Thursday, November 14, 2013

SNAP: Day Three

Day Three of my SNAP Challenge... and the first day without coffee!  How did I do? Let's just say I surprised MYSELF. No major headaches, but drank lots of water (I think I drank 1 liter more than normal). I did start to doze off while listening to an online lecture.... so I decided to take the lecture to the gym and listen to it while I did a light physical activity.  Circulating a little oxygen to my brain definitely helped!

I had oatmeal banana pancakes topped with peanut butter! People, this was AMAZING. I was in heaven...It was incredible. 

During my grad school lecture today, we had visitors from OxFam America come talk to our class. The speakers talked about the work oxfam is doing to END hunger and social injustice around the world... as well, as their work to hold companies accountable for their business practices (land grabs, unfair wages, gender discrimination, environmental practices... etc). Many great discussions were brought-up during the session: EATING LESS MEAT as a way to SLOW down global warming... which is creating huge stresses on low-resource countries and increasing the degree of severe weather patterns around the globe; how WE can make a difference in ENDING world hunger by the FOODS we choose to eat; WE can hold businesses accountable for their poor businesses practices and ASK THEM TO CHANGE....

Learn about what is behind your favorite brands at Oxfam's "Behind the Brands" Campaign

During the talk, we also discussed FOOD AID OF STAPLE FOODS.... which is a HUGE concern for me in developing countries. We are FAILING the poor farmers in many of these countries when we continually bring in food... and continue to promote the consumption of food aid EVEN when the country produces it's own food supply. Aid is meant to be temporary, and solutions should be made on the grounds, in these countries to help enhance the production and THE DISTRIBUTION of the cultural food supply. 

American white rice has become the "popular" in Haiti, as my Haitian friends have shared with me. Everyone is eating it, everyone is buying it. Everyone wants white rice. BUT what about the local native grains? What about the Sorghum (called pitimi) and the Haitian rice... and the corn meal... and the bulgur? What about all the local fruits, vegetables, beans, roots and tubers? Missions and institutions should be responding to this... The food is AVAILABLE. Encouraging the consumption of the local, native foods will help increase support for many of the poor people that are often forgot about.... the native farmers. 

FOOD IS POWER. We have more than enough food in the world for everyone to eat. BUT IT IS THE DISTRIBUTION and the POLITICS..... and the DESIRE FOR POWER that inhibit the fair and just ethics of THIS BASIC RESOURCE needed to sustain LIFE. 

....Enough of my rant for today. You can come back for more later. 

Following lecture, I WAS SO HUNGRY. I dove right in for this tasty veggie burger with a side of sweet potato fries.. and some left over cabbage/ kale from the night before! 

Here are the snacks I packed for the day! Nom nom... 

Dinner: I went crazy in the kitchen again!! :) 

I made a creamy tomato soup that ended up making about 5.5 cups of soup when it was finished. I split it in 2 so that I could pack some for lunch tomorrow. The cost per serving= $1.25. This is one of my more "expensive" meals since the tofu costs about $2 per container (about 4 servings), but I only used 1/2 of the packet so that I could make something else this weekend with it. 

What did I use? 

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP (5.5 cups, serves 1-2)

1/2 packet of tofu
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of a tomato sauce (stewed tomatoes would work too)
2 chopped carrot
1/4 of my zucchini
1/ 2 -1 cup of chopped spinach
1 cup of chopped kale
3 cups of water
a few dashes of basil, garlic powder, and pepper to taste

Blend the tofu, tomato sauces, and water in a blender. Pour into a soup pan. Add additional water if needed. Put all your chopped veggies into the pan, and bring to a boil on medium heat. Be sure to keep stirring the soup to prevent burning. 

total cost= $2.48 for the whole recipe 
per serving= $1.25 

I think if I made this again... I would add some lentils (or other beans) to add more protein and carbohydrates. It would only cost an additional $0.10. Or serve it with a piece of toast or add some quinoa to it. 

Oh and I also paired this with a little side salad of kale, carrots, and a dash of olive oil. 

After dinner, I did a rough estimate of my food costs for the day. I came in at about $3... unbelievable right? I mean, that's how much a drink at Starbucks/ Caribou costs. After considering the costs... and realizing I was still hungry. I went and made myself a dessert.  A picture of "pumpkin fro yo" showed up on my facebook newsfeed at about the time of the hunger signals, so I got creative and made my own! 

It's a good thing I froze that squash yesterday! It came in handy!

Pumpkin Banana Fro Yo 
(serves 1) 

1/2- 1 cup of frozen squash 
1/2 - 1 frozen banana
1/2 cup of milk (almond/ soy/ flax)
 cinnamon (to taste)

Blend all the ingredients together and eat it!!

 I did add some peanut butter to mine since I really needed some fat. I actually recommend adding it in the blender with the ingredients above--give it more of a creamy texture!

Seriously, this was amazing! I think might need to make this again... this week!!!

 I am starting to notice that I can't workout at the same pace or length of time... and my body is more achy than normal. I know I am not recovering as well after workouts as I usually do. I think I need to stop being as active or eat more calories. Given that my total food cost is short each day, I think I am going to boost up my intake. It was out of fear of not having enough at the end of the week that was holding me back, but there should be enough. 
There will be enough. 

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