# # The Necessary Year - Day 4: It's the Little Things

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

The Necessary Year – Day 4: It’s the Little Things


(this post is part of an aborted 1 year experiment in material abstinence I called The Necessary Year)


How many cups of coffee do you need a day?

Well I want about three or four – and when I say “cup” what I really mean is around 12 ounces, and when I say coffee, I don’t mean that wimpy, tan, Folgers type stuff that has all the punch of some frou frou herbal tea. No, I like a nice, thick, strong cup of coffee: fresh ground french roast or espresso beans, please, with just a touch of sugar at the bottom to pleasantly round that bitter edge into a smoky nuttiness.


Anyway, in answer to my opening question; considering the cost, dubious nutritional value, and deleterious effects, I need approximately zero cups of coffee a day but I really, really like the stuff, so I feel a compromise of some kind is in order. As a matter of fact, I think my whole daily diet could use a makeover:

Typical Daily Diet:
– 2 large cups of coffee in the morning, 1 before breakfast, 1 for the road.
– Breakfast: 2 eggs, 3 bacon, 1 slice buttered toast, glass of grapefruit/orange juice mix (this breakfast, in slight variations, has been a constant for me for over 10 years – no, I’m not tired of it)
– Midmorning snack: banana
– Lunch: leftovers or a thin, meat and cheese sandwich and a single-serving yogurt
– 1 16 ounce americano (four shots of espresso in hot water with 3 sugars – yikes!) after lunch.
– Dinner: varies greatly between healthy and craptastic but always washed down with two beers and often followed by a sugary treat of some kind like a one of those chocolate cookie and green mint Toll House ice-cream sandwiches.

New Daily Diet:
– Breakfast: reduce egg and bacon down to 1 each
– Coffee: reduce to 1 for the road. period.
– Dinner: nix the beers and dessert, and if the main course is craptastic (pizza, spaghetti, etc.) eat smaller portions

So: I’ve been implementing this new diet since Monday – the result? Come mealtimes I’m HUNGRY … and yawning.

To combat the former, I’ve learned to approach the food I take to work differently. Instead of eating the banana out of boredom around 10am, I now save it until I get the hungries around 11:30 am, when I used to hit my lunch. Then, when I get hungry again, around 1:30 or so, I eat my sandwich only, saving the yogurt for an afternoon snack, as opposed to wolfing both down in one fell swoop and then suffering through the afternoon with distracting hunger-pangs. I’m still darned hungry come dinner time but it is far more bearable now that I am spreading my food out over the day.

I also recently read that, if you sniff a banana, apple, or peppermint, it will trick your brain into thinking you have eaten said food and kill your hunger pangs – and, after testing it, I know this is true for me in the case of the banana. Unfortunately, you have to crack the banana to get that smell (sniffing the unbroken peel has little to no effect – plus you look like an idiot doing so), thus you might as well just eat the damned thing and be done with it.

As to the sleepies, instead of wandering across the street to the record store for my daily americano and barista flirt, I now walk five blocks up a steep grade, about 30 degrees, to the local post office to check my PO box, then back down to work.

Waitaminute … what is this, a diet plan? I thought we were just trying to control our spending here.

Well, they’re attached, aren’t they? Sure they are.

My newish job entails me sitting on my butt all day; I don’t need anywhere near the number of expensive calories I was taking in when I was dashing about as a retail manager of a two-story bookstore – I was just used to them.

I was also slowly outgrowing my clothes, which would have meant investing in a new wardrobe – which, with a little adjustment, just wasn’t necessary.

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4 Responses to “The Necessary Year – Day 4: It’s the Little Things”

  1. Mat-knee says:

    You know I thought about you yesterday, and your mission and I realized I am almost completley anti-mission. I spent $200 on myself yestersay on just Gasoline,make-up by Clinique and perfume by Gwen Stefani’s line called LAMB. Now, I’m not saying that I regret any of these purchases; however, they did make me appreciate what you are doing so much more. It seems like your doing really well so far. 🙂 I do miss seeing you over here though.

  2. bacon ace says:

    I love what you’re doing. It’s not anything I think that I could ever do or even want to, but I certainly admire it.
    Now I know you’re doing this to find out what’s necessary to your life and so far you’ve made some discoveries on your own. I will say this though; you will get a lot of input from friends and now anonymous people on the blog. At the end of the day (or year as it was) it will simply be what’s necessary to you in your interpretation. All the input from other people will mean little to nothing (no offense to anyone that’s offered advice or input) as what’s necessary for them will differ from you. Having said that it would be very interesting to have multiple people do something similar and chronicle it but not be exposed to each other’s chronicles until the year is over. I think we would see wide variances among the group with no one set of answers being right or wrong, just right for that person.
    Good luck my friend,

  3. KJT says:

    I too have been trying to limit my coffee intake. Got it down to one espresso a day, at 5:45am during the week, usually around 7:30am on the weekends. Then I have a mug of green tea. Last weekend I decided I wanted to get out my French press and have some coffee I could sip for a while as I nosed around in the morning. Ended up having 3 1/2 enormous cups/mugs. Fast forward to later that night, laying in bed, eyes wide open, tired – but no sleep until about four in the morning… sheesh.

  4. cae says:

    mat-nee> Just keep in mind I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad about who or what they are or do. We’re all on our own path, here. I’ve always been a little whacked so it was only a matter of time before I did something goofy like this.

    bacon ace> That’s a great idea. I’m sure the results would be confusingly diverse! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    kjt> I’ve been horking down so much caffeine for so long (I ever tell you about the time I developed caffeine deposits on my body? no foolin’ …) it hardly effects me anymore but, you watch, a coupla weeks from now I’ll over do it some weekend (my weakest time) and end up a goggle-eyed, wall-crawlin’ monkey just like you did.

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