Soup for a Year

11/26/2009

Goodbye to soup (at least for every meal)

Filed under: David — David @ 11:46 AM

Since it is Thanksgiving, it seems that today is an appropriate day for me to explain why I am no longer participating in Soup for a Year.

Simply, I was the last one going and I just felt like I wanted to stop. It wasn’t that I was physically unable to eat soup anymore. And it wasn’t that Lynda was tired of the experience either.  Throughout the entire process, she was more willing to support my efforts than I ever thought she would be when I started.

No, I just knew in my heart and in my mind that I would not be actually going for a whole year, and Brie had dropped out a few days before. And Mike had already declared his determination to quit before the week was out. And so I would be going it alone.

Thanksgiving did play a part in my decision. I knew by that day that Lynda’s parents would be visiting us (and they are here now) and I didn’t want to become a confusing distraction from what would already be a challenging day of cooking and finding spaces to sit and all the stuff that always is a part of every Thanksgiving. My soup taking up burner space and dividing the attention from the regular food preparations would have been selfish and slightly wrong-headed of me.

Now, I am glad that our efforts were entertaining to some for a while. And I am extremely thankful to those few of our S365 followers who pledged to donate some money to the Mid Ohio Food Bank in honor of our efforts. I hope they will send in their donations before Christmas arrives so that the food bank can put their generosity to good use during this time of year when people are needing more help than ever.

Part of me is disappointed that I didn’t push myself a bit harder. And when I realized that the S365 Facebook page had generated over 40 fans, I felt bad for letting them down as well. But I think we did pretty well in getting some attention in a short two+ weeks of activity. It makes me wonder what other nutty things I might be able to think of in the coming year that would turn our community of friends into some sort of force for good.

If you have any ideas in that regard, please send me an email or contact me in some way. Until the next time, enjoy your turkey, tofu, stuffing, potatoes, and whatever else you choose to eat today (even soup). Take some time to think of family and friends.

(formerly) Souperly yours,

David

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11/15/2009

Soup & Star Wars

Filed under: David,video — David @ 3:14 PM

11/12/2009

Theory

Filed under: David — David @ 8:54 PM

I had a bowl of Mike’s butternut squash soup tonight for my dinner and I was very good. (Thanks Mike!)

You know, while I may find it hard to explain what this S365 thing is all about–and I feel vaguely foolish in the attempt to describe it–I should think of moments like tonight when I voluntarily ate a good bowl of homemade butternut squash soup. Without S365, I would not have been doing that. Heck, I’m not even a huge fan of squash and I normally NEVER eat a meal as healthy as that one was–and I think I have a pretty balanced and rational diet.

So, I am happy with my dietary choices. And that should be that.

Speaking of choices, I am finding that I am adjusting well to the changed diet. My longings and cravings are not as bad as they were last week and I am definitely finding that my psychological expectations of food are adjusting as well. (As I write that it sounds vaguely disturbing, like my stomach is undergoing some sort of hostage brainwashing or Stockholm Situation.) But what I mean to say is that my hunger pangs are more manageable now.

The biggest challenges coming up are food-rich holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the looming temptation that is my departmental Gluttonfest food extravaganza . . . which I normally organize!). But, I’ll get there. Will anyone be getting there with me?

If I may speak for Mike and Brie for a moment–and in the absence, I will–they have been wavering hard this week. I was hoping that the injection of charitable intentions (and the generous public pledges of some of you S365 fans) would galvanize them into a more dedicated stance. But it seems to me that they are simply waiting for the other one to fall, so that they can fall soon after. (Remember that they have side bets–really the only “stakes” in play here–with each other. See one of the earliest posts.)

Everyone seems to think I’ll stick it out longer than they will, and maybe “everyone” is right. It certainly helps me that my wife is supportive of what I’m doing. But, if M & B drop out . . . do I keep going? I would like to, but for how long–especially if I have nothing at stake to keep me in it for the duration. So, I hope Mike and Brie don’t quit, not the least of which is because their contributions to the blog are always entertaining and provide much more interesting angles on all of this than I.

*****

One of my work friends presented her theory as to why I am handling this so well and while I want her to present it in its entirety here on S365, I’ll try to give you a brief overview of it.

She argues that this contest gives me control over something–a thing I lack in the rest of my life. She says that because I’m married, parenting three kids, occupied with a stressful job, busy with church responsibilities, blogging on all sorts of things . . . I am at the mercy of so many other things that I need this to give myself power and agency. (She has a much better way of laying it out.)

I don’t know if that is really what is going on. Maybe my subconscious agrees, but I don’t feel powerless and in need of control. I’ll have to dream on it some more and I’ll fill you in later.

But what about you? What is your opinion on Mike, Brie, and I? Sound off!

11/11/2009

Isn’t soup supposed to be healthy?

Filed under: David — David @ 9:21 PM

No new post from me tonight. I’m battling a cold that strengthened around the time I got home for dinner.

But I’ll quickly note that Lynda’s homemade salmon stew was just wonderful.

I think I should eat nothing but chicken soup ’til I’m over my cold.

(Wait . . . I can see it now! If someone only eats chicken soup for a year, will they ever get a cold during that year?)

Hmmmmm.

Well, maybe next year . . . any takers?

11/10/2009

Mushroom soup: It’s good!

Filed under: Controversy,David,Dinner,video — David @ 9:33 PM

I had already eaten the soup in question before I had time to make the video, but here is a photo of it’s gray goodness before I ate it. (And yes, I know that using the flash washes out the colors and makes for crappy indoor photography. Why don’t you come over to my house and show me the quick and easy way to turn off the automatic flash on my camera?)

Whole Foods mushroom soup

11/09/2009

Week 2 Begins

Filed under: David — David @ 9:35 PM

For all those who said–reflexively–“You won’t even make it a week!”

. . .

Booyah!

(That is all.)

 

 

 

Nah, that isn’t all. I’ve got more to say tonight.

I go back and forth on the difficulty of it all. I try to say to myself that eating soup for lunch and for dinner isn’t all that difficult. And those are the times of day when it doesn’t seem hard. But I will admit that it is some kind of psychological battle to eat soup for breakfast–and that is one of the times when I want to eat something different from soup for a meal. A nice bowl of cereal and a crunchy piece of toast. A hot bowl of brown sugar & cinnamon oatmeal with a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter to add a little twinge of extra richness. And every weekend when Lynda and the kids eat pancakes or waffles . . . well, those are difficult times.

I’ve considered skipping breakfast, but that is definitely unhealthy–and I don’t need any more criticism of that. I know that Mike and Brie often drink fruit smoothies, which is a good idea but I haven’t worked out the logistics of fitting that into my routine. (And, yeah, some of you will probably point out that there are smoothie-like drinks readily available in the drinks case of the office cafeteria. I forget what my point is.)

Anyway, breakfast is a hurdle. And the times in-between meals is also difficult. But I am trying to readjust my understanding of food and my relationship to it. What I mean is that I find myself feeling hunger, but not debilitating hunger. And that isn’t such a bad thing. So many people in the world live with hunger all the time. Can’t I let myself feel a faint echo of that? It’s not like I won’t be able to satisfy that hunger any time I want, so it’s not truly hunger . . . just a reminder to not forget to eat. And when people tell me that it’s not healthy, I am ready to disagree.

As I said from the beginning, soup is a healthy meal. It’s often featuring vegetables and most soups have a pretty rational balance of meat to other ingredients. What I’m cutting out of my pre-S365 diet most dramatically are empty calories such as cookies, chocolate, salty & crunchy items. Those things should not be missed in a healthy eating lifestyle. And I’m quite aware that when this S365 experiment is done, all of those things will rapidly make themselves available to me again. But perhaps I might go about eating them in a more intelligent way?

So, yeah . . . I lost four pounds last week. But I am sure that was weight I could definitely stand to lose. And I am slowly teaching myself to have a smarter relationship with my food.

So, I’m satisfied. Bring it on week 2!

*****

Public thanks must be given to S365 fan Irma, who offered to bring in some delicious chicken & meatball soup that she had leftover from the weekend. Mike, Brie, and I all had some at lunch today and it was such a nicely put together soup that it makes me ashamed of the Mulligatawny that I made over the weekend. (I will say, however, that while I wasn’t in love with the first bowl of my Mulligatawny on Sunday night, the bowl of it that I ate for dinner tonight was much more pleasing . . . probably because I had a better understanding of what to expect.)

But, again, Irma’s soup was outstanding. And I am happy that people are thinking of our challenge and supporting us in these ways. Now I’ve just got to think of a better, more persuasive way to turn that support into something more than bowls of soup for us and more in the way of help for so many who definitely NEED help in their lives. I have asked this before, but I’ll keep throwing it out there. If you can think of a way to turn this effort into a force for good, please let me know in a blog comment or by writing on the Soup for a Year Facebook page.

Thanks everyone! And good night.

11/07/2009

Today’s lunch

Filed under: David,Lunch — David @ 9:03 PM

I know I’ve posted out of sequence today but truthfully, the only reason I took this picture of my split pea & ham soup was because it looked like a lunch a Packer fan might love–because of the orange juice.

(Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

My mulligatawny soup recipe

Filed under: David,Recipes,video — David @ 4:52 PM

I’m sure I’ve misspelled the name of this soup about a hundred times. So I’m glad to be done with it.

I’ll probably eat it for dinner.

11/06/2009

Lynda is quickly becoming my secret weapon

Filed under: David,Dinner,soup — David @ 6:17 PM

After work today, I swung by the Apple store in Easton to pick up my new laptop battery. (If you’re interested in this non-soup part of my life feel free to investigate over at Why Won’t You Grow?!)

As I drove to Easton in the gathering twilight, I started talking myself into a milkshake–you know, something filling to eat while I drove. (And, apparently . . . totally legal!) I thought, “Well, when I stood up at work a little while ago, I did get slightly dizzy for a second. Maybe something that is a filling drink would be a good idea.”

But as I drove, I started talking myself out of it again. I felt fine and the traffic discouraged me from slowing my progress further by swinging into either a McDonalds or a UDF or the very inconvenient Steak & Shake. So, I avoided temptation again.

After I finished my transaction at the Apple store (Thanks, Geniuses . . . if the problem is finally fixed, that is.) I started home and began to think about what I’d have for dinner. Friday night is generally pizza night in our house, which means we heat up a frozen pizza (most often) or order a corporate pie (less often). Then the girls watch some sort of movie or series of Disney Channel shows and Lynda and I relax for a while and switch off from a week of work. Soup, normally, has no place in this end-of-week routine.

But the other nice things about pizza night is that Lynda and I don’t have to worry about cooking. Even if I wasn’t eating pizza, I still could easily heat up the leftover turkey soup from earlier this week or try to finish off the Brunswick stew that I’ve been going through all week. And since I was going to be a bit late getting home, I’d just slip into the night as the kids were finishing pizza and making their movie selection. I’d heat and eat my soup and everything would be (relatively) normal.

When I got home, what was waiting for me on the table, still hot?

This:

pizza soup

Do you know what this is? It’s PIZZA Soup, as interpreted by the amazing Lynda. She created it by:

1. taking two pieces of pizza and removing all of the toppings and cheese

2. cooking the toppings in a pot with a can of diced tomatoes that were already flavored with oregano, basil, and garlic

3. dashing the top of the finished soup with parmesan cheese and

4. garnishing the soup with cut up pieces of the original pizza crust that baked  in the oven to a crouton-like consistency.

It was a pretty good interpretation of pizza in soup form that did not resort to blenderizing anything. I certainly don’t think anyone can accuse me of cheating here because Lynda went to the trouble of creating a soup base with the (pizza appropriate) flavored tomatoes.

The best thing about it all was that I had no idea she was planning on it. It was  a complete and utter surprise and I really think it is cool how Lynda has been supporting me in this entire affair. You’re the best Lynda!

Brunswick breakfast

Filed under: Breakfast,David — David @ 7:47 AM

I mentioned the other day that I was enjoying my sister-in-law’s Brunswick Stew recipe.

Here it is, in bowl form, serving as this morning’s breakfast.

How do I eat a bowl full of potatoes, corn, limas, BBQ chicken, and beef (plus other stuff) this early in the morning?

I just imagine I’ve gotta rope cattle on a long drive from Abeliene to Montana. (And to be honest, getting three girls ready for breakfast and school is the closest I’ll ever want to get to that.)

Good morning to you all!

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