Wednesday, September 17, 2014
We all know that low carbers eat more veggies than most people who eat a "healthy" diet. I wondered how many (much?) veggies I've eaten since I started this challenge. After all, I'm keeping my spending to the average food stamp benefit actually received in Indiana, so it must be light on veggies, right? Nope. Since I started on 9/2, I've averaged 434 grams, or 15.3 ounces. Might durn close to a pound of veggies every day. Well, that does include some watermelon, but mostly veggies. If I back out the first week when I was sick, it comes to an average of 513 grams or 18.1 ounces, or 1.125 pounds. And that's veggies eaten, excluding the skin and seeds and other waste.
I know - many people on food stamps don't eat fresh veggies because they just aren't available in food deserts. I'm not commenting on the diets (whether by choice or necessity) of the poor. I'm just pointing out that low carb doesn't have to be expensive. Aimed mostly at those who say that low carb is "too expensive." It is possible to eat low carb healthy and eat cheaply, too.
Today I bought a jar of mayo ($1.99) and three dozen eggs ($3.75). Thanks, Naypooie, for asking about my egg consumption! It made me realize that I'd better get more eggs while they're on sale. And yes, six dozen eggs makes sense. A "serving" is usually four eggs, and I have eggs most days, either for breakfast or for lunch or for supper. And I've been having a MIM most days, which is another egg. And I ate a lot of deviled eggs when I was sick and taking medicine that had to be taken with food. So yeah, six dozen eggs, plus a few.
Today's food -
B - MIM with coconut oil, tea
L - salad - lettuce, tuna, egg, mayo, tomato
D - scramble of eggs, zucchini, onion and coconut oil; cauliflower with mayo
S - tea with splenda (maybe)
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
B - MIM/OMM with coconut oil; tea
L - soup - chicken broth, eggs, zucchini, red bell pepper, coconut oil
S - tea with coconut oil and splenda
D - pork chop; cucumber with mayo; broccoli, carrots and butter
The FSC is half over. I started on the 2nd so it's not half over until today. I've spent $88.84 of my $120.00 budget so far, or 75%. I guess that's reasonable, since I have the food for this next week.
Here's what I bought and what I have left:
1 watermelon (mistake!) - most left
2 lbs carrots - over a pound
7+ lbs cabbage - ~4 lbs
3 lbs onions (6 onions) - 3-1/2 onions
2 heads lettuce - most of a head
2 red bell pepppers - 1 pepper
2 zucchini - 1 huge zucchini plus a bit of another
2 heads cauliflower - 1-1/2 heads
1.13 lbs broccoli - ~1 pound
24 oz cottage cheese - all gone
1 lb butter - 7 tablespoons
11 dozen eggs - about 5 dozen
10 cans tuna - 6 cans
10 lbs chicken leg quarters - meat from 3 quarters
4.5 lbs pork chops (8 chops) - 5 chops
1 jar mayo (30 oz) - almost gone
40 decaff green tea bags - ~25 tea bags
9.6 oz flax seed - 6+ oz
100 packs sweetener - ~65 packets
56 oz coconut oil - ~ 42 oz
2 jars cinnamon - 1-1/2 jars
2 cucumbers - 2 cukes
It's been interesting, because I've been doing other things at the same time I've been doing the FSC. I've decreased my protein, sort of in line with keto. Or at least I think so. My goal is between 60 and 80 grams of protein a day, instead of the 125 or so that I had been averaging. And this past week have started IF, eating between about 9:30 and 5:30 pm, then "fasting" for the other 16 hours or so. I'm still eating three meals a day, just bunching them together. I'm also trying keep my calories between about 1600 and 1800 calories a day. So there's a lot going on in my dietary life these days.
Monday, September 15, 2014
B - eggs scrambled in coconut oil
L - church picnic - free
S - tea/cream/splenda at restaurant - $3.50
D - none, wasn't hungry
The tea was a social event and I have mixed feelings about whether it really should be included in the budget. But I said I would include it, so I am.
B - MIM/OMM with coconut oil
L - salad - cauliflower, eggs, mayo, mustard
D - pork chop; salad of cucumber, tomato, mayo
S - tea with sweetener
Ended up with fewer calories and less protein than I intended. I thought about adding an egg with mayo but decided not to. Not every day has to have "enough" calories or protein or anything else.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
We had a speaker at Sunday School this morning who talked about poverty from an unusual perspective. It amounted to the neurobiology of poverty. I wish you could have heard her. I'll try to repeat what she said but probably won't do a very good job of it. Caveat - as she put it, she was talking about the middle of the bell curve. What she said doesn't apply to everyone. And she was talking about generational poverty, which includes living in the "bad" part of town.
People living in generational poverty are hard-wired differently than those of us who aren't. It's a survival mechanism. They learn to react immediately to possible threats or crises. They have to. Quick reflexes can save their lives. They don't have time to think about long term solutions when they're trying to stay alive today, or even in the moment. This instant reflex action is hard-wired into them and it affects their thinking and their actions in areas other than those that are threatening.
Those of us living on the "good" side of the tracks don't have this hard-wiring. We don't need it. It's not relevant to our lives. We're hard-wired to analyse a situation and look at the big picture. That's the kind of thinking that's relevant for our lives.
She gave two examples. A woman she works with who was raised in generational poverty got a job at a factory. One day on their smoke break, a man ran across the parking lot. The woman immediately ran after him. Turns out he was the UPS man. The others asked her why she ran after him. She told them that where was raised, in the worst part of Chicago, if you saw someone running, you ran too. You didn't wait to find out why they were running, you just ran. Immediate reflex actions were hard-wired into her. They were survival mechanisms where she was from but not appropriate to her live after she got out of that part of Chicago.
The second example was herself. She was walking along the beach in Belize one evening when she suddenly realized that she was alone. Everyone else had left. She saw someone coming and knew that she was in trouble. She was sure that he was going to mug her blah blah blah. And she was right - he grabbed her backpack and ran off. She was so busy analyzing the situation that she didn't do anything to protect herself. Her background had left her hard-wired to analyze a situation rather than to react immediately. That's what worked for her life - most of the time. It wasn't the right response to that situation though. Her friend from Chicago would probably have done much better in that situation. (She says that when the Zombie Appocolypse comes, she plans to hang out with folks from the bad part of town because they're going to much better because they respond immediately instead of stopping to think about things.)
So what does this have to do with the Food Stamp Challenge? I expect to end the month with food and/or money left over. Probably both. And that's after spending $3.50 on tea this afternoon and probably $10 on food for a picnic the end of the month. It's not exciting, but it's not hard. Why do people who actually use food stamps keep running out of food stamps half way through the month? Sure, there are things like I'm doing it by choice and they do it by necessity, and I do it for a month and they do all the time, and I have time and a car and the appliances and dishes and pots and pans and so forth. And I don't have to worry about being mugged on my way home or whether I'm going to be evicted or how I'm going to pay the electric bill and so forth. And I'm not trivializing those things. I know that they're going to make a difference in how I deal with budgeting issues.
But apparently there's more to it than that. My life situation has trained me - has hard-wired me - to look at the big picture and to plan for the long-term. I made a general shopping list before I started, and I update it every time I buy anything, setting aside money for the things I know I'm going to have to buy. The life situation of those in generational poverty has trained them to react immediately based on short term thinking. It's not just a matter of showing them how to do the long-term thinking, but of overcoming the hard-wiring that has helped them to survive for most of their life.
I've done a horrible job of explaining this, and I have a feeling that it sounds very judgmental and bigoted. The way she explained it definitely wasn't. The strategies that they learned kept them alive and well. I'd likely be killed, or at least mugged and robbed, in that Chicago neighborhood. I definitely wouldn't prosper. But that same background that kept them alive and well keeps them from prospering in my world. And it's too deeply embedded to be changed by simply telling them or showing them how to look at the big picture and to plan ahead.
I should probably just delete this, but I think it's important. It definitely changes - or should change - how I view the Food Stamp Challenge and the difference between my choice of doing the challenge for a month and other people eating this way by necessity year after year.
Oops - I should make it clear that the hard-wiring is the result of their experiences, not genetics. Just as our hard-wiring is the result of our experiences, not genetics. And the way to get people out of generational poverty is to somehow change those experiences starting at an early age.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
B - MIM/OMM with coconut oil
L - soup - chicken broth, eggs, zucchini, red bell pepper
S - walnuts, delacata squash (free - party type thing)
D - salad - cabbage, onion, mayo, eggs
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