For the last day of my Dumpster Diving Diet challenge I haven’t taken any photos apart from my very last meal: a typical vegetable stir fry with kale, asparagus, red onion, carrot, broccoli and parsley.

My flatmate shared bulgur with me so I happily got rid of necessity to boil the same dumpster dived pasta again!

But lets get to the most important part of this post:

The conclusions and results of the Dumpstring Diet month!

  • It was quite a difficult start, main reason being my laziness for cooking. I don’t cook nearly as often as I used to, and if I do, I am not very picky and the convenience usually wins. So, all the foods that don’t need any preparation are always the first to disappear from my fridge shelves. All the veggies that require cooking stay the longest (all those roots, cabbage and broccoli…). As soon as the Dumpstring challenge started, I realized how often I will have to cook! At first, I sometimes just ended up having bare iceberg salad with some random vegetables for lunch. After the first week of chaos, I learnt to always think about the next day’s lunch. ALWAYS. Because there was no option to go to the supermarket, or university’s buffet, or the sushi place.
  • Yeah, I really missed eating out. More than that, I missed having a drink with friends. I realized how incredibly interconnected the social and eating experiences are. You just don’t feel equally engaged in the experience if you are the only one not having a meal or drink while everyone else is. Yes, that also means that someone bought me a beer or glass of wine here and there (some 4 times altogether). It didn’t make me feel entirely fine either since I couldn’t give back in any way. This is definitely the strongest point that I felt the lack of. Going out is part of socializing and having fun with friends, and I felt very limited by my Dumpstring Diet in that sense.
  • I really, really missed everything about olive oil. I craved it. I’m happy it’s back in my life now.
  • I missed fatty food in general. Cheese was a rare find, and I never found any spreads that I could use on bread, so it was always the superhealthy avocado that I was using instead.
  • I missed sweets, but not very often. It was always easy to find the sweet pastries, so there was no shortage of sugary stuff.
  • I definitely ate much healthier than before. I cooked without fats, I ate a lot of fresh food, and most of it were vegetables and fruits. However, after a while these vegetable dishes started to taste bland to me and without fat it was not removable.
  • I felt better – lighter and with more energy.
  • I learned some new healthy recipes.
  • I learned a lot of ways to preserve different types of vegetables, herbs and fruits.
  • I re-learned to use and completely trust my senses (mostly vision and smell but others as well) to determine whether something is good for eating.
  • I realized I probably won’t be able to buy a baguette in a supermarket anymore (I never was a fan of white bread anyway so perhaps this is not a very bold statement).
  • I tried out many weird foods that I would have never bought in a supermarket voluntarily. Like cactus fruits, fennel (I just thought I dislike it but turns out I don’t), or a LOBSTER.
  • I became more brave and self-assured in dumpster diving after running into supermarkets’ employees several times and not having any problems with that.