Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Go on a Diet

Act #29 :  Feed your soul.

As the New Year begins, Americans are once again renewed with motivation and inspiration to lead healthier and more fit lifestyles.  Gyms are packed, weight-loss support groups are abundant, and it seems everybody is either training for a 5-K, counting their calories, limiting their carbs, or swearing off sugar.  Actually, that’s not quite true.  When I say “everyone”, I am of course excluding the 50.1 million Americans who struggle to put food on their tables everyday.  And yes, this number includes millions of children and senior citizens who live alone.  More than 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger.  Make that 1 in 3 for African-American and Latino children.

Today I would like to introduce an innovative new diet program for everyday activists like you.  This plan is based on a monthly allowable point system and here’s how it works. Each month you are assigned 26 points (that was actually my weight watchers allowable daily points at one point in time, so it only seemed fitting).  Your goal is to reach 26 points in one month, through any combination of the below activities.

1 point:  Pick up an extra can or two of food every time you are at the grocery store.  Set the cans aside so that you can take them to your local food bank at the end of the month.  Each can is worth 1 point.  This is an easy way to meet your monthly allowable points.  26 cans = 26 points.  Presto, you’re done for the month.  To find a food bank near you, visit: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx.  For some reason, my local food bank isn't listed (http://www.facebook.com/#!/BereaFoodBank?fref=ts), so please consult your local directory as well.

2 points:  Skip a meal.  Let your stomach growl.  See what it’s like first hand for millions of Americans. Maximum possible points that can be earned in a month:  2.  We don’t want anyone passing out.

5 points:  Skip your morning pit stop.  You know, fancy latte (or sausage biscuit, or bagel, or mega fountain soda) for a week.  Put the money you would have spent on those items in a jar and take it to your local food bank at the end of the week.  Each week of self-restraint is worth 5 points.  You can earn a total of 20 points in just one month.  You may even reap the added benefits of personal nutrition.

10 points:  Skip your weekly trip to the grocery store and cook from your existing pantry and refrigerator. Take the funds you would have spent on groceries and donate them to your local food bank.  Research shows that 40 percent of food is thrown out in the US every year - about $165 billion worth of food that could feed 25 million Americans.  If you think this is impossible, have fun with it and be creative.  You’d be surprised at what you can “whip up” with a can of tomatoes, a can of black beans, and some frozen spinach (vegetarian chili of course!)

20 points: Organize a food drive in your neighborhood or place of employment.  Need help figuring that one out?  Here you go:  createthegood.org/toolkit/organize-food-drive

Fine Print:  This program is guaranteed to nourish the bodies of others, and nourish the souls of the participant.  Last year 6.1million households accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.  On-going maintenance of this plan is highly recommended for maximum results.  Offer good in all states.   Every county in America is impacted by hunger. For ongoing support and other creative ideas on how to reach your monthly points:



  1. Mae - Great post!

    Brian and I decided in the middle of the month to not go grocery shopping for the rest of the month. It's almost the end of the month and we've eaten a LOT of rice and our fridge is empty for the most part except for condiments.

    Beyond budgetary reasons, this was a great exercise for us - in problem solving, in self-control, and in time management.

    Amazing how helpful these little things can be!

    1. I gave up Wal-mart for Lent one year and it was an amazing experience. We shopped at the farmer's market and literally started cooking out of our freezer and pantry. It was much fun! You and Brian rock!

  2. Matt and I do the skipping groceries thing too. Sometimes it's out of necessity, sometimes it's because food isn't something we NEED...we have plenty and are just being picky and need to eat what we have. You know our fridge is pretty full...I think this may be a "no grocery" week apart from a bag of apples.... ;) Thanks for the reminder in mindfulness.

    1. Oh, the things you can do with apples... ;-)

  3. Great idea! You know, this is a perfect goal to start, immediately!

    1. I'm doing it right there with you Jenni! See ya at the food bank!

  4. New Diet Taps into Innovative Concept to Help Dieters Lose 12-23 Pounds in Just 21 Days!