Many of you have beenfollowing along with me this weekas I make my way through theSNAP challenge–我的社区营养课作业。If you're just reading betway必威体育平台about it now,the challenge is to spend a week on approximately the same budget as a SNAP recipient,这是由国家和居住在一个家庭中的人数来调整的。
We were given a budget of $40 per person,which is reflective of benefits in New York,史蒂文和我把我们的预算集中起来，这样我们就可以共同应对挑战。我们被允许使用香料，oils,以及储藏室里的藤蔓植物。Everything else we ate for the week was from our grocery haul,which I recapped in detail inMonday's post.
这一挑战的目的是培养人们对食品不安全的更多认识，同时，betway必威体育平台hunger,贫穷，以及这个国家的其他不平等。In my opinion,the challenge does不accurately replicate or even begin to approximate what it truly feels like to be food insecure.But as you'll see,I learned a lot from my experience with it,而且这让我痛苦地意识到自己的特权。In lieu of regular weekend reading and menu plan Monday posts this week,我在分享我的一些观察和想法。
我的菜单计划星期一贴子总是反映我们家一周中吃的大部分东西，but I often switch the days on which we eat things,or I end up reworking the plan if something comes up for us (social,工作，一个深夜学习小组，或者别的什么。
This week,我坚持plan I shared with you确切地，增加了一些内容。我很幸运有一个许多of navy beans leftover from the tempeh/navy bean/corn grit dish,so I used them to make a simple white bean dip with olive oil and garlic.I'm still enjoying it,and I will for a few days more.I also had extra carrots,potatoes,还有一点点黄色的豌豆，so I made a soup with those,and I used ginger andras el hanoutfor seasoning.
本周的亮点包括potato leek soup我周二分享了，做了一顿晚餐和一些午餐剩菜。We loved this,and I'll make it again for sure.
Because Steven had to transport most of his meals,I tended to give him leftovers and work with what I had at home for my lunches.Sometimes I had leftovers,同样，but I also whipped up a quick brown lentil salad (with celery,carrots,slivered kale,lemon,还有橄榄油）我吃过几次吐司。
早餐，本周开始，我们吃了一大批慢锅钢燕麦。I used raisins and two bananas for sweetness;液体甜味剂太贵了，and I didn't want to purchase a whole bag of sugar for 7 days (especially since we already have it at home).The oats turned out really well,thanks in part to some cinnamon and nutmeg.通常我们都会把它们和额外的水果一起吃，可能还有一些坚果酱，chia,或大麻籽，but we did just fine with them as they were.
Later in the week,我开始渴望我的美味早餐，我用扁豆做了几批燕麦卷，frozen chopped spinach,还有营养酵母。These were super filling,更不用说经济，我再做一次。
One of my other lunches from home was thesimple broccoli stem and brown rice stir fry我周四分享了。This was delicious,它肯定会成为我们的主食。对我来说，在使用花椰菜茎方面有很好的经验，too–which I've been shy betway必威体育平台about until now.
Throughout the week,I had a few moments of worrying that something would run out or that we'd overeat leftovers and not have enough for both of us.Fortunately,我做的杂货店生意只是适量的食物。We ended up eating every single ingredient we bought–down to the last tablespoon of oats–and we have enough to hold us through lunchtime today,当我们完成挑战时，and even a little extra.
总体而言，对我们来说最大的挑战是后勤。史蒂文也是一名学生（全职），and he had three days this week where he was on campus for both lunch and dinner.This meant a lot of planning,cooking in advance,and packing up leftovers (as well as finding a place to keep food cold).It would have been easier to do the challenge on a week where we were both home for meals in the evening,but that's a rarity these days,and anyway,ease is not the point of the challenge.
大多数情况下，I think that being vegan was a big advantage for us this week.The biggest complaint that most of my peers had was that it was hard to adjust to a lower protein diet–this probably isn't unlike what a lot of folks feel when they first go vegan and feel that it's hard to get full enough (I hear this from new clients a lot).
我没有计算我们一周的所有营养——幸运的是，we weren't asked to do that–but I know that we got approximately as much protein as we usually do,thanks to tofu,丹贝豆类，nutritional yeast,and grains.尤其是，这些是我清单上一些较便宜的采购，which is a nice reminder that plant-based protein stacks up economically next to animal proteins.
I'm guessing that some of my classmates did have to cut down on animal protein because of the budget,and it's possible that they didn't replace those proteins with enough legumes,大豆食品，and so on.Since protein is associated with satiety,this could have left them feeling peckish.
我听到的另一个抱怨是，食物平淡而重复。We didn't feel this way–in fact,we liked so many of the dishes we made that we'll probably have them again!But I think this is in part because we're accustomed to cooking with a lot of different spices,vinegars,and nutritional yeast,which add flavor to food.
当然，there were some adjustments to the way we eat normally.这就是整个的挑战,有趣的部分是比较不同学生如何权衡预算的优先顺序。I didn't choose to spend on either nut butter or much fruit (aside from the bananas we cooked our oats with),but one of my classmates said she lived on bananas and peanut butter for the week.Some of us (me included) chose to make coffee a priority,while others quickly chose to give up coffee for a week in order to budget more food.
One thing I noticed was that we had less variety of fat than usual.鳄梨没有列入预算，and neither did most nuts or seeds.We had tofu,丹贝还有油（七天我用芝麻和橄榄油）。这就是问题所在。betway必威体育平台我猜我们总的来说比平时少了些脂肪，though neither of us seemed to feel a difference in satiety.我们都是吃体积的，我有意识地确保我们整个星期都能吃到足够多的食物。Steven was a little hungry at first,but for the most part,饭后我们都感到满意。
One reader asked betway必威体育平台about snacks.这很棘手！I tend to snack on hummus and veggies,水果和坚果黄油，我最喜欢的almond/chickpea/raisin combo,如果我赶去上课，有时也可以去小吃店。For Steven,it's usually pita chips and hummus,crackers,or something crunchy.Again,my main priority was to make sure we'd be able to keep up with voluminous portions all week long,so I didn't put aside anything for snacks.我们的解决方案是每包（或制作）额外的午餐，and eat a small portion of our lunchtime meal in the late afternoon if we needed a snack.It worked,but I'm looking forward to the usual hummus breaks this week.
Another change from our norm is that we didn't include any of our favorite vegan products this week,mostly because they were all too expensive to make the cut.包括阳光汉堡，除了鸡排，Follow Your Heart cheese,Veganaise,Earth Balance,and so on.全食物饮食是最便宜的选择。This is of course because the packaged/brand name foods we like are from small companies,不能人为压低价格的大公司。For many people in low income communities,packaged foods are cheaper than fresh produce and other whole ingredients.
Part of the challenge was to eat and drink solely what we bought with our theoretical SNAP budget.在某些方面，this is slightly misleading,as the SNAP program is intended to supplement diets,and not to be a family's sole source of nutrition.In the real world,虽然，SNAP经常为家庭提供每月大部分的食物需求，在挑战中我们有很多优势（可以进入很多杂货店，time to plan,and jobs/lifestyles that don't demand physical labor) that it felt more than fair to be asked not to eat/drink any extra foods.
Our professor noted that most of us would probably run into a few tricky situations where it would be hard to turn down food (a party,a gathering,共进午餐的邀请,etc.) For me,this was the two times I met with my local clients at a coffee shop.I felt lousy not ordering anything,and so I got a cup of black coffee each time.
在我做这件事之前，我对这个挑战有着复杂的感betway必威体育平台觉。对我来说，感觉好像挑战可能过于简单，an attempt to boil inequity and poverty (broad and complicated issues) to one single variable (a limited food budget).I also wondered how effective the challenge could be if many participants continued to enjoy numerous lifestyle privileges while doing the challenge–comfortable homes,safe,步行社区，plenty of access to high quality food,fitness classes,and so on.
Both of these concerns were borne out during the challenge.Most of my classmates and I shopped at our normal grocery stores–places like Whole Foods or Trader Joes–and at the least,we all had access to numerous places to buy food.This is very often not the case for folks who are living with food insecurity;neighborhoods may be devoid of grocery stores,or recipients may have to take several forms of public transportation to shop for food.和我们的餐一样令人满意，I can't say if they'd have been adequate to support us if we had jobs that demanded hard physical labor or many hours on our feet.
当然，we had piece of mind that the challenge was just that–a challenge,and not a reality.As things stand now,我这一周吃了一点剩饭（很少）。But what if I'd run out of something?Running out of oats early,例如，would have been a problem,because oats were our breakfast every day this week.Or what if Steven had forgotten a dinner at home one day??
答案是我们可能已经决定他必须吃饭，挑战与否，and he'd have picked up dinner near school.But for someone for whom SNAP is the only or the primary source of food,这种灵活性是不存在的。Leaving a meal at home can be the difference between eating and going hungry.If an ingredient spoils early or someone happens to finish off an ingredient that's supposed to stretch,没有安全网可以依靠。
所以，did the SNAP challenge teach me what hunger and poverty truly feel like?不，not really.它激发了大量的意识，但这并没有显著地改变我的生活环境，我无法想象没有我一直享有的安全和特权的生活。但我们的生活却一直保持不变，and in that sense I can't say that I feel I've truly seen food insecurity from the inside.
仍然，本周有很多时候，管理食物的确是一个真正的挑战。计划很棘手。Repetition did get tiring–even for the two of us,who love leftovers.I'm used to cooking quite a lot,but I'm not used to cooking breakfast,lunch,and dinner from scratch for two people every day,我低估了史蒂文通常在校园里吃午饭的区别。This was a hectic work week,有时烹饪让人精疲力竭。Many of my classmates echoed similar feelings.
This,I think,is the real point of the challenge.不，这并不是食物不安全的完美近似。But it is enough to make the people who participate far more aware of their own privilege,and I think that's a really good thing for everyone.挑战迫使我承认，我对舒适和稳定的理解是理所当然的，and I think that this will translate into far more consciousness and sensitivity from now on.
Earlier this week,a reader pointed out that the challenge underscores the freedom of choice we take for granted as consumers.This includes the freedom to select food that appeal to our tastes,our health needs,我们的审美偏好，and so on.One privilege I gave great thought to this week was the ability to shop and eat in accordance with my ethics.
I don't mean that veganism is a"privilege"在精英或昂贵的意义上；如果有的话，本周向我展示了植物性饮食的经济性。但我相信，能够按照自己的价值观和道德信念选择和购买食物是一种特权，and it's one that I've taken for granted until now.对于一个资源有限的家庭，exercising any amount of choice around food is often impossible.
所以，I'm moving forward with a lot of gratitude.我很感谢我的食品安全，为了让我的指尖拥有新鲜健康的食材，用于营养膳食。Most of all,I'm grateful that I have the freedom to eat in a way that aligns with my values as a vegan–a freedom that not everyone enjoys.
快速挑战并不是为了教授预算技巧。It's intended to create awareness betway必威体育平台about broad social inequities,and not to help those of us who are already food secure to stretch a dollar.But I suspected that I'd take some financial lessons away from the challenge,and I certainly have.
最后，史蒂文和我的花费并没有比平时少多少，但事实上，我们不能依赖储藏室和冰箱里的东西——从坚果黄油到谷物，从Chia和亚麻籽到罐装豆子——这意味着我们的处理能力比平时要少。——我们吃得这么好，for the most part,is definitely evidence that we could make due with a little less from now on.
所以，we've agreed to try to stick to this budget each week,give or take,and I'll be thinking harder before I splurge on costly items that we really don't need.This isn't to say that I won't sometimes indulge in an expensive ingredient–Steven and I both love food,and we don't eat out often,所以我们时不时地挥霍在一块精美的巧克力条或一种凉爽的新素食产品上。But I'm pledging to splurge less often,为了抵御新产品的诱惑，to avoid food waste,and to be more creative with my pantry.
If you've made it through this whole post,谢谢你的阅读。And I do encourage all of you who are interested to givethe SNAP challenge尝试一下。It is,如果没有别的事，有机会更加认真地思考你与食物的关系，betway必威体育平台and I suspect that most folks who complete the challenge will learn at least a few important lessons.这周我学到了很多，and I'm grateful to you all for following along.