The Hunger Challenge–Day 1

*This is a previous post from my old blog

Day 1:

This first day seemed promising. I was armed with resources that I was excited to use: “The Good and Cheap Cookbook,” prepared food and a positive attitude.
But as I piled all the food I have for the week onto my tiny kitchen island and it fit, comfortably, my heart tightened. This is it? My boyfriend Mando and I eat a lot less than we used to but I was still worried about this amount of food for three meals per day, plus snacks, for the next four days was not sufficient.

Dinner Day 1: Spicy Green Beans from “The Good and Cheap Cookbook.”

This first day, I found myself measuring out my prepared foods like a member of Weight Watchers, portioning out just enough rice so that I was full but still had more for the rest of the week.
This led me to think about households other than my own and their challenges. Even though I don’t have kids, I imagine families with kids have a difficult time with this. I mean, it’s hard enough to get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables when they are in their “picky” phase let alone trying to get them to eat it as 80% of their meals. It’s more than a budget, it’s a state of mind. A lifestyle to adopt. When all the other kids at school rip open bags of Doritos and stack mini sandwiches from their Lunchables, how can the lack of these items be explained? I imagine that the hardest things for parents to do is struggle through this phase and somehow get their kids to see healthy foods as the most delicious food out there. And it really is. But Dorito’s packaging can be oh so enticing..
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Because what better way to bath than in a tub full of chips…

Does he even have enough teeth to eat these?..

OK, even I think this is cool. But let’s replace it with Organic, Non-GMO chips!


The reality: ingredients like ‘natural and artificial flavors,’ ‘partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil,’ ‘artificial color,’ and many more of these ingredients are making you fat and sick.

*In case you’re just joining me, here’s a little bit about how I prepared for the Hunger Challenge.

Needless to say, it’s not easy to convince kids, or adults for that matter, to eat healthy in a world full of junk. So maybe if we changed the world around us, our kids wouldn’t have to suffer through these choices.
So far the things I’m really missing the most are my snacks and salad. If I had budgeted better I could’ve had some leafy greens but because we are tapped for the week, no salad. I find myself hoarding things like the one avocado I have for the week, desperate to make it last through the five days of the challenge.
However, there are some good habits I’m already adopting during this challenge. For example, I was surprised to find myself moving slower in the kitchen and paying much more attention to what I was making as not mess up a dish or waste any food. Also, I found myself focusing on the taste of my wine, taking small sips in order to really enjoy it. We even ended up putting some wine back, which is unusual, in the fridge because we didn’t finish it.
I’m also noticing that I’m already eating more fruit and raw foods and drinking a ton more water. It’s just easier and cheaper to fill my belly this way. The best thing so far about this challenge has been the cookbook provided by the Food Bank. I’m having fun trying cheap, new recipes like homemade Roti and the spicy green been dish I made for dinner last night.
~Below is what my boyfriend Mando and I ate for our first day of the Hunger Challenge~

Day 1:

Ashley-

Breakfast-
half cup of coffee
water
granola bar.

I’ve always had trouble eating a ‘breakfast’ at the appropriate breakfast time. This budget is forcing me to eat early so I’m not feverishly hunger mid-day.

Snacks-
carrots
plums
leftover potatoes*

Lunch-
2 homemade roti stuffed w/rice, beans, onion, tomatoes & topped w/avocado.

Dinner-
spicy green beans w/sauteed tofu
steamed carrots & potatoes
two glasses of wine
water
Mando-

Breakfast-
half cup of coffee
water
oatmeal w/ raisins
one piece of toast

Snacks-
granola bar
plums
carrots

Lunch-
leftovers from the night before (potatoes and stuffed mushrooms)*
homemade Roti stuffed w/ rice, beans, onions, tomatoes & topped w/ avocado.

*leftovers from the previous week don’t are not part of this week’s budget.

Dinner-
spicy green beans w/sauteed tofu
steamed carrots & potatoes
one glass on wine
water
I definitely went to bed a little hungrier than I usually do and am regretting letting Mando take all the leftovers to work with him. Can’t he spare a bean?…
Furthermore, worrying about if I’m going to have enough food to eat throughout the week is one of the saddest feelings I’ve ever felt. And I’m sure I’m not alone in beating myself up for the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s on what I spent my budget on.
My two biggest splurges, organic mixed nuts for over $7 and organic shiitake mushrooms for $4 might have been a poor choice.
I’m looking forward to getting more “pantry items” from the Civic Center Farmers market tomorrow. Without these pantry items, we’d go hungry.

~Want to join me? It’s not too late. Info. here.
~Check here for more info. on reading ingredient labels and what to watch out for.

~Source for all photos: Google Images

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