While leaving a local grocery store, I found the sign above posted on the door. “Connecticut SNAP EBT customers: Due to the federal government shutdown, February food dollars will be added to accounts by January 18. No additional benefits will be distributed in February.Given this early availability, food advocate groups encourage SNAP customers to plan purchases so their funds are available throughout the month of February.”
Read on for further information on SNAP EBT benefits, how to shop in a way to get the most bang for your buck in February if you’re a SNAP customer, or how you can help!
Based on data from the Center on Budget and Policy Politics, in 2017, 42 million people nationwide participated in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In my home state of Connecticut, 11% of residents participated in the program with more than 55% of those participants having families with children. Other states had much higher statistics, such as New Mexico with 22% and West Virginia at 19% of the residents participating.
This is a frightening time with families and their concerns of how to afford food for their children are valid. Here’s my recommendations on how to help your community and a few shopping tips for those that rely on SNAP.
For those of you that do not rely on SNAP but have friends or family that do, reach out to them!
Some of you may know a bit about the changes I’ve been making to our family’s diet and lifestyle over the last couple of years (with a big one just recently!), but I’m sure many of you may not. For those of you who aren’t
up-to-date, read on…
Shortly before having my son in 2016 I stopped wearing make-up, for no reason except that I really didn’t have time for a routine, or more correctly I didn’t make time for a skin care routine.
When I went back to work in 2018 I realized that over the course of the past two years, my skin (specifically on my face),had gotten worse and worse, with more blemishes, dry spots, and redness. Through blood testing and an elimination diet, I learned that I had food sensitivities that would exacerbate these spots on my face. Like many other women, I wanted to hide from the world because of the blemishes. Until I could get it under control, I decided to put make-up on to hide the imperfections. However, the brand that I tried, which boasted it was “natural, and doctor created”, made my face even worse!
I spoke to a fellow colleague in Nutrition and Dietetics about my concerns and she recommended Beautycounter, a company that focuses its efforts on reforming the skincare and cosmetics industry in terms of safer ingredients.
It took me some time to do my research (I’ll admit!), but the thought of safer skincare and better beauty products was planted. Why did this stick out to me now, but not before?
For the past 5 years I’ve been making a conscious effort to make changes to the foods my family eats: eliminating white rice, sugar, and pasta; switching our meats to grass-fed and free range; swapping our conventional produce for organic, etc.
Why hadn’t I also thought about switching the products we use on our skin?
Our skin is one of our largest organs, and according to a survey conducted by the Environmental Working Group, 25% of women surveyed used 15 or more personal care products per day. Additionally, personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemicals, some of which are suspected or known carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or endocrine system disruptors, such as formaldehyde, coal tar, or lead acetate.
Unfortunately, the last time Congress passed a law regulating the cosmetics industry was 81 years ago, in 1938.There currently isn’t any premarket safety testing required for the ingredients put into personal care products.
Now looking back, although I wanted to have a skin care routine, I’m glad I didn’t. Now that I’ve learned about the harmful chemicals in the products I used to use, I’m happy to not only use a brand that promises NEVER to use 1,500 chemicals, but I’ve joined their movement as a consultant. I am proud to announce that I’ve partnered with Beautycounter to spread the mission of sharing safer, high quality skincare and beauty products with women, men, and children.
Having eliminated my trigger foods and using better products, my face is now brighter and less damaged than it has been in the last several years.
If you’ve seen my evolution, want to start your own transformation, or simply want to learn more about Better Beauty, please reach out to me via email.There’s so much information I have to share – things that I wish I knew earlier – and I’m happy to support your learning wherever you are in the process!
Link to my @beautycounter shop:
One of the most frequent questions I receive from clients when they’re on an elimination diet or following a specific food protocol, is “how am I still going to enjoy eating out with friends and family?”
Eating out when your food selection is limited can be stressful, and may cause you to have a less than enjoyable meal. However, there are ways to approach eating out so you don’t feel as though you’re putting a damper on the meal.
1.Scope out the restaurant’s menu beforehand online, and have an idea of what you would like to order.
2.If the restaurant truly doesn’t have anything you can eat, recommend going to another restaurant. Most restaurants now have allergen-adaptable menus.
3.Be KIND to your waiter or waitress. Explain to them that you have food sensitivities and would appreciate if you could build an a la carte meal from the dishes they already have listed on their menu. Their knowledge may surprise you!
4.If beforehand you realize there’s nothing you can eat, and you can’t change the restaurant, don’t be scared to eat prior to arriving or bringing your own meal.
When following a food protocol, especially an elimination diet it’s important not to cheat, even if you’re surrounded by hot, cheesy, gooey pizza. I say this from my own personal experience and my clients. If your body has started to heal, and your inflammation has decreased, eating a food may trigger a worse reaction. I highly recommend against using the “it’s just one time, I’ll be okay” excuse, because it may turn into more than one time, and you may experience a worse reaction than before (more bloating, running to the bathroom, etc.)
Remember to enjoy your company, and your meal. =)