Some time ago, prompted by a bank account reading $80, and having several weeks until my next paycheck I decided to undertake a new diet: trail mix. Thought I: “hikers survive on this stuff, and they seem pretty healthy.” Nuts are cheap… well some of them in any case. And they contain vitamins. Coupled with a raw carrot every day, I would be reasonably healthy and never too hungry. Rather than meals, I would just grab a handful of trail mix whenever I needed a snack. I wondered if perhaps I had singlehandedly discovered an entirely new way of living. No meals. No extraneous food. Just the bare necessities… my own take on the food for fuel movement.
So I ordered M&Ms and peanuts.
You might at this point ask, “couldn’t you just as easily have bought a bunch of peanut M&Ms?”
Yes. Yes I most certainly could have.
And then you might ask, “but that doesn’t sound entirely healthy to me.”
No. No it most certainly would not be.
Are you beginning to see the flaw in my plan?
In my defense, I did not add equal parts M&Ms to legumes. My plan was to do more of a 1:5 mix, keeping the M&Ms as a little treat.
I tossed the lot into a plastic bag.
Now on the first day, I really did think I was on to something. I wasn’t hungry, and that sweet, salty treat really did do it for me. I found it even more delicious than my usual fare: pasta with sauce and sausage. It was gross. I was never a good cook.
I did not work out in those days. Thus, my need for actual energy was quite minimal. And so it went for a few days.
Towards the end of the first week of my experiment I began to develop headaches. I initially just attributed these to work and stress… not that I was really working a whole lot… which was why I was surviving on trail mix to being with.
Also, I began to feel hungry pretty much all the time.
So I ate more trail mix.
I presently began to understand that simply eating more trail mix wasn’t the solution since my hunger remained largely unsatisfied, and the large volume of peanuts in my digestive tract started to manifest themselves in various ways.
Now, I don’t know how many peanuts you’ve eaten in your life. But I’m willing to bet good money (if I had any) that in that first week, I probably ate as many peanuts as you’ve ever eaten. Perhaps even more… especially if you’re allergic.
That’s a ton of peanuts. For reals. A ton of peanuts.
And quite a few M&Ms too.
In my second week, the nausea set in. The headaches were still present of course, and furthermore I began to experience severe cravings… for… you know… real food.
Eventually, I was forced to admit that my attempt was rather silly. Yet, I did not relent quite so easily. Until Wednesday happened.
Periodically checking my eyes for traces of yellow – symptoms of the jaundice I suspected I might have for some reason – I sat watching television and trying to move as little as possible. I reached mechanically towards my black plastic bag of trail mix. There was still a veritable mountain of the stuff. Upon feeling the salty nuts in the palm of my hand, I thought to myself: “this is why I never go hiking.”
I called my parents and begged for a $100.
Almonds aren’t cheap.
Photo Credit: allhiphop.com