Live below the line: my week

May 01, 2015


From 27th April - 1st May I lived #belowtheline to raise vital funds and awareness to end extreme poverty. The challenge is simple: spend no more than £1 per day for your food and drink for 5 days and use your experience to change perspectives and behaviours.

Below is my food diary for the last 5 days:

Day 1 
Cuppa soup for breakfast, spaghetti hoops for lunch and rice with chicken cuppa soup for dinner. 
It’s only day one but I’m really craving something sweet; feeling a little guilty that I’m finding it this difficult so soon.

Game of Thrones was on tonight; Russell and I usually stock up on snacks to enjoy whilst watching it. I thought Russell might give it a miss due to my challenge, but no, he’s prepared himself a meat and cheese platter. Whilst he eats I grab a glass of tap water - I'm concerned about the amount of salt I've eaten today so rule out another cuppa soup. 

Day 2
Boiled rice for breakfast, macaroni cheese for lunch and vegetable soup with tinned potatoes for dinner.

Today has been easier thanks to lots of carbs! The rice for breakfast was pretty bland, but kept me full until lunchtime. Hot macaroni cheese from a can was a treat at lunchtime, and the edition of potatoes in tonight’s dinner kept me full until bedtime. I feel very stodgy and bloated.

 Day 3
Leftover boiled rice for breakfast, cuppa soup for lunch and cold pasta with tomato passata for dinner.

Today has not been a good day. I’ve been out of the house all day, and therefore had to bring my three meals with me. Having not thoroughly prepared last night, I was left with rather bland food that hasn’t filled me up at all. When I got home I was too tired to cook anything else. 

Day 4 
Dry toast for breakfast, pasta with chicken cuppa soup for lunch and 

Big mistake not cooking something last night. I’ve woken up miserable and emotional – something I didn’t expect. Russell offered me a banana before I left the house, which took me all my strength to refuse. I cried on the tube this morning, wishing I had took the banana. After telling the tale to my colleagues I had three people approach me fruit donations that I had to decline - I scoffed down two slices of dry toast instead (the thought of another rice breakfast turned my stomach).

Day 5 
TBC on Saturday 

What I've learnt: 

My relationship with food is more deep rooted than I ever thought - I’ve missed out on social events, I had genuine cravings for Ribenna and I cried over a banana. Food really does seem to be the centre of my universe; as it's easily accessible I didn’t realise how most of my day revolves around it.   

I started this challenge with an idea that I would be able do it healthily – this hasn’t been the case at all. By no means is it impossible, but my downfall was planning. I optimistically arrived at Lidl with £5 and dreams of fresh fruit and veg – in reality I should have researched the best deals  in advance and spent the day visiting different supermarkets. 


I hope those of you who have witnessed me eating boiled rice and cuppa soup will donate to my page, which is supporting the Salvation Army. My aim is to raise £50, which would equate to 10 people all donating £5 each (£1 a day). £50 will feed 100 people in a developing country for a day – that’s 300 meals!

Thanks in advance - see you next year!

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