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14 Cans of Tuna

February 20, 2012

I don’t really care for tuna.  Now I’ll eat in here and there.  If you mix enough stuff that is not tuna in with it I may even enjoy it.  I understand that other people with perfectly good taste love tuna.  Understand as you read this that I am somewhat biased against tuna.

I am a master of planning, so when I saw six cans of tuna in the cabinet I thought to myself, “Perfect, that’ll do for tomorrow.”  I should have read the nutrition facts to see that I would need the equivalent of 14 cans of tuna to get to 2000 calories.

Food for the day

Anyway, for breakfast I ate two cans with hot sauce and spices.  It was solid white albacore and came out of the can looking like a steak.  The texture was nice and it was actually not a bad breakfast.

I was pretty hungry by lunch and ate 4 cans with a little bit of fresh salsa mixed in.  Cheating?  it was 15 calories of salsa and kept me from gagging.  I’d gotten down to the “light chunk tuna” which would be more accurately called “brownish gloppy stinky stuff.”  The four cans went fine though with the salsa.

By this time I was feeling a little bit foggy mentally.  Regardless of how many omega-3s may be in tuna it was not shaping up to be a good brain food.  Things were taking a little while to process.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and bought 4 big cans of brownish gloppy stinky stuff, and some yellowfin steaks.  This is the equivalent of 8 regular sized cans.

I ate two big cans as soon as I got home.  This was a real exercise in willpower.  I was hungry to start with, but still had to seriously fight a gag reflex.  This is not me, but this is how I felt:

After these two cans I couldn’t eat anything more.  The problem was I had a lot more I had to eat.  I took a break from eating and took a run.  I managed three miles at a slow pace.  I started off somewhere in the 9:30 range and lost about 15 seconds per mile.  Somewhere during this time I developed a somewhat urgent case of diarrhea, which was unpleasant but ended up giving me room to eat more tuna.

Me Running

I suffered through the two other big cans.  It was hard to force myself to chew it.  I was stuffed, but grilled a nice tuna steak for desert.  Seriously It was delicious.  Here it is:

Tuna steak.

Well at this point I was full to bursting, but also incredibly thirsty.  This feeling persisted for the next 5 hours or so, until I went to bed.  I was craving water, but it was hard to fit it in.  I would drink as much as I could (like 1 cup) wait a little while, and do it again, over and over.

Taste: Chunk Light tuna: Horrible after the third can.  Solid white albacore: Good.  Grilled Yellowfin steak:  Amazing.  Seriously, if you are buying tuna and you intend to eat it without a a pound a mayonnaise and a few jars of pickles, the solid white is worth it.

Cost: $18. You can raise this or lower it based on the grade of tuna you buy.

Fullness factor:  A+.  2000 calories left me feeling like I had eaten (a not so tasty) thanksgiving dinner.

X factor: Just eat something else.


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  1. Oh man I am laughing so hard here….you have me in tears…this one was just too much for me! LOL The baby pic and gag reflex was perfect!

  2. you wrote in another post that we should give you any ideas we have for other foods to try. I would like to know how you fair with “chia seeds.” There are 2,040 calories in a 1lb bag. Supposedly, aztec warriors ate about a handful a day while journeying through the mountains on conquests and such. Maybe it would help with your running.
    Bottoms up!! :0)

  3. TheDoctor permalink

    Good thing none of that tuna was rotten or spoiled otherwise you could have contracted scombroiscitis. Check this out.

    summarized info: Scombroid food poisoning is a foodborne illness that results from eating spoiled (decayed) fish. Most commonly reported with mackerel, tuna, bluefish, mahi-mahi, bonito, sardines, anchovies, and related species of fish that were inadequately refrigerated or preserved after being caught.

    Unlike many types of food poisoning, this form is not brought about by ingestion of a bacterium or virus. Histidine exists naturally in many types of fish, and at temperatures above 16°C (60°F) on air contact it is converted to the biogenic amine histamine by enteric bacteria (this is one reason why fish should be stored at low temperatures). Histamine is not destroyed by normal cooking temperatures, so even properly cooked fish can be affected. Histamine is a mediator of allergic reactions, so the symptoms produced are those one would expect to see in severe allergic responses.

    Symptoms consist of skin flushing, throbbing headache, oral burning, abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea, palpitations, a sense of unease, and, rarely, collapse or loss of vision. Symptoms usually occur within 10-30 minutes of ingesting the fish and generally are self-limited. Physical signs may include a diffuse blanching erythema, tachycardia, wheezing, and hypotension or hypertension. Symptoms of poisoning can show within just minutes, and up to two hours, following consumption of a spoiled dish. Symptoms usually last for approximately four to six hours and rarely exceed one to two days.

    Treatment is in the form of supportive care such as fluids and oxygen. Oral anti-histamines are very effective, showing improvement within 10-15 minutes.

    Okay, I made up the word scombroiscitis. But it sounds legitimate. I’m a doctor, all doctors make up words, it makes us sound smart.

  4. Next post: lembas bread!

  5. Ruben Ramirez-Valenzuela permalink

    I just read your blog, (Professor A recommended it) and I just cant think of how you survived the 3 can of it. I love tuna but in small quantitives. My uncle is a fisherman and he in some occassions have gone wild on the seas to catch some. However, he refused to eat tuna and always complaint that is one of the most dry fish put there. I happen to love it, but I can’t think of myself going through 14 cans. God job and keep up the diet :)!


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