SNAP Challenge – Day 3 | Meal Plan and Reflections

I’m halfway through my #SNAPChallenge.  As I began typing this late on Wednesday night, Newark, New Jersey’s Mayor, @CoryBooker, was being grilled humorously by John Stewart on “The Daily Show” about his own SNAP Challenge.  (BTW, his lampooned heroics are legendary — even on Twitter, and Jon Stewart couldn’t help himself but to poke fun of the Mayor about his recent open-door policy during Hurricane Sandy and his very active participation on social networks.)

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The day began very well, but ended poorly because the hours between the meals of lunch and dinner were too long.  I had a booming headache to the point that my eyes were hurting.  Just about two hours after having dinner, however, it subsided somewhat.  Hopefully, it will be gone by the morning.

This was my meal plan for Day 3, which by the way, was December 12, 2012 or 12.12.12:

  • Breakfast: Tuna Salad with Crackers (6)
  • Lunch: Soup and Carrots (a combination of the carrots from the day before that were not eaten and today’s portion)
  • Dinner: Rice Pilaf, Fish and Okra (frozen)

SNAP Challenge - Day 3 - Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast was delicious, and as the first meal of the day, it was satisfying.  I had that with a cup of hot water.  (Reminder: Having tea bags and sugar, or even milk, was not in the budget.)  Lunch was also delicious but was too liquid-y — with not enough heft/substance.  It just wasn’t hearty enough.  Thankfully, I had carrots.  The tummy was in a good place in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the saying “Houston, we have a problem” rang like alarm bells at around 7 o’clock.

Since I’d had lunch at 1:00 p.m., it was now almost 6 hours after my last meal.  If I’d eaten, I would have been good.  However, dinner would have wait until 10:10 p.m.  By then, my head was absolutely throbbing (see second paragraph above).

Once my meal preparation was complete, dinner was, in a word:  Glorious.  It was “The Golden Meal” of my SNAP Challenge.  You would think it was a splurge, but it absolutely was not.  Although there were only two pieces of fish, this will yield three portions, which is terrific.  Together with the okra (which I love) and leftover rice, I had a dream meal.  It’s so strange to be so incredibly excited and proud about a meal.  After rationing and having beans and rice for dinner yesterday evening, this is like winning the lottery.

SNAP Challenge - Day 3 - The Fish ("Porgies") on the Stove

SNAP Challenge - Day 3 - Dinner "The Golden Meal"

Final Thoughts:  Although I’ve managed to have three meals per day and I’m obviously not starving and living on bread and water, what is obvious to me are all the things I’m missing.  Hearty starches, like bread and pasta, as well as milk, fresh vegetables and all the fresh fruits I love.  Living on such a tight budget means you must sacrifice.  Of course, if I were to continue this challenge, I’d of course use my next $30.00 on a few of those things.  Theoretically, you can have variety, but it just depends on whether that variety falls within the budget and can be stretched in some way.  My vegetable soup is the perfect example.  As I’d mentioned in a previous post, it serves 4 under normal circumstances, but adding a relatively large bag of frozen sweet corn added just over 2 more servings to the pot.

Seriously, I cannot wait to buy a bag of spinach, a bag of grapes, a container of fresh grapefruit and bananas.

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You can follow my SNAP Challenge journey on Twitter via @brainypintsizer.  You’ll be subjected to food pics, SNAP thoughts, and my usual random marketing information and rants.

The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation.  – John F. Kennedy


3 thoughts on “SNAP Challenge – Day 3 | Meal Plan and Reflections

  1. Pingback: SNAP Challenge – Day 4 | Meal Plan and Reflections | brainypintsizer

    • Monday. It’s a 7-day challenge. My last day is Sunday. Today, so far, I’ve had carrots and hot water for breakfast. I should have had the carrots for a snack but I forgot to pack a lunch. So, what was my snack was made breakfast, and my breakfast is now lunch — sardines and sweet potato. You’ll find the recaps of my days so far by searching “SNAP Challenge”.

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