The Jell-O Chronicles

200902251157.jpgI am surprised — so very, very surprised — that after yesterday’s post, not one single person commented what I considered to be a very obvious flaw in my assertion that I would never consider actually eating nothing but Sugar-Free Jell-O for a day

The lie in that assertion is right there in the image: If you’re not planning to eat a whole bunch of Jell-O, why do you have so much Jell-O?


It should be no surprise, then — especially now — that I hereby declare today “Nothing but Jell-O Day.”

Thank You For Your Concern

When I coyly speculated on what I was — as you in retrospect realize — obviously intending to do, a number of you expressed concerns. These concerns are, as I recall:

  • Jell-O is gross. I concede this point. The “jell” in Jell-O comes from, as near as I can tell, from pig hooves, cattle tendons, rat claws, and ground-up snail shells. I have known this all my my life. It doesn’t bother me. I’m a product of my environment, I suppose.
  • Sugar-Free Jell-O is poisonous. It’s got aspartame, which is bad. I concede the probability of this, but the truth is, as a consumer of vast quantities of Diet Coke every single day, any harm I incur from a day of gorging on Sugar-Free Jell-O is going to be incremental. Besides, I like to live dangerously.
  • This diet is not sustainable. That’s true. I will do this for one day, and one day only.
  • The packaging is wasteful. Yes, it is. And ordinarily I would have just bought the powder and mixed this up myself. But I really, really wanted to make a Jell-O cup pyramid. A photo of a big bowl full of Jell-O just wouldn’t have been dramatic enough for me.
  • You’ll shoot your eye out, kid. OK, nobody actually said that, but I think it’s always a valid concern.


The question you should be asking yourself about this day of Sugar-Free Jell-O consumption is: “Why?” Why would I do such a thing?

I have many reasons, each better than the previous, but not quite as good as the next.

  • The blog must be fed. It’s been months since I’ve been out on a biking adventure. All of my riding currently happens early in the morning, in the spare bedroom, on rollers. Which is not exactly the best source of new material that has ever existed. So yes, I’m stretching here. Demand a refund if you feel you’re entitled to one.
  • I need to draw a line in the sand. I don’t want to go into serious stuff today, but the truth is that with my life the way it is right now, I’m having a hard time sticking to a smart “sensible eating” diet. I hope to reboot my eating habits by doing some absurd stuff for a few days, and then switching to the much more reasonable kind of diet I know works if I’m willing to be disciplined. This is, in a way, a starting gun.
  • Jell-O is delicious.
  • I’ve got to do something with all this Jell-O. Hey, I’ve got 42 packets of Jell-O here. They’re taking up fridge space.
  • I weigh 186.4 pounds. Something must be done, before the season begins.

Caveats and Problems

As I eat nothing but Jell-O today, I’m acutely aware that there will be difficulties. Here are some of the problems I expect:

  • Cumulative disgust with texture: I like Jell-O, but if there’s one thing that endurance cycling has taught me, it’s that one continuous texture for all your food gets pretty old, pretty fast. Oddly, this does not seem to hold true for breakfast cereal, which I could happily eat all day, every day.
  • Cumulative disgust with sweetness: If there’s another thing that endurance cycling has taught me, it’s that I get sick of sweet food when that’s all I eat. Sadly, as far as I know, Jell-O does not yet come in nacho or burrito flavors. Alas.
  • This stuff is expensive. These little Jell-O packets cost just under $0.50 each. If, as I ridiculously posited yesterday, I were to try to consume 1500 calories worth of Jell-O, I would have also consumed $75.00 worth of Jell-O. Also, I know for sure that the grocery store doesn’t have that much. Luckily for me, I can go back to the store and buy the much more reasonably-priced powder form. But honestly, I have a hard time imagining me eating more than the stock I’ve got.
  • Outrageous hunger. I’ve gotten by on less than 500 calories in a day before. However, I’ve never gotten by on that when I’m also taking care of the kids and Susan. I can’t just slouch around and be grumpy today. I’ve got responsibilities, much as if I were an adult. So I’m giving myself a caveat: I can also eat bananas today. I know, I know: that kind of kills the drama of the event. I apologize.

First in a Series

I intend to do several “Nothing But…” days in a row.

  • Today, Jell-O.
  • Tomorrow, spaghetti.
  • Friday: fruit.
  • Monday: we’ll see.

The Day So Far

10:30am: 5 packs (3 red, 2 green), 1 banana. I feel fine, though I usually don’t eat a big breakfast anyway.

11:45am 5 packs (2 orange, 2 green, 1 red), 1 banana. This made only a minor dent in my hunger. I plan to have more in an hour or so.

1:15pm 3 packs (1 lime, 1 orange, 1 red), 1 banana. I’m incredibly disappointed in myself, because I seem to have already hit my gag threshold. See, I intended to eat 6 packs; I felt the gorge rising by the time I was into my second. In fact, I ate the third just to show it who’s boss.

Is it really possible that my Jell-O Tolerance Threshold (J-OTT) is so low?

Meanwhile, I am hungry.

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