Day…oh, forget it.
So you may or may not have noticed the inconspicuous lack of a day 3 post… Well, I quit the food stamp challenge. For a few reasons. None of which are really that great.
1) I got on the scale. Now, I study nutrition, and I know a thing or two about calories and what it takes to put on weight, and that number just did not make sense! As I would tell my clients, it’s probably water retention, it’s not a ‘true weight,’ etc etc. Regardless, it was up… way up. In speaking to classmates of mine, I realized this has been a problem for quite a few people doing the challenge, and, in true nutrition major fashion, we were more than a little upset about it. For the record, I have accepted the fact that this makes me a huge high-maintenance wimp, but at least I’ve got my classmates to back me up.
2) One drawback to this challenge, as far as making it a realistic food stamp experience, has been the overabundance of other food available in my house (and the mother who is VERY willing to try to feed it to me — no blame… just tryin’ to paint a picture for ya.) As someone who is usually so against wasting good fresh food, seeing the abundance of food we are so lucky to have going to waste didn’t seem right.
Excuses aside, though, I must acknowledge this experience has been invaluable. I don’t think, if asked, I ever would have doubted that living on food stamps is pretty far from a walk in the park; but the problem is that I never really thought about it. I never thought about how much time and frustration would go into planning a food budget that, when all is said and done, is not even nutritionally sound. The fact that I wimped out is a testament to just how difficult it can be for people living on food stamps. I don’t think it would be difficult to survive, but it is definitely difficult — if not impossible — to find joy in food. I know that my love of food and nutrition has sprung from my own life experience of never having to feel food insecurity. By having my needs fulfilled, as far as a balanced supply of food always being available, I was always able to play, experiment, make mistakes, and thus LEARN. Needless to say, this week was a horse of a different color. I actually had a dream I kept screwing up when I was preparing food — burning rice, letting bread get moldy, squishing my banana in the bottom of a grocery bag, etc — and I woke up panicked… Living with the burden of all those concerns make experimentation in the kitchen too costly to be a reality.
I am truly blessed.