SNAP Challenge Day 4: Food Boredom

SNAP-Challenge.ashxAnother day but still having the same meals: cereal for breakfast, macaroni for lunch, and eggs for dinner. It’s really getting old. I know this problem demonstrates how little I know about poverty and hunger. I’m far from rich and I grew up with parents who had a pretty tight budget but I have rarely experience the food boredom I am dealing with this week. I guess I was used to having the same lunch every day but same dinner as well? That’s just boring. But maybe the reason I am bothered by the idea of having the same meals is because I remember that, only 1 or 2 hours after dinner every evening this week, I’ve been left hungry, waiting for morning to come so I could have breakfast. The food is not only repetitive, it’s not fully satisfying either. It’s not like my meals aren’t balanced because I think I did a fairly good job at making sure I’d have enough vitamins, proteins, carbs, etc. But it still isn’t as much as I normally eat and the calorie count is there to prove it. Every day this week, I have entered my meals on My Fitness Pal and was warned at the end of the day that I wasn’t eating enough. 300 to 400 calories in deficit. That’s a lot! Of course, if I just bought cheap ramen and frozen pizza, I might have reached my calorie goals but then I wouldn’t have reached the other levels of nutrition. This is a tough decision to make! And one that too many Americans have to make every single day.

The other reason I am in such a negative mood today is that I am at the peak of my cold. I woke up feeling horrible and all I wanted was orange juice and chicken noodle soup. But that wasn’t in my meal plan so I had to stick to my same old meals. No room for unexpected comfort food when you’re on such a tight budget!

I went all fancy in my cereal today, adding 2 fresh strawberries.
I went all fancy in my cereal today, adding 2 fresh strawberries.

Today’s SNAP Challenge question:

How has eating on a limited budget impacted your mood? Your concentration? How has that impacted your interaction with family and coworkers?

It’s hard for me to judge how much my mood change is based solely on the limited budget or if it is also due to my cold. Either way, both aren’t mixing well at all together. I keep walking around the house complaining about being hungry and wanting a snack and having nothing to do about it. I am tired a lot (again, could be the cold as well), which isn’t ideal when working with a class of 10-12 toddlers.

The limited budget has definitely affected my interaction with my husband. I love him to death and I know that he would love to help me out but I have had to decline his numerous offers this week to buy me drinks, coffee, sweets and whatever else I complained about. I know he was just trying to make me feel better but I had to remind him that I couldn’t afford these things on my budget. Of course, this is just a one-week challenge but I can imagine what it would be like to have to refuse your friends’ offers to go out to dinner or to go for coffee because you simply can’t afford it. It is definitely not a concept too foreign but this week has definitely made me realize how quickly we tend to turn to buying more stuff.


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