Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Day 1

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!


Overnight Oatmeal

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.  lunch apple

A light lunch

Oatmeal, celery, peanut butter, and an apple.







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!


Yogurt with berries

Yogurt with mixed berries

Healthy snack

Apple with peanut butter







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.

Dinner ratatouille, black bean chicken and  rice

Black beans and rice with chicken and Ratatouille



A glass of milk to go along with a hearty dinner









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.

Nutrient analysis for Monday

Calories and food groups eaten today (from

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