Most people associate the holiday season with gaining weight from the tasty food at parties and family celebrations, holiday party drinking, and less time and energy for exercise. Research has found that for most adults, this weight gain only adds up to one pound, not the 5 or more pounds commonly reported in the news. While only one pound sounds minor, most people don’t lose that extra pound. As we age, those extra pounds add up, leading to obesity over time. So one strategy for maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime is to avoid gaining holiday weight, no matter how small just one pound seems. Continue reading
Today’s post is part of a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin
This morning I was kind of tired after staying up late to work on projects. I am glad that I made overnight oatmeal for breakfast last night. I also had a cup of coffee at work. I was glad someone made a pot of coffee at the office because I needed it!
Breakfast was surprisingly filling. About an hour before lunch I was getting hungry. For lunch, I ate rest of my overnight oatmeal from this morning, two celery stalks with peanut butter and an apple. It was healthy, but very light for a lunch.
My one regret for today was not doing more meal prep yesterday. I was hungry on my way home from work today because of my small lunch, but I had nothing ready to eat. So I went ahead and had some of my snacks – yogurt with mixed berries and an apple with peanut butter. I hope this doesn’t throw off my meal plan for this Challenge!
I decided to prep lunch and dinner for at least two days, so that I would not run into the same problem tomorrow. Having that snack was a good idea because I did not get to eat my dinner until 9 pm. Dinner for that night was black beans, chicken, and rice, with Ratatouille and a glass of milk.
Today was not a great start since I did not mindfully eat and I did not prep dinner the night before. I did not meet my calorie, grain, and protein needs for the day. I thought that with the oatmeal and rice, I would have met the recommendations for grains. Substituting more grains for vegetables would have helped meet my grains group and calorie needs. I could have eaten more rice and beans to meet the recommendations but, if I had I may not have had enough to last me for the week.
This morning I ate scrambled eggs, toast, and a glass of milk. I forgot to mention earlier that I usually eat organic dairy and meat because of my beliefs on eating hormone free animal products. I don’t mind paying a higher price for these ingredients because I believe they are better for my body. That being said, I definitely could not afford organic milk and meat on a SNAP Challenge meal plan. So when I went to buy the store brand of eggs, meat, and milk, I was SHOCKED at how inexpensive they were in comparison! I seriously haven’t purchased conventional animal products in over 5 years, so I had no clue how much cheaper they were! I was amazed that I could even afford to buy them on a SNAP budget! Therefore, I am really glad to know that SNAP recipients are still able to afford good sources of protein and calcium.
Hi there! My name is Julie Knopp and I am a VT Dietetic Intern on my way to becoming a Registered Dietitian. Currently, I am working with Family Nutrition Program. As part of the internship, I am taking the SNAP Challenge, in which I will limit my budget to $32 for one week to see if I can meet all the dietary guidelines, if I can plan all my meals efficiently, etc. This will be useful for me as a future dietitian, because it will allow me to experience living on a tight budget. In the future I may help other low-income individuals with their own SNAP meal plans, and by taking the Challenge myself, I will gain better skills with this.