Today was my last day of participation in the food stamp challenge. Tomorrow, I shall go with my 8 year old son to New York, and I don't want to impose the constraints of the food stamp challenge on my son.
The food stamp challenge has been a very interesting and overall very positive experience for me. Honestly, I have found it relatively easy to manage. During the past four days, I have sometimes felt a little weak, and I had one headache, but most of the time I felt more healthy than normal. I think this is because I had no alcohol, less caffeine, and because I cooked all my food myself rather than eating out. I felt cravings at times, but I don't think I have been really hungry. I did lose a little weight, though.
I think I approached the food stamp challenge as an exercise in mindfulness: paying attention to what my body really needs, buying and preparing food carefully, and not wasting anything. I hope that I can turn some of this mindfulness into longer term habits.
I don't think I gained a realistic feeling for what it is like to live on food stamps. All circumstances of my life were very comfortable during this period. I had the time needed, and a very large kitchen, to prepare my food carefully. I was able go to stores such as Whole Foods to buy exactly what I wanted. People who have to live on food stamps all the time will have a much more difficult time.
Thank you for sharing experiences on this blog, and good luck to everyone who continues for the remaining three days.