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SNAP Challenge – Day 4: Analysis and a Visit

Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days.


Again, I started the day with oatmeal with brown sugar. I like oatmeal a lot, but I am having a harder and harder time putting the spoon in my mouth. Eating like this does lack a bit of variety. I know that eating a variety of foods gives you a better chance of getting the nutrients you need. I was feeling very hungry and tired yesterday so I did a little analysis of what kind of nutrition I was getting.

First of all, I want to say that it is not as easy as one might think to figure out what you are and are not getting in your food. The labels only go so far and I found the Internet only marginally helpful. I compared what I could find out to the 2010 Nutritional Recommendations from the federal government. What I found was a bit of a surprise to me.

I tried to pick foods that I thought were protein rich and very healthy. Despite that, I found that I got just over half as much protein as I should have over a two day period. I got almost as much carbohydrates as I should have, and half as much fat. It was much harder to analyze the vitamins and minerals, but it looks like there are two that are either too low to count or lacking altogether: B12 and vitamin C. The real culprit, though seems to be just plainly and simply the amount of food. For a 2,000 calorie diet, I was getting less than half of the calories I needed. I simply need to eat more food, preferably in the form of protein.

I find that particularly interesting because I am definitely full when I finish a meal. Therefore, I will need to eat more often. So today, I will add another mini-meal. I will have lentil soup for lunch, carrots and peanut butter for an afternoon snack and rice, refried beans and salsa in two soft tacos for dinner. We’ll see how that goes.

A Visit

I had the pleasure of an unexpected visit from my mother this evening. In the spirit of the challenge, she will be eating with me. We will both dine on the refried beans, rice and salsa in soft taco shells tonight.

This article was posted in Deb Heinrich, Hunger Action, Nutrition, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized.

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