Skipping Meals Already? Diane's Day One

Our Hunger Advocacy Network Manager Diane Wilkinson is documenting the highs and lows of her CalFresh Challenge on her own blog – and we want to share her experience with you.

Catch up here to read how Diane prepped for the week while on crutches. Now, she shares her day one. 

Knee Pain Strikes Again

After the exhausting trip to the store on Sunday, I was beat and the knee was throbbing.  I was done. Took some ibuprofen.  Put some ice on the knee and fell asleep.  No meal prep for me.  As challenging as this knee can make my life, it doesn’t even compare to the challenges that those that actually utilize food assistance face every day.  Plus, I don’t have kids.


I’m not much of a breakfast person.  Usually, I do a fancy Starbucks latte and call it a day.  Yes.  I spend $5.85 on a latte every day.  It is a Venti 4 shot espresso skim milk latte.  It’s the only caffeine I have all day.  It jump starts my brain and likely my heart.  The scariest thing about the challenge for me is giving up my latte every morning.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it before.  It’s the first thing to go when I hit rough financial patches, but it is not pretty.  The caffeine headache is immediate and Excedrin barely touches the pain.  Plus, I’m much more muddled and clumsy.  I warned my colleagues at work.  I wanted them to be prepared for a caffeine free Diane.

In lieu of my Starbucks, I went with two of the instant oatmeal packages.  Not very exciting, but filling.


Because I didn’t do any meal prep the night before, I planned to skip lunch.  Not the best option, but I’ve worked through lunches before.  It’s possible.  Luckily, my cubicle mate Robin, brought in homemade pumpkin/squash soup that she had made for the challenge and offered to share with all of us.  She had calculated the cost per serving to be $.49.  I had about 2 servings for a total of $1.00.  This brings the total I have available to spend to $5.99.  The soup was great.  I got the recipe.  Who knows, maybe this challenge will kick start a cooking spree for me!  Fingers crossed.


Pasta. Pasta Sauce and Chicken.  Glass of Milk.  Simple easy and tasty.  Good thing I like it.  This is going to be my lunch and dinner for as long as I can stretch it.  I kept the portions small to start off the week, in order to help it last longer.


Turns out my portion size might have been a little small or I ate too early.  I was really hungry later in the night.  I decided to grab one of the apples.  It was good enough to get me to bed.

So that is Day one.  Just one small hiccup and many people have to skip meals to make the food stretch for themselves or their family.  Not too fancy.  Not the healthiest, but generally healthier than my usual fare.