SNAP Challenge Nutrition
During the SNAP Challenge, I’m using SparkPeople, an online nutrition diary, to track my intake of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
My meals during the Challenge have been pretty consistent, but at the end of Day 2, I used my remaining $8.57 to purchase foods to vary my diet: a loaf of whole wheat bread, a jar of natural peanut butter, a jar of grape jelly, and a four-pack of butterscotch pudding cups (all on sale). These items have really helped fill in the gaps during the day, but all the same, I’m hungry almost all the time.
Here’s my menu for the past few days:
Breakfast: ½ cup of oatmeal with skim milk and half a banana, or two slices of whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Lunch: 1 ½ cups of cooked pasta, about 1/3 cup of pinto beans, about 1/3 cup of frozen mixed veggies, about 1/3 cup diced tomatoes, and a pinch of garlic
Dinner: 1 cup of cabbage, about ½ of a large potato, ½ cup of garbanzo beans (on Day 2 I added a PBJ sandwich)
Snacks: celery, apples, tea with skim milk
I’ve averaged about 1600 calories, 300 grams of carbs, 29 grams of fat, and 60 grams of protein each day during the SNAP Challenge. My fat and protein intake is much lower than usual, while my carb intake is above optimal levels. This isn’t an unhealthy diet, but it wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run for me, a relatively young and physically active person. If I were managing a chronic disease like diabetes, the high carb count would make it difficult to control my blood sugar, but better options (like whole wheat pasta for lunch, or a high-protein breakfast) would be outside my budget.