SNAP Challenge

The Thanksgiving season brings various articles on food-related issues. I found one such article while perusing the internet on Yahoo! News: Newark Mayor preparing to live a week on food stamps. The official name for food stamps is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In Texas it is known as the Lone Star Card. As the story states Mayor Cory Booker challenged a twitter user to live on food stamps for a week. The point of the challenge is to demonstrate how difficult it is to eat on such a limited budget, especially residing in high cost-of-living regions. Cory Booker and his challenger will have a $4/day ($31/week) food budget.

$4/day…I want to marinate on a $4/day food budget. If I “guestimate” the costs of eating raw foods, on the low end would be around $100/ week. Let’s be clear though, that’s for the highly organized raw foodists, i.e. participants in Community Farm Alliances (CFAs) or Co-ops that allow consumers to buy organic produce directly from farmers; thereby, cutting out the retailer to attain a cheaper price. For us ordinary Americans who fumble through each day without an eating plan, the costs are far higher. I have easily spent $35/day eating raw foods, and that’s living in Houston, Texas, where cost of living is nominal compared to the East or West Coast.

$4/day… so I’m visualizing how a $4/day food budget would be sufficient. I contend that our relationship to food has to change back to the way our grandparents used to relate to food. Once upon a time, our grandparents could look in their pantries or backyard gardens and make a meal based on what they already had. As God would have it, my spiritual reading for today discussed money. It stated that money is not just dollars and cents, but resources. Cooking, gardening, and meal planning are unstated resources. The first thought I had about the mayor’s SNAP challenge was that he is going to be preparing and planning in advance for all of his meals. To make $4/day stretch (if that’s even possible) you have to cook, plan and buy food staples, i.e. rice/pasta, dried beans. Also it can’t go unsaid, that unfortunately for many SNAP recipients they live in food deserts or food swamps. These are areas that either lack any food choices or only have junk food choices.

What is clear to me: NOONE living on a $4/day food budget could ever be a raw foodists. As someone who has spent the last five months trying to transition to raw, it is more than disheartening to think that only a few (with the current food system) can actually have the choice to eat 100% organic, raw produce daily.

 I would love for someone to disprove my belief.

Until next Sunday,



Reject Life’s Crumbs

If you are not happy with where you are in life, you don’t have to stay there. Don’t you deserve better? Don’t you want better for yourself and your future? Well, you are the only one who can make it happen. Sure, you’ve had some pretty rough times, even some pretty devastating ones. There is nothing which says that must be the norm. There are some very difficult challenges and negative attitudes you will confront, but you are equipped to handle it all. There may be some pretty stupid ideas about who you are, what you can do and how far you can go. So what! People also said the world was flat and the moon was made of cheese! The only thing that really matters is what you think, what you believe and what you want. If you have the desire and the will, you will be shown the way.

Greater is that within me than the problem in the world.

– This post is an excerpt from Acts of Faith, Iyanla Vanzant

Day 134

Today is a very difficult day to write for me, hence the reason the post is so late. I’d rather be watching Denzel Washington in his new movie “Flight.” I hear he gives a stellar performance. It would probably be smarter to write my posts the day before, but often I don’t get the inspiration or topic until I wake up on Sunday. This morning I woke up with the idea to write about Day 134 of 365livefoods. A part of my writing process is to mull over my ideas. When an idea is strong, I will be led to jot down notes. Today I was not, so this morning I went to 7 o’clock service at church. My pastor emeritus, Rev. Lawson, preached today. That was truly a blessing. Rev. Lawson is 84-years old, and is one of the few people who marched with Dr. King and actually has the pictures with Dr. King to prove it. Then I came home and had to watch all my public affairs programs, i.e. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory. In addition, since today is Veteran’s Day I had to watch the ceremony on C-SPAN. This is all intermixed with football, light housecleaning and napping. Throughout my Sunday routine I still had no inspiration to write. 🙂 Actually, I forgot about writing until I was getting ready to go to the movies and remembered. So…

This is day 134 of 365livefoods. It was on July 1, 2012, that I declared that I would commit to eating raw foods for 365 days as well as writing this blog. I have a confession. I have eaten a total of 30 days raw since July 1st. That means 100 days of the 134 days I have not eaten raw. I can spend the duration of this post berating myself, but I will not. Instead I am going to trust the process. I’ve stated in earlier posts that it took me 2-1/2 years to become a vegetarian. I spent a good deal of that time feeling guilty because I was not successful. Eighteen years as a vegetarian now I rarely think of the struggles of the two years that it took to become one. What I know for sure is that there has rarely been anything in my life that I have truly wanted that I have given up on. 365livefoods is no different. I know I will be successful at eating 100% raw foods in due time.

Until next Sunday,


Positive Affirmations (Part 2)

Two posts ago I wrote the first part of my positive affirmations. Today I wanted to post quotations that I use to inspire me. I have a habit of keeping quotations that motivate me to keep going when things get rough. I hope the quotes will be as inspirational to you as they are to me.

  1. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
  2. Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy!
  3. Practice makes perfect, if you practice perfectly.
  4. It is never too late to be what you might have been.  – George Eliot
  5. An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  6. The finger of God never points where the hand of God isn’t somehow making a way. –Rev. Alvin Kibble
  7. You get what you expect. – Alvin Ailey
  8. No matter what you see, there is always more. – Dennis Kimbro
  9. Ask for what you want.
  10. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. –Thoreau
  11. Do something…have a plan-live for some purpose. – Mary Lyon
  12. The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.
  13. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. –Benjamin Franklin
  14. Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. – Albert Einstein
  15. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference – Robert Frost (“The Road Not Taken”)
  16. Work is love made visible.
  17. Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude. – Wallace Wattles (The Science of Getting Rich)
  18. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. – Proverbs 23:7

P.S. Tuesday, November 6, 2012 is the presidential election. Please vote!