Low-Budget Food Challenge: Day 1 Recap

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It’s the end of day 1 of my 7-day low-budget food challenge. Spoiler alert: I already cheated, which means I add $5 more to my donation to Feeding America.

Strangely, I woke up hungry. I’ve never been a big breakfast eater, so this was a little odd for me. I was planning to have a scrambled egg and potatoes for breakfast, but I got a last minute invite to go flea marketing and wouldn’t have time for the potatoes to cook. So I had a scrambled egg, toast, and a banana for breakfast. I felt kind of full, but not really. A second egg probably would’ve done the trick, but I only have 6 to last me the week.

We got to the flea market about 45 minutes after I had breakfast and I started to get hungry. Then I was starving. I was on the verge of headache starving. I continued to tell myself I could wait until I got home and have a peanut butter sandwich and carrots. Slowly the awful hunger started to go away, and I was only slightly hungry. But I cheated. I went to Firehouse Subs and got a turkey sub and chips. Part of this was because I was with someone who wanted to go out to lunch, but also because I was just really hungry and I didn’t do a great job exercising self-control. I can say with relative certainty that I would have still been hungry after a peanut butter sandwich and carrots.

I also walked around Total Wine with a friend and sampled a bunch of things, which was free. I bought a few gifts, but nothing that I’ll be consuming this week.

I made this chili for dinner using the ground beef, canned tomatoes, and chili seasoning I bought. I also used some of the beans and an onion, but I still have plenty of each left over. The chili was filling enough, and I have plenty left over to reheat throughout the week.

I analyzed today’s nutrition as if I hadn’t cheated for lunch using the USDA SuperTracker. This would have been 839 calories for the entire day, being under target for grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins – and no dairy at all. (Note: I had the choice to move the beans in the chili from the veggie to the protein basket, but I left them in the veggie basket. I moved them to the protein basket, and I was OK for protein.) I was under target for most vitamins and minerals, and over for fat. When I analyzed what I actually ate, my day was 1180 calories. I was close to the target for protein, and had some dairy.

We’ll see how I do tomorrow. I plan to eat an egg and potatoes for breakfast (which I will likely make tonight and reheat because it’s Monday tomorrow and I’m not a morning person), and I’ll stop for one of the 5 McDonald’s coffees I’ve budgeted for. I’m going to pack a serving of chili, half a peanut butter sandwich, an apple, carrots, and a banana in my lunch box for a combination of lunch and snacks. For dinner, I might eat chili, or I might roast the whole chicken I bought.

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