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

I’m doing these two days together, because there wasn’t much in the way or ‘recipes’ on these days, so I can sort of merge them and just report what we ate, mostly. I did get the Bountiful Basket in, so I ate several apples and some bananas, just as a snack. I went crazy on the apples and ate three of them in one day and two the next day! That’s how very wonderful, crisp and juicy these apples from Bountiful Baskets were!

So,  okay, on nutrition. I’m doing okay on nutrition as far as the vitamins and nutrients in the food. The problem is still that the calories are low while the carbs are high. I’m not feeling hungry–in fact, I have leftovers a lot of the time.  However, I’m not a growing teenager who needs more food than the average hibernating bear, but believe me, my son can pack away food (19 year old boy) so that sort of balances out, I think. I do know if I had two or three teenaged boys, this would be a lot harder than what I’m doing now for grown adults. But still, for a full-grown working man, I’m not serving enough calories in a day to sustain without a weight loss potential. For me, I just can’t get up to enough calories without eating too much food. I’m learning tricks, like when I cook with the ground turkey (’cause it’s a buck per pound cheaper and healthier then ground beef), I add a couple of tablespoons of a healthy oil to it. This helps keep it from being dry, gives it a better, more beefy flavor, and keeps it from sticking to the pan. The other good aspect is that increases the calories. Adding some cheese onto things helps increase calories too–there’s a lot of calories in cheese!

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Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Day Three

<<Read Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge: Day Two

I’m having a really bad health day. For those who don’t know about my health issues, you can read my blog called Dying to Live, where I talk about living with a terminal condition (CTEPH with diastolic congestive heart failure), among several other conditions (adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and possible dermatomyositis–among other things, who know? I mean, they diagnose so many things and throw pills at me (which some I take, some I don’t) so it’s hard to say. The point here is that when I say I’m having a bad health day, that’s a day that, for someone ‘normal’, would probably land them in the hospital. For me, it’s sort of a point of, What can you do? I weigh the options and figure if there’s nothing they can do, why go in and waste the time and money. With the recurring DVTs, that’s where we are. I’m already on blood thinners, I have an IVC filter in place to prevent clot embolism into the heart/lungs (though it limits it, doesn’t prevent it completely), so they wouldn’t do anything but stick me in a bed and make me get poked a couple of times per day for nothing, then send me home in a few days. I can do that at home.

But I have to do that in bed, today, mostly. My right leg is swollen about four times its normal size. Yes, I know that sounds extreme, but it IS extreme. The left leg is swollen a little, but it’s not nearly as bad. My legs look bruised, all up and down them, from the pressure the swelling causes. They hurt. I hurt. I have to wonder: How much has, just three days into it, this challenge affected my health? I mean, I have ups and downs all the time, but this is the worst I’ve been in a long time. I’m not eating my organic veggies, not doing my juices, had regular salt in the rice the other night, and then the emotional stress and strain of the shopping last night. I don’t know.

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