Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living on a Food Stamp Budget Month 2 Day 20

For those who are still coming here to offer help on Saturday read here.

An apple a day, it won't hurt.

Since I have begun this project I have lost 5 lbs,and despite regular workout some of it is muscle. My chest is one inch smaller.

I got my blood work back.

My sodium and potassium are out of balance causing water retention.

Despite not eating any significant sugar, my blood sugar and triglycerides are both higher than they should be.

My cholesterol, while still very low,is higher than it was and the ratio is off.

My blood count (Iron in the blood) is far too high.

While I am not fat my percentage of fat vs. muscle has increased. My body fat was at 11% and is now at 14%.

I have a lot of advantages compared to many who have no choice but to live on this budget. I am a chef, I have a garden, I had a birthday last month and meals out so my diet has had more nutrition and variance than many who have no choice but to eat the cheapest, day in and day out.

I admit to being bored by it. I am sick of many of the foods that work in this budget. I am ready for it to be over.

For many who live this way it may never be over. We have few jobs in the U.S. and the jobs we have often pay so little food is a luxury.

When I say I've walked a mile in my brother's shoes I know that my shoes have custom insoles and by comparison are more comfortable.

I begin my day with 6.78.

I still have leftover ham so I fry it with two eggs and make some Rye Toast.

Coffee .30
Ham leftover
Rye from Gail
Butter .15
2 eggs .40
Total .85

I wasn't hungry when I decided I needed a snack. I just got it into my head that I had not had any fruit yet and not much in the vegetable arena so I had two apples and peanut butter.

Apples (more fruit from Gail)
Peanut butter .21
Second pot of coffee .30
Total .51

I had no appetite for lunch but after the gym was seriously hungry. I stopped at the store on the way home and they had a polish sausage sample station. I ate several slices, pretty much enough to qualify as one link. It was good and the lady kept telling me to have more.

For dinner I added bacon, green beans, and mushrooms and the second half of yesterday's onion to some of the sauce from the other day. I barely needed pasta. That was a great meal.
Tomato Sauce (free tomatoes)
Pasta .19
Green beans .44
Mushrooms .50
Onion .10
Iced Tea .03
Total 1.26

Day Total 2.62, yet I feel as if I ate well. 1.692 calories and okay on the nutrition scale.

I carry over 4.16


Anonymous said...

Hello, this is fascinating and I appreciate you bringing attention to this issue! I live in TN and am wondering how the daily $$ amount per meal was determined. I'd like to see what the amount would be in my state.

Thank you for your time,


Anonymous said...

Some of the idiots at Huffington Post need to come here and get the full story. I have not commented yet but they are making me angry. You admit and have always admitted that you have advantages.

I love the attention you are bringing.

Mirabai said...

I've been waiting for these lab results. They're very interesting. You actually lost weight but increased body fat by 3% which really means you lost important muscle. And with water retention, you actually lost more than 5 lbs, because that water is plumping up your weight.

Did you run a vitamin D level as well?

Your blog has been an inspiring read for me these last few weeks. You've helped motivate me to change a lot abut my eating habits, so thanks.

Also, I'm kind of mad at you. I've pretty much wasted an entire day reading the comments on the huffpo article. It's been quite the drama!

Anonymous said...

I just read your blog and had to say thank you for attempting this. I am a mom who has to make meals for my family with only a limited budget. My allotment comes to approximately $2.55 per person a day. It is so difficult to make healthy meals on that budget. Everything that is wholesome is twice or more the price of cheap easy stuff. I am fortunate to have had my mother and grandmother teach me how to cook from scratch or we'd never survive on our food budget. Again thanks for the amazing blog and showing its not all fun and games providing healthy meals on a foodstamp budget.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous for budget. I can tell you how I get my $2.55 per person. I am allowed 387.00 per month for my family of 5. multiply by 12 months, divide by 52 weeks then divide by 5 gives me what I can spend per person a day. Making something healthy for my family is not easy on that budget when fresh food can run you the whole amount allowed a day and not even make a complete meal. You have to save from meal to meal, make stocks from bones ect. to carry over. It is nice to see someone try this and understand how difficult it is.

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

I have been out most of the day and knew that my e mail was backing up but had no idea how many more comments there have been. I just looked.

I can't read them all. It would take a day. Part of my goal was to raise awareness. Clearly that has been done.

Mirabai said...

At this point, there's very little in the comments that is actually about you or the article itself. There's some awareness raised but what it has really done is open up a flood gate of hate and prejudice. I swear, your ring-wearing lobster lady has been personally spotted by over 2/3 of that thread.

It's been sad, seeing how much anger and prejudice is out there.

Oh, and your blood sugar is up because of the pasta. Too much fast access carbs. That was why I asked about it the other day. I'm intrigued by the elevated iron, though. I can't see that. You do eat plenty of red meat and maybe with the daily supplement you mentioned, it could be a bit on the high side, but not 'far too high.' I'm wondering if you also had an elevated hematocrit or hct on the lab results.

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

My supplement contains no Iron. hematocrit and hct both were in the normal range.

I suspect that my whole chemistry is a bit off and things will even out when I get back to my regular way of eating. Like you, my doctor is also curious. I am not in any danger zones so I will re-test after a month of normalcy.