I don't know what all these penniless graduate students are complaining about. Between the seminar snacks, defense sandwiches, Neurobeer meals and lab-mate bakers I hardly need to grocery shop anymore. And that's in spite of only being able to eat half of the free food thrust upon the academic community that is my department. Toss in a few holiday luncheons and it's enough to induce a constitutive state of Food Coma.
When I leave my house in the morning, I bring an apple, a bottle of water and a few tea packets. Rarely are leftovers necessary to get through the day, for, invariably, lunch will provide itself. There are instances, however, wherein I resist temptation to partake, knowing that I have a long 6+ hours of afternoon lab work ahead and will need to be able to stand upright. Our department holiday luncheon this week was a tantalizing array of six different kinds of lasagna -- all with cheese. Fail. One poor tenured faculty member and myself were left sipping our [albeit, heavenly] lemony spiced apple cider alone while others bombarded the buffet line.
It's a slippery slope. My inherent frugality and neurotic inclination to not let free things go to waste versus the Crohn's baby. But even if I must decline lasagna and chocolate butter cookies, I am never starving. And what's more, they have started to serve lactose-free hot chocolate at mini-seminars. Soon there will be rice milk for my coffee... soon.