K Chats: A Special K Challenge

Before the Egypt debunkle, I still had some diet stuff on the brain…In trying to support some one else, I shared recently about my experience living on cash, and my philosophy about the ETHICS of how we spend our money. Think about the last PHYSICAL dollar you spent. Was it on a stamp (yep, I mailed off a thank you today before heading out of the country!) a latte, a beer? Gas? if you only had less than a buck to live on today (as most people living in the entire contitinent of Africa do) what do you spend it on?

So I challenged a college aged “sister” in my self-made sorority of bloggers to only live on the food she already had in her cabines and freezer for the next 10 days…Kate’s posts often contain some soul searching, and this challenge indeed brought up some insights for her.   So I asked: Why would you do such a challenge?

I realized that I had spending A LOT on food and going out with friends.  My budget is tight each month and this was one area that I could pull in a bit.  I had perfectly good food sitting around my house that I wasn’t eating.  It seemed a little wasteful to not be using it.  Plus, I thought it would be fun too!

How is spending money related to NOURISHMENT, or food, connected to your spirituality? 

Food is precious!  There is a lot of time and care that is takes to raise it and bring it to us.  Not being able to instanteously spend on money on and consume it made me really realize what a valuable resource it is.  It is a privledge to eat, especially “healthy” food.  I used to abuse this privledge and mindless stuff myself when I would get stressed or upset.  I realized a few months ago that I am too valuable to keep doing that and now I realized that food is too valuable a resource to abuse like that.  I am probably going to sound like a crazy hippie with this one, but Alice Walker wrote in The Color Purple that God is in all of and we can recognize that, we will know that we’ve “found it.”  I can know see the God in food.   

Has this changed any of your philosophy?

 Do I really need another box of cereal or I am buying just because I can?  I don’t need to collect food or use it to smother out some emotion.  I need it to nourish my body!

Kate, I know you told me that you learned to make use of the bulk section as a practical tip. As a single gal, I HEART BULK! I completely miss the bulk section from stores back in the US. It exposed me to 1) economical packaging 2) only purchasing what I needed for 2-3 recipes 3) new grains, nuts, salts, flavors: you name it.  One thing about my challenge that came up for me was this sense of guilt when I bought something “forbidden.” Culture, and then our own mental boxes, foster a sense of GUILT when we do “indulge”. What are things that make you feel guilty?

I felt awful when I accidentally bought that coffee on day four. I love getting a Kombucha and Luna bar after grocery shopping:  Can I survive with out those items?  Of course.  Do I really enjoy them?  Yup!  So it is a battle to decide which to chose, saving money or enjoying a little splurge.  I had a moment on Thursday while I was walking in Target buying my two apples.  There are people, probably even families, who have to live all the time on a similar budget to mine during the last ten days.  I had an icky martyrish sensation after that.  It kind of seemed like my little experiement was pretty lame in comparison.    

Is there a sense of ”good girl” feeling when you follow a budget, or exercise plan, or nutrition intention. Ever break the rules? 

I enjoy proving to myself that I can do things like this.  I can be in control of my habits and how I live my life.  I do break rules and feel guilty about it.  I usually try to reflect on the rule breaking experience and figure out if it was “worth it.”  Wouldn’t it be great if as a society we focused more on our individual well being and less on a standard set of rules?  Something to work on in the future 🙂

A lot of people wish they had more money. What three things do you wish you had MORE of?

 Good question!  After much pondering, I wish I had more patience, free time and enough money to travel.

You’ve got $10…what THREE items will you buy at the store

Oats – versatile grain of choice!
Eggs – nutritious, cheap, and a comfort food
Spinach – nutritional value and it’s finest
 And if I did my coupon research and hit up the bulk bins, I bet I could probably get a bag of frozen fruit and some dried beans too 😉

Diets suck the freedom out of your spirit to trust that it will balance its longings with the practical living in this world. Rules do not lead to success. Your intution, integrity and reflection does. Your endurance in the uncomortable sensations, and optimism that progress is purposeful. Thanks for taking the challenge, Kate.  It is an inspiration for us all to question how we spend, and why, and what it says about WHO we are.

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4 thoughts on “K Chats: A Special K Challenge

  1. Pingback: Brain Drain « for the love of breakfast

  2. I wish I had more money to travel and more free time too! But at the same time I love to stay busy and teach others, so that brings me tons of fulfillment and happiness. I spend money often because I can, but I have little expenses here, so I really feel like I can. In reality, I can because I am in a better place than I have been in the past. I had difficulty with money because I had a bad relationship where it was being sucked right out of my accounts. I don’t talk about it often because there is no reason, I am so far removed from that now, but sometimes I spend money just because I could barely afford anything despite having a good paying job.

    I have been really busy, but I did not forget that I plan to send you some good, fast and easy recipes.

  3. What a GREAT challenge!!! I wonder if I could do this…wait…no, I COULD do it, for sure. I am so frugal and I really try hard not to pay money for things like coffee, smoothies, expensive cereals. I think I do really well actually. In fact I am giving a presentation on “Shopping Healthy on a Budget” next month. I’m pretty excited about it.

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