Well it’s finally day five of the Live Below the Line Challenge. A HUGE Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me and sent me messages of support. For the last five days I have only spent £1 per day on food and drink to raise money and awareness for the 1.2 Billion people over the world living in extreme poverty, and it has been eye opening in so many ways. Here is a little summary of my week:
1 Bag Porridge – 65p
5 Bananas (Fairtrade) – 60p
1 Bag Yellow Split Peas – 53p
1 Onion – 15p
2 Carrots – 12p
2 Cans Tomatoes – 62p
Vegetable Stock Cubes – 20p
1 Can Kidney Beans – 25p
1 Can Spaghetti Hoops – 20p
1 Bag Rice – 40p
1kg Bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables £1
1 Potato -12p
1 Can Baked Beans – 15p
Total – £4.99
Breakfast – Porridge made with tap water
Lunch – Split Pea soup, Jacket potato with baked beans on day 4
Dinner – Jumbled rice and Kidney beans, Spaghetti hoops on day 5
Snack – 1 Banana per day
Drinks – Tap Water
The first day I was really hungry because I am used to grazing throughout the day rather than eating just 3 meals. I stuck to fairly small portions for fear of running out of food but I enjoyed what I had prepared. I felt ready to face the week ahead and get through it hopefully without being too grumpy. I went to bed with a rumbly stomach but a feeling of satisfaction.
On Tuesday, the second day, I woke up hungry but found that after my porridge I didn’t get too hungry again until later in the afternoon. My meals mirrored the day before (porridge, soup and rice) but I really didn’t mind at this point. This was also the day I sat in the pub for a work colleagues birthday lunch drinking tap water. This was an unusual experience because I had to get over the fact everyone was eating and I wasn’t from a hunger aspect but also I had to overcome a social aspect of being looked at strangley by others for not eating. I got through this day hungry but still feeling ok.
Wednesday (“Hump Day” as Jane said in the comments) was when I started to feel really fed up of plain porridge made with water and soup and rice. I had 27p left and was torn between a pack of biscuits (treat option) to snack on or a more interesting meal (sensible option). I decided on the latter and managed to buy baked beans and a potato as a change for the next day. My dinner for this night was more rice and kidney beans but half way through my portion I just felt full and bored so I put what was left in tupperware for the next day. My stomach has shrunk and my tolerance of eating the same meal again is lessening.
In contradiction to Wednesday night, my fourth day was once again started with me being very hungry! Probably because I didn’t finish my dinner wednesday night! I had a small drama where I had held off eating my baked beans for hours to try not get hungry too early and then realised I didn’t have a can opener!! To cut a long grumpy and desperate story short, I enjoyed my beans in the end. I actually forced myself to eat a bigger dinner this night too and ate the leftover rice and a bowl of soup.
So, today, I woke up not hungry (thank you double dinner) but I am also feeling so tired, bloated from carbs and generally not well at all. I think today was the worst day so far mainly because it is so close to the end I started allowing myself to think about what foods I fancy, and everyone was talking to me like it was over “oooh what you going to eat over the weekend” etc. The idea of more plain porridge and more soup made me feel ill, I am not missing anything too exciting but I just really want a spoonful of honey on my porridge and a nice sandwich or salad! I am also missing fresh fruit, my body has not enjoyed a banana a day.
I had saved my spaghetti hoops for tonight which I had with some microwaved frozen veg, I am so glad I saved these until last. It’s nice to not have to eat rice or soup again!
This challenge has not only helped me raise over £480 for Concern Worldwide but I feel it has shown me (and hopefully you guys from my posts) how much food can effect your life. You go through a mix of ravenous anger to lethargic grumpiness, I have an office job so I feel for those who have to be active all day on this budget. I just had to deal with a small budget and lack of choice and that was enough to drive me crazy but people across the world also have to deal with malnutrition, lack of water and extreme living conditions.
I feel really proud for completing the challenge! I hope my posts have helped spread the word about the cause. With a sprinkle of guilt but my head held high I can say I am looking forward to some fruit salad and scrambled eggs tomorrow though!