The challenge is coming along nicely, even though I’m not in love with the idea of eating more chicken or ground beef. Last night’s dinner was a burger, topped with some of the cheddar, a slice of tomato and a bit of onion. On the side I had broccoli and butter. I doubled both, so it is also my lunch for today.

Though I do have two confessions:

1. My boyfriend has been extremely helpful around the house lately. To show him my appreciation, I baked him chocolate chip cookies, and I ate one. I didn’t go out and buy any of the ingredients, it was all stuff we had on hand. But, I still ate a cookie that I did not factor into my budget. Granted, if I did factor it in, it would only be chump change.

2. This weekend is my dad’s birthday. He called me yesterday to say he wanted to have a picnic on Saturday. Though my challenge ends on Saturday, I will still go and celebrate my dad’s birthday. I’m going to bring my own ground beef to cook on the grill with my cheese and tomatoes and what not. I estimate that I will have used almost all of my food by then, but I should not be out of food by then, which is important to take into consideration.

Yesterday a reader posted a link to the CEO of Panera’s SNAP Challenge. From his blog,

This week, through my participation in the SNAP Challenge, I have had a glimpse into how detrimental and all-consuming hunger can be – and I’m barely halfway through my merely seven day challenge. I can’t stop thinking about food. You probably think I’m joking (or think that must be normal for me since I work for a food company after all), but I promise you it’s not. Over the last few days, my thoughts have been consumed by food. When is my next meal? How much food is left in my cabinet? Will it get me through the week? What should I spend my remaining few dollars on? What would I eat if I had no budget at all?

Each night, when I go to bed, I’m engulfed by a sick feeling that comes from eating too many carbs. The cereal and pasta that have made up the bulk of my diet (mixed with the water that I’m consuming to try to mask the hunger) leave me feeling bloated…yet not really full.

This is the reality of any carbohydrate rich diet. I purposely did not buy carbohydrate-dense foods and instead focused on nutrient dense foods, thus requiring less food. And I bought pastured, grass-fed and antibiotic-free eggs, beef and chicken. Had I bought conventionally raised (though not ideal, still better than packaged foods and grains) eggs, beef and chicken, my grocery bill would have been much cheaper.

There needs to be a shift from buying cheap carbohydrates to buying vegetables, meats and eggs. Why are these people being encouraged to buy nutrient poor foods like oatmeal, pasta, rice and beans? These foods are extremely detrimental, especially for children.

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