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Old 02-15-2012, 06:16 AM   #1
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2012 Lenten Challenge Goes Primal

No exercise yesterday. But did hunt and gather at WalMart for a while

I don't generally go there *mainly cuz it's always bizzy* but wanted to do some scouting for my upcoming Lenten project that I do every year. It's time for mamasooze's 3rd Annual SNAP Challenge. Ever so often, 2-3 times a year, I put DH and myself on a strict budget. Sometimes it's an arbitrary number--like the $25 a week budget listed on this site:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ma...arb-cheap.html

But for Lent I generally do a 5-6 week budget challenge based on SNAP-Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program--formerly known as food stamps. The amount changes every year (I do use the upper number) but my objective is generally to beat what the amount is while shopping wisely and eating quite well. The money I save is given to charity. Last year I beat the USDA budget by $195 over a 6 week period.

Menu Week One-SNAP Challenge 2011

I sent that $ to Japan Tsunami Relief and The Laura Recovery Center (a local charity close to my heart). This year my challenge won't begin until February 27th and will run through Good Friday, April 6. That is 40 days. This year my budget will be..........$367 (again-just looked it up). That is for a two person household. That's $12.24 per day or $489.60 for whole challenge.

SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefit Levels

I have chosen to do my challenge over here at Paleo/Primal since we have changed our WOE dramatically from a year ago. And this will be a Challenge with a capital "C". Way more fresh stuff, more organic and grass fed meats, etc. Nonetheless, I honestly think that I can still beat the USDA. At this point I'm undecided about how much of pantry items I will use. I am pretty caught up on staples, but will take a comprehensive inventory and then decide after I map my meals. If it sounds confusing or labor intensive it's not really. Maybe for just the first week or two. But after seeing the savings and experiencing the freedom of only shopping one day a week, well, you will begin to like it. A lot I like being a good food steward, money steward and, with this WOE, a healthy body steward. One challenge that I'm imposing on myself this year is that I will only shop every 10 days--staying out of the grocery stores as much as possible and buying fresh at the local produce farm about 10 miles from here.

Here is my SNAP tip sheet from last year:

http://library.constantcontact.com/d...4/snap2011.pdf

I will post weekly menus on Mondays. If anyone has questions just ask me here and I'll try to answer. Bear with me....Money saved this year goes to our local food pantry, Christian Helping Hands in Pearland, Texas. I have a food-only blog over on tumblr where I park most of my recipes.

Nourishing The Soul

Ok--Got 12 days to work my menus. Wish me luck!
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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I love a good challenge... let me see what we can do~
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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I love a good challenge... let me see what we can do~
Hey girl!

Let's get ready to ruuuummmmble!

On one hand this will be easier than the $25 challenge *I did not eat chicken for two months after that*, but on the other hand it will be pricier as far as foods go. And there will be room for soup. Hope everyone likes soup We may have it several times in those five weeks.

I looked back on the last entry for that $25 challenge (Low Carb on the Cheap). Too few calories, not enough nutrient dense carbs. Will not let that happen this time. We have had a mild winter here *Texas* so our produce farm has lots of good things early and cheap--strawberries, spinach, collards--all greens really-leeks, parsley, oranges, turnips, etc. Will craft as much of my menus around that as well as using my meats in the freezer. Shopped Whole Foods super special Friday sales in last few months on whole chickens, organic ground beef and wild salmon. I will be in need of other seafoods for Fridays. More than likely that will be catfish which is always on sale in Lent. Everything will stick to primal as much as possible (think 100%), but DH has specially requested French lentil soup at some point and *** says lentils are ok just soak them overnight.

Any more musings I may have or if you have comments, by all means come on down
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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Wow, what a truly inspiring challenge!
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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hiya Speck! Mama is known for some awesome challenges... the last $25 one was out of control and awesome! I need to do more research on this whole primal deal, but I like the clean sound of it all.... It may turn in to a primal/pantry type challenge for us though, but we will have to see as I wrap my head around it more
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:14 PM   #6
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Hi Wendy! I like Primal, it's a lifestyle, not just a diet. If a person thinks having a different diet from their family is hard, try a whole different lifestyle

Anyway, I find day to day life challenging enough, lol. And have virtually no "extras" in my life (i.e., I don't buy clothes and things for myself except when necessary, we eat out once or twice a MONTH total, we don't go to the movies but a couple times a year, and so forth). My ONE indulgence is getting gel nails done twice a month because I simply felt I looked too unprofessional for my age having ragged, unkempt nails and cuticles (think I can write this off?). I only get my hair cut twice a year for Pete's sake! My point is, when it comes to having nice food and plenty of it, I don't feel compelled to take that challenge. I don't skimp on the A/C in the summer, either!!!

I mean it though, I'm really inspired by this challenge... the whole giving the money saved to charity aspect is really inspiring. When I was a kid, and my mom was still pretending to be Catholic, she always gave up Chocolate for Lent. Ok, yah the woman loved her chocolate, but what does that *do*? What does that *prove*? What Mamasooze is doing is *real* sacrifice and service. And I think that's awesome.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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Hi Wendy! I like Primal, it's a lifestyle, not just a diet. If a person thinks having a different diet from their family is hard, try a whole different lifestyle

Anyway, I find day to day life challenging enough, lol. And have virtually no "extras" in my life (i.e., I don't buy clothes and things for myself except when necessary, we eat out once or twice a MONTH total, we don't go to the movies but a couple times a year, and so forth). My ONE indulgence is getting gel nails done twice a month because I simply felt I looked too unprofessional for my age having ragged, unkempt nails and cuticles (think I can write this off?). I only get my hair cut twice a year for Pete's sake! My point is, when it comes to having nice food and plenty of it, I don't feel compelled to take that challenge. I don't skimp on the A/C in the summer, either!!!

I mean it though, I'm really inspired by this challenge... the whole giving the money saved to charity aspect is really inspiring. When I was a kid, and my mom was still pretending to be Catholic, she always gave up Chocolate for Lent. Ok, yah the woman loved her chocolate, but what does that *do*? What does that *prove*? What Mamasooze is doing is *real* sacrifice and service. And I think that's awesome.
OH NO! Not the "I'm giving up chocolate for Lent" line? Had a priest do a whole sermon one time asking why does everyone think they have to give up chocolate in Lent when it is obviously a gift from God We should ALL embrace chocolate.

You all live like us...3 movies a year. Dinner out with friends every once in a while--special occasions. Don't/can't skimp on AC here in Texas...we'd be dead When we crave entertainment we just have the grandkids over and laugh at them. Nothing funnier evah than a yakkety two-year old baby girl.

I worked at our local food pantry for 10 years and I have seen parents who have sacrificed a lot more than I have. But it gave me insight into the plight of hunger in America--Starving in the Shadow of Plenty. A lot of the food we handed out was high carb (empty calories), but abundant. At least sometimes we would give out fresh veggies/fruits when they had it on hand at the food bank downtown. And now the movement in our area is to supply directly to the pantry from the community gardens started over the last few years. Our church started one last summer-OYE! smack dab in the middle of the drought We didn't know it was a drought then but hey! God provides--about all we got was watermelon and drought and heat resistant basil (my plantings). God gives you basil...make pesto. We'll do better next year. It finally started raining again and we'll get a head start since we had no winter. Start planting soon.

It looks like some of my higher ticket grocery items may fall by the wayside during this challenge. Like my nutty trail mix and I may be quartering those avocados, rather than halving them. Unfortunately both of those items are nutrient-dense must-haves soooo...........hello Paleo/Primal Challenge 2012

That's why they call it a CHALLENGE...
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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Hi there. I read this challenge on Saturday. I am typically a lurker, but your post inspired me to comment. I went through my freezer, made a list of what I had in there, then made a menu plan for the whole of Lent. I think I can make it through without having to buy much but milk and produce.

I look forward to eveyone's updates.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #9
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Hi there. I read this challenge on Saturday. I am typically a lurker, but your post inspired me to comment. I went through my freezer, made a list of what I had in there, then made a menu plan for the whole of Lent. I think I can make it through without having to buy much but milk and produce.

I look forward to eveyone's updates.
Yea for you, B52!!! You will be amazed at yourself by the end of the first week. I guarantee.

I'm not going to be too much of a stickler this time around as I have so much in freezer/pantry. My challenge will be going to grocery store--if need be--only 3 times in the 40 day period. I will probably be at our local farm every 8-10 days. I do have an event that I committed to in 2 weeks that I need to cook for but that will be outside my budget. This challenge is for our everyday expenses. I know *about* how much pantry items are and will make as tight as estimate as possible (hubby's cereal, coffee, coconut milk etc) and I have written down $ on all meat when I froze it. I do have some rib eyes I spent $4.99lb on, but will figure that in and just have to chop somewhere down the line A friend of mine and I challenge each other all year long that our proteins never cost more than $2.49 lb. Grass fed? I think not. My pork and chicken fall in that category but beef and lamb do not.

Must be more *CREATIVE* with fresh vegetables to accent our meals. I feel like I'm behind *been sick* so will try to get ahead and post menus this weekend, even though I'll be out of town. Due to extenuating circumstances I will be taking my laptop with me...

Good luck and good eatin'!
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:03 PM   #10
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YIKES everyone! Time got away from me for two reasons:

1.Terrible sick with bad cold. Still a nasty cough and eyes have gunk galore so must go to doctor.

2. Have been out of town running a 1/2 M at Disney World. I was feeling better but it just wasn't going to work out. Could not let my daughter down. I got *gladly* swept up after 8 miles and it was mostly because of my instep radiating to the ankle that was injured in August. I should have wrapped it. I was glad to get on the bus. I had run the same course two years ago in the sleet, snow and freezing rain and finished. Oh well But then again I had no horrid, wretched cold then either.

Eating was catch as catch can and had a nice pretty much primal salad at a Mexican restaurant. I asked "no tortilla strips, no corn" and they obliged.

Anyway, I will be posting menus and a target budget tomorrow evening. It's a travel day but I have had hubs put out what we are having, so I can fall immediately into our challenge. Sorry for the delay.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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Hope everyone is ok. So quiet over here. Check out how my challenge is going on other thread Heads up-- I am finally feeling better so things will look up next week
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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Week 1 of Lent went ok. I tried to cook, but unexpected things took place. Both of my kids are involved in spring sports and their coaches like to call unexpected practices!

I start week 2 today. I know next week will be crazy, so I am planning to cook everything ahead on Sunday and have it parceled out. This way we won't be tempted to stop and get something after the baseball game or track meet.
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #13
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All you can do is try PaulaB52...I had some curve balls this week. Hope to do better too.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:54 AM   #14
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Update 3/4

The Lenten Primal Challenge Begins..NOW

Updated Challenge going in to Week Two
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:21 PM   #15
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Lenten challenge update continues

Moving on to Week Three. Still ahead and eating well.

Update fom Week Two

The Lenten Primal Challenge Begins..NOW
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:32 AM   #16
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The latest on the Challenge...

The Lenten Primal Challenge Begins..NOW
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:47 AM   #17
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Update for SNAP challenge Week Five

Lenten SNAP Challenge 2012-Week Five

Counting down on the challenge. This week and next week and then it’s history. Have been eating well and we can’t complain. Got the grill cleaned up and cooked mostly on that. Little kids coming over and eating all my bananas and apples so had to replenish. Having problems with timing of ripeness of tomatoes/bananas/avocados which resulted in an extra trip to store *sigh*. Deal o’ the week was regular large *not organic eggs* for $1.77 (18). Mingled them with my organic ones which were actually $2 a dozen the previous week. Took advantage of a sale at Whole Paycheck and bought 8 lbs wild shrimp for future meals. No compulsive buying that visit. Bought shrimp and left. That may be my costliest protein this week at $5.99 lb. Running out of “stuff” so this week may be $70+. If I could only get those grand kids to bring their own treats

Total spending for week four: $64.88

SNAP allocation:$85.68

Difference: $20.80

Total difference to date: $100.64 under allotment

Menu this week:

Monday:

B- yogurt me, oatmeal DH, coffee-every morning

L- green smoothie

D- onion quiche, sweet potato hash

Tuesday

B- eggs, bacon, both of us

L- leftover quiche

D- chorizo stuffed peppers and salad

Wednesday

B- yogurt with fruit me, cereal DH

L- green smoothie

D- Lentils, (a Wednesday habit—DH loves these things),

chopped kale salad

Thursday

B- bacon eggs, both

L- fruit smoothie

D- lamb lemon meatballs, greek salad

Friday

B- yogurt with fruit me, oatmeal DH

L- green smoothie

D- BBQ shrimp, massive salad

Saturday

B- bacon eggs, both of us

L- something pulled from freezer

D- balsamic grilled chicken, roasted cauliflower, salad

Sunday

B- at church

L- out

D- ribeye steak, spinach/strawberry/pecan salad
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:27 PM   #18
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Strawberry spinach salad sounds good! Darn grandkids and their need for treats
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #19
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Strawberry spinach salad sounds good! Darn grandkids and their need for treats
Yeah, pesky critters, them young'uns.

This challenge has gone well except for the ripeness factor. I have tried and tried with my timing but no success. In the past I have foregone the avocados and only bought tomatoes and bananas once a week. Have found life incomplete without avocados for green smoothies.

Fell off challenge wagon today and spent $5 on pork chops. Was strapped for time and talent and went with the thawed stuff. Will double down next week. Oh no. Lentils TWO times next week? Say it ain't so
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:51 PM   #20
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Do you soak you process your lentils in any way to make them more "Primal"? I've read some posts about soaking, washing, fermenting, etc., to make grains and legumes healthier.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:43 AM   #21
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Do you soak you process your lentils in any way to make them more "Primal"? I've read some posts about soaking, washing, fermenting, etc., to make grains and legumes healthier.
I soak them a minimum 24 hours and rinse well. I also use the French ones--black and peppery.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #22
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Update to Challenge 2012
The Lenten Primal Challenge Begins..NOW

Five more days!
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:17 PM   #23
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Challenge Over

The Lenten Primal Challenge Begins..NOW

Challenge over last Friday. Wrap up at the above link.
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