We have never attempted the Alphabetical Eating Challenge

If you hate people posting pictures of their food, you may not like this blog post. Because it will be mostly pictures of what me and Lena will eat over the next few days.

Then again, food is what this month’s I Never is all about.

I remember thinking of this silly project called the Alphabetical Eating Challenge over lunch while I was still working with SST Software in Enschede. Starting tomorrow, several years after the initial idea, I will attempt this challenge.

The rules are as follows:

You start, obviously, at A. At this moment you are only allowed to eat (or drink) things that start with the letter A. After you’ve eaten something starting with A, you may decide at any time to continue to B, even during your meal, but only as long as you have finished whatever A-food you were eating. Then, after having eaten something with B, you may continue to C any time you want. Continue until you finish the entire alphabet.

In other words: you are only allowed to eat and drink things starting with a certain letter and you must eat or drink at least one thing that starts with that letter before going to the next letter. You may, however, stay at a letter for as long as you like.

Of course, back when I devised this plan, I didn’t expect to have a girlfriend while attempting it. Despite being skeptical at first, Lena decided to even join me in this endeavor, which turned out to add an interesting twist: while I am trying this in English, she will go through the letters in Dutch.

What is the purpose of this? It may seem like a physical challenge, but it’s mostly a challenge of creativity. A cucumber may start with a C, but when combined with a tomato and some dressing, it becomes a salad. And tea can become a Cup of tea by simply changing the way you think about it. The only rules are those outlined above: it’s up to you what counts or doesn’t count as your letter.

I’m planning to provide daily updates of our progress as edits to this blog post. Of course, these updates will be mostly in the form of the aforementioned food pictures. Stay tuned for the real post to start tomorrow!

Day 1: A – I


Breakfast: apples, bread, butter and bologna (or boterhamworst in Dutch).


Yummy, coffee and donuts. I even was allowed some caramel syrup in my coffee 😀


It’s important to drink enough. Enjoying some Dubbelfris (a Dutch light kind of juice).


I’m pretty sure that the English translation for Deventer koek is still Deventer koek. Ok, Wikipedia say it’s Deventer honey cake. Whatever, still a D.


We still have a jar of small chocolate Easter Eggs laying around. A perfect opportunity! Also time to enjoy some Fristi.


I was getting a bit hungry and dinner wasn’t going to be ready all too soon, so Lena made a filet americain sandwich <3


Dinner: goulash!


After-dinner snack: Hamka’s (but then the cheap variant)


And because I should drink enough: some Ice Tea that was left over from D&D last weekend to end the day on. As expected, we’re moving through the letters fast enough to be done within two or three days. However, the most challenging letters are still ahead… And starting tomorrow, I’ll be working again, so we may slow down. Nevertheless, we’re still going strong and not giving up!

Day 2: I – M


Like I predicted, we slowed down when it comes to letters. Breakfast was Iced Cappuccino and a jelly sandwich.


A quick cup of juice before heading to work.


Snack-time at work were a kiwi and Kitkat mini.


And all I ever see, is just a cup of lemon tea.


Lunch! Mozzarella sandwich!


Always make sure to drink enough. I was lucky to find some mango tea at work as well.


I realized I was allowed to eat M&M’s 😛


This one is Lena’s. She’s used this project as an opportunity to eat all kinds of chocolate XD




This is something you don’t usually get in the Netherlands: mint lemonade. My mom found this in Germany and decided to bring it for me so I can use it cocktails (which I did).

Day 3: M – R

Today was rough. Q is a difficult letter, even more so while at work. Still, we made it through another day and another few letters.


I think this speaks for itself.




I even managed to eat some fruit during this challenge in the form of this orange.


And orange soda too!


Some prawn crackers to snack on while preparing dinner.


The difficult one for today: quesadillas! Never had them before, but they turned out quite nicely (except for the half-burned one where I had to remove the outer layer of tortilla).


And I was getting quite thirsty, so some Roosvicee to end the day on. We’ll probably finish the last few letters tomorrow, including the very difficult U, X and Z (there’s a sneak peak in the above image). Stay tuned for the finale!

Day 4: S – Z


Starting the day with a sandwich with sugar.

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Then some tea at work. Today I was lucky enough to be able to drink both Turkish Apple and Tropical Fruit tea.


Lunch consisted of Unox knakworst (or frankfurter) on bread, together with a Vanilla coke and some Verkade buscuits. U seemed pretty difficult, but by allowing brands, turned out not so big of a deal.


Finally, I was allowed some water.


One of the trickiest letters: X. This was the one we feared most. With the help of drinksmixer.com, we were able to find a solution. Of the six drinks starting with X, Lena picked the above-pictured Xanthor’s Pants. Unfortunately, Lena had to leave before I came back home, which means she was not able to taste it. It was nice: a bit strong, but very tasty. Of course, given the time, I opted to make one with decaffeinated coffee.


Yoghurt. The reason it looks so green is because I mixed mint syrup in. Now is the time to try things out. It was ok. Maybe it didn’t bother me much because I still felt the strong drink.


Finally: a pack of Zuivelhoeve yoghurt.

These have been a fun four days. Sometimes they were tough, when we had to carefully plan our food. Sometimes they were unhealthy or expensive. However, it was fun to do and I learned a few things, like how to make quesadillas and that I do actually like Ice tea. But for now, I’m happy to eat whatever I want again.

Then, on to our next project: finish everything we couldn’t eat!

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