Live Below the Line: Day 54
Today was the last day of the Live Below the Line challenge. The urge to ‘cheat’ and eat some fruit after dinner was very very tempting… but I didn’t give in, since tomorrow I go back to ‘normal’. I have been fortunate that I have never experienced true hunger; the most I experienced these past 5 days was just a sense of hollowness. The experience of this challenge has really made me appreciate the small things, and to be quite frank, I’m not sure that I would be able to survive on such a meager food budget for the long-term. As I stated yesterday, I suspect that my health would suffer in the long run, but beyond an unsightly rash, living in extreme poverty would likely take a huge mental toll – I read this very timely account of the emotions and anxiety of not having enough.
I am drained, and I’m not sure it’s only because of what I’ve been eating. I’ll collect my thoughts and post a follow-up next week. For now though, here’s the run-down of what I ate on the last day of the challenge:
Breakfast was two eggs, scrambled with about a teaspoon of butter and about 1/10th of my bunch of spinach.
Cost of breakfast breakdown
Two eggs: $0.34
1/10th bunch of spinach: $0.10
Breakfast sub-total: $0.47
In all 5 days of the challenge, I never felt tired – a little hungry now and then, yes – but not tired. About two hours after lunch I could’ve easily crawled back into bed to take a nice snooze. I don’t normally ever feel like napping during the day, so I suspect it had something to do with the high glycemic load of the rice, and the subsequent sugar crash about 2 hours later. I didn’t have the same reaction yesterday though.
1 serving of fried rice: $0.40
Lunch sub-total: $0.40
Dinner was the same as lunch and again, about an hour and a half after dinner, I felt really beat. Just wiped. I really think it’s got to do with the effect of such a starchy meal on my blood sugar. Refined starches like rice, break down to sugar very quickly in the bloodstream so they give you that energy rush, but then, when it’s done, your blood sugar drops and you crash.
1 serving of fried rice: $0.40
Dinner sub-total: $0.40
Total cost of day 5 $1.27
Adding up all five days, I spent $8.63, and used up all of the food I had bought. I might be under-budget only because I neglected to use all of my butter, when I had roast drippings instead. All that’s left are the bones and vegetable trimmings that had been simmered for about three days. These will finally go into the compost bin.
How I Feel at the End of the Challenge
The worst is that my skin still feels itchy and very irritated on my arms and legs, but it’s the worst on my neck. It’s dry, scaly, hot to the touch and red. I think I’m sensitive to the chicken or the rice that I’ve been eating. I went back to taking my Fermented Cod Liver Oil supplement ($1.15/tsp!) this morning in an attempt to help normalize things. I’ve used coconut oil to moisturize and cortisone cream to help calm it. None of these options would be possible within the limits of my budget. I hope my skin returns back to normal soon.
I do feel fuller today than any other day of the challenge because of the two large bowls of rice. While it was a nice to end off the challenge feeling rather sated, I also feel tired and bloated, whereas on days that I didn’t feel full, I felt cranky.
This challenge was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I’m left feeling immensely grateful that extreme poverty isn’t my reality.
This is the eighth post in the Live Below the Line series, where I’ll be attempting to feed myself Real Food for $1.75 per day, for five days. You can also support me in the challenge and donate to the cause – I’ll be raising money for Raising the Village. Or, you can donate to my team Bloggers Living Below the Line; make sure to check out our collective blog of our challenge experience.
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