Cory Booker Skips Cipriani for More Canned Beans

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Three meals.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker's well-intentioned publicity stunt, in which he's spending a week eating only on the budget afforded by food stamps, has not been easy, his Twitter account will have you know. On Friday, day four of his self-imposed challenge, Booker announced, "To conserve food + lessen cravings I'm eating small meals w/ more frequency." Meal one was an apple; meal two, chickpeas with olive oil; and meals three, four, and five, rations from the spread pictured here. Last night, he was even forced to forgo a free dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street.

"There was no temptation," Booker told The Wall Street Journal after passing on cocktail hour, a goat-cheese salad, steak, potatoes, and bread at the fancy gala. "I'm still on the SNAP Challenge." (Even during a normal week, he doesn't drink alcohol or eat meat.)

"I have a meeting now, IN A BAKERY. Ugh," he had tweeted earlier. "My bakery prayer: 'Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.'"

Booker spent less than $30 on groceries for seven days, beginning the political diet on Tuesday by publishing a picture of his receipt. He also lamented that he was forced to swear off coffee and soda, which he said did not fit into his budget. "Lunch today was a can of corn and a can of peas mixed together," Booker wrote yesterday. "I'm starting to feel the caffeine withdrawal."

What the sometime-superhero mayor has no shortage of is attention, which should lead nicely into his announcement, expected by the end of the year, of whether he will challenge Chris Christie for governor, run for reelection, or aim for the Senate.