HungerWeek2015: Operation Read the Labels Day 1 & 2

March 11, 2015  |   Found in Blog // hamperproject2015

Hey folks! My name is Nolan Hill, I’m a fourth year History student here at UCalgary, and I am the third student participating in Hunger Week’s Hamper Project. My challenge: eat solely gluten AND lactose free all week, while eating on campus twice a day.

Those of you who know me might chuckle when you hear that I am doing this challenge. I LOVE to eat, and I will eat almost anything that is put in front of me. When I go to the store, or a restaurant I never think to read the ingredients or the labels, except to decide which ingredients sound tastiest together! But hey, it can’t be that hard, right?

My first day actually started in Toronto (long story…ask me about it sometime), but it was quite the challenge. I woke up, tried to wander around the downtown finding something to eat…realizing I had little to no options for a quick bite that could guarantee lactose and gluten free meals. I managed to get by on little more than a juice and a coffee before arriving at the airport and finding an array of pre-made meals near my gate. After skipping past any form of sandwich, I found some sushi in a package. But to my dismay, “wheat” was listed as an ingredient (never saw that one coming). I ended up with a somewhat old tasting kale-fennel-onion-peach salad. Not the worst, but I didn’t exactly feel like I was ready to get on a four hour flight. Before I move on to Day 2, let me also note that airplanes are not friendly to people with these dietary restrictions either. Both “sweet” and “salty” snacks had one of my two prohibited ingredients.

So, starting my second day here in YYC I got to campus and immediately sought out the most important meal of the day. But, Tim’s just wouldn’t make the cut today. I settled on bacon and eggs from A&W (had to compost my toast though), and followed it up with a smoothie from Jugo Juice. Lunch and dinner proved to be better. Lunch was a tasty lima bean and chickpea salad from Fuel For Gold, and another smoothie from Jugo Juice. Upon getting to my place tonight, I searched through the cupboards to figure out my dinner. Luckily, rice, salmon and green beans is totally okay for my diet, and I finally feel ‘full’

Overall these two days have taught me a few things:

  1. Gluten and dairy are literally everywhere, I think they might be a secret society running our government
  2. Reading labels takes a lot more time and effort than one thinks
  3. I really don’t watch what I eat, and I totally took that for granted.

So, thus ends day two of my challenge. Keep up to date on this page, as well as on my Twitter @nolanev to follow my journey. Expect ‘hangry’ tweets. Also, remember that Dan and Cecilia are doing two other challenges this week, so check out their blogs as well! See you at the panel on Friday!