.

Now we’ve moved out… and on the whole my husband seems to have taken over most of the planning and cooking (I help with the process, but mostly don’t make the decisions). I didn’t intend for it to work out that way, and it seems a bit feeble on my part, but he has stronger views about what we eat. Fortunately, his instincts are healthy: we eat a lot of steamed veggies – and we don’t buy biscuits (yet).


TC • August 18, 2006 at 9:43 am

I need to have easy quick foods on hand too. The only way I keep on plan is to make sure I have lots of that stuff on hand at all times.


Lily T. • August 19, 2006 at 2:02 pm

I hate doing it, but planning is a definate must.


Kat • September 16, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Did you know that in places like Argentina and Paraguay, the Guinea Pig is a really popular food choice. Apparently it’s low in fat and high in protein (like most meat. haha)

Anyway, guinea pigs were one of the only animals that were able to be domesticated by ancient south American civilisations (llama and dogs were the other two). This is why a lot of historians (anthropologists?) believe that ancient American civilisations didn’t do as well as, say Eurasian ones who had horses, cows, sheep, goats, ox, bison, blah blah blah. Also, with animals come disease. That’s why, when Columbus came over to the Americas, they got ravaged by all the diseases, because they never had the ability to build up immunities like Eurasian civilisations could.

Haha…I guess in summarisation, guinea pigs make healthful, yummy food! I don’t think the rest was necessary, but I find it fascinating. :D

I love you blog!


Kat • September 16, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I meant “your” blog. Cause your name is definitely not “blog” and, not knowing you, I think it would be out of place for me to say that I loved you. Haha :D


Chris • March 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Very good points: it’s about stocking your kitchen with stuff you WANT to eat, not with stuff you SHOULD eat. I will say, however, that the Boy Scouts do sell caramel popcorn covered in chocolate (I was in the scouts, and it was our biggest money maker), so they’re not off scot free, either!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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