Day Twenty-Five

Friday, March 6, 2009

What I Bought on Day Twenty-Five

What I Bought on Day Twenty-Five

Summary Page

One thing I’ve discovered during the course of this project is that I’m pretty good at figuring out what my body needs and fairly quickly arriving at a level of equilibrium. However, the balance is precarious—any disruption in schedule or increase in physical activity or altered work load really knocks things off.

A few times I’ve eaten a meal much later than usual (Saturday and Sunday of the first week, then again Wednesday and Thursday of last week), and then this week had an extra few miles of walking on both Monday and Tuesday. A day or two after all of those things, I really felt like I needed more food. (And on all occasions, Jiffy mix came to my rescue.)

Also it’s become abundantly clear to me that one of the big reasons I don’t eat three meals a day (aside from my work schedule, which just works better with two meals) is because it’s very difficult for me to come up with even two unique things I want to eat in the same day. And usually I shop a couple times a week and make a few specific things and then work off the freezer and pantry for the rest, so I only have to think of maybe three meals a week to actually fix; the rest are staples that I can put together without much thinking, based on what I feel like at the time. Also I can eat whatever I want in whatever weird combination seems good to me and I don’t have to think at all about how the picture will come out and whether or not it will look like a good, healthy meal to people who’ve never met me before.

So this project, where I have to actually come up with two different things to eat every day, that I can get with a dollar, and that I would be willing to take pictures of and write about for all the world to see, has taken significantly more psychic energy than I had anticipated. I don’t think I really thought that through before undertaking this.

So bascially what I’m saying is thank god for steel-cut oats. I think I could eat those every day for the rest of the year and be perfectly happy.

As you can see from the picture, in addition to the steel-cut oats, I got chicken and a carrot today, but I didn’t actually cook them because I had two meetings that took up most of the day and am dog-sitting for a friend and lacked the energy to return to my house and clean up my kitchen and cook the chicken leg.

So for one meal, I had a beautiful bowl of steel-cut oats and for the other, I had some pasta with the remaining tomato sauce along with the remaining spinach .

What I Ate on Day Twenty-Five

What I Ate on Day Twenty-Five

I wasn’t going to take a picture of the pasta because I’ve already taken a picture of pasta with tomato sauce and spinach, but after eating a little bit of it I decided it looked pretty good, and tasted pretty good too (I think the spinach helped) and maybe it deserved its own picture.

Receipt Day Twenty-Five

Receipt Day Twenty-Five

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4 Responses to “Day Twenty-Five”

  1. Bryan Says:

    Wasn’t sure whether to post this since you’re doing so well on your own, but I decided to do it since I found it inspirational in more than one way…….

    PS- There’s a whole series on youtube, but I didn’t want to take credit for something someone else found.

  2. Liz Says:

    Who would’ve thought you could get in and out of Whole Foods for 28 cents?

  3. Jan Says:

    I’ve been reading your blog all along, learning what foods are both inexpensive and nutritious. And I appreciate the info. But over the course of following your quest I noted a decided lack of complete proteins. For instance, a combination of beans and rice/bread/dairy. Not nutritionally sound. Then today there’s chicken. That’s good. But I was still amazed that you could pull this off for $1. Until I finally picked up that you are only eating twice a day. I’ll just bet that you couldn’t keep to $1 if you ate 3 meals a day.

    Question: do you find yourself lacking energy during the day? Some of your food choices have a very high glycemic index. And combine that with 2/day, I wonder about your energy level.

  4. lessisenough Says:

    I’ve noted in a couple places that I usually only eat two meals a day, and I considered trying to eat three meals for the sake of the project (to be more “normal”), but I decided it would be too hard for me to do that. Not because I only have a dollar, but because it would be a big change to my routine and my schedule. And I’m not very good at being normal these days.

    I currently have a schedule that is very different from that of most people — I stay up very late at night (going to bed somewhere between 12:30am and 2:30am) and sleep late in the mornings (up between 10:30am and 11:30am … usually). I often don’t eat my first meal of the day until 2pm, and eat my second sometime between 5pm and 2am, depending on how my day goes, how I feel, and what I’m working on.

    I doubt that most people would consider this “healthy” — and I know it wouldn’t work for most people — but this is where my life has ended up. I have an active lifestyle (walking and biking are my main modes of transportation), I hardly ever get sick, I have no chronic health conditions, and I generally feel good nearly all the time.

    Other than the disruption caused by the blogging component of this project (which definitely has affected my work), I haven’t noticed much of a difference at all in how I feel. I have as much energy as usual (though I haven’t gone out of my way to do any strenuous physical activity) and I’ve actually felt less hungry, with less ups and downs, than I do when I’m eating more.

    I actually think I could have eaten three meals a day for the course of the project. I could have eaten cornmeal mush pretty much every day without too much trouble, and I could have gone with more basic meals — along the lines of what I ate the first week — rather than upgrading the way I did (to chicken, etc.) quite as quickly as I did.

    However I’d like to point out that my goal wasn’t to show that you can achieve maximum health on a dollar day. My goal was to do a better job than the couple in California who ate popcorn and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month.

    I was actually trying to show meals that people who had more than a dollar might want to eat. If I spent the month eating split peas and cabbage and wheat berries, it would have been quite healthy, but most people reading probably would have said, “Okay, maybe you can eat cheaply but who wants to live like that.”

    Also, if my goal had been to maximize nutrition, I would have done more research concerning cost per nutrient and what I could get, and I would have included that data in developing my eating plan. I didn’t look at that at all. Not to mention that it’s pretty hard to get an agreement on what’s “healthy” these days, so no matter what I did, there would be people who would look at it and say it wasn’t. And also everyone is different, and everyone’s body responds differently to different foods. (See the post M.F.K Fisher on How to Eat for more details on how I feel about this subject.)

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