SNAP Challenge 2014 – Day 3: Stride and Stress
Day 2 was a lot easier to navigate because I planned ahead. I had oatmeal for breakfast relatively early and the morning. I ended up eating lunch later than planned, because I was focused on completing a task at work. when I did eat lunch I literally stopped working and enjoyed my split pea soup, apple and water. I drank more water today as well. Later in the day when I felt hungry the carrot slices and homemade hummus were just what I needed. To add some variety to the dinner salad I added shredded carrot to the spinach and cucumber. I also used a Katz’s Late Harvest Viognier Honey vinegar from All Things Olive hat I had on hand to enhance the salad flavors (look for an upcoming blog post about All Things Olive).
Day 2 Lessons Learned:
- Planning ahead kept me steady through the day.
- While I’m consuming 1/2 cup of prepared oat meal for breakfast , 1 cup of soup for lunch and 2/3 cup to 1 cup chili for dinner with brown rice I am closely watching to see if I will have enough of soup and chili for the remainder of the week.
- Cutting the cucumbers and carrots into different shapes and sizes with the mandolin and grater helps create variety with the meals
- I continue to have a healthy respect for my mandolin and use it with great care- the blades are razor sharp.
Questions posted to me on Day 2 and my answers:
- Q: Are you hungry?
- A: No. I try to space the timing of my meals and snack so I am not hungry. I think the food selections have helped me feel full as well.
- Q: Do you make oatmeal every morning? Is the oatmeal plain?
- A: I made a pot of oatmeal Sunday evening ( I used the ‘old-fashioned’ oats versus the quick oats) and two boxes from a six-pack of raisins. Each morning I take a portion from the pot and reheat it in the microwave.
- Q: How long were you unemployed and what did you purchase to eat on $5 to $10 per week?
- A: I was not gainfully employed for about a year. There’s very little in the way of fresh fruits or vegetables that you can purchase on a budget that low. I consumed rice, oatmeal, ramen noodles, applesauce, canned meats. During this time I learned about the ‘markdown’ produce in the store. I often ate once a day.
- Q: Why didn’t you qualify for assistance when you were unemployed?
- A: The State of Maryland requires completing an application to participate in the program. After completing the application I was contacted by Montgomery County Health and Human Services for an interview. The interviewer asked a series of questions about assets, sources of income and expenses. About 10 days later I received a letter in the mail stating my application was denied because I had car insurance and I had money in a savings account (at the time about $2,000) – should I exhaust my savings and cancel the car insurance I might be reconsidered. I couldn’t cancel the car insurance because I sometimes used the car to drive to my then part-time job and the State of Maryland requires registered vehicles to have insurance.
Day 3 will be a busy day at work. I am curious to see how the rush to meet deadlines and juggling tasks will impact the time I have to eat lunch and a afternoon snack. I am also scheduled to attend an evening meeting where a light dinner will be served. I am a bit anxious about the event as I know the event organizers try to make sure everyone eats – it is a matter of culture and hospitality.
I hope you will return to see how the day unfolds and I make strides and navigate the stressful moments of Day 3.