I ate exactly the same food for 3 days.
It was not a choice, it was what I had.
Though on a daily basis I show surplus, the reality is that I laid in slightly too much food for the 'end of the month' and the monthly budget was spent.
Because of my skill and planning I was not eating Swanson dinners or frozen pizza as so many others do. I ate well. It may have been a bit dull and monotonous, but there are worse things.
I began each day with...
Peanut Butter .19
Soup with dumplings .66
Coffee with cream .17
Carbs 47 grams
Lunch was a chili cheese quesadilla, those delicious tender morsels made at the beginning of the month.
Ice tea .03
Dinner each night was really good. I made a vegie sauce for pasta with cabbage, carrot, and onion ground in the food processor cooked with a can of tomatoes and garlic. Total sauce cost was 1.63. I loaded it with fresh garlic which bumped up the cost slightly but man was it good.
Carbs 54 grams
It was pretty lackluster end to the month.
My understanding has grown. I did EVERYTHING that people say food stamp recipients should do. I grew herbs on the windowsill, I shopped the sales, I baked my own bread, made my own dumplings and took every single measure I could to get both the calories and the nutrition I need.
The truth is that on this budget you CANNOT get both the calories and the nutrition needed to sustain healthfully. Those few dollars we take out of food will be paid in health care costs.
I should have my blood work in a few days to share with you.
For those last 3 days I had 1,009 calories per day. While it is true, I had more food in the house, food that was paid for and I could have eaten more. I found I no longer cared. My drive to make effort had been starved out of me.
I lost 8 pounds, two inches in my chest (while working out daily) so a lot of it was muscle loss.
I will tally my nutrition for the two months...but there is no question it suffered.
My first big meal after coming off the project. 3 ounces of ham, 3 flatbread, a small bit of mac and cheese an ENTIRE avocado with two Roma tomatoes and goat Feta. The meal cost over three dollars, 3/4 of what the average food stamp recipient can spend a day.