The Time I Only Ate Food I Found at the Office for a Week.

I like my job. It’s engaging, challenging, rewarding, all the things you could reasonably ask for in employment. But one of the perks I didn’t expect (and didn’t ask for) was that there’s food everywhere, all the time.

Not one to waste an opportunity for free food (I still haven’t kicked the college habit), I’ve earned the reputation as The Office Scavenger. Candy? Sampled. Cookies? Gone. Pizza? Had some and wrapped up a few other pieces for lunch tomorrow. To that end, I’ve decided to put my skills to the test: one week of eating nothing but office food.

The Rules

  • Starting Monday, February 10th, all food and beverages consumed must have originated from the Vistaprint office building with the following exceptions:
    • H2O
    • Alcohol
  • I can’t purchase food
  • The challenge ends at midnight on Friday, February 14th. Good thing I have no Valentine’s Day dinner plans.

I’ll update this jawn daily with my victories, struggles, and moments of darkness. Follow me @Risley_Bear for up to the minute updates on my hunger pangs.

Jump to the day you’d like:

Day One – Breakfast

Monday Breakfast

To give you an idea of how much food is lying around, I had options for free cereal this morning. I finished off the box of Apple Jacks and added in the banana I strategically held onto last Friday, knowing what I would be up against this week. The orange juice and milk are available all the time. Not too hard at all, though it was weird going to the gym on an empty stomach this morning. Hopefully this will reassure my mom, who is predictably a bit concerned.

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Shout to Christa for scoring me a
bear claw (rawr) from her meeting! 🙂

Day One – Lunch

Cookies and muffins were just laying out in the kitchen!

Cookies and muffins were just laying out in the kitchen!

Added some goldfish to my muffin, cookie, and bear claw (rawr) combo, walked into the cafeteria combating the growing sense of shame, and ate my fill. I actually threw out the cookie like an idiot. Let’s hope that doesn’t come back to bite me.

Shout to Pam. (I really don’t even know
if that thing I ate was a bear claw. Help there?)

It’s been pointed out to me that I ate a scone, not a bear claw. I’m leaving up all the bear claw jokes though.

Baby Shower Office Cake

There was a baby shower, of course.

Day One – Dinner

This was the one I was a little worried about. Luckily, that baby shower let me score some cake and the kindly gentlemen Jeff Esposito hooked me up with an Advocare Meal Replacement Shake that he had received as a sample. What I had originally believed to be a milk chocolate indulgence turned out to be a mocha flavored dry heave inducer, but it beat out Goldfish for dinner (barely). Apparently beggars can be choosers.

day-one-dinner-cake

Advocare milkshake, cake, and beer.
Just like mom made.

Thanks to Jeff, Christa, Kristen, and Vanessa for the food tips today.

 Day Two – Breakfast

Morning weigh-in: 166 lbs.

Got in early for the weekly stand up and scored the choicest of free fruit: the banana. These come in twice a week and, save for for a special wing of the building I wish to remain a secret, they’re usually gone in about an hour. I grabbed three to last me through Thursday morning. There are rumors of a catered partner lunch and I’ve assigned a scout who is attending the meeting. Feeling good about my odds today.

10:12 AM

The Boy Scouts of America may have just started discriminating against gay youth oh, I don’t know, last month, and still openly bar gay adults, but I’m not above eating these Boy Scout white chocolate covered pretzels a benevolent stranger donated to the kitchen. As a side note, if the Boy Scouts are just too fabulous for your liking now, trust that there’s a more cringe-worthy option available.  If history is any indicator, I’d bet it has  more gay adult members anyway.

White Chocolate Covered Pretzels

 Day Two – Lunch

We’ve had a complete box of Honey Smacks sitting in the office for a few weeks so it was time to open that jawn up. Fun fact: a 2008 Consumer Reports study revealed that Honey Smacks are over 50% sugar by weight and a serving has as much sugar as a glazed donut from Dunks. Holy shit of course I’m eating this for lunch. Toss in a banana from the Wing of Plenty and lunch is sorted.

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3:41 PM

There’s an honest to Raptor Jesus “Healthy Snack of the Day” club on my floor. They were kind enough to include me today. This is too easy.

healthy-snack-club

carrots, crackers, and Greek yogurt dip.

 Day Two – Dinner

As expected, the partner lunch proved very, very fruitful. I was able to nab a tuna salad wrap and a ham & cheese sandwich from the tray along with a generous chocolate cookie. I think about 5 pounds of candy was deposited in my wing today (happy birthday, Nick!), but I haven’t dabbled with it much. Seems like the office scavenging version of drinking your own piss: technically passable when faced with the alternative, but gets old very quickly.

day-two-dinner

It’s true, I have in-unit wash/dry.

 Day Three – Breakfast

Wednesday Breakfast Muffin

Babies everywhere, all the time means baked goods everywhere, all the time.

Weigh-in: 168 lbs.

So my coworker Vanessa just announced that she’s four and a half months preggo with a boy that she doesn’t yet realized will be named Kyle. I’m secretly hoping she goes into labor at the office so I can drive against traffic, get stopped by a cop, stick my head out the window and scream “My wife’s having a child! Probably a future contributor to society!” and have the cop escort me down the middle the highway, sirens blaring. Until that happens, she brought in blueberry muffins to celebrate. Good looks, Vanessa. Other than than I had a banana from the Tuesday shipment and some milk. Solid breakfast.

Day Three – Lunch

Oh Sweet Jesus.

Augusta’s Chicken on the Road food truck

Every other Wednesday some food trucks stop by the office for free lunch (I may or may not have strategically chosen this week for my experiment) and I was able to score a deliciously awful chicken club sub. Plus, some coworkers weren’t able to finish some of their nuggets so they passed ’em off to me. Toss in a sesame veggie wrap from the sandwich try hanging out in the next wing over with some popcorn and I’m all set to weather out the impending storm in case I need to WFH. Barring any disasters, I should be home free come Friday.

Day Three – Dinner

So I forgot to bring home the popcorn but I have plenty of other goodies hanging out in the fridge for this shape shifting mass of winter shit known as Pax that’s heading up the coast. My Thanksgiving sandwich from yesterday kept splendidly and, paired with a beer and some leftover Greek pasta salad, wasn’t bad at all.

Wednesday-dinner-sandwich

Day Four – Breakfast

Weigh-in: 167 lbs.

Thanks to Pax I’m WFH today, so it’s a kitchen banana and some records for breakfast. Godspeed, those in transit.

thursday breakfast

ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, BANANA PHONE.

As the snow piles up I’m digging into some delicious nugz for lunch. Leftovers ftw!

Day Three Lunch - Chicken Nuggets

Dinner was actually pretty nice by my usual, getting food from wherever I want standards. This guy was posting up in CRM, a product of the local Lexington culinary market.

day four dinner vegetable wrap

Onions, peppers, broccoli, sesame seeds, idk.

 Day Five – Breakfast

Weigh-in: 167 lbs.

In addition to Valentine’s Day (my friend made a very funny video to commemorate it), today is Free Bagels, Etc. Day at the office so I’m pretty much set for breakfast and lunch. Thanks to the benevolent stranger that left me a cinnamon bagel when I came in this morning.

Friday Morning Breakfast Bagels

HYFR

Day Five – Lunch

Friday Lunch Bagel

 Today felt a bit like a weekend because I was basically eating breakfast for lunch, which was awesome. I tried out one of those cinnamon sugar bagels (the ones with thick layers of sugar basically encasing the entire top of the bagel), was honestly too indulgent for me. I don’t know how people eat those things. We’re talking about Cinnabon levels of self loathing that come along with consuming such an atrocity. I pitched the other half and focused on the rest of the meal, which was bit less decadent. On the bright side, this was a bit less awkward than bringing an entire box of cereal down into the cafeteria.

Day Five – Dinner

So my office has this thing called “The View,” which is pretty much a carbon copy of the (presumably) critically lauded daytime talk show except with 100% more alcohol, 100% more food, and 50% less Rosie O’Donnell (we have regular Harriet The Spy screenings). Anyway, the View Gods decided to nourish us with tacos this particular day. Oh got damn. They were delicious and I have no proof they ever existed. If it’s not evident already I’d be the worst food blogger.

My (now ex) co-worker, Cristina, left me this piece of pizza though. Here’s the thing though: she was all “Yeah, I have a slice of pizza in the fridge. You can totally have, I don’t want it.”

It wasn’t until I was feeling hungry later that night that I realized why. I needed an honest to Raptor Jesus magnifying glass to find the damn thing. Luckily I was riding high on a taco buzz so the situation wasn’t all that dire, but really this pizza should have came with a disclaimer about its inadequacy. I won’t miss Cristina.

Friday Dinner Pizza

amirite

Summary

So I did it and I don’t feel any different.  My weight’s basically unchanged and I’m still the strongest person I know of, but I did save some pocket change. I wouldn’t do it again, not this strictly, but I encourage everyone to keep an eye out around the office for unspoiled treasures just lying around.

Pros:

  • Cemented my position as coolest guy at the office.

Cons:

  • The critics, man. They want to know what your message is. What’s my manifesto? Who am I fighting and why? My constant need for justification to journalists and politicians was just a headache.
  • Sometimes you have to eat not so good tasting food.
  • I kind of missed Trader Joes.
  • I don’t know if I’d recommend this diet for older, more fragile bodies. I ruin my internal ecosystem on a regular basis so this was no sweat. May kill the elderly.
  • Reminds you of the office when at home.
  • Pretzels

Thanks for following along. Subscribe over to the right for my later adventures. I’ll be testing the efficacy of some sort of modern hangover cure soon, which can only be interesting.

In the mean time, have some Replacements:

Disclaimer:are that this is an act of social and economic privilege and nothing truly useful will be gained by my experiment. Some men climb mountains because they’re there.

  • jeffespo

    I will make sure you have meetings when the food trucks are here #justsaying

  • Kristen Johnson

    What you ate this morning was a scone, not a bear claw