Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 5

Ursula Bamnolker

I have come to the conclusion that it might be possible to maintain a healthy diet on the food stamp budget IF and only IF you have the tools and the resources to back it up. I think that, if one learned how to prepare more lentil and bean dishes, they'd have a better shot at staying healthy and staying on budget. 

We have gone $25 over budget thus far and it looks like we'll have to go shopping soon!
If I had to shop again, I'd buy more fruits and veggies and bulk lentils/beans and less processed foods. I'd get oatmeal instead of Chex and ditch the yogurt covered raisins and applesauce (and make my own!) 

In addition, I would buy a waffle maker, make my own waffles, make my own bread and create dishes from scratch - instead of buying gluten free items from Dierberg's (a weekly ritual of mine.) They would be healthier AND cheaper.  

I've actually been inspired to do all of the above. I don't think it is possible to live on a food stamp budget. However, I think that it is possible to spend less and eat more healthfully. If you focus on eating whole foods (not necessarily from Whole Foods!), you can cut down on your expenditures and improve your health. 

Ironically, I gained weight this week. (Which, for me, is FABULOUS - I am in remission from Multiple Myeloma and have needed to gain more weight for a few months now.) It looks like lentils and beans provide the body with healthy weight gaining calories. Gotta love that. I'm glad that we participated in this project. I learned a lot by doing it. 

Day 4

Michael DiPlacido

Things are going well. I feel like I am “coasting” now. I have become accustomed to my new eating routine and the lesser amount of food I am taking in. It feels refreshing and liberating to no longer think continually about what to eat next. At least for now, food is no longer a compulsion: no more snacking, foraging, and overeating. I feel comfortable before, during, and after my meal. Comfort food has become comfortable food. I feel like I am honoring the act of eating now; and, honoring me – by not eating more than my body needs or what is not nutritional. Outside of the specific issues around eating on $31.50/week, I can’t stop thinking about the comparative advantages I have over the typical food stamp recipient; and, how those differences would make this “challenge” so much more difficult.  

I Think We're Actually Doing Really Well

Michael Getty

Day 4

Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter and jam, one banana each and a half glass of orange juice each
Lunch: For me, round 5 (no kidding) of lentil soup, plus some unexpected office food; for Brian, leftover ramen noodles and steamed vegetables
Dinner: Macaroni and cheese and black beans, bananas and peanut butter for dessert

I think we're actually doing really well, especially for not having planned things out. It helps that we don't eat meat.  I'm having the last of the lentil soup for Day 5 lunch. It is not in the least bit appetizing, but it is filling and protein-rich. And it's part of why we have about $10 left in our budget, enough to restock on fresh fruit, peanut butter and, who knows, maybe even a bottle of wine for kiddush.