Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Living on a foodstamp budget, the kindness of others

Just a reminder of why I am doing this. Come join me in Harlem on Saturday as I cook for 12 hours. Bring a can of food or a donation to the Harlem Hospital Diabetes program.

I begin my day with 7.56. As hungry as I am I know better than to blow the money. It disappears so quickly.

I cannot explain this, but California early cherries cost less in New York than they do in California. I got 1/4 pound to go with breakfast.

Cherries .60
Rye Bread (2).40
Egg .20

Total 1.20

I was given coffee this morning. Roxie made me some and I gladly accepted the kindness of friends.

That small innocuous breakfast blew my carbs out of proportion, though at under 45 grams (barely) they were 45% of my breakfast.

I was shopping for the event with the supervising physician Rhonda Trousdale and missed lunchtime. When we got back to the hospital I was STARVING. I went to the grocery and checked the deli sandwiches 4.95...not happening.

I know from living in Harlem that many of the stores sell bread by the slice. A lot of seniors won't buy a loaf because they eat little and it would mold and go bad. So you can buy a slice for ten cents.

After looking at all the prices I asked the Deli man to sell me a slice of bread and 1/8 pound of liverwurst.

"You want a sandwich?"

"Yes but I have to keep it under 1.48."

"I got you buddy." He carefully weighed out the 2 ounces of liverwurst and put the price on the package then added several more slices to the paper, got the bread slathered it with mayo, cut it in half added lettuce and made me a huge half sandwich that cost 1.40. I must have eaten 6 ounces of liverwurst.

That wonderful, beautiful life giving sandwich bumped my calories way up, (needed calories) and made me feel wonderful, not only because I needed the food but because of the extreme kindness of the Deli man.

That is what I love and miss about Harlem. Folks here know what hard times mean and they always put a hand out. The Deli man didn't know anything about this project when he did that for me. He only knew I was hungry.

Of course I then told him briefly what was going on and left some postcards.

Pool you resources, have a potluck. This can be a great way to eat more on less.

I had dinner with a friend, my total expenditure was 2.25. WAY more than I normally would have had, but my lack of food for the past couple of days allowed it.  I don't know how much he spent, but dinner was wonderful and nutritious and met diabetic guidelines.

We had a warm Kale salad with yellow peppers and two slices of bacon in the warm vinaigrette. This was followed by Atlantic Char with a clam sauce on a bed of Portabello mushrooms. Fish is ideal for people with many health concerns, it is also expensive. Thus the problem. If my friend had not outspent me 5 to 1 I never would have had it.Total 4.85 for the day with 91 grams of carbohydrate, no meal was out of line in any big way. My calories were 1,544.

Check out my nutrition today, compared to yesterday. Without a friend pooling with me and way overspending me I never would have eaten this way.

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