The Everyday Girl Guide to: Feeding America SNAP Challenge (Here Goes Nothing)

September 23, 2013

A packet of oatmeal.

That’s my breakfast today.

I won’t starve on a packet of oatmeal.  Not even close.  It’s vitamin-fortified, too, so I may get some nutrition from it.

Psychologically, though, I’m missing my 3/4 c oatmeal with a tablespoon of flaxseed, 1/2 c of berries, and 2 tablespoons of nuts.  Oh, and my tea.  Or coffee drink.  I’m fortunate that I’m not a big caffeine addict, so I don’t physically miss the morning drink.  But I miss it anyway.  The warmth.  The flood of tastes over my tongue.

I’m going to psych myself out of this thing before I ever get started.

I have a kind of weird week to be doing this.  I won’t actually be back home until Friday night, so I’m getting a good dose of trying to do this on the road (or homeless).  It’s a birthday week, but I won’t be celebrating.  I’m not supposed to accept free food this week, but what if there’s a birthday thing here at work?  What about the mystery shop I’m supposed to do that involves food?

I’m giving myself a pass on those.  If I were truly living off SNAP benefits, I’d be grabbing up every free food opportunity I could find.  Just because this is only one week shouldn’t change that.

My plan for the day is this:

Breakfast:  1 packet of oatmeal and 8 ounces of vanilla almond milk.  I wanted the chocolate, just so I’d feel like I was having my morning mocha, but the chocolate was not on sale this week and cost more than $1 more.  Seriously?  So I have the vanilla.

Lunch:  1 whole grain sandwich thin with 2 tablespoons of berry nut peanut butter.  I’m trying to not go cross-eyed at the amount of processed food I’m eating or the fact that there is hydrogenated vegetable oil in my peanut butter.  The peanut butter I would normally have purchased was $3 more.  The almond butter was $5 more.

For snacks, I have a banana for the morning and carrots (lots of carrots) for the afternoon.  Did I mention I’ll probably drink a LOT of water?

Dinner today is my cheat day, although I don’t think of it as cheating.  I can’t get around the requirement to eat at this location for my shop, so I will eat.  I’m still debating if I’m going to count that as part of my $14.77 remaining cash.

That’s it.  That’s my day’s food.  Really, it’s not that different from what I normally eat, except less healthy versions.  Is it harder to be healthy on SNAP benefits?  I didn’t buy bulk items because I’m doing this for just a week, but I would definitely be buying more bulk if this was my way of life.

Here goes nothing…

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