Thursday, April 30, 2015

Food Stamps Challenge, Canadian Edition: Day 3

Day 3, almost halfway through!

Weight: Still 148

Breakfast: medium bowl of Mini Wheats and banana

Work snack: granola bar and cookie

Lunch: 2 scrambled eggs, medium bowl of pasta with tomato sauce and apple

Dinner:  piece of toast (wasn't very hungry)

Today was okay.  The main thing was the lack of coffee.  I got 9 hours of sleep today but I felt weak and lethargic all day and I think it was maybe coffee or alcohol withdrawal (these are things I have every day, but usually just one serving of each each day).  I also noticed that I've been having a headache every day so far which is not normal for me.  If I had decided Advil and toiletries were part of the challenge and Advil was too expensive, I would be in agony.  It was bad enough doing a shift with a headache that didn't go away, knowing I didn't have any Advil on me and my break wasn't long enough for me to buy some and also be able to sit down for a while.

I had my dad's girlfriend look at the food I bought for the challenge and she said I did quite well except for the cookies and mac and cheese, which I could have substituted for some cheese or some beans so that I have more protein and that I should have bought a larger amount of butter if I were doing the month challenge, since buying in bulk is always going to save you money.

I didn't know this but there is a documentary on this challenge called Food Stamped.  I also found an interesting take on the challenge from Rebecca Vipond Brink, a nutrition writer from The Frisky, who weighed in on Gwyneth Paltrow's food haul:  "Nutritionally speaking, this is a vitamin bonanza. But people who live on SNAP benefits don’t just have to get nutrients, they have to get actual calories, because they tend to have very physical lives, doing service labor and taking care of children and not necessarily being able to afford a car and so forth." 

Wikipedia paraphrases Brink: "It was estimated that Paltrow's food totaled 7,059 calories, or only about 1,000 calories per day. It was also pointed out that instead of the seven limes that she bought, she could have gotten four pounds of pasta for less money, and that such a substitution would have provided her with substantially more calories. Brink also suggested a completely different set of food items for the same amount of money, which would have yielded 2,530 calories per day: five pounds of potatoes, two dozen eggs, five pounds of flash-frozen chicken breasts, a block of cheese, a gallon of whole milk, four pounds of apples, three pounds of oatmeal, a bag of celery, 16 ounces of peanut butter, 15 ounces of raisins, one pound of carrots, and 28 ounces of rice. Brink also pointed out that such a shopping list was only realistic for someone who did not live in a food desert."

Even so, this is 2,530 per day to feed 3 people.  How do you feed everyone in your family, even with Brink's suggestions?  It seems impossible.

On that pleasant note, goodnight and I will be back tomorrow to report on day 4.

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