The Hunger Challenge–Day 4

*This is a previous post from my old blog

I woke up incredibly hungry and feeling awful. As you may know, I didn’t eat much the previous day and definitely needed to be rejuvenated. To make things worse, Mando left for work with a roti that was accidentally thrown away, which he dug out of the trash to bring for lunch. I felt terrible that this was our reality and begged him not to bring it but had nothing else to offer him.
But this fourth day was the day that was going to change all of that–today was Farmers Market day.

The most delicious Cantaloupe I’ve ever tasted from the Thursday Night Mission Market
Because I had skipped the previous day’s market due to amazing events, see The Hunger Challenge–Day 3, we had little to no food in the house. So today was going to be a good day despite the image of Mando and his Roti that will forever be burned in my memory. I headed to the Farmers Market and straight to my pistachio guy but not for the nuts–I needed eggs. He jokingly asked me if Mando and I were sick of pistachios. I was stunned. I could never be sick of them, I told him, explaining that I could barely make them last a week when we do buy them because they’re so addicting. But none this week because of the challenge.
Luckily, my pistachio guy also sells eggs that I’ve previously purchased for Easter, when I tried natural dye for the first time, and a few other times after that. (We don’t usually buy eggs as we eat mostly vegan in my house).

Breakfast for Dinner–Egg Sandwich w/ Mushroom Hash, recipe courtesy The Good and Cheap Cookbook provided by the SF Food Bank

After getting my eggs I picked up a few more items at the Farmers Market and a couple more at a local organic store I frequent. Unfortunately, the Farmers Market I attended wasn’t one of the cheapest markets around and I knew my choices would be limited. I had to think very carefully about the foods that I would purchase. They had to make sense for the meals and snacks that I had planned for these last two days of the challenge.

I spent our last $3.63 on these items;
One head of Lettuce (Farmers Market)-I decided to get the lettuce because both Mando and I were missing salads. It was a small head of lettuce but I knew it would be worth it to both of us. We had one large tomato left and salad dressing already mixed from oil and vinegar I had at home, so this is how I made sense of this purchase.

One Lemon (Organic Shop down the street)-This seems like a silly thing to get when we have little to nothing left in our budget. The reason I decided to buy a lemon is because it goes a long way in many dishes, is really good for you and adds lots of flavor. I used half for lunch I prepared for Friday and in my morning water as well. I still have the other half for whatever else I want to put it in on Friday.
Two Yellow Squash (Farmers Market)-This was the cheapest veggie I could get my hands on.
Two Bananas (Organic Shop down the street)-I decided to get these so that I could make Caramelized Bananas for desert on Friday night as a special treat to end on the Hunger Challenge.
Bananas- $0.75
Lemon-$0.80
Lettuce-$1.50
Summer Squash-$.0.75

= $3.80 over budget by 17 cents.
I can’t emphasize enough how much we needed this food. When I brought the cantaloupe home, I cut it open right away. I was so proud of myself for picking out the best melon. It was heavy, fragrant and almost moist at the skin. I knew that we would eat the melon in the next couple of days so it was OK to pick a really ripe melon. I ate a few pieces right off the bat and Mando did too as soon as he got home. I’ve never seen his eyes bigger than we he saw this melon. He said he felt like a beast eating it because he was so starving.

*Note: If I had gone to the Civic Center Farmers Market toward the end, I could’ve gotten dollar bags of organic vegetables which would’ve lasted me much longer than two days! Read about more Farmers Market tips like these in my piece Farmers Market Shopping: How to Shop Like a Pro for City Scout Sacramento.

I also picked up these Pantry items:
Eggs, one carton–We usually don’t eat eggs but I knew that they would go a long way the last two days of our diet. Mando and I are OK eating eggs occasionally when we know where they come from and are organic, free-range, etc.
Cantaloupe–The fruit no one really likes that restaurants slab onto our plates where we leave them uneaten. Somehow, though, their versions of cantaloupe are dried out and barely peach colored. I never buy cantaloupe but since buying this one, I’m hooked! Fortunately at my local markets I have the rest of the month and all of October to enjoy these gems before they’re gone for the season.

Ashley

Breakfast-
Oatmeal w/ Raisins
Coffee, one cup
Water

Snacks-
2 Granola Bars
Cantaloupe, 3 pieces
Water

Lunch-
Toast w/ a little bit of Jelly I found in my fridge..score!
Water
Cantaloupe, one piece

Dinner-
Egg Sandwich w/ Mushroom Hash
Water
2.5 Glasses Red Wine

Mando

Breakfast-
Oatmeal w/ Raisins
Coffee, one cup
Snacks-
Granola Bar
Toast w/ a little bit of Jelly
Cantaloupe, 2 pieces
Water
Lunch-
Roti white beans, tomatoes
Water
Dinner-
Egg Sandwich w/ Mushroom Hash
Water
One Glass Red Wine

Stay tuned for my final day of the Hunger Challenge for my final thoughts, favorite recipes and more!

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