Monthly Archives October 2013

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Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Week Two, Day One



<<<Week One Food Stamp (SNAP) Challenge Recap

I’ve learned completely that protein is the way to go in the morning. If I want to make it through the morning to lunchtime without thinking about food constantly, I apparently have to have protein for breakfast. Eggs. Eggs are my savior in this, as I’ve been having a couple every morning. I wish they were my farm-fresh eggs, but the store-bought ones will have to do. They weren’t on sale when I had to have my daughter grab some eggs on the way home the other night. I figured, she was already out and about, so having her grab something on the way home was still true to the challengeIMG_2737-1, versus making someone have to go out for them for a special trip. She picked up eggs, a gallon of milk and some bacon.

So far, we haven’t shopped for our second trip yet, because I’m still trying to go through the stuff we have from the first. If I went shopping right now, I wouldn’t use all the stuff in the fridge, and it would, some of it, waste. I don’t want that, so I’m purposely trying to plan around that part.

I’ve been doing fruit for snacks and eating bananas all day long, ’cause we had so many of them we needed to get rid of before they went bad.

So one morning, I made a banana smoothie, then there was another blueberry bagel morning, but I added eggs to every morning, because the protein is that important to feeling satisfied throughout the day.

Lunch as been leftovers. This works for me, for the most part, because it uses up leftovers, helps prevent waste, and stretches a budget. I add a little fresh raw veggies or a little ‘salad’ to the leftovers to stretch it, or add some fresh fruit to it too.

Dinner is the part that’s the focus, really, and it’s the part that’s hardest to feed a family too. So far, I’ve been doing it, though, and I’ve been pretty pleased with the dishes I’ve come up with.

Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Week Two, Day One

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Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Week One Recap & Thoughts

Image10032013041911So we just started the second week of the food stamp challenge, and so far, it’s gone a little better than I expected. I have come in under budget for the first week. My budget was $6 per day per person and I came in at $5.13 per person. This includes my basket of produce I purchased from Bountiful Baskets with the only ‘cash’ I was allowed for the budget of $20. So I’m seriously impressed with that. We’ve eaten well. The food is a little low on the calorie end, but I’ve had carrots, celery, onion, apples, oranges, asparagus, avocado, leaf lettuce, radish, spinach, and then apples, oranges, bananas, mangoes, tomatoes, and grapes. These are all good things that most people say you can’t afford on food stamps. You can, but you have to be careful with it and how you do it. I’ve had green, yellow, red and orange bell (sweet) peppers, fresh garlic cloves and jalapenos, squash and zucchini. Then on the frozen end, I had frozen peas, corn (organic) and edemame (organic soy beans), frozen artichoke hearts, and some really tiny expensive shrimp, some sausage, bacon, chicken and ground beef and ground turkey.

The only processed foods we had were cereal, blueberry bagels and some yogurt, and milk and coconut milk in a can, the noodles, a can of creamed soup, the cans of spaghetti sauce and the meatballs. Well, and I guess technically bacon and meatballs are processed too. So yeah for us, this is a lot more ‘processed’ foods than we’re used to eating, in part because some of this stuff was cheap and/or free on the meal deals.

But for the most part, and particularly compared to the standard American diet, we’ve eaten mostly whole foods, mostly single-ingredient stuff, and we came in under budget. So far, if I were to try to do the diet for just one week, I’d have to say that it’s definitely do-able and definitely able to be done healthily.

But I wanted to point out that this is about so much more than JUST the food, just the diet.

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Lettuce Wraps with Mango Pico de Gallo Salsa

1013707_10152980483630226_545739974_nWhile I made this recipe for the food stamp challenge, it’s yummy and worth making even when you’re not on such a tight budget. First, let me link you to my Asian Lettuce Wraps, so you can learn how to cook the meat from that. Really, all you need to do is cook some ground beef until it’s a flavor you like. If you want to Asian sweet and tangy recipe, you can click here for that. Otherwise, be creative. A little soy sauce, some oyster sauce, fish sauce or hoison sauce will all give you some Asian flare, and don’t be afraid to add the red pepper flakes to your meat too. For a Mexican flavor, go with some burrito or taco seasoning packages for quick and easy spices, or you can go Indian with some curry, cumin, turmeric and other great spices like those. The options for how to cook the meat are limitless only to your desire for flavor. Be bold. Be creative. Try something new for a new taste sensation!

The rest of the wraps are easy–whatever you like can go into a wrap. You want to use a good, hearty lettuce leaf. Romaine makes great lettuce leaf ‘boats’ where you can pick the whole thing up and eat it without too much trouble. Leaf lettuce is great in that it makes a great lettuce wrap, but you won’t be able to just pick it up–you’ll have to wrap the food up in the leaf. But I like the flavor of the leaf lettuce, sort of soft and buttery. Cabbage works fine for making ‘boat’ wraps too, purple or green or white cabbage. This goes great with the sweet and tangy Asian flavors and adds an entirely different nutritional value than the lettuce.

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Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Day Six & Seven

<<<Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Day Four & Five

Okay, moving right along to the last two days of the first week, I was able to get under budget, because we’re finally getting into some of the stuff that I’ve already costed out but haven’t used all of. We’re also eating leftovers some too, which helps with the budget. For example, one night, we all dug into the fridge and just pulled out everything in leftover containers and heated it up and just mixed and matched an ate up all the leftovers for dinner. A good friend of mine calls this ‘fend night’, where everyone ‘fends for themselves’, and you just eat up whatever is stored. It’s actually a lot of fun, in that you get to eat a lot of different things, you’re not wasting anything, and everyone has to sort of talk about stuff with each other in order to eat dinner together! Fend nights are definitely a tradition you should start in your family–just one night a month at least, go through your fridge, pull out all your leftovers, heat up the leftovers and throw them on the table with plates and everyone just dig in!

Okay, so let’s look at where I stand:

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