I have spent much of the week wondering how people on food
stamps survive. I am hungry, tired, and crabby. I think about food
and miss the “noshing’ all day. Mostly, I can’t figure out how hungry
people can be expected to work – or how hungry people are able to look for
This has been a great education in morality for me. Doing good and charitable work is a very important thing, but a hungry
person has no energy to do tikkun olam. How often could you afford
to do charitable work if you are on food stamps? And for me, that would
be the worst part of it – having to take without being able to give back. To
never have the satisfaction of being able to take care of someone else.
Andrea Kaiser How perfect to title
this week in just two words: Living Without. (Ironically, it is the name of an
online magazine for Celiac Disease, and Gluten Intolerance!! It showed up today
to remind me of the foods I miss; bananas, berries, chicken, fish, gluten free
goodies: bread, muffins.)
I look at what others are eating. My diet is too healthy. Brian, find me a
Jolly Rancher. No, forget that, I would rather have a Reese's Peanut Butter
cup! I am craving them!...Where's my peanut butter?
It was tough to pass by a fast food place when I was hungry tonight, and knew I
had to head home. It's okay, being unemployed through this hunger project is
another eye opener! Wiser for the budget. But I am noticing my mind is less
sharp without the right foods! And my digestive system is lazy.
My single meal of the day becomes special by virtue of its uniqueness. A modicum of food served daily at 7:00
PM. Compared to my usual diet of
continuous “foraging” from awakening to retiring, my Food Stamp Challenge meal
is a mere pittance. Yet, it has so much
more character than my normal fare. In
the Jewish tradition, the Rabbis liken the dinner table to the altar in the
Temple, and the food we eat to the offerings made to G-d. The singular nature of my meal has turned the
act of eating into a well-defined moment in time, and, as such,
elevates it from the level of the mundane to something special. I experience heightened
awareness, appreciation, and fulfillment. I can’t help but be reminded of the Torah’s injunction: You shall eat,
be satisfied, and bless G-d for the good earth.
Andrea Kaiser Breakfast is getting
boring: cereal and milk, oatmeal or eggs. I normally have a balanced variety.
This week, it is mostly cereal --Trader Joe's version of Cheerios (but no
I noticed today it's no longer about the food that I concentrate on; it's about
staying busy! so I don't think about what I will eat, or how hungry I am
feeling. I was in class tonight, and my stomach was reminding me it's feeding
time, but it would be at least another 45 minutes or so before I would be home.
When I got out of class in a hotel, there was fresh FREE popcorn in the lobby
which I couldn't refuse. It's my favorite food and I had planned to give it up
this week! It not only called to me, but it seemed to have had a 'cord
attached' which would not let me leave the building unless I indulged! :) It
was the worst popcorn I ever had, short of the burnt stuff! I was not meant to
eat popcorn this week! I tossed it out!
I went home and ate a steamed potato au naturel. My stomach shut up.
Yesterday, I was at a friend's house and she offered me anything that was in
her fridge. I politely declined. She had noticed I was losing weight already,
and felt sorry for me.
Four days to go! I am rationing my food!