What is the 5 Ring Diet is and why did you decide to do it? As I was doing my regular shopping about a month ago, I was noticing the Olympic Rings popping up on products that weren't the typical things you'd think of in relation to the Olympics--cleaning products, toilet paper, etc. It seemed to cross so many categories, I thought "I wonder if there are enough products with the Olympic Rings on them to sustain a person?" At the same time, I was busy planning and fundraising for Camp Promise-West and getting ready for a trip to the London Olympics for work. So the pieces all fell into place. Camp Promise-West is currently the only camp in the Pacific Northwest for people of all ages with neuromuscular disorders. Camp is free-of-charge to campers thanks to the generosity of donors — that's why reaching our $25,000 goal is so important. Volunteers provide campers with one-on-one care during the week of camp, which is August 20-26, this year with 38 campers. We even expanded to Camp Promise-East last year. How did you come up with the rules and how strict have you been on yourself? I did a couple of scouting trips to the grocery store and McDonald's to make sure I could actually survive with the foods available. I'm a pretty strict vegetarian, so the McDonald's part has been a bit tricky. Once I knew I could survive on the foods and drinks out there, I thought through daily life and made up the rules about personal hygiene and my bed. I've been pretty good about following the rules. When I flew to London, I turned away all the Business Class luxuries and food and ate the Corn Pops and water I brought with me. I did realize that only using 5RingDiet furniture was pretty unrealistic, so that rule has been adapted to just be my bed. I have a low tolerance for guilt, so it's hard to "cheat" when I know people are following the story and the money's going a cause that's so personal to me. But I have said any Dasani water is fine because I need it to live and I haven't found Olympics branded Dasani in bulk.
What has been the most challenging aspect? Always having to plan ahead. I can't just go to the vending machine for a snack or borrow someone's sweatshirt or even use the toilet paper or sink at work, so that part's been a little tough. I've learned to carry my own toilet paper and always have a bottle of Dasani and Olay soap nearby. When I was on the planes to/from London, I had to make sure I brought enough water for the flight and a shower once I got there in case I couldn't find any water right away.
Has there been a part of this project that you didn't expect to enjoy but had a blast doing? Re-purposing 5RingDiet products has been a lot of fun because not only do you get that a-ha! moment, it means I also get to add something new to the 5RingDiet roster. The other day a co-worker suggested smashing NutriGrain bars up to make a pie crust, filling it with McDonald's apples, and putting Kellogg's Frosted Flakes on top to make a 5RingDiet pie. I haven't tried it yet, but I will this weekend. Is there one product that you still haven't been able to find (that meets your criteria) that you miss the most? I don't think they exist, but some 5RingDiet nail clippers would be amazing. My nails are starting to get a little long for comfort. And it would be nice to finally find the 5RingDiet Budweiser. It's not so much because I want beer, but because I feel like I've been chasing that beer since the beginning.
Which product were you most surprised to find that sponsors the Olympics? I found Cheez-Its last weekend and almost jumped up and down in the cracker aisle. Mostly I'm surprised to find a new 5RingDiet food I can add to the rotation. There hasn't been anything too strange in the US, but I did see an Olympic tea cozy in London. What is the first thing you will do/wear/use/eat as soon as the closing ceremonies are over? I'm thinking of organizing a food crawl with my friends (and blogging about it) for as soon as that flame is extinguished. There will definitely be a Chipotle burrito, a slice of pizza, and a bag of Doritos on that tour. But that's only after I take a hot shower and drink straight from the tap. One other thing, people can donate at 5RingDiet.com and follow me on twitter @5RingDiet. Even a $5 donation helps and shows their support for Camp Promise and makes all this madness worth it. More Info: • 5 Ring Diet • @5RingDiet on Twitter • Camp Promise (Images: Terin Izil)