When I started this journey, I did so with the support of the program staff and a few friends that I told of my participation. Along the way, I picked up some helpful hints that I thought I’d share. Please add to this list by commenting at the bottom of the post.
Pouring a Meal Replacement into a Water Bottle
This shouldn’t be as hard as it is. Health One suggests cutting a V shape out of the pouch with scissors and making a sort of funnel. Hogwash. Tear the bottom corner of the bag to make a hole about the size of your little finger. You can pour from that hole into any water bottle as long as you don’t try to pour too quickly.
Minestrone Boils Over
The minestrone soup formula that UAMS offers is the first seemingly “real” food that we have access to. It has noodles and beans (at least one of each), and it smells and tastes great. The directions say to add water and microwave it for a couple of minutes at medium, stir, and microwave for a couple more minutes at medium. My first few attempts were miserable failures because it boiled over and made a mess of my microwave. Be warned. Don’t step away from the microwave when making this stuff.
Just Add Water
Several of the recipes that we make are very similar to one another with the exception of how much water is called for. Pizza crust, chips, and potato soup have basically the same ingredients. More than once I’ve started out making pizza but ended up having soup. Although they tell you this in orientation and week 1, I’ll say it again. Add your water a bit at a time.
I have had a life-long orange peeling deficiency. One of my mother’s favorite childhood photos of me (which I will not post here) shows a toddler with a half-peeled orange, smeared from chin to elbow in sticky orange residue. This is often how I look as an adult after trying to peel an orange at work, too. One of my coworkers saw my plight and said, “Here. My predecessor left this in the desk.” What she handed me was a plastic rod that looked like a broken crochet hook.
Never Weigh on a Full Bladder
Without going into great detail, I’ll just remind you that a gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds. Go before you go.
This tip comes by way of Margaret the Foodtritionist. When you make a muffin or cookies that you want to carry in a sealed container, place a piece of paper towel in the container with the item to absorb the excess moisture so your food won’t be soggy when you’re ready to eat.