Doing something random for a year is a pretty well-trod path to a blogger book deal. We’ve had people taking life advice from vintage books, wearing corsets, avoiding makeup, making sandwiches, etc. But a project must be undertaken with a certain amount of care and an eye towards the bigger picture, otherwise a person just does something dumb for 365 days and nobody cares.
Beautiful Existence’s blog, For 1 Year Of My Life, is dedicated to just that sort of blogger undertaking. Every year she sets herself a New Year’s resolution, then does something strange for 365 days and blogs about it. In 2011 she shopped only at Goodwill for a year. In 2012, she took advice from Parenting magazine and applied it to her own life. For 2013, she ate only food from Starbucks. We’re not entirely sure why a person would want to eat only food from Starbucks for an entire year, but apparently Existence has 25 years of these projects mapped out and does not have any intention of stopping soon.
Now don’t get me wrong, Starbucks has some pretty tempting food. Their smoked bacon breakfast sandwiches got me through many an office hangover, and something about their packaged egg salad sandwiches just calls to me. (“I’m good for you!” they say. “Look, there is lettuce on me!”) But still, eating and drinking Starbucks exclusively for an entire year isn’t exactly interesting or going to teach us anything about nutrition, or how we relate to our food, or really anything important about the human experience. Her Goodwill experiment could potentially have had interesting things to say about style, budget, or poverty. The Starbucks experiment is basically just, “How to get really bored by spending a ton of money on a little food.”
Existence never really says why she does this, or what she learned from it. It’s basically just a lot of pictures of Starbucks food. While I’m curious to know if there were any health ramifications and how many grapes a person has to eat to avoid scurvy, Existence basically just says she did this project, “because.”
“WHY? am I doing this challenge? Or WHY? will I do any challenge in the future?” she wrote on her blog. “Because I LOVE being human and I LOVE the privilege of being able to ask the question WHY? in the first place!”
Ugh. She could have just played some Annie Lennox, asked herself, “Why ask why?” and saved $8,000.
This isn’t an experiment just anybody could undertake, either. According to Eatocracy, Existence says she spent between $500 and $600 a month on food just for herself. (Her husband and kids did not participate in the Starbucks dining plan.) That’s a lot of money to spend on tiny brie wedges, bagels, and grapes with no intellectual or health payoff at all.
Existence isn’t even the first person to try the yearlong Starbucks diet. In 2012 librarian Christine Hall credited a yearlong Starbucks diet with her 80-pound weight loss. We would have believed it if Hall got a book deal, because at least she has the weight-loss hook going for her. Eating only Starbucks is probably not the most nutritionally sound way of losing weight, but the individual portion sizes and clear calorie information does make it easy to stick to a diet plan. But Existence did not cite that kind of weight loss, though, and just specified that she was pleased to not gain weight on a Frappuccino-heavy diet.