Last night’s dinner: spaghetti squash & sauce.
It’s only day 3 and I’ve spent too much money. I’m slightly hungry and slightly light-headed. So, this is going swimmingly. I think the biggest problem with my planning (other than the aforementioned lack of budgeted caffeine) was I didn’t account for the fact I live a very active lifestyle and I’m only eating 1,000 calories a day.
Really. I entered my little menu into Sparkpeople and it came in at a cool 914 calories. Yikes. Considering yesterday I swam 45 minutes before work and then played ultimate frisbee for 2 hours after work, I’m a bit exhausted today. Truly the only reason this week is manageable and I’m not pulling my hair out (and then possibly looking at it as a snack) is that this is only lasting 5 days. I cannot imagine how people do this every single day, with children, riding a bus to work, working for minimum wage, dealing with unsafe housing, etc. Amanda made a good point that it is essentially a luxurious attitude to say I won’t shop at Wal-Mart. In truth, if I was in a bind financially and had kids, I’d shop wherever I could make my buck stretch the most.
Shelley pointed out another great aspect of hunger. Imagine the stress this causes in any home. I’ve heard this public health story, which very may be an urban legend, that goes something like this. In Phoenix, there is an elementary school in a particularly bad part of town. Parents must come in the school office to check their kids in and return in the afternoon to sign them out. It was decided by school staff that while students weren’t showing signs of starvation, they obviously weren’t getting enough to eat at home. They would come to school very early on Mondays to eat the school breakfast — in all likelihood because they weren’t getting enough to eat during the weekend. The school nurse began making peanut butter sandwiches and handing one to each parent who came in to the school to check his/her child out for the day. Within a year, the neighborhood had dramatically lower rates of domestic violence. When they later interviewed parents about what had changed in their households, many of the moms said they fed the kids the sandwich, or they ate part of it, or they gave it to their husbands. The husband, who was less cranky after getting something to eat, was less likely to hit his wife. The wife, who was less cranky, was less likely to hit the kid. The kid, who now had a snack, was better behaved.
All from a peanut butter sandwich.