Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Asparagus pee anyone?

That's right. If you're game, then join us at the Alberta Magazines Conference March 19 & 20 at the Carriage House Inn.

Today the AMPA team partook in a tasting of the food that'll be served at the Thursday night celebration. This year's Thursday celebration will feature a served dinner, that yes, includes asparagus. Another hint, it also includes very tender grilled beef filet and sea salt roasted Atlantic salmon. The pea tendrils salad with sesame ginger dressing was light and flavourful. The dessert will remain a secret. But let's just say it's airy and refreshing. Okay, I'll give you a hint: it's orange coloured.

Personally, I love eating and was excited at the generously sized portions and quality. I think you will be equally pleased.

Speaking of food...unfortunately, not everyone can afford such indulgences. Former AMPA Board member Tracy Hyatt is participating in the Working Poor Diet, where she is allowed only $80/month for food. The food must be healthy and nutritious, and the hardest part? No hand-outs from well-meaning friends and family allowed.

Read below for more information and see if you'd be up for the challenge!



What would you eat if you only had $80 per month to spend on food?
Edmonton, Feb 2 - Despite being one of the wealthiest provinces in the country, Alberta`s minimum wage ($8.40) is the fourth lowest in the country and about 21% of working Albertans earn less than $12 per hour. The Working Poor Diet challenges Canadians to understand the difficulties low-income families face each day putting healthy food on the table.

What would you eat if you had $80 per month for groceries?
For the entire month of February Working Poor Diet participants will spend $80 a month on food and attempt to follow the Canada Food Guide. How each participant spends their $80 is entirely up to them. "If we were just trying to eat within the budget then things would be easy," says participant Tracy Hyatt, "but what makes this hard is trying to eat a healthy diet." Each of us have spent hours budgeting, planning our meals and scouring cookbooks for affordable recipes.

To read daily posts, visit

The main goal of The Working Poor Diet is to raise money for The Edmonton Food Bank. Donations can be made online at

Rules of the Working Poor Diet
1. No free food allowed. This means participants can not eat sample food available at grocery stores, food offered by friends or family, or use the services of the Food Bank. All food consumed during the challenge must be paid from the $80 food allowance.

2. Participants must follow the Canada Food Guide as closely as possible and eat a variety of meals.

3. Participants are allowed to eat out at a restaurant or fast-food chain, for example, but they must deduct the cost of the meal from the $80 monthly food allowance.

4. If participants entertain guests at home, the cost of the food served to the guest(s) must be deducted from the $80 monthly food allowance.

5. The costs of any beverages, including tea and coffee, must be deducted from the $80 monthly food allowance.

6. Participants do not have to deduct the cost of the following food items from your monthly food allowance: salt, pepper, vinegar and dry spices. However, participants must deduct the cost of oil and any condiments from the $80 monthly food allowance.

7. The diet begins 12:01 am. February 1 and runs through to February 28. 6:00 pm

The Working Poor Diet are: Jennifer Windsor, Tracy Hyatt, Jeff Gonek, Rosie