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Eating Vegan Below the Poverty Line, Part 3

Friday, December 11, 2020

I have made it successfully through five days of eating on approximately $1.50 a day. The first couple of days weren't that difficult other than the boring, no frills dining. By day three I found that I wasn't feeling particularly energetic and today, the morning of day six, I have very little energy at all. The lack of proper nutrition is taking a toll, leaving me drained and grumpy. On the plus side I'm down nearly three pounds, but I'd like to emphasize that weight loss was not part of my agenda in doing this and I definitely do not recommend that anyone do this in order to lose weight.
While I have discovered that I can survive eating this way, at least for a while, I don't believe that anyone can thrive eating this way. I also don't believe that me being a vegan is a factor in how this turned out in anyway. With such a limited amount to spend on food, I don't think that a vegetarian or an omnivore could have done any better. They might make somewhat different purchases, such as a dozen eggs instead of the extra pound of beans, but either way you're going to come out of this both nutrient and calorie deficient. While I was able to buy some limited amounts of vegetables, they were mostly frozen and of poor quality. I will say that there were a surprising number of options for a vegan shopping at the Dollar Tree, I just didn't have a large enough stipend to spend on more food.
The lack of fresh vegetables and fruits has been the hardest part for me and I am far more grateful for what I typically have than I previously was. It really is easy to take things for granted until you don't have them. Tomorrow is my trip to the food bank with my neighbor, to pick up her box for the week. I look forward to seeing exactly what she is being provided with in terms of produce. I hope to post a picture of what is in the box in my final blog on this little experiment.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    7 days ago
    I feel bad about purchasing a bag of spinach, never using it and then tossing it. I feel so blessed when people are not getting proper nutrition. Interesting experiment.
    179 days ago
    I really found this very interesting. Back when I was younger, raising my children on my own and with a low paying job, many a grocery trip was pasta, sauce, instant potatoes , green beans, plain cereal, eggs, bread, a little chicken and peanut butter and maybe some fruit in season for the kids.

    As they were growing up I felt the need to explain to them that we were indeed blessed because we could afford to buy these and other things while many could not. I started a tradition of having plain beans the night before Thanksgiving so they could appreciate the bounty we actually did have. To this day it is a lesson they both recount and I am glad it made the impression on them that I wanted.

    I rarely eat red meat but do occasionally as well as eggs, cheese milk and poultry. I felt the heathiest and weighed less while doing the Eat To Live Program from Dr.Fuhrman's.

    Looking forward to the final installment.
    183 days ago
    Can't imagine what you are learning from the experiment. I volunteer at a food bank and can give an idea of things your neighbor will receive. Typically our families receive according to size a jar of peanut butter, jar of jelly,a can of soup for each family member, canned green beans, corn, fruit, instant potatoes, bag of beans, rice, spaghetti noodles and sauce, cans of spaghetti, pork n beans, canned tomatoes, box of macaroni, cereal, dry milk, crackers, Ramen noodles for each member of family. Frozen meats as well as canned meats. We give fresh veggies according to what we have received as donations from grocery stores in our area. Our group is made up of volunteers except for two paid employees who coordinate everything. We are apart of a larger organization who deliver foods to smaller food banks such as ours. It would take talent to exist on foods such as you mention to stay healthy for long periods of time on such a meager amount of food. The foods from a crisis organization aren't meant to be a month's supply but a help to the family's own supply. Great that you have done this experiment and learned from it. emoticon
    184 days ago
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