Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days.
I am sitting here, staring at the computer with a raging headache, trying to concentrate on what it is I might want to write in today’s journal entry. I’ve had this headache on and off for two days. I’m on the sixth day of the Challenge. I am finding that even when I eat enough so that I don’t feel hungry, I am still not feeling well. I can’t help but think it has to do with a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. Today’s menu is much like the past few days: oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast, lentils and rice for lunch, snack of peanut butter and celery, lentils and rice for supper. I’m going to eat another snack (peanut butter and celery) and see if it helps.
It helped some. Perhaps I am having trouble recognizing it when I’m hungry now. I am learning first hand how my stomach can be “full”, but I can still be “hungry.” I tried to think of a different combination of groceries that might have given me more nutrients and vitamins, but every combination I’ve come up with so far lacks either vitamins or minerals or lacks protein. I can’t seem to find a balance that gives me enough calories, protein and vitamins on $4 a day.
Speaking of balance, I want to acknowledge how much time it takes to learn the ins and outs of what foods contain what nutrients and vitamins, analyze a diet, find recipes for inexpensive foods, plan a menu, buy the food, make the food, and make sure the food is with you when you need it. Balance that with working full time, raising kids, helping out family, participating in your community and more and you really come to see how it might be hard to find the time to eat healthy when your resources are limited.
I feel so incredibly sad that there are some people in my own community and state that feel this way all of the time, especially children who are growing and trying to learn.
Well, balance or not, I have another two meetings to attend this evening. So off I go.