Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 11, Month 2 The Diabetic Food Stamp Project

I could not drink my coffee this morning. One sip and the acid hit my stomach and I did not want any more.

I did not throw it out, I chose to cool it and see if I could not make it work as iced with some milk later. ...(it is now later, I threw it out wasting 12 cents)

I had iced tea and a breakfast identical to yesterday. I made the last of the flat bread with the rest of the ham salad and some pomegranate.

Coffee .12 (I paid for the coffee, even it it was tossed)
Ham mayonnaise .60
Bread .09
Pomegranate .50
Tea .03
Total 1.34
Carbs 40 grams

I am really getting sick of this budget restriction and even more the carb restrictions. I understand how incredibly difficult it is to be diabetic and always HAVE to make the right choices.

I have learned a lot walking in these shoes. Even with the tiny restricted portion, nothing makes me more happy than pasta.

So I had it for lunch.

I used no cheese but added capers to the sauce for that extra volt of flavor.
That is a very bad picture but it was a very good lunch.

1.5 ounce of pasta .12
Sauce .58
Iced tea .03
Capers .08
Total .81
Carbs 40 grams

Dinner was an original. I had those rib tips that had Asian Spice on them and was in the mood for tomato gravy. (tomato gravy is what Southern women make when they are on a diet, it still has butter, but since you add tomatoes it becomes a magic diet food)

A truly rotten photo.

I began with a kohlrabi which I just peeled and ate sliced. 

I then put a tablespoon of butter in the pan and added a touch of flour to brown stirring in water and adding a chopped tomato and the ribs. I let that gravy simmer while I boiled a potato .50, added butter .40 and cabbage .15, plus some yogurt .19. the Total is 1.24.

I had half of the potato mix and all of the rib tips with gravy.

Ribs .95
Tomato .50
Butter .10
Kohlrabi .33
Potato mix .62
Total 2.50
Carbs 45 grams

I had no idea I was making such an expensive meal. Wow. It is a good thing I had only half of the potato mix.

I kept the carbs under control which was the most important thing.

Let's see if I managed my money well. I had a potential 6.23. My day total was 4.65 leaving me 1.58 to carry over. I did fine. Calories 1,439


Mirabai said...

Karl, you spend a lot of your day cooking and shopping. I know you give talks/cooking demos and do work for Stirring the Pot but it doesn't seem like you work a traditional 9-5 job. How do you feel having a 40 hr/week time commitment would change what you do to find and create food within these restrictions? How about if that job was a swing shift or night shift job?

We know that a large percentage of the people receiving food assistance actually work and as I come home tired at the end of a long day, I wonder what it would be like to have to hold myself to these terrible restrictions.

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

While I don't write about it, often I shop on the shopping tours I lead so I am able to work my shopping and cooking into my day much more easily than someone who works a normal job.

My commitment is often many more than 40 hours but not 8 hours in a row very often.

I think you are making my exact point. I am a chef with EVERY advantage and that includes time and I am unable to get the calories and nutrition I should on this budget.

Someone in a more traditional job or an over night shift might find it impossible.

Their health would suffer.

The cost of poor diet is medical.

It is impossible for the average person to meet these restrictions.

Mirabai said...

I think about you literally every time I stand in my kitchen or walk through the farmers' market. I buy the grassfed, free range, etc., and I regularly spend more than the daily SNAP allowance on just one meal's worth of meat. I think about it every time I eat in a restaurant. I went to cooking school before med school and I'm an above average cook. There is no way I could successfully feed myself on that allowance and still be healthy.

Where do you go from here? How do we get you invited to speak about this before Congress? I wrote to our Senators some time back with the link to your blog (also the Daily Show) but what else can we do to get people to hear your message?

Karl Wilder, Chef said...


I have some wonderful women working on press releases that are either ignored or like The Katie Couric Show said..."We did a food stamp thing with Cory Booker so we aren't going to do another one".

However I still think the press is the way to get the attention of Congress.

Tweet, Share, Re-share and spread the message everywhere you can. Someone know someone who knows someone and the more people exposed the more likely press can be generated and the only way to deal with Congress is to publicly embarass them.