Day 1 – Done. Pancakes for breakfast, bread, carrot sticks, and an orange for lunch (a banana, a carrot, and a bit of rice for Dave), saltines with peanut butter for a snack, and lentil stew on rice for supper.

Dinner consisted of lentil stew (lentils, stewed tomatoes, carrots, onions, salt) and brown rice. The kids actually liked it, and we were all full after dinner.

I couldn’t help but think how fake this whole thing is as I went about our day today. We had pancakes for breakfast with white flour (wheat was out of our budget) and no syrup. After eating this semi-fulfilling meal, I loaded our dishes in our dishwasher, put three loads of laundry in the washing machine, moved them to the dryer, planted some seeds in our garden boxes with soil that we purchased, mixed some white bread (to last the rest of the week) in our Bosch mixer, cooked it in our oven that keeps track of temperature and time, and still had time to play with my kids in the rocks – all before I had to think about lunch. I couldn’t help but think that we are NOT living like we are in poverty.

That said, I did have a few thoughts that perhaps could relate to those who live below the line. I was worried about my children. I was hoping that they were getting enough to eat. Food was also always on my mind – thoughts about perhaps eating too much today so we won’t have enough to last the full five days (yes, only FIVE days, not a lifetime), adding up prices in my mind, trying to divvy up portions in my head to make sure we would be okay, those kind of thoughts. I realized that I rarely think about issues like that when it comes to food. Thinking of a grand idea for supper out of the ingredients filling the fridge and pantry is usually the extent of my worry when it comes to food.

Also, we have decided that it is nearly impossible to explain to a 3 year old and a 1 year old why we are doing what we are doing, so we have already cheated in their behalf. Oops! We decided that we would let them break our rules a bit – they had applesauce on their pancakes and honey on their bread. It wasn’t worth the fight and the over-the-head explanations. They are still involved. They are still eating what we have and we are still “paying” for their snacks and meals, but we’re going to let a few condiments and additions slide. So, already, day 1, we’re bending the rules…

–Jana