i’m living on twenty euros this week

I was actually kinda happy when my host mother announced that she was leaving for two weeks and I had free reign over my food. Her food’s fantastic, but as you might have noticed in this entry, my low self-esteem has been begging me to go on a diet. (Though there’s no way in hell I’m giving up ice cream. Actually… remembering all the shopping I did in Barcelona will curb my cravings for a 4-curo cone.)

The thing is, I’m vegetarian and I’m broke. (Both of which are pretty much my fault, I know, I know.) I can’t eat out with my friends for lunch now. I had to steal cash from my mom’s account just to buy today’s groceries. But, inspired by the governor of Oregon’s decision to live for a week on a $21 food stamp stipend, I want to see how far my 20 euro (~$26) can go.

My first order of business was to take stock of what I already had in the kitchen:

– milk and cereal
– a small container of tapenades
– half a large box of green vegetable soup
– one kiwi (from a buffet in Barcelona)
– a little cheese that will soon be moldy.

(Host mom gave me 125 euro for dinners while she was away, but I used it to pay for my Barcelona trip.)

Then I went down to the neighborhood Franprix (NOT the neighborhood corner grocery store or bakery, which charge more) to supplement my diet with more protein, a little bread, maybe more legumes (both senses of the word), and something not too unhealthy for my sweet tooth. For 9.62 curo, I got:

– a medium-sized round loaf of matnakash
– a jar of apricot confit
– six large eggs
– two 75g packages of rice cakes
– a jar of carrots, peas and celery
– a box of cranberry-raspberry juice
– a 12-pack of plain yogurt
– a box of paper towels

Lunch: I made an omelette with two eggs and a few spoonfuls of veggies, then tried the matnakash (yummy with a hint of corn) and a couple of rice cakes (really dry).

Dinner: I had a cup of the soup with a poached egg and fried matnakash, with a spoonful of jam on a rice cake for dessert. I don’t drink much besides water, but I like the tart taste of cranberry juice.

The soup and the juice are good for about 3-4 days after opening, but I have a feeling I could keep them for a little longer. The eggs expire soon, but I’ll probably finish the rest before Saturday. I should make a cheese omelette…

According to Tim Ferriss (who gained 34 lbs of muscle in a month), repetition in meals is good for losing body fat. (And carbohydrates are bad, but I’m gonna skimp on that advice for now.) Unfortunately, since I am not a meat-eater, I will have to eat lots and lots of eggs. Should I get bio-friendly eggs? Twice the price, but better for the chickens… Hmm, my morals vs. my budget. That’s an argument that shouldn’t ever be allowed to happen.

De toute façon, I’ll probably do a few more posts than usual this week to show you how I’m doing with the 20-euro diet. And I have to get around to blogging about finding an apartment in Paris– off craigslist…


1 Response to “i’m living on twenty euros this week”

  1. 1 thebeverlyclub May 2, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    grab your french bread, slice it up, put some cheese and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. top it off with avocado or other spreadable fruits/veggies..

    or buy some brocolli, cut them up, dip them in fake gravy or mashed potatoes.

    vegetarian friendly =) or atleast thats my roommate did.

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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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