How I Cook and Eat In The Iron Lady

I used to love cooking and baking. I still do enjoy those things, but as my living situations change, I realize that I can go for long periods of time not doing it and be ok. It will be there when I want to do it, and I enjoy it when it happens.

Eating in my van has been a bit different, but largely not a huge struggle. I eat the same things, I just have a smaller space to prepare them.

I am using an electric hot plate and electric kettle to cook the majority of things that need to be hot. I steam my veggies (I love broccoli and snap peas and was not about to give that up!) while I go to my work and make dinner.

Let me explain my work situation and how I have taken advantage of that to eat relatively easy in my van.

Anyone who has worked in food knows there is simply a lot of waste. That’s the nature of building a business where your product goes bad after a few days. At the end of the night, we throw away any food that is past the sell-by date. In the past I have usually taken bread (which gets tossed everyday) or food both because it’s delicious and because it would get tossed anyway. Now, I just do it every night. I make a sandwich or take an entree, heat it up there and bring it back to my van to eat with my veggies. I usually set my veggies to cook on my hot plate, then go get dinner from work and then when I get back to the van the veggies are still steaming.

For breakfast, I make oatmeal with my electric kettle and put peanut butter and banana on it. I also get coffee from work.

Lunches are either eaten at work or I take myself out for lunch. I quite enjoy this actually. I plan to try all the Ithaca restaurants in 2018, and I’m 4 down already!

The biggest pain has been spilling stuff or dropping things. It’s a small space, and I am a big person, so I forget my appendages hit things often times. I spilled ketchup on the floor the other day, and thankfully I think I got most of it out of the rug. I need to be more careful about that.

Another bonus I got this week was CHIPS! My brother’s wide Cassidy is best friends with the co-owner of Off The Cob Corn Chips, an Ithaca based company that was on Shark Tank. At their wedding, I met Molly, the co-owner, and she comes into CTB everyday for lunch. She hooked me up with a box of bags of their famous chips.

Let me tell you, I couldn’t be more grateful. I love these chips. The corn is grown locally at Early Bird Farm, the chips have a sweeter taste and are perfect for snacking and dipping. I have been eating a lot of these in the van, they are perfect!

So that’s it, how I eat. Any questions?

12 thoughts on “How I Cook and Eat In The Iron Lady”

    1. Hmm, I don’t really think about it too much. I ate breakfast and lunch at work most days anyway, so I’ve always eaten a lot of bread and such. Dinners are now whatever we’re tossing at the end of the night or sandwiches. I like taking myself out to eat on my days off though, it is something to look forward to for sure!

    1. I have a cooler that has some veggies in it. That’s all I have in there. The other food I have is oatmeal and peanut butter and Clifbars so they don’t need refrigeration 🙂

    2. Kristy,
      I was going to ask the same question about the cooler situation. Sounds like the first few weeks are going well… are you having to run the van at night with it being so cold? Is the van pretty fuel efficient? I think if I was given the opportunity to live in a van, I would probably only make it a week. :/

      1. Comparing to a normal car, my van is not fuel efficient, but I have not been driving it very much other than moving parking spots. I use an electrical hook-up to power the inside things. I don’t have too much that needs to be kept cold, just a few veggies, which I get fresh each week. Most of my food in the van is oatmeal, fruit, peanut butter and I make dinner at work.
        I think you’d make it longer, however you have to want to. I don’t think everyone needs to or has to, they should just do it if they want to. If they have a solid why, they’ll make it work 🙂

  1. This is so fun! I love reading about it! What’s your internet situation? Do you just use work internet during the day, and cell phone data plan at night if needed?

    1. Hey Cat! I have unlimited data for my iPhone and iPad, so I use that in my van and also for my jobs! It’s actually quite handy because I never know when I’ll be asked to update our Twitter or IG or whatever. My monthly payment is about $150 but that includes the payment for my phone.
      Thanks for asking!

  2. I like that you’ve been able to get food from work that would go to waste, try new restaurants, and eat your tried and true favorites! Sounds like a win-win!!

  3. I’m slow to comment but am loving these updates. Those corn chips sound delicious (YAY FOR FREE). Especially dipped in peanut butter. Have you tried that yet?

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