Day 38: No Spices

For day 38 of #100DaysofDiscomfort I gave up spices.


  • vinegar
  • spices
  • stevia
  • condiments
  • herbal tea
  • flavored water
  • foods that are used for the purpose of flavor like garlic

This discomfort is based on the stoic exercise of practicing poverty.

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’”


Easing is my me-time. I love food. And I take special care to spice my food until I’m satisfied.

Spicy, sweet, salty, sour, fragrant. I need all the flavors. When I sit down to eat, I continue to spice my meal with every bite at the table. I don’t waste a single calorie on a less than perfect bite.

My spicing habit is truly a luxury. Spices cost money but have little nutrition. And spicing takes time. Especially when you prepare all your meals.

What if one day I can only afford to eat bland foods? Could I handle it?

For this discomfort, I practiced poverty and cut out all unnecessary flavorings as well as any packaged foods, since these come with spices and flavors.

However, I did use salt because it’s an electrolyte which keeps me from feeling dizzy.

What happened 

I made all the food I normally do but left out the spices, vinegar, and stevia. 

My keto chocolate chips have sweeteners and flavors so I nixed them. Likewise, I ate avocado in my dinner instead of my usual sweetened avocado smoothie.

Dinner was trickier, because I couldn’t imagine a salad without vinegar or lemon juice. I usually make a big salad with a vinegar based dressing including spices, stevia, and sometimes a nut butter. Instead, I sautéed my salad with peanut butter, water, and salt. No vinegar or spices. It was great! Would it be good as a raw salad? I don’t know!


Here’s the ingredients I ate vs what I normally eat:

Breakfast: Beef, blueberries, salt, almond butter,  cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, stevia

Post workout: Cashews, salt, water,  cacao, cinnamon, vanilla extract, stevia

Snack: Lily’s chocolate

Lunch: Clams, eggs, salmon, cauliflower, salt, chicken broth, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic, apple cider vinegar

(I should have left the chicken broth out, that was an accident)

Snack: Smart Sweets

Pre-Meditation: Herbal tea, vinegar, stevia

Dinner: Chicken, beef, broccoli, mushrooms, green pepper, spinach, lettuce, cashews, avocado, peanut butter, salt, Zevia ginger-ale, stevia, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, black pepper.

Dessert: Avocado, stevia, vanilla

Refreshment: Flavored Seltzer

What I Learned 

I enjoyed all my food, despite the lack of spices. In truth, this challenge brought me relief. Even though I love my food spiced, I learned I’m not shackled to spices. I could enjoy food without them. 

There was a part of me that felt reliant on the luxury of spices. It’s never a good feeling to be dependent on a luxury. If I’m ever in a position where I have little time or money, I know now I don’t have to fear cutting corners on spices. 

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