Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 37 - Stupid, Jerky

I can tell that my mind is starting to fall out of survival mode.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and with three days left I am not being as prepared as I should for the finish.  For example, today is my long day at work and I have a lunch break in the middle of the day.  I NEED to plan ahead for Tuesdays and prepare some type of lunch or snack or meal for after work.  I totally spaced out and forgot to do that today.

I have a freezer full of beautiful fish fillets vacuum sealed in individual portions - just waiting to be defrosted for meals.  But I physically have to take them out ahead of time in order for them to be ready to prepare.  Didn't happen.
I have four bluefish sitting in a bag in my refrigerator - ready to be cleaned.  Didn't happen.  See - that's what I mean about my mind starting to fall out of survival mode.  Not a good thing.  I know there's only three days left but I have to stick with it and not slack off.

The good thing is that a couple days ago I cleaned a few nice sized bass that I hunted and although I gave a lot away to neighbors and friends, I made jerky with the rest.  I rinsed it off really well after brining over night. Then I smoked it on the grill with apple wood chips for a few hours.  After the smoking, the pieces were still quite moist.  They were done, but too moist.  These pieces of smoked fish would not preserve very long - even in the refrigerator.  So I got out the dehydrator and put all of it in and let it go over night.  (Did I tell this story already?  Sounds familiar) 

Anyhoo - I was afraid that the dehydration process was going to really over do it if I left it out all night long.  I was kind of right - when I checked it the next morning the pieces were very hard and a dark brown color.  It looked surprisingly just like beef jerky.  I tasted a piece and hoped that I would not be overly salty.  It was not.  And not only did it look like beef jerky, it tasted JUST like beef jerky!  Pretty amazing.  I bagged up the batch and put it in the fridge to be used another day.  Today was that day.

I filled a small ziplock with jerky, put it in my pocket, and there I had a nice snack whenever it was needed throughout the day.  I drank a lot of water today too.  Every now and then I would break off a piece of jerky and chew on it a bit to release the flavors within.  I love beef jerky and this stuff is spot on quality beef jerky tasting - except it's made out of striped bass.  Interesting huh?  Well, my point is that my laziness and stupidity and lack of preparation for today's meals was salvaged by the jerky that I had previously made.  And that took A LOT of time and care and effort to prepare.  So I guess I am still surviving pretty well - tough to go a whole day on fish jerky and water though.

I have been giving more thought to how I am going to continue after my challenge is finished.  I'm not going to go back to my normal eating habits - that would be stupid.  I was thinking about my weekly rewards and how I look forward to them each time a new one is due to come up.  I think it would be a good idea to continue to have a weekly reward - one.  Something that I can plan in advance and that way there would be something to look forward to.  I would still have to rely on my will power to not let it get out of control.  That's the key.  Eill power. 

In addition, I have been thinking about something called 'Seasonal Eating' which involves eating only the types of food that are currently available in the particular season you are in and in the region or parts of the world that you live in.  It's kind of an extension of the Survivor Diet but allows for more freedom of choice and variety.  For example, eat tomatoes when they are ripe and in season (late summer).  Do not eat them at other times of the year just because your supermarket can have them shipped from Argentina or somewhere else where they grow. 

I don't know a whole lot more about this subject but what I do know, makes sense to me and because the SDC is purely a whole food, seasonal diet - I think it would make a great transition for when I finish.  I still have a few details to work out.

And my other idea for when I am finished is to make another challenge for myself - to try to get a ripped 6-pack of ab muscles.  I've only had that once (in college for a brief while before the beer took care of that) and since I have slimmed down significantly in the belly region, this may be the best and only time to start a challenge like that.  I just have to think how I can have fun in the process.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”


  1. peterson, this is very impressive! as a guy who is land locked, and has no idea how to shoot anything, i would starve! this is very clever. must be fun to do with your son. good job on the weight. but we need pictures to see how the new bod looks!

  2. Hey Mike - pictures are coming soon. I take a front and side shot every morning. I don't think there's too much obvious change though.
    You could do it even being landlocked. Just need some inspiration.